Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
jmk
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:48 pm

Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by jmk » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:24 pm

We need to replace a simple rear exterior door. A salesman offered one for $3000 installed that was "dense foam" and came with a lifetime warrantee that carries over to next owner (for all but exterior paint).

Is there any real difference between this $3000 door and one I can get at Home Depot or lowes?

User avatar
warowits
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:38 am

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by warowits » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:50 pm

If you are going to spend a lot on a door, it better look nice. The difference between a 500 dollar door and a 3,000 dollar door will most likely be cosmetic, unless it is a specialty security door.
There are an army of people whose pay checks depend on convincing people to invest in ways that are against their self interest. This forum is the volunteer army that fights back!

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 11314
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by Watty » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:01 pm

jmk wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:24 pm
....that was "dense foam"...
I would expect a $3,000 rear door to be something like hand crafted hardwood with high end beveled glass.

Front doors and double doors can get more expensive with things like fancy ironwork but for a "simple rear exterior door" that is way overpriced. Installing an exterior door can be be a bit of pain since everything needs to fit just right but even with that a basic door should be a fraction of that price.

Teague
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by Teague » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:51 pm

That is an awful lot for a door.

I had a made-to-size custom security door made at Lowes for about $350. Granted, I installed it myself, and it was plain.

For $3000 I'd expect a very high quality custom hardwood, custom glass, and fine craftsmanship on both the door and the install. I'd also expect it to come with a great knocker, or even better, a nice set of them.
Semper Augustus

JBTX
Posts: 1269
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by JBTX » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:30 am

In our remodel our front door I think is in the ballpark of $700-$800. I can't for the life of me think why one would need a $3000 REAR door.

SleepKing
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:45 am

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by SleepKing » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:39 am

I wholeheartedly agree with prior comments. Custom glass or extensive glass replacement is most costly part of door and entryway. Your post seems to be for something quite simple. Id get another few quotes for due diligence.

Sleepy

carolinaman
Posts: 2589
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by carolinaman » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:01 am

With an exterior door, you should be looking for basic functionality and security, nothing more. $500 should be more than adequate for a quality rear door. I think you need to buying your doors from someone other than the guy pitching the $3k door.

gd
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by gd » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:08 am

So what are more reasonably-priced doors made of? What is the difference? If insulation, by how much, and how much will that impact your heating/cooling expenses? (my guess-- not $2000) Do you keep warranty redemption info for every warrantied item you own, and know which items those are? How much do you think the buyer of your house will increase their purchase price because of the transferable lifetime warranty on the door? (my guess: $0). It's nice they stand by their work, but warranties are an actuarial bet and the chances of anyone calling in that warranty in decades are essentially zero.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 2308
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:28 am

gd wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:08 am
It's nice they stand by their work, but warranties are an actuarial bet and the chances of anyone calling in that warranty in decades are essentially zero.
I agree. I've seen a lot of doors in houses that are decades old and still in good shape. In fact, I can't think I've ever seen a door fail other than due to neglect or abuse which probably aren't covered along with the exterior paint. The number one reason I put a new door in is because someone wants a new style.

Crow Hunter
Posts: 856
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by Crow Hunter » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:32 am

Having Multipoint locking hardware is worth upgrading over just a Mortise Lock on a traditional door.

It is more secure but more importantly it will engage the frame in multiple locations and it will keep the door from warping away from the weather strip and letting outside air/bugs into the dwelling.

The price also depends on your location. If you are in an Impact Zone code part of the country, your cost will likely be more than one for the Midwest due to the needed strength upgrades to meet code. (Laminated glass, heavier duty components, etc)

Also, on the higher end doors you will get a much better warranty and support than a Lowes/Home Depot door. If something goes wrong 7 years from now, the higher end door will be fixed or replaced, by the manufacturer, the consumer door will likely not.

Disclosure:

I work in the industry. So I have a vested interest in you buying a quality door. :D

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 1702
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:38 am

SleepKing wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:39 am
I wholeheartedly agree with prior comments. Custom glass or extensive glass replacement is most costly part of door and entryway. Your post seems to be for something quite simple. Id get another few quotes for due diligence.

