Maintaining the outside of your property is just as important as maintaining the inside. If you want your property to look well cared for then you’ll want to:
- Look after your driveway or garden
- Clean up any rubbish that gets swept in from the road
- Keep windows clean
- Keep the front door clean and paint it if necessary
However, if you think your front door has seen better days then it’s a good idea to replace it with a new one.
If you’re going to sell your home in the future, replacing a shabby front door will be a good investment. It will tell potential buyers you care about your property and this might just put you ahead of the competition.
In this guide, we’ll tell you about the average prices of a front door, how you can save money, what affects the price, what goes into installing a new door, whether or not you can do the job yourself, how you can find and hire a joiner to do the job, as well as suggestions for the questions you should ask and a handy checklist for you to refer to before the work starts.
Finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions.
What Are the Costs of a New Front Door?
The table below gives you an idea of what to expect when having a new front door fitted. The price of each door can vary by a huge amount due to the many styles and different quality materials available, particularly with hardwood timber and bespoke doors.
|Door Material||Estimated Supply Cost||Estimated Labour Cost||Time Required||Total Estimated Cost|
|uPVC (unglazed)||£250-£500||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£400-£1,000|
|uPVC (glazed)||£450-£700||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£600-£1,200|
|Composite (unglazed)||£500-£700||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£650-£1,200|
|Composite (glazed)||£600-£1,100||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£750-£1,600|
|Hardwood timber||£200-£1,400||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£350-£,1900|
|Timber (unglazed)||£500-£1,300||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£650-£1,800|
|Timber (glazed)||£300-£1,800||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£450-£2,300|
|Bespoke Victorian-style||£1,500-£4,000||£150-£500||1 to 2 days||£1,650-£4,500|
The labour charges will also vary. The simplest fitting where an existing frame is utilised will save time and thus labour costs.
The complete removal of an old frame and the fitting of a new one will be more labour intensive and increase labour costs.
HouseholdQuotes can help you find a tradesperson to fit your front door. Fill in our online form and we’ll find tradespeople to give you no-obligation quotes, fast.
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What Affects the Costs of a New Front Door?
Several factors can affect the cost of a new front door. We break these factors down below so you have an idea of what to keep in mind when it comes to budgeting.
There is a range of different door materials on the market. Take a look at the list below to help you decide what kind of door material would work best for your home.
- uPVC: these are usually the most affordable doors on the market. You don’t get to paint it, but if you don’t mind a white door that needs almost no maintenance, then uPVC will suit your needs.
- Composite: these doors are made from glass reinforced fibre. It makes them strong and durable, and this means they often cost more. Most composite doors are around 44mm in thickness with a hard foam insulating or solid timber core.
- Hardwood: these doors are solid and attractive. Most doors are around 41mm in thickness and can be painted whenever you want a colour change.
- Softwood: pine is usually sold in the same thickness as hardwood. The difference is that softwood isn’t as strong and so it won’t last as long as hardwood.
You can see from the table above how door costs range in price depending on the material used. The most expensive material is composite.
The style will also affect the cost. You can have a solid door or one with glazing.
A door with glazing is a more expensive option because you can choose to have the glass double or triple glazed.
There is a wide variety of glazed front doors. Some are half glazed, whilst others only have glass at the top or a glass strip running down the full length of one side of the door.
The cheapest glazed versions are only single glazed. You will pay more for double and triple glazing.
Types of Glazing
The most common types of glazing you will see in a front door are doubled or triple glazed:
- Clear glass: if your front door is away from the street, you might prefer clear glass in your front door to give you more light in your hallway.
- Frosted glass: frosted glass lets the light in, but you keep your privacy because people can’t see beyond the glass door.
- Stained glass: stained glass is made up of coloured glass, lead and copper foil. They are popular with householders who own Victorian and 1930s properties. Those periods were when stained glass was most popular.
- Etched glass: this is popular whether you like traditional or modern designs. Most of the glass is opaque, but part of it is an etched pattern in clear glass.
The glass you choose can also be toughened which means if it breaks it shatters into small pieces, or you can have laminated glass which doesn’t fall out of its frame if it is shattered which makes it safe.
If you want a particular design, for example, a Victorian-style front door, you can have it made for you by a joiner. This option isn’t as cheap as buying a mass-produced front door, but of course, you will get a unique design.
You can expect to pay between £1,500 and £4,000 for a bespoke designed Victorian-style front door.
When you remove your front door, you may see that the door frame is in bad condition. It might be cracked or warped.
In this case, it would be better to replace the door frame too. If you’re buying a new door frame it is usual to use the same material as your door. Although you can use a uPVC door on a composite frame and vice versa.
If you are going to buy the door frame separately the cost depends on the size of your door frame and the material.
An example of costs for this is that you could buy an oak frame designed to fit a door size up to 2113 mm x 962mm from an internet supplier for £205.
Choice of Door Features
Once you’ve chosen your door you can also add on extra features, such as:
- House number
- Key plate
- Spyhole and cover
These features also come in different styles and materials. Popular materials include:
- Stainless steel
The price you pay for door features depends on the type of material you choose.
