Usually, a front door opens directly onto a publicly accessible area. So, that’s why it needs to be strong and able to withstand vandalism.
If yours is damaged or falling apart, you could have a new front door replacement costing between £250 and £400 if its uPVC or about £800 if its a composite. Good wooden doors usually cost much more and vary in price depending on the type of timber and style.
By the way, it’s not only the door that costs money. Installing a new composite, wooden or uPVC front door will also include new hinges, door handle, lock and letterbox flap. Furthermore, you might need a new door frame too. It’s a shame not to complete the effect by using a hardwood frame with a matching hardwood door. And, uPVC doors need uPVC frames, anyway.
Most homes in the UK have at least two external doors. All newly built properties have two because Building Regulations state that occupants must have an alternative exit in case of fire. However, those houses built before 1940, may or may not have two. Sometimes older houses have two front doors. This situation might be because the house was originally two properties that have since been turned into one. Or, larger houses used to have a front door for formal guests while a second door was for family members or servants. You will have to take into account all these situations when fitting a new door. If you change one door, it’s important to replace the other door with a matching one.
How Much Does a New Front Door Cost?
There are many things to consider when looking at the front door fitting cost. You can’t just research front door prices and make a decision. You have to decide whether you need just a door or an exterior door and frameset. Also, you must choose the material, and whether you want a wooden, uPVC or composite door fitted.
It’s difficult making a uPVC or composite door fit a non-standard frame (you can’t cut them to fit an existing frame). So, it’s common for these to be sold as external door and frame sets, thereby increasing the usual front door prices.
Unglazed uPVC doors
Prices for this type of door start at around £250, supply only. uPVC front doors fitted in uPVC frames have been extremely popular in the UK for about 30 years or so. They’re strong and impervious to typical British weather. They have built-in reinforcements to prevent twisting and increase security. Usually, manufacturers supply a 10–year warranty, but the door can last 20 to 25 years before being replaced.
Glazed uPVC doors
If you have double glazed doors fitted, they cost slightly more to buy than unglazed, starting at about £280. Usually, they’re made with frosted or coloured glass to preserve privacy.
Unglazed composite doors
Composite doors have a fibreglass shell, with steel or aluminium reinforcing, and filled with solid foam insulation. These come in various styles, usually panelled. They start at about £500.
Glazed composite doors
Just like other glazed doors, these are the same as unglazed except for the presence of double glazed panels. Prices start at about £800.
Composite doors with side panels
If you have an opening wider than a standard external door, consider adding panels, either at one or both sides to allow more daylight into your home. Prices start at around £1,000 to buy, depending on the style.
Glazed and unglazed hardwood doors
We haven’t talked much about hardwood doors yet. There are so many different types and styles available, it would take up too much space here. Let’s just say that you can get the same sized hardwood doors with either wooden or double glazed panels. These often cost far more and need regular maintenance and repair. The prices range from £300 for budget deals up to £2000. And, at least £4000 for a custom made hardwood door.
To be honest, uPVC, composite and wooden doors all have their benefits and disadvantages. Eventually, your choice comes down to personal preferences regarding style, budget and the type of house in which you live. All three types have designs suitable for modern and traditional houses. You just take your pick. However, if you’re after value for money, choose a uPVC door. They are very hardwearing, come in a range of styles and colours, need very little maintenance, and are very secure.
Composite vs UPVC Doors
Let’s look at these two types in more detail.
These consist of a metal frame with timber and rigid foam core, encased in fibreglass. The resulting door is very strong, secure against even the most determined burglar, and resistant to all weathers. Most composite doors are fire resistant and can withstand a blaze for at least 30 minutes. These also have an intumescent smoke seal around the edge. However, they can be between 25% and 60% more expensive than a similar style door made from uPVC.
These have a metal framework, fully insulated, and encased in uPVC. This creates a thermally efficient sealed unit. They’re also very affordable, strong and secure.
Just because uPVC doors are cheaper than composite, don’t think they’re less secure. Their strong reinforced frame together with multipoint locking makes these a very secure front door. On the other hand, composite doors have a glass–reinforced shell, with a foam and metal core. This is more secure than a uPVC. But, not by much. Both uPVC and composite are much more secure than a wooden door.
Both uPVC and composite doors have similar fitting prices because they’re made to measure for their frames and don’t need cutting to fit.
Timber Door Prices
Timber doors range from relatively cheap softwood (pine) up to hardwood such as oak, iroko and mahogany. You can make them fit an existing frame as well as being manufactured to your specifications and style. A well–made timber door, installed and painted or preserved properly can last for up to 100 years depending on the standard of maintenance. However, they are vulnerable to the weather and need to be regularly maintained. In extreme cases, they will twist and warp and rot at the joints.
