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Why Are Doors So Expensive (Top 10 Reasons)

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Stylish black front door of modern house

 

When buying a new door for your home or commercial property, you will find that available selections are made from many different types of materials.

Doors come in infinite styles, from simple to ornate, and they serve different purposes.

Doors can also be surprisingly expensive.

Let’s look at ten reasons doors can be so expensive.

 

Why Are Doors So Expensive (Top 10 Reasons)

 

1. Composition Materials

entrance porch through open door

 

The materials from which doors are made are one of the greatest contributing factors to the cost of the door.

For instance, wooden doors can be very expensive, depending on the door’s location, whether or not it is basic or ornate, the types of finishes that are applied, whether or not they have windows, and many other reasons.

They are well-favored choices, as they can be considered to impart a warm and welcoming appearance and because they are versatile.

On the other hand, steel doors tend to be less expensive than wooden ones.

Not only that, but they are noted for being more energy-efficient, so they can save money on utility bills as well.

Typically, steel doors come factory finished, and unlike wooden doors, they do not require periodic painting because the finishes are baked on and do not age the same way that wooden doors do.

Fiberglass doors are versatile and durable and do not require storm doors.

They are also noted for being energy efficient.

These types of doors are available in a wide price range, which can be quite expensive.

Fiberglass doors were once noted for imparting a plastic look after a little wear and were thought to be undesirable.

However, today, that has changed considerably.

With new artistry and technology, fiberglass accurately duplicates the look and feel of wood so much that many are unable to tell the difference.

They even sound like wood when they are knocked upon.

They are now made of the same type of polymers that are reinforced with glass fibers.

This is identical to the technology used to make airplanes, Corvettes, and surfboards.

The doors will not shrink, warp or swell like wood doors, and they outweigh wood doors in their ability to resist insects and fire.

 

2. Hardware

New modern metal door hinges on white wooden doors

 

Locks, handles, and hinges can add up in price very quickly, considering how many are needed per door and the number of doors in a house or building.

Exterior hardware tends to be more expensive than interior hardware, but that is not always the case.

The type of metal used can make an impact, and the purpose of the hardware all weigh in on the expense.

For instance, if a door is particularly vulnerable to break-ins, special security hardware can come into play.

There are countless choices to take into consideration when buying hardware.

Doorknobs are a part of the door hardware that needs to be durable, and that will stand up to wear.

Whether they are made from metal, high-density plastic, crystal, or glass, they are still considered part of the hardware.

Brass is a desirable metal for doorknobs because it doesn’t corrode easily and is naturally antimicrobial.

They can contain brass on the inside and be covered in different metals on the outside.

Depending on the type of brass and the style of the doorknob, they can cost upward of $500.

Door hinges also come in a wide variety of styles and prices ranging from around $50 per door to upward of a thousand dollars, depending on their use and materials.

Door plates, kick plates, locks and all kinds of other door hardware can make outfitting a house with well-adorned doors very expensive.

 

3. Installation

handyman repair the door lock in the room

 

According to the famous home builder, Bob Vila, prices for the installation of a door can run anywhere from just under $500 to as much as $1,600, with the average installation in the US costing a little over $1,000.

Much of the price is determined by the cost of materials, the threshold, hinges, mounting hardware, screws, supplies, and labor.

Doors that are found on the inside of a house may fall prey to house settling, which results in their not closing properly.

Bathroom doors can warp because of moisture from the shower.

Some homeowners replace all the doors at one time because contractors are known to offer discounts for larger jobs that involve more than one installation.

Exterior doors can cost upward of $6,500.

Generally speaking, an exterior door should be both weather-resistant and attractive.

It should also be sturdy because of the type of wear it will get.

These types of doors require specific framing, such as flashing to keep water out and load-bearing headers.

Each element of this nature that is added increases the overall price of installation.

Extra costs are associated with installing garage doors, which are a whole different ball of wax.

Labor costs can be higher because it usually takes more than one person to install a garage door.

Replacement costs can run anywhere from around $800 to over $10,000, with the national average of $1,200.

