It’s a known fact that a solid hardwood door crafted by a professional will add tons of value to any home, and it will enhance the home’s aesthetic instantly. However, price is something that also has to be considered.
Many people opt out of purchasing solid hardwood doors because they see that another option might be cheaper upfront, and they think they’re saving money.
Well, that’s not always the whole picture.
Today, we want to go over the general cost of a wooden door versus several other door types, but we also want to dig into the small details that many people don’t consider but they end up paying for in the long run.
How Much Do Wooden Doors Cost Up Front?
Up front, the cost of a wooden door can vary dramatically. If you go for the cheapest, lowest-quality door possible, you’ll likely only need to pay around $300. However, that’s not a great route.
We recommend always purchasing solid hardwood doors that are made by reputable manufacturers because you’ll have fewer of the issues that we’ll talk about later. By spending more upfront, you save money in the long term.
When looking at high-quality doors, you should expect to pay between $700 and $1200. They can get a little more expensive if you opt for doors made from premium exotic woods, but the $1200 range will get you a high-end, luxurious hardwood door made from the most common high-quality wood species.
That can seem high compared to the price of other doors we’ll be covering in the following sections, but keep in mind that there are many other factors you’ll need to consider.
The Price of Steel Doors
Steel doors are common alternatives to hardwood doors. They’re made out of steel, so they’re a lot hard and more resilient, right? Well, we’ll talk about that later, but let’s just say there’s a reason they’re so cheap.
A typical steel entryway door is hollow and made from stamped steel sheeting. Because these doors are super easy to manufacture and relatively cheap to make, you can get a decent steel door for less than $400.
That is not how much the door will cost you in the long run, though.
The Price of Aluminum Doors
Aluminum doors are even cheaper to make than steel doors. Aluminum is one of the cheapest metals, and it has decent performance for its price, but you shouldn’t expect much from it.
You can find aluminum doors as low as $150, but we highly recommend not purchasing those doors unless you really have to stretch your budget out to an extreme degree.
The Price of Carbon Doors
Carbon doors are new to the market. They combine polymer and carbon fiber to create a high-strength door that is resilient to many of the forms of damage that affect wooden and metal doors. However, these do not come cheaply.
For a good carbon door, you’re looking at the $1000 range. That is the same as a high-end hardwood door that might even be made from exotic wood species such as teak. Not only that, but there are other faults, as well.
The Price of Iron Doors
Iron doors are reasonably priced compared to the upkeep required, but there are still drawbacks. A good iron door will cost between $300 and $600 most of the time.
This is a good choice, but it does fall behind a good solid wood door.
Those Prices aren’t the End of It
Now, just looking at the general overviews we gave, you might be thinking about buying one of the various metal doors we talked about. They’re cheap, and they’re metal. So, they probably sound like great door solutions.
However, there is a lot more that goes into the lifetime cost of each door time. Let’s take a look at those, and you might change your mind pretty quickly.
The Long-Term Costs of Wooden Doors:
This is where real wooden doors take the lead, as you’ll see the more in-depth we go. There are practically no extra long-term costs for wooden doors if you take care of them. A solid hardwood door that is made properly will last a lifetime or longer with proper maintenance, and maintenance doesn’t cost more than buying a can of finish once every year or so.
Considering a good can of finish that is enough to cover one door only costs a maximum of $20, let’s pretend you have the door for 30 years. That’s $600 to maintain the door over a 30-year period, and most people don’t even refinish their doors annually. For many, the long-term cost is less than half of that.
Of course, you also have to consider the time spent maintaining the door as a cost. Luckily, there’s not much serious maintenance that needs to be done. You need to keep the door clean, and that might take a few minutes of your time once per season. More extensive maintenance tasks such as sanding and refinishing might take a couple of hours every couple of years.
Overall, this is extremely cheap. Wait until you see how much the other “cheaper” options cost in the long run.
The Long-Term Costs of Steel Doors:
Steel doors can easily cost way more than wooden doors over the same 30-year period. For starters, you won’t have your steel door for 30 years.
Steel doors rust, and unless you maintain your steel door perfectly, you’ll probably have to replace it once per decade or even sooner. Let’s say the steel door costs you $500, and you have to replace it once every ten years. In the same 30-year period, you’ve spent $1500. That’s not including what’s necessary to maintain the doors.