Wooden doors range in price from £130 + VAT for mass–produced iroko wood doors to more than £1000 + VAT for an oak front door and frame.
Replacement Front Door Fitting Costs
The cost of getting a new front door fitted will depend on many factors. Generally, the installation costs between about £150 and £200 and takes no more than 1 day to remove the existing door and frame, install the new ones and make good between frame and wall. However, even if the installer takes less time, you’ll still be charged for a full day.
It’s not only fitting costs that make the installation more expensive. Some of these extras will too.
- Double glazing costs extra. Both the number of glass panels and the style will vary the price. Typical double glazing panels cost about £50 each.
- If you want to try triple glazing instead, then choose this extra. They cost about £100 per panel.
- A uPVC door isn’t only a white plastic, cheap external door. There are other finishes which cost more. Woodgrain in a few different colours and patterns to simulate specific tree species will add about £150. But, will usually make the door more desirable.
- If the door opening is significantly wider than a standard door and frame, use side panels. They can be glazed or unglazed and cost at least £200 per panel.
- Usually, you have to use a door handle and lock specifically designed for uPVC doors. And, often come already installed. Typical door handles cost about £25 per pair.
- Nothing beats a good old-fashioned letterbox. You can either have these installed into the door or a side panel if you have one. Letterboxes cost about £20.
You’ll find that the uPVC door frame has a deep bottom rail. Usually, this is to provide enough room for the metal reinforcing. Unfortunately, it means the step down to ground level outside is higher than normal and might not be easy for some people. If so, have your old front doorstep replaced with one slightly higher.
Fitting a new back door is a good idea if you have the installation company on site. In our experience, a back door usually costs the same to install as a front door but might be slightly cheaper to buy.
Choose the best you can afford
One more thing, before we move on. Although uPVC doors are generally cheaper than composite or wooden doors, don’t automatically choose the cheapest available. You should consider the different locking systems available and choose one that makes your home secure. Most insurance companies, specify that you need a 5 lever mortice lock on a wooden door, or a 5 point locking system for uPVC doors.
How Long Does the Work Take?
Fitting a door and frame set is difficult, even for a professional. Let’s look at the steps in more detail. Assume we’ve already taken out the old door and frame.
- Clip 3 fixing brackets in the outer groove of each vertical door frame jamb.
- Place the door frame so it sits within the outer leaf of the cavity. When fitting a door frame, use a spirit level to ensure everything is vertical, or horizontal, and not twisted.
- Use plastic wedges between wall and frame to ensure it stays in position.
- Drill holes through each fixing bracket and into the wall. Insert screw and wall plug and tighten.
- Check the frame hasn’t moved as the door must hang squarely in the frame with an even gap all the way around. Hang the door and ensure it opens and closes without binding. Check the lock works properly.
- Close and lock the door.
- Using expanding polyurethane builder’s foam, squirt a bead around the frame and allow to expand and fill all gaps.
- When the foam has set, cut away the excess with a blade and cover with either plastic trim or cement mortar.
The entire job should take less than a full day to complete. However, if you intend having a doorbell or spy hole fitted, this will take a bit longer. Complete wiring before the foam seals the gaps.
Taking the DIY Route
So far we’ve talked about a professional installing your new front door. But, what happens if you want to do it yourself?
Only supply and fit a front door if you have advanced DIY experience, can install a door frame, and know how to hang a door. Oh, and by the way, you need to have some spare time on your hands. Don’t forget, this will take a professional almost a day. So, expect an amateur with no experience to take about 10 hours or so. Easy in the summer. But, not so good in the winter.
If all that sounds familiar, have a go and save yourself some money.
Points to consider
If you choose the DIY route. Then, consider all these points.
- Make sure you have everything to hand. This includes tools (electric drill, drill bits, 1m spirit level, screwdrivers), correct length of the screw, wall plugs, a couple of cans of polyurethane builders foam, sand and cement, and silicone sealant.
- Ensure the door frame fits vertically in both planes, with the sill and head horizontal.
- Make sure the expanding foam fills all cavities and sticks the frame to the masonry. But, don’t be tempted to squirt too much, as the foam expands more than you’d think.
Other little things might crop up and you’ll know how to cope with those if you’re an experienced DIY enthusiast.
Use a professional
However, fitting any type of door and frame takes a lot of practice. So, if you’ve any doubt as to your ability to carry this through, it’s worthwhile getting a professional in for the entire job.
Not only that, but most door manufacturers won’t issue a full warranty on their product unless you use a professional carpenter or door installer. You can choose the type of door and, buy one from many large home improvement stores, or specialist manufacturers. But, a professional will know what accessories you need. So, use their skill and know-how to your advantage.
