Doors’ prices can vary a lot, from a hundred bucks or so to $5,000 and more, depending on what type, style, and material you want. What’s often underestimated, however, is how much the door installation can cost too. Say you ask Lowe’s to install a door – how much would they charge you?
If you ask them on their site or in person they will tell you a simple 2-digit fee but they’ll also ask you what type of door you’re looking to install and will likely note that the installation fees can jump quite a bit for some door types and styles. Then, they’ll fire a dozen or so questions at you to determine exactly what you’re looking for and what its price is going to be.
All this can seem quite daunting and complicated at first, so, to help you figure things out let’s go over all of it bit by bit. So, how much does Lowe’s charge to install a door?
What’s the basic fee Lowe’s charges for installing a door?
When asking a contractor such as Lowe’s to install your door, the total cost will usually range between a few dozen to a few hundred dollars, depending on the type of door and how difficult the whole process ended up being. The factors that play into the total price are labor costs, extra supplies, frame construction or reconstruction, if necessary, the door jamb, and more.
In general, it’s always wise to have a leeway of a few hundred dollars in your budget, just in case, as well as to give the contractor all the information they may require so that they can give you an accurate quote ahead of time.
What are the additional fees and expenses you may be charged?
There can be quite a lot of labor costs involved in installing a door which is why the DIY method isn’t always suitable, especially if this would be your first time doing something of this sort.
So, while it can be frustrating when the bill comes and you see a bunch of extra fees tagged on there, don’t forget that all of those did take a fair bit of time for the workers to perform. Here are a few of the most common examples:
1. Measuring fee
Lowe’s measuring fees will often cost between $30 and $50 and those can feel like an unnecessary additional door installation cost until you accidentally get the wrong door, have to return it, get many more extra charges for transportation and replacement, and so on.
So, Lowe’s, as well as most other professionals, will usually recommend that you let them come and take the proper dimensions of the door you’d need to make sure there are no mistakes.
2. New door frame installation
Just getting a new door is often not enough if the existing frame is damaged, leaky, unsuitable for the new door, or not secure enough. In those cases, Lowe’s would offer to set up a new frame for you as well, with the costs typically ranging between $7 and $16 per 1 square foot (0.09 square meters).
3. Replacing the door casing
Door casings often need to be replaced too, either because they don’t look good with the new door or because they are too old and rotten. In those cases, Lowe’s usually charges somewhere around $100 for the labor costs on top of the cost for the new casing.
4. Labor warranty
Lowe’s door installation comes with a 1-year warranty that’s also included in the final bill. During that first year, if anything was wrong with the door, frame, casing, or their installation, Lowe’s will come to fix it for free. After that, it’s recommended to do regular – preferably annual – inspections too.
5. Door disposal
If you’ve had to do a door replacement, you’ll likely need to get rid of your old door too. If you ask Lowe’s professionals to do that for you, the fee will usually be somewhere around $30 or $40.
Waterproofing is important for doors – both against rainstorms and just general moisture build-up, as well as against pests. Such insulation tends to cost somewhere between $80 and $200, depending on the type of door that needs to be waterproofed.
7. Other structural changes and their costs
In many cases, especially in old buildings, the contractor may be forced to do some extra work and structural changes to better fit and install the new door. This can include cutting through supporting walls, plumbing, electrical, or drywall work, installing a new header, and more. This can cost anywhere between $100 and $150 per hour for a structural engineer’s work or $50 to $100 an hour for rerouting.
What extra factors are there to consider?
Aside from such additional fees, a big part of the total cost will depend on the type of door you want to install. For example, is it an interior door or an exterior door? A slab door, a special type of garage door, a patio door, a hollow-core door, or one of many other possible variations? Let’s delve a bit deeper:
1. What type of door would you be installing?
Undoubtedly the biggest factor and the first thing you’d be asked when determining the installation cost is what type of door you’d need to install. The two main terms and broader types to note here are a pre-hung door and a slab door.
Pre-hung doors are usually not just pricier themselves but also pricier to install. That’s because they aren’t just a door itself but also all its hinges, frame, bells, and whistles. This sounds like it’d be cheaper to install but that actually makes the door much bigger, heavier, and complicated to install, hence the higher prices – always at least in the 3 digits.
Slab doors, on the other hand, are just the door itself. Assuming that you already have everything you need ready, namely the frame and hinges, the contractor will only need to get the single slab door piece to your doorstep and hang it on the hinges – this can often cost just a small 2-digit sum.
This is especially the case if the slab door is a hollow core, as it’s even lighter to carry. A solid core slab door will be up to $100 to install which is still not as costly as a pre-hung door.
If any additional labor costs are necessary, however, those would have to be paid separately, as we discussed above. Also note that there can be many other more specific types of doors such as storm doors, exterior entrances, a garage door with a garage door opener, a fire-rated door, and so on. For all of those, you’ll get different quotes depending on their exact type, size, materials, and so on.
2. What material is the door made out of?
The door material is the next big factor not just in the price of the door itself but in its installation. That’s both because some materials are heavier but also because they are trickier to work with. You may have a fiberglass door, steel door or solid wood, a glass door, or a wooden door with glass panels – all of those can have wildly ranging installation prices.
3. The door style matters as well
Aside from the general type of the door, its style is important too because it too can make it harder or easier to install. For example, a typical French door consists of two glass panels that open outwards and its installation can cost anywhere between several hundred and several thousand doors.
A double door can be even costlier, often up to $5,000 and more just to install, especially if the contractor has to install it on a load-bearing wall.
If you want a property entry door with sidelights and a lot of other extras, that will also cost you a lot extra, both in the fixtures themselves and their installation.
On the other hand, putting up a single exterior entry slab door can be much more affordable – not as much as an interior slab door but still somewhere around the low hundreds. The same goes for patio doors and bi-fold doors that are easier to work with.
If you’re looking for a fire-rated door and/or a basement door, the costs can start climbing again because there are a lot of extra safety and insulation concerns in those cases.
Having to request professional help can be both annoying and costly for the overall door’s cost but it is often necessary. It is important to get an accurate quote, however, so giving the contractor as much relevant information as possible is a must.
Doors cost as much as they do not just because of the materials and craftsmanship that goes into the doors themselves but because of their often-complicated installation process as well.