 

4. Trim And Accents

Front black door

 

Homeowners sometimes like to add accents or trim to their doors to give them better curb appeal or to add security lighting.

They can also give the space around a door more visual appeal.

Door accents and trim come in as many or more varieties as the doors themselves.

They are used to draw attention to a particular area around a door or to break up spaces.

Trim can be used to coordinate with a wall’s color, or to add an element that maintains the integrity of the house’s overall appearance.

Trim pieces can be small and inexpensive or ornate and enormously expensive, depending on the materials, style, origin of manufacturing, and other elements.

Door trim and accents, such as transoms, glass, or sidelights, can include decorative hinges, door knockers, metal mail slots, and similar items that are not necessities, but that add attractiveness and value to the house.

 

5. Size And Style

fashion designer busy closing his large wooden front door

 

The size of a door can increase its cost.

They are available in standard sizes, but can also be made to accommodate any size opening.

The standard size for a typical American house is 36” x 80” x 2”.

However, this is not an iron-clad rule.

Doors can come as wide as 30” and infinitely taller, depending on what is needed.

Doors that are made in custom sizes tend to be much more expensive than those that are standard-sized.

This is another instance in which materials help determine the cost.

Wood is easier to work with than steel, in terms of customization.

There are limitless door styles, with some being much more expensive than others.

The most common for home interiors is the hinged single door.

This type of door can only be installed if there is space for it to swing.

If there isn’t, either a carpenter must make room to accommodate the door, or a different style must be chosen, such as a pocket door that slides in and out of the wall.

Pocket doors are labor-intensive, and therefore, more expensive.

One often finds them in older homes that were built in the 1940s and earlier, although new versions are currently available.

Bypass doors are similar to pocket doors, but are a lighter, more modern version.

Another classic door style is the panel-style door.

This style usually features three or four horizontal rails and four vertical stiles.

Thinner panels usually appear between the spaces and molding commonly surrounds each of the panels.

The look is a distinctive one that is often seen in modern settings.

These doors are built to last a lifetime, which explains their high expense.

Flush doors are commonly the least expensive door options because of their simplicity.

They are normally just flat slabs of wood or other material.

However, their installation and hardware will still drive up the price.

French doors, on the other hand, can be among the most expensive.

They are most often seen in doorways that are extra-wide and are usually created in a traditional design.

The most popular ones have glass panels which can be quite ornate and expensive.

 

6. Windows

 double brown front door with a secured front entrance

 

Windows can add to the overall cost of a door.

There are many reasons one might want to add a window to a door.

Adding a window to a door is a good way to increase the lighting inside the home.

This can help save money on having to keep lights on in an entryway, but it is a larger initial expense.

Windowed doors are also noted for their higher aesthetic value.

Many find them much more attractive than a solid door with no windows.

Doors with windows can add to the overall value of the house by adding to its curb appeal.

Windows can also function to let people inside houses understand more about what is going on outside their houses.

Glass panels mounted on either side of a wooden door are other window options, but they are probably the most expensive choice.

If the door is a garage door, windows can help illuminate areas that are often too dark.

A windowed garage door can also play a role in security lighting when lit from the inside.

Sometimes, glass inserts can be added to a door, which of course, will add to its cost.

Considered decorative, the type of glass insert normally combines textured or heavily beveled glass with solid metals of different types.

They can be very ornate, and even considered works of architectural art.

The glass can come in different degrees of opacity, which can increase the privacy inside the house.

Glass inserts can also be installed into existing wood doors, or new doors can be custom manufactured with glass inserts.

These serve the same purposes as doors made entirely of glass in their ability to add light to an area of the interior and to add curb appeal.

 

7. Shipping Costs

Forklift with cardboxes on calculator. Calculation of shipping

 

Some people will fall in love with the architectural details of houses that are located in other places than their homes.

Doors have been shipped to the US from Mexico to impart a specific look.

Aged doors from Indonesia or India have been shipped to the US for their unique appearance.

Whether one is shipping doors from overseas or simply shipping them from across the state, the shipping costs can greatly increase the cost of a door.