For example, a door handle in aluminium and steel might cost you around £10 in a high street DIY store, or you could decide to buy brushed polished chrome from Italy, online for around £121 a pair.
Prices are always influenced by your location. Expect to pay more for goods and services in London and the South East especially.
Disposing of the Old Door
If you’ve changed the door because you want a different design, the chances are it is still in good condition.
If you want to get rid of it immediately you can contact your local council who may have a scheme where they collect your door for a fee. The fee is usually between £40 and £70.
Adding Security Lighting or a Video Doorbell
You can add a light outside your front door or on your porch for convenience and security. The lights are around £26, but if you buy a camera light then you’ll be looking at around £160.
Video doorbells range from around £50 to £230 if you buy one from a high street DIY store.
You’ll then need an electrician to wire in your lights or camera. The price you pay for an electrician’s services depends on where you live.
For example, in the South East of England, an electrician will charge between £45 and £65 an hour.
In the North of England, this should be cheaper.
Depending on the complexity of the equipment you’ve bought, installation should take between one and four hours.
How Can I Save Money on a New Front Door?
There are a few tips and tricks you can use to save money on purchasing a new front door.
Firstly, consider buying a door in uPVC. It is the cheapest option, but it is still a robust and attractive material to use.
You can also buy a door set and fit the door yourself. The kit comes with the front door already hung inside the frame.
You will still need to get your measurements right, but installing the door is much easier because all you need to do is attach it to the old frame, as long as the old one is in good condition.
You might also find door handles and letterboxes on second hand sites which can help to minimise your supply costs.
HouseholdQuotes is an easy way to find the tradesperson you need quickly. Just fill in the online form (it takes less than a minute) and we’ll find reputable tradespeople in your area to give you no-obligation quotes!
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Which Type of Front Door Is Right for My Home?
When you decide to buy a front door, there are a few things to consider:
- Firstly, do you want a door you need to maintain, or would you prefer something maintenance free?
- Would you rather have a sustainable material like timber rather than man-made uPVC?
- Would you like a door you can paint so that you can change the colour now and again?
- Finally, do you need natural light in your hallway?
What’s the Best Material for a Front Door?
If you want a door that is strong and secure, then composite and uPVC do this job well. If you’re thinking more about aesthetics, then timber might be the best choice for you, because it is a natural material, and you can change the colour easily if you want a new look.
The table below considers the advantages and disadvantages of each type of material.
|uPVC||-Cheaper than other materials|
-Lasts more than 30 years
-Virtually maintenance free – just needs cleaning
|-Can become discoloured and brittle over time
-Doesn’t come from a sustainable resource
|Composite||-Extremely strong so best for security|
-Virtually maintenance free – just needs cleaning
-Good thermal efficiency
-Lasts up to 30 years
|-More expensive than any other door material|
|Softwood||-Pine is cheaper than a hardwood|
-Easily repaired and repainted
-You can change the colour as you want to over the years
|-Will only last around 20 years
-Can be affected by the weather
|Hardwood||-Oak or mahogany are more expensive than Upvc or pine|
-Easy to make the door smaller by planning
-Can be painted to change the colour
|-Must be maintained to protect it from weathering
-Mahogany should be re-stained and sealed to keep it looking attractive
What’s Involved in Replacing a Front Door?
The top, middle and bottom of the door opening will be measured from wall to wall and the height is measured on both sides. The joiner will reduce the measurement slightly if they are all the same.
By doing this they have room to square the frame and the opening. Most house walls aren’t level so this needs to be done.
The joiner will now measure the new door again to make sure your previous measurements were correct. They will then remove the new keys from the new door, tighten the hinges and put the handles on.
Now the old door is ready to be removed. The joiner will unscrew the hinges and lift the door away.
Next, the frame has to be removed. This is done, using a flat bar, a hammer a saw.
The joiner will lever the frame away from the brickwork and cut through the wood. They will start at the bottom side piece and work up to the top of the door frame.
This is done on each side. Then they work on the top piece and the bottom piece.
When the frame has been removed, the brickwork is cleaned so there’s no old cement, paint, or dust.
Then the joiner places the bottom door sill on the floor using adhesive foam.
The door frame is already fitted onto the new door so it has to be placed into the door opening. There should be a person lifting the door and another person on the other side to keep the door open.
Now the joiner will fix the frame into the brickwork. They will screw in nails above and below each door hinge.
They will do the outside first and then the inside, using a spirit level to make sure the frame is level.
Once the door has been fitted any gaps are filled with foam. The trim is added, and any other gaps are filled using silicon.
What Sort of Lock Should I Choose for My Front Door?
The basic standard for front doors is the British standard five-lever deadbolt.
You can have these two types of locking systems on your front door:
- Rim Lock
- Mortice Lock
A rim lock, or yale lock as it’s sometimes called, is operated by putting the key in the lock on the outside and turning the small knob on the inside. You can also lock the door from the inside so that it can’t be opened with the key from the outside which is called a deadbolt.
