Before the 1980’s, the vast majority of external property doors (front and back door) were made from wood. This meant they would usually be installed by a carpenter, as the process is very similar to installing an internal door.
However, in the 1970’s, things like aluminium framed doors and windows became popular, followed by UPVC in the 80’s. UPVC is now a very popular material for external doors and windows.
Another common door type is composite doors. These often look very similar to UPVC, but they are far more robust and usually have solid cores.
Carpenters will fit wooden external doors, and most will be able to fit other types without any problems. However, composite and UPVC doors are also installed by companies who specialise in these materials.
The process of installing a UPVC or composite door, is not that complicated, and the doors generally come pre-hung.
The installer simply needs to fix the frame square, plumb, and level. This is done using packers and screws. Following this, foam is usually applied around any gaps, and an external silicone sealant is applied to seal the door.
This is easily within the skill set of a carpenter. Which means they are usually the best choice for installing any type of external door.
How much does it cost to fit an external door?
The cost of installing an external door, will usually be similar regardless of the door type. This is because, the overall process is quite similar. However, in some cases, a wooden door may require slightly more work, as they are less likely to be pre-hung. If this is the case, the door and casing will be installed separately.
Also, a wooden door will need hinges, locks, and keeps cutting out by the carpenter. This is not a concern with UPVC and composite doors, as these elements are already machined into the door. Also, cills, handles, glazed units, and panels are all easily installed.
Regardless of the door type, installing an external door is usually around 4-5 hours of work, and most carpenters would price this on a day rate. This means, you should end up paying between £150 and £250 for installation.
In terms of the door price, this will vary. As a general rule, composite doors tend to be 50-60% more expensive than UPVC. However, they are far more robust and will last much longer. UPVC doors will often need replacing after 10-15 years.
Composite doors on the other hand, should last at least 30 years, and they are more energy efficient than UPVC. As well as this, they are stronger and far more difficult to break into.
See the video below:
Solid wooden doors tend to be made from materials such as Oak. Usually they are slightly cheaper than composite doors. Also, if they are maintained well, these doors can last a lifetime. However, they do require maintenance.
This is mainly because wood is a natural material. Therefore, it will be affected more by the elements.
Both composite and wood doors offer very good thermal and security benefits.
Get the best price fitting your external door
In order to get the best price when installing a new external door, you need to shop around and receive multiple quotes.
If you are installing UPVC or composite doors, you should compare local carpenters, as well as specialist fitters. This way, you can get a good idea of the different prices. Also make it known that you are getting multiple quotes. This can result in more competitive offers for the work.
By far the easiest way to compare local quotes, is by doing it online, via a comparison website.
There are several advantages to hiring via these sites:
- As we already mentioned, quotes tend to be more competitive when people know they are competing for the work. With comparison sites, this is something they are well aware of, and they often pay to receive enquiries. This makes them even more motivated to offer good prices and win the work.
- The companies are verified by the website, which means you know you are hiring a real company and not a cowboy.
- You can read past customer reviews. This can be particularly helpful, as you can see previous work they have done and what past customers said about it.
- Finally, they are all in one place. Most credible tradespeople use these sites. This means, you don’t have to put in hours of work to find them all. Simply create an account and you have access to all the local talent.
Carpenters do install external doors, and most will be able to install wood, composite, UPVC and any other materials without any problem.
A specialist fitter, or a carpenter will do the work just as well. The real question is who will do it for the best price. In order to get the best price, shopping around is definitely a good idea.