Even ready-made doors that can be purchased at hardware stores have shipping costs built into the retail cost of the door.

Prices for shipping doors can depend on the freight company used, the weight of the door, the type and size of the door, and many other factors.

Doors from foreign countries are generally shipped on freighters in metal containers at a steep price.

Doors shipped across states or from other states are generally moved using trucks or by rail.

The costs can also depend on how much space the door or doors take up in a truck or other means of shipping.

 

8. Extra Construction For Adaptation

worker installing a peephole in a new door

 

Sometimes, a homeowner will fall in love with a door that simply isn’t right for a given space.

In this situation, extra construction for adaptation is required.

This is true of both interior and exterior doors and is most common with front exterior doors.

In the instance that an entirely new door is being installed, a new jamb will be required, and the construction workers may have to do some rewiring for lighting or add additional structural support.

If an older door is to be replaced, the cost of reinforcing the old jamb might present itself, as well as additional rewiring.

These things will add additional expenses on top of the door itself and can be as expensive as $5,000.

The same is true when double doors are added, or a door that is larger or smaller than the original opening.

Adjustments for adaptation can add up very quickly.

 

9. Decorative Finishes

Interior of modern entrance hall

 

If a homeowner is not satisfied with the finish on a door, he or she might want to add a decorative finish, such as mosaic art, specialized paint, or other types of decorative finishes.

Mosaic art can be placed over the glass in a door to add security and privacy while still allowing the light to stream through.

It can be placed on wooden doors and, depending on the artist and the design and materials, can cost thousands of dollars.

The same is true for embellishments around the trim that frames the door, such as decorative sidelights.

These things can all contribute to the overall cost of a door.

Some other ideas for decorative finishes and embellishments include metal address plaques that are permanently affixed to the door, artful or unusual door knockers, welcoming or name signs, monograms, and similar items.

Artists can be hired to paint decorative finishes on doors, and there are trim items that can embellish their appearance.

These types of things are also expensive and make the door more costly.

 

10. Security

inputing passwords on an electronic door lock

 

Security doors can add extra protection from intruders, whether in a home or a business.

They come in all manner of designs, from industrial to decorative, and are usually made of some type of metal.

They can be doors with bars or doors with large designs that disguise their functionality as security doors.

Because of this wide variety, the prices of custom-made security doors are difficult to estimate.

Generally, they cost between $1,000 and $1,400 to install with triple locks in a standard size.

The addition of a security screen door over a regular door can also raise one’s door expenses considerably.

Some of the things that contribute to the overall cost of buying and installing security doors include changing the color of a pre-made door, which can amount to around $120 extra.

An aluminum door frame that has been finished to resemble wood can cost as much as $280 extra.

It costs $30 and up to have new door tracks installed if the door is a sliding type.

It is not a good idea to attach a security door to any type of frame that is not structurally sound.

Therefore, an extra charge to secure the frame can be charged before installing the door.

This can cost an additional $350.

Some people prefer that a door closer hinge be installed to ensure the security door closes securely on its own once someone has entered.

This can cost around $40 extra.

If one would like to have a pet door installed in the security door, it can cost close to $300.

If the door installation involved heights, scaffolding will need to be rented, which, again, will add to the cost of the door.

At $85 average cost per laborer, the addition of additional laborers to install a security door can drive the price up even higher.

 

Security Screens

In the case that a security screen is installed, either in front of a security door or to add security in front of a traditional door, this can prove to be more expensive as well.

Like flyscreens or regular screens, security screens are a lot stronger and have been specially engineered for home protection.

These types of screens are normally engineered with very high-quality components, such as a security door frame and security mesh, that can be very expensive.

Some come with triple locks and have specialized filing methods that also come at a higher price.

Even though adding high-quality components to a home or business may cost more initially, they can end up virtually paying for themselves because of the security that they provide.

The look, quality, and strength of a security screen should be considered important for the cost.

Although these quality components add to the price of the security screen doors and windows, they can be a home improvement worth investing in.

The quality, strength, and appearance of the screen should be considered more important than the cost when looking for a true security solution.

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