Sleepy
+1
$3000 ???????
Is this a complete system, double doors, side panels, leaded glass, ornate, high end finished and solid core wood and hardware?
Last edited by Sandtrap on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Shared experiences to benefit all -- not an exspurt -- per forum guidelines :) Golf score allocation 50/50 swings vs putts.

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:32 am

I believe I would go with a plain steel door, and have a peephole drilled in it. For some reason I've never liked opening a door unless I knew what was lurking beyond. :shock:

I like the idea of the extra hardware to make it more secure.

Also include a deadbolt.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

jmk
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:48 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by jmk » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:45 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:28 am
gd wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:08 am
It's nice they stand by their work, but warranties are an actuarial bet and the chances of anyone calling in that warranty in decades are essentially zero.
I agree. I've seen a lot of doors in houses that are decades old and still in good shape. In fact, I can't think I've ever seen a door fail other than due to neglect or abuse which probably aren't covered along with the exterior paint. The number one reason I put a new door in is because someone wants a new style.
The $3000 includes installation. The existing door is rotting from rain. And the screws keeps coming out of the wood frame. But the $3000
door in question wasn't hand crafted, though takes five weeks.

Crow Hunter
Posts: 856
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by Crow Hunter » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:34 pm

jmk wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:45 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:28 am
gd wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:08 am
It's nice they stand by their work, but warranties are an actuarial bet and the chances of anyone calling in that warranty in decades are essentially zero.
I agree. I've seen a lot of doors in houses that are decades old and still in good shape. In fact, I can't think I've ever seen a door fail other than due to neglect or abuse which probably aren't covered along with the exterior paint. The number one reason I put a new door in is because someone wants a new style.
The $3000 includes installation. The existing door is rotting from rain. And the screws keeps coming out of the wood frame. But the $3000
door in question wasn't hand crafted, though takes five weeks.
If you have a water problem, there are companies that produce doors with good thermal characteristics that are produced out of water/rot resistant materials.

If you have already purchased a door, and it has wood jambs, make sure as part of the installation process they utilize a "sill pan" and set the exposed end grain of the wood jambs in the sealant they will use to seal around the door frames. That will keep you from having as many problems in a wet environment.

User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 1181
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:03 pm

IMO no, it is not worth it. Our front door gets direct sunlight for several hours a day and it's pretty weathered. I'd want to spend at most $500 to replace it.

As for security, we have many windows - one of them is right next to the door! Someone only needs a brick to break into our house, a beefy front door won't make a difference.

staythecourse
Posts: 4876
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by staythecourse » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:24 pm

$3000 is not that much for a high end wooden door which can range from $2000- $10k for the door itself. That being said that much for a simple fiberglass door is a rip off. So matters what you are looking for in your door.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

nickjoy
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:44 am

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by nickjoy » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:28 am

I agree with Crow Hunter.

I would say Hollow Metal doors top out at about 7-800. They're usually plenty strong for what people need, and the high end of that is really strong. Make sure it comes with a metal frame. You can get ones with insulation for just a bit more.

If you're worried about it breaking, get a hing called a Roton. It's basically a super heavy duty piano hinge for the entire door. They don't break. If you don't want that (you most likely don't need it), make sure you get Non-Removable Pin (NRP) hinges. They have a little allen key that you screw in so people can't pop the pin out.

Don't let home depot or lowes install it. You could get lucky and get a guy who knows what he's doing. But more often than not, they send kids out with pickups to install everything and they don't know/care to shim everything and install it properly. I don't blame the employees, just the company.

Limoncello402
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 3:58 pm

Re: Are quality exterior doors worth it?

Post by Limoncello402 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:22 am

Timely post. I have a 1923 Craftsman home and am replacing the back door. A hardwood oak or maple door (I haven't decided whether to stain or paint it yet, so don't know which), Simpson brand, with glass on the top and three panels (exactly like the original) runs $1600. This includes everything except the hardware--threshold, frame, surround, etc. It is from a local lumber store and comes unfinished.
It is the installation that is the killer--at least another $1500. It takes a fair amount of skill to make it fit exactly in a 100 year old space. On top of all this is hardware, which I might recycle from the current door. So I'm budgeting about $3300. for the project.
Worth it to me as I fix up this old house in a way that reflects its character.

Post Reply