Deciding you need to replace an old door might be a little easier than figuring out which one to buy. There are many styles, brands and price ranges to chose from. Figuring out which type of door you need, the style that suits you and your budget should put you in a good position to start looking around.
Needs: If you are part of a Home Owner’s Association your choices might be easier, but very limited. Some communities require a wood door. Historical areas may require a historically accurate replacement. If your home doesn’t have a covered porch, you should probably look at getting a fiberglass door. If you do have some cover (at least 2.5 feet) a wood door will last a long time. Wood today isn’t what it used to be. Today’s wood products have preservatives all the way to the core, yet are still able to take stain and paint right away.
Style: Unless you have a very unique home, you really should match a door to your home’s style. A craftsman style door isn’t suited for a colonial home and a contemporary door will not look right on a bungalow. Driving around your neighborhood will give you a good grasp of where you need to start looking. Most homes in Richmond are going to be some form of colonial. If you want to add a little style, try some of the decorative glass which can really dress up an entryway and let in a lot of light at the same time.
Budget: Doors aren’t something people buy everyday, so this can be an eye opening experience. You can walk through a big box store and look at some doors, but be careful what you are looking at. Most prices are only for the door slab. Quality fiberglass doors without sidelights, glass and a transom are usually around $1,000. Once you add decorative glass, sidelights and transom you can easily be in the $5,000-$7,000 range. Wood is definitely at a premium and the same fiberglass door in wood usually is about 2x the cost. Hand carved, one of a kind doors can easily climb past the $15,000 range.