A mortice lock is slotted into the interior of your door. The key that comes with the lock turns the levers to undo a bolt. They are often found on external doors that want extra security when the house is empty.
Insurance companies usually ask householders to fit mortice locks with five levers for added security. You should look for BS – 3621 or EN 13309.
You can then add a lock to the system, and this can be:
- A round lock
- An oval lock
- Euro lock
Most uPVC doors have euro locks. If you have an older uPVC door you might want to replace the euro lock with a new cylinder lock which is anti-snap.
How Do I Find and Hire a Joiner?
Always ask people you know. It might be that they have recently had work done, or they have a joiner in the family.
Personal recommendations should come from family, friends, or work colleagues.
If you’re considering a glazed door, you may want to seek out a FENSA-approved installer. Any door or window installer registered with FENSA is assessed regularly. This is to make sure they comply with building regulations and provide a high-quality installation service.
Another easy way to find a joiner is to use HouseholdQuotes. Fill in the online form. Tell us briefly what you need, and we’ll find tradespeople in your area to give you no-obligation quotes, fast.
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
Make sure each quote you are given is the same, if you add additions on some and not others, the quotes will be harder to compare. We suggest you ask the professional:
- What experience do you have? It’s always useful to know if they are a well-established company or they are just starting. You might find that a newer company is slightly cheaper, or you may prefer to pay more for experience.
- Are you a member of FENSA? Trade associations will only grant membership to tradespeople with a good work record. They also need to have high standards of workmanship.
- Do you have a website? It isn’t necessary to have a website, but they are useful. Most websites have photographs of previous jobs and testimonials from customers. If they don’t have a website, ask if they have a portfolio with customer feedback and photographs.
- Do you have insurance? Is your public liability insurance up to date? Public liability insurance is vital for all tradespeople as it protects them and you from any injury or damage claims should an accident occur during the installation of your front door.
- Do your work and the materials you’ve used come with any guarantees or warranties?
Use the checklist below to make sure you know the process for purchasing a new front door:
- Decide what type of material you want for the front door
- Choose a solid or glazed door
- Pick your door furniture
- Use HouseholdQuotes to find a vetted and reputable joiner to fit your new door
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Building Regulations That Affect Front Doors?
The regulations include rules about:
- Thermal heat loss
- Safety glazing
- Fire safety
How Do I Know if I Need to Replace My Front Door?
- Your door or the frame is damaged
- It could be cracked or warped which can occur over time. If your door is warped or cracked it means it isn’t as secure as it should be and if it isn’t repairable, should be replaced.
- It doesn’t open or shut easily. This might be a problem with the door or the hinges. Either way, it will be better to have it replaced before it breaks completely
- It’s draughty. Wooden doors in particular can expand and contract. This may lead to gaps around the door or at the bottom.
- If you have draughts coming in it means your home isn’t as energy sufficient as it should be. A new door can help to insulate your home and save you money on your heating bills. You won’t need to turn up the thermostat because of draughts, you will probably be able to turn it down a degree or two.
- You only have single glazing. Single glazing isn’t a very good insulator. It’s also easier to break than double glazing so you might have a security problem. Double glazing is more secure, it insulates better, and you’ll get better soundproofing.
What Is the Competent Person Scheme?
When a tradesperson belongs to the scheme it means they can self-certify their work, which saves you having to apply to building control. The scheme is covered by warranties and it has a complaints procedure if you need to use it.
FENSA members are window and door installers who are part of the competent person’s scheme.
A FENSE certificate demonstrates that your door was installed by an approved installer and that:
- It is backed by guaranteed insurance
- Complies with building regulations
- Is registered with the local council
Do I Need a FENSA Certified Installer?
A FENSA installer is registered under the competent person scheme. This means they will carry out the work in compliance with building control.
When your door is installed, you’ll receive a certificate that demonstrates the work was carried out by a registered installer.
If you do the work yourself, or you use an unregistered installer you will need to get approval from building control before the work is started. They will check that your door is compliant and then issue you with a certificate of compliance.
How Long Should a Front Door Last?
Composite will last more than 30 years and uPVC up to 30 years.
Will I Need a New Door Frame?
If your door frame is in good condition and you are fitting a timber door, you could use your existing frame.
Does a New Door Add Value to Your Home?
If you’re selling it will also give you the edge over other sellers who haven’t made an effort to spruce up their home’s exterior.
The average price for a new uPVC front door is between £250 and £380. You can pay more if you include options such as imitation wood.
If you want to read more about the cost of uPVC doors, have a look at our guide.
Does a Front Door Need to Be a Fire Door?
How Much Do Locksmiths Charge for Changing a Lock?
What Do Emergency Locksmiths Do?
What Are Composite Frames Made Of?
It is this mix of materials that give a composite door its strength.
Are There Other Ways I Can Secure My Front Door?
You can consider putting a cage on your letterbox to stop someone from reaching in and unlocking the door.
You should also think about installing external security lights. You can read more about external lights in our guide.
Another security measure is to install a video doorbell with a camera. This will record who comes up to your door and you won’t need to open it to speak to them, you can use your phone or a screen inside your home to see and speak to people you don’t know.
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