How much does a front door cost? If you’re looking to replace your front door, a quick online search will reveal various budget-friendly products. But what does the price include and how much difference does the material make to the costs, quality and performance?
Your front door, like replacement windows, is one of the first things that any visitors will see when they come to your home. Consider what kind of impression you want to make. Budget doors can look just that, whereas a bespoke, high-end door will make an impressive feature and boost your property’s kerb appeal.
How much does a front door cost?
‘Style has an impact on cost,’ says Victoria Brocklesby, COO at Origin. ‘Generally, higher quality products have a more stylish finish. They hey are made to a higher standard, using good quality materials, with a keen eye for detail. When it comes to value, I would recommend considering the long-term return on investment, not just the initial outlay.’
There’s also security and thermal efficiency to factor in. Could a budget door compromise these important elements? ‘Price differs depending on level of security and insulation,’ says Elizabeth Assaf, Designer and Co-Founder at Urban Front. ‘High security doors that are also Secured by Design accredited cost more. The thickness of the door and how well it will perform over time are what’s important.’
Here, we’re looking at the different front door materials and how much you should budget for the various options. With each option, we give you an indicative price bracket to reflect a sliding scale in terms of quality and performance.
Before you buy, take time to consider what is included in the price.
1. Installation costs
Many front door suppliers include installation in the cost, but it’s always worth double checking. If a product is supply only, that means it doesn’t come with installation – and you may need to source the door frame separately.
If you’re buying a door from a DIY store, they may not offer installation, in which case you’ll need to get a quote from a local trade to see how much they’ll charge. Alternatively, you could fit it yourself – but make sure you know what you’re doing, because a poorly-fitted door is a weak point in your home’s security, so you want to get it right.
‘Installation could be anything from a day rate of £150 to £1,500, depending on the configuration and complexity – for instance, is it just a door, are there sidelites (the window that sits alongside the door) to be fitted and is there any making good needed?’ says Elizabeth Assaf. ‘Our doors need four people to handle them, so they’re more expensive to fit compared to some products due to the handling.’
2. Door furniture costs
What door furniture comes with the product? Handles, letter boxes, knockers etc tend to be included in costs, but double check and see if you can change or upgrade to different options.
3. Door frame and fixings
Are you reusing what’s already there, or buying new? And what about long-term maintenance costs versus the upfront price for your door?
How much does a hardwood door cost?
Budget: £1,000-£6,000 (but can rise to £10,000+ for bespoke designs)
Wood is a popular option for front doors thanks to its natural and highly durable character. There is a timber door to suit most styles and budgets. Prices vary dramatically. The species of timber will impact on costs. Most come factory-treated to protect them from the elements, but you may also need to budget for staining or painting on site.
You can seek out more affordable hardwood designs, but if you want something bespoke, you’re looking at a much bigger investment. For instance, hardwood door specialist Urban Front offers bespoke designs in a variety of oversized formats, pivot styles and contemporary finishes. ‘Hardwood is one of the most expensive products currently as it’s a natural product,’ says the company’s Co-Founder, Elizabeth Assaf. ‘Our doors start from about £6,000 including VAT for an Oak doorset, but our average sale is £10,000 to £15,000 for a bespoke solution.’
Timber doors require oiling, lacquering or painting, and the treatment will need to be redone every six to eight years. ‘If you’re doing the basic maintenance yourself, the cost of the product needed could be anything from £30-£100. Otherwise, you’ll be looking to pay a decorator a day rate for the work,’ says Elizabeth Assaf.
How much does an aluminium door cost?
Aluminium is a popular metal for front doors, as it offers strength, durability and low-maintenance at a value for money price point. These doors have an insulating core, giving them good energy efficiency and U-values (a measure of heat loss). They tend to have a more modern appearance, but can look stunning on a variety of homes, including conversions.
Aluminium is a premium product, so will be more expensive than PVCu and composite designs. ‘Generally, aluminium and timber doors come at a comparable price, depending on quality,’ says Victoria Brocklesby. ‘The Origin aluminium Front Door starts from £1,800 plus VAT.’
Aluminium doors have a powder coated finish, which requires very little maintenance to maintain a quality looking front door, so there are no future costs. You should have a beautiful entrance for many years. At the end of its life, as it is metal, the product can be recycled.
How much does a composite door cost?
Composite front doors have a thick core comprising a reinforced frame and thermally efficient fill, creating a strong and energy efficient product. They are finished in a variety of materials – popular options include GRP (glass reinforced plastic) and timber, so they can offer different looks in terms of style. They’re generally low-maintenance, but check in with the supplier regarding upkeep for your specific finish.
Composite is a mid-price option – not as cheap as PVCu and not as costly as hardwood or aluminium. ‘Composite door costs start from £372 for the door only, not including the frame and any ironmongery. These can be added separately to be fitted on site by the joiner or carpenter,’ says Emma Archibald, Assistant Manager at DirectDoors.com. ‘We do offer composite doorsets, complete with the door, frame and door fittings, from £894. Any glazing is pre-installed.’
How much does a PVCu door cost?
New PVCu products are readily available and affordable. You can get plastic doors in various styles, colours and wood effects. Some people consider PVCu to look a bit dated and cheap, but it’s a great option if you’re working to a limited budget – and good-quality modern products are rightly popular among home renovators. These doors are easy to source online and in DIY stores. You’re unlikely to find many PVCu products from the more design-led, high-end door specialists.
PVCu is a low-maintenance material and easy to clean, but these doors tend to have a limited lifespan (typically up to 35 years). ‘Although uPVC doors tend to be cheaper to buy, they don’t offer a robust and long-lasting option. So, they will need replacing more frequently than other systems and will end up in landfill when they come to the end of their life,’ says Victoria Brocklesby.