Standard External Door Sizes UK
The UK has a range of standard door sizes suitable for just about any situation. The majority of doors are only suitable for internal use. But, there are quite a few external grade doors too.
The following table shows the standard external door sizes available in the UK. For your convenience, these are listed in metric and imperial measurements. In the UK, all standard external doors are supplied 44mm thick. Except for fire–resistant doors which are 44mm to 54mm thick. Sometimes, external folding and patio doors measure 44mm to 70mm thick. All standard external doors suitable as an entrance comply with the Building Regulations, but we’ll talk about these later.
|Metric||Imperial||Suitable for front door|
|1981 x 686||78” x 27”||No|
|1981 x 762||78” x 30”||No|
|1981 x 838||78” x 33”||Yes|
|1981 x 915||78” x 36”||Yes|
|2032 x 813||80” x 32”||Yes|
|2040 x 726||80.3” x 28.6”||No|
|2040 x 826||80.3” x 32.5”||Yes|
|2040 x 926||80.3” x 36.5”||Yes|
|2083 x 864||82” x 34”||Yes|
|2134 x 915||84” x 36”||Yes|
You can, of course, have a custom made external door to suit the size of the opening. However, remember that they must comply with the Building Regulations.
Does a new front door add value to your home?
Often, front doors are the first thing that potential house buyers see when they look over your home. If buyers see you take care of your home, they will be more likely to choose yours over someone else’s property. So, if you want as many brownie points as possible when selling your property, get a new front door. It will make all the difference and give your home kerb appeal.
However, don’t fit the first door you see. To have the best effect, you must install a quality door that ticks all the boxes for appearance, ease of maintenance, and have a high–security locking system. A new door will make your home easier to sell. But, whether the cash you spend increases the monetary value of your home is still up for debate.
What to ask your tradesperson when hiring
If you intend fitting a new front door, only hire a skilled tradesperson. This might be a carpenter, joiner or specialist door installer. Also, research and find the best new front door prices for supply and installation, that are available in your area. Look at this list of things to consider before you start.
- Have a technical survey done to determine your requirements.
- Choose suitable door handles to match the style of your home.
- Have a locking system to suit the door and your neighbourhood. Remember, your insurance company will specify a minimum requirement. Ask them for advice.
- If you’re having glass panels in the door, ensure they’re double glazed and have a good energy rating. Remember, if your door is at least 50% glass, you’ll need a FENSA certificate as part of the Building Regulations compliance.
- If you’ve chosen a wooden door, does the fitting cost include finishing the wood?
- Will the installer supply a guarantee for the work? Make sure the door has a manufacturer’s warranty as well.
- Ensure you dispose of the old door according to local and national waste disposal regulations.
New Front Door Regulations
An external door is classed as a “controlled fitting” and must be constructed and installed according to the UK Building Regulations. This means either the Building Control inspector or a tradesperson registered with a competent person scheme must approve the installation.
The Building Regulations specify requirements for the door construction and installation process.
- Thermal heat loss. Approved Document L1B.
- Safety glazing. Glazing must also comply with FENSA or CERTASS certification. Approved Document K.
- Fire safety.
- Means of escape.
- Suitable for disabled access.
Locks must comply with BS3621 to provide adequate security. Furthermore, your insurance company will insist you have them. Five lever or pin tumbler mortice locks comply, as do multipoint locks to the PAS3621 standard.
New Front Door Cost Q&A
How long do composite doors last?
Composite doors will last for at least 30 years, as long as they’re maintained properly.
What type of front door is best?
Although wooden and uPVC doors both have unique benefits, composite doors combine benefits of several materials and provide high security.
Can you replace the front door without replacing frame?
Yes, you can replace any door in your home as long as the door is compatible with the existing frame, is the correct size, and the frame is in good condition. So, a door frame replacement isn’t always necessary.
Are composite doors worth the money?
They’re great value for money. They have a long lifespan, need little maintenance and look good too.
Is a new front door a good investment?
Yes. It’s one of the most affordable investments you can make in your home. It will protect your belongings and family from intruders, weather damage, and help when you come to sell the house.
What should I look for when buying a front door?
Choose a door that creates a great first impression as well as being secure against intruders and the weather.
What type of front door is the most energy–efficient?
If you’re choosing a new front door installation, choose it carefully. Probably, composites are the most energy–efficient. They combine the insulating effects of wood and rigid foam in the core, while, the fibreglass shell is a poor heat conductor.
Find A Joiner Near You
If you want a new front door, it’s a good idea to have it installed professionally. Complete the form on this page and you’ll get 3 or 4 quotes for the cost of a new front door.