A guide explaining everything involved in having a new front door installed. Including how to hire the right tradesman and a breakdown of all the costs involved.
Many homeowners will profess that a new external door is one of the most important investments that you can make to your home. Replacing the front door of your home is an effective way of modernising the exterior appearance and adds to the curb-appeal of your property.
There are many different types of doors to choose from when purchasing a new external door for your home. In some cases, it is necessary to replace an existing external door to increase the security of your property.
A door that is badly damaged or ill-fitting, exposes your home to the risk of intrusion and structural issues such as damp and poor insulation.
There are many factors that will affect how much a new external door will cost. Things such as the material, size, and features of the door will greatly impact the overall price. Generally, the average cost of a new front door in the UK is expected to range between £600-£1500, which will include the supply, installation and removal of your previous external door.
The most common choice of external doors amongst homeowners is one made from uPVC. Much like windows, uPVC doors are praised for being a high-performance, affordable, energy efficient option.
The price list for a uPVC external door can range anywhere between £250-£400. However, most people will prefer to choose a door that has additional features and window panels for the front of their home, which will ultimately increase the cost of the door. Composite external doors are becoming increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their durability and low-maintenance properties.
Composite doors tend to be more costly to purchase compared to uPVC doors, primarily because of the extra benefits and features they offer. On average, the cost of a new composite front door can range anywhere between £800-£1000, although more bespoke and glazed options can start upwards of £1500. A third option to consider would be a solid hardwood external door.
These doors are robust and secure, providing a natural aesthetic and softer touch than its competitors. Hardwood doors, however, tend to require more maintenance than a uPVC or composite option and can warp if exposed to water damage over a long period of time.
Like uPVC or composite, the average cost of an external hardwood door will vary depending on the additional features and glazing, although you can expect to pay anywhere between £600-£3000 for a bespoke hardwood door.
The table below demonstrates the cost affecting factors for each type of external door. Please note, these prices are estimates based on averages and should be used as a guide only.
|Front Door Type
|Total Project Cost
|Plain uPVC Door
The first step when installing a new external door is to measure the size of the door in which you intend to replace. If you are hiring a professional installer to carry out the work, they will accurately measure the area of the opening and discuss your options with you.
You will need to decide on the type of door that you are going to purchase. A professional door installer will be able to talk you through the advantages and disadvantages of each material so you can conclude which is the best option for you.
Once you have decided on the style of door you like, you should consider whether you would like to add any additional glazing or surrounding panels to your door.
On the day of the installation, your professional tradesperson will prepare your new door and get it ready to install. The next step is to remove the existing front door. This can be done by removing the door hinges until the door moves freely, and can be placed to one side.
If the installation requires the removal of the existing door frame, this will need to be done carefully to ensure that the structure of your property is not damaged in doing so. Wooden door frames can be removed using a hammer and a saw; however, care must be taken not to damage the surrounding area.
The new door sill can be installed on the step of the door using a specialist adhesive and screws. Any gaps between the sill and the brickwork can be filled afterwards using expanding foam. The door is now ready to be fitted. Most new uPVC and composite doors come attached to the frame as a single unit. The door and frame can be lifted into the opening.
It is always better to have another person on hand to assist with propping the unit in place, to ensure that it is positioned correctly. The installer will use a drill to create holes in the brickwork, before securing the frame to the wall using specialist concrete screws.
The installer will use a levelling device to ensure that the door hangs in the correct position. The screws will be located both above and below the hinges, within the frame of the new door.
Once the door and frame are securely fitted, the installer will start to check the door closing within the frame. They will inspect the door internally to ensure there are no gaps or movement between the door and the frame when opening.
It is possible to install a front door yourself, providing you are confident with the use of power tools. However, we always advise that you seek the assistance of a professional external door installer to achieve the best possible results.
If you are attempting a DIY front door installation, we recommend you purchase a door that comes with a frame pre-attached. This will make for an easier installation and can reduce the timeframe to complete the project. External doors are much heavier than internal doors, so always ensure that you have someone available to help you when lifting and positioning the unit in place.
You should also consider that you will need to source the correct tools, equipment and materials in order to correctly install your new external door. A DIY front door installation will likely take much longer to complete than if you were to hire a professional carpenter or installation specialist.
In the UK, replacing and installing an external door frame is classed as a ‘Controlled Fitting’, under Building Regulations legislation. This means that you are required to inform your local authorities Building Control before carrying out any authorised work.
Failure to do so may result in prosecution from your local council and in many cases a hefty fine will be issued. If you do not have the correct materials and equipment on hand to remove and replace your external door, you may end up with a poor quality, ill-fitting result.
Many suppliers will void any warranties or guarantee with their products if they are not installed by a professional tradesperson, which means your door will not be covered in the event of any damage.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding installing a new front door.
Many people will confirm that a uPVC front door is the most cost-effective and low maintenance option when it comes to external doors. Available in many different styles, colours and sizes, uPVC doors can last upwards of 30 years.
Much like uPVC windows, uPVC doors offer excellent thermal protective properties that can reduce your homes energy usage. It is estimated that you can reduce your heating costs by up to 40% each year with a properly fitted uPVC door.
Composite doors are deemed to be the most advanced option in terms of home security. A solid structural frame combined with specialist glass-reinforced plastic provides a high level of protection against home intruders.
Commonly hardwoods such as oak, ash and walnut are used for external doors. The added weight of a solid hardwood door increases the durability and security against intruders. The traditional image of a hardwood door appeals to many homeowners over the appearance of uPVC or composite.