One of the questions we get asked most is how much do hand-crafted solid wood doors cost.

Exterior Front Entry Door in Vertical Grain Douglas FIr

Entry Door in VG Douglas Fir

Willard Ripley here from River City Woodworks talking a little bit about how much a door costs and what goes into the making of a quality door. The door you see on the right is quite a straight forward door. It is a frame-and-panel door. The different parts of the door are the stiles and the rails. There are dividers between the panels, and we also have some lights (windows). The stiles and rails in these doors are made as an engineered stile and rail. They have a core, they’re wrapped with wood, and they have a wedge piece put in the end so that when you look at the stile when the door’s open, it completely looks like a solid stick of wood, when in fact, there’s an engineered core in there that keeps the door from warping or twisting or splitting or doing any of the things that wood doors could possibly do.

These doors are tested to meet the latest building code and they’ve all been tested for air and water infiltration and structural tests to show that they can stand hurricane forces and so on. All of our exterior doors come with a label that says it meets the building code, and it will easily satisfy any building inspector. These solid wood doors are very energy efficient and have quite a low carbon footprint because they take a very little bit of energy to make the material and they sequester carbon during their life. When they are disposed of the end of their life, they take very little energy to get rid of. Arguably, a negative carbon footprint, certainly a zero.

Now, all this construction is made so that these panels, which move seasonally, can do so. They move within this frame-and-panel structure. All wood doors that are properly constructed have to have that type of construction so that the panels can move. These doors are 2 1/4″ thick. There are many aspects that drive the price. A simple door, this particular door, is worth approximately $6,000 all stained and finished. If it has sidelights, or a transom above it, or it has curved aspects, those are all things that will impact the price. Certainly, the wood choice will impact the price. Just because you use a wood that’s, say, twice as expensive as another wood doesn’t really double the price of the door; it just adds to the price. The labor to build a door out of very expensive wood as opposed to very inexpensive wood remains the same.

If you would like to find out more about this door and others we craft, please call or email us here at River City Woodworks.

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