Replacing your interior doors is an often-overlooked way to add some design appeal to your home
If you’re looking for a quick way to upgrade your home, consider replacing your interior doors. After a few hours of work, you can create a cohesive, unified look that extends throughout the various rooms and living areas. You can replace the interior doors yourself relatively easily or hire a professional if you want more elaborate changes. Follow these tips for making interior door replacement a breeze.
1. Learn the Perks of Replacing Interior Doors
There are many reasons to replace the interior doors in your home. For example, if your interior doors don’t match, changing them out can make the whole space feel more cohesive and appealing. Switching the style can also help—for instance, installing pocket doors or sliding doors in small spaces can also help make them appear larger.
Replacing the interior doors can also increase your property’s value. If you upgrade your interior doors to fire-resistant materials—particularly in the bedrooms—you are adding safety features that can make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Furthermore, swapping out old interior doors for newer styles can be a quick and reasonably low-cost way to upgrade the look and appeal of your home’s interior. After all, your doors will often be one of the first things people see when they walk into a room, so you’ll want them to impress.
“When we change out interior doors, we look to get the best visual impact,” says Bob Tschudi, Expert Review Board Member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “One great change for non-bedroom doors is to replace a solid door with a glass, French door. The result is not only dramatic, but we believe that it actually can increase a home’s value.”
2. Understand the Cost of Replacing Interior Doors
The overall cost of replacing your interior doors ranges from $350 to $1,100, with an average of $730 nationally. The price you pay depends on the style of the doors, the number of doors you need, and any other work involved in installing the new doors, such as making the switch from more traditional doors to sliding or pocket doors.
You can often fit French doors into the same spots as standard doors, but always measure to make sure the new doors you have in mind will fit properly into the old space.
The style of the door plays the biggest role in the cost. For example, new wooden French doors can cost from $600 to $4,500 or even more if you select an elaborate design, while more standard doors tend to run between $50 to $500.
Labor costs for door installation are typically $100 to $300 for interior doors, but they can decrease per door if you have multiple interior doors that you wish to replace.
3. Figure Out What Type of Interior Doors You Need
The type of interior doors you need depends on the style of your home, the size of your door frames and rooms, and your goals for replacing your doors. For instance, sliding doors can make a space feel more open, while French doors make a room feel light and airy. Solid wood doors or other heavy materials can also help to soundproof rooms or areas of your home.
Some of the different types of doors include solid wood, faux wood, or engineered wood doors. French doors can be made of the above materials as well, and you can add fire resistance in some cases.
More complicated types like bifold doors, pocket doors, or accordion doors will likely require some work to install beyond just changing out the hinges and adding the new door.
“If you want to change out your doors with a show-stopping alternative, go with solid wood doors,” says Bob Tschudi. “We recently did a renovation where we replaced fiberglass doors with solid wood doors and the result was magical—the house ended up selling for more than four times the acquisition price.”
4. See if You Can Replace Interior Doors Yourself
Replacing interior doors is relatively simple to do yourself, especially if you already have basic tools and are comfortable being your home’s resident handyperson. Hanging a door takes around two to three hours for a pre-hung door and five to six hours for blank or slab doors.
When you are shopping for new interior doors, note that there are two options: pre-hung and blank or slab doors. Pre-hung doors have their doorjambs already attached, and blank doors lack this jamb since they are designed to accommodate the doorjamb that is already in the wall.
If you just want to change the door itself and the frame is in good condition, you can replace the door without touching the frame or trim. You will need a slab or blank door without the hinge cutouts so you can fit it into the existing space and doorjamb. Be sure to measure the size of the space along with the location of the hinges before you purchase a new door or doors.
Be aware that if you choose to DIY this project, common problems include the door failing to latch due to an unmatched latch and hole placement or uneven framing that prevents the door from closing altogether. These issues often happen because people don’t properly level the floor or framing and will require re-drilling holes or re-leveling the framing. You can also ruin or damage the door trim with minor cuts and incorrect measurements.
5. Try Changing the Interior Door Trim
If you don’t want to swap out the entire interior door or doors, there’s an alternative. You can change the trim around your door for a fresh look. This can be a DIY project that you can complete in a couple of hours as long as you have a pry bar and some patience.
There are a variety of trim options available, from flat options that are easy to paint to larger flared crown moldings. You can add corner blocks or lintels for more definition and style as well. Hiring a professional to replace your door trim will run approximately $2 to $3 per linear foot with a total of $40 to $60 per door, including materials and labor.