You’ll constantly have to make sure your door isn’t rusting, and if it is, you’ll need to remove all the rust to prevent the problem from worsening. If the rust goes all the way through the door, which it often does, you’ll either need to replace the door or patch it. Patching it makes it look horrible, and if rust is a problem, a replacement can be necessary for as little as a few years.
While you save money upfront compared to a wood door, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to spend twice as much on maintaining and replacing a steel door in the long term.
The Long-Term Costs of Aluminum Doors:
Aluminum doors are even worse when it comes to needing to be replaced and damaged. They won’t rust, but they will oxidize and look horrible.
Luckily, aluminum doors are so cheap that you can replace one several times before it even comes close to the cost of a wooden door, but you’ll replace an aluminum door so often that in 30 years, you’ll likely spend just as much or more.
Then, there are security issues. Aluminum doors are flimsy. Not only can someone damage the door a lot easier, but then they can enter your home and cost you much more than just money. Your safety, and everything in your home, are at risk in that situation.
This is why we highly recommend not purchasing aluminum doors unless you’re on a strict budget and can’t afford anything better.
The Long-Term Costs of Carbon Doors:
Carbon doors aren’t as bad as the other alternatives we’ve listed, but they still aren’t as good as wood doors.
You won’t have to do much maintenance or pay for anything extra with a carbon polymer door. That’s one of their main benefits. However, they only last about 10-15 years, and they cost just as much as a high-end wood door.
Again, let’s assume that your wood door lasts 30 years. At most, you’ll have to replace a carbon door once in that same period. When they cost about $1000 to start, that one replacement already costs almost twice as much as the wood door.
That’s not even considering the fact that your wood door can actually last far longer than 30 years. That’s just a good reference point if you don’t take really good care of it. In the event you do take great care of your wood door, and it lasts for generations, you can guess how much cheaper it is than a carbon door you have to replace every 10 years.
The Long-Term Costs of Iron Doors:
Iron doors require minimal upkeep, and they’re cheaper than wood doors most of the time. They can also last just as long as wood doors if you take care of them.
The problem with iron doors is that they require more frequent finish touch-ups, and they contain a lot of glass.
First, you’ll need to dedicate a couple of hours each year to touching up the paint on your iron door to protect it from oxidizing. That’s already more of a time cost than wood doors require.
Then, you have to consider that glass breaks easily. If you have kids, a lot of heavy storms, or just a lot of bad luck, you can end up replacing that glass several times over the course of a lifetime, and that costs you time, energy, and several hundred dollars per glass replacement.
Not to mention that glass poses a major threat to your home. A thief might not be able to get through the iron, but they can shatter the glass and unlock the door. Then, you have much bigger problems than just your bank account.
This might be the second-best option, but it’s far from perfect. We highly recommend opting for an iron door with break-resistant glass if you’re going to take this route.
Why is Wood the Best Material for an Entryway Door?
As you can see, wood is the best material you can get for an entryway door, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
You need an entryway door that is made from the finest solid hardwood, and it needs to be built properly.
If you opt for a cheap wood door, it will likely be hollow and made from inferior wood. That will break easily, and it can potentially compromise the security of your home, on top of requiring a premature replacement.
Even solid wood doors can be problematic if they’re not made properly. They can warp, chip, or have other problems that require an early replacement.
However, if you do shell out for a high-quality solid wood door, you won’t have to pay much more for the rest of your life.
A wood door that is taken care of properly can last a lifetime or longer. If you’re young now, and you stay in your home throughout your life, your children might end up inheriting your home with the same solid wood door you buy today. That’s how great solid wood doors are!
Your big investment today, while it might be costly, is actually the cheapest and most reliable door purchase you can make in the long run.
You won’t even need to spend that much time working on the door.
Most homeowners simply need to keep their doors clean, and every couple of years, it’s a good idea to lightly sand the door and then repaint it or apply a new stain. That takes a couple of hours at most, and because wood can be sanded, you end up with a door that looks brand-new without having to replace it.
Where to Buy a Wooden Door?
If you want to buy a wooden door, and you know you’re going to shell out for the best, you need to purchase it from a reputable craftsman. You do not want to save a few bucks by going to a low-quality supplier.
Luckily, Realwood Crafters is here to offer you premium, solid, hardwood doors that are built to last.
Each of our doors is made to the highest quality standards, and you can trust that you’re getting an heirloom quality door for your investment.
When it comes to your next hardwood door purchase, there’s no point in looking at hundreds of options. We offer everything from exterior doors, and interior doors, to everything in between – so take a stroll through our offers and find a perfect hardwood door for your home!