3 tips for low-priced door replacement

January 15, 2012

A new front door can work wonders for an entryway. But that replacement door could also cost several hundred dollars to several thousand--a stiff price for a small project. If you have already set a budget for the door itself, here are a few tips for keeping the costs of your door replacement job reasonable.

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3 ways to control door replacement costs

Perhaps the bids you received for the project made you feel a little weak in the wallet. Don't worry--you can still have a new entryway or interior door for a respectable sum. Keep these ideas in mind when pricing new doors and door installation.

  1. Install the door yourself. This may sound intimidating. But it does not need to be. Most doors--especially those installed in the majority of tract homes in the U.S.--are pre-hung in door shops for convenience and quality-control. Pre-hung doors are shipped complete with jambs, pre-set bore holes for handles and deadbolt locks, and recessed pockets for the hinges. Fortunately, the majority of replacement doors are sold with these same bore-hole patterns and hinge locations. Replacing your front door could be as easy as popping out the hinge bolts from the existing door, installing the hinges on the new door, then swapping handle and deadbolt hardware.

  2. Buy just the door rather than the complete package. If hanging a door feels beyond your "DIY" abilities, you may still be able to cut costs on door replacement by examining your contractor's bid. Does the bid call for removal and replacement of the interior and exterior trim, surrounding the door jamb? If so and the trim can be reused, perhaps you can hire the contractor to simply replace the door and leave the trim alone. If they do not need to tear out trim, flashing and the like, experienced carpenters should be able to re-hang a door in a few hours or less.

  3. Forgo the bells and whistles. Do you really need that solid wood door with decorative glass, or can you purchase an aluminum, fiberglass or other type of door? If the beauty of wood is not an overwhelming factor, you can save significantly by purchasing a door made from other materials.

A new door does not have to be overly expensive, if you weigh these three factors before hiring a contractor to install your replacement door. Spend thrifty and get the smart look.

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