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Value Propositions: Exterior Doors

When you’re building a new home, there are so many items to select, you will literally make hundreds of decisions as you go through the process. Having a firm idea of your budget for things like exterior doors for your log home is critical.

Enlisting the aid of a designer or architect will make the process of narrowing choices easier and help ensure you get the most for your money. Logs aside, some of the other big-ticket items in your build include windows, doors, flooring, roofing and stone masonry.

Here’s a look at some of the factors that determine costs of these materials, what you get for the money and how to make smart choices.

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Exterior Doors

Close your eyes and picture a log home: Most likely, in your imagined house, there’s a wood door. While wood doors seem best suited for a log home, especially at the front entrance, keep in mind that insulated steel doors may be more energy-efficient, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That said, the front door of a home establishes the first impression, so you might choose a door based on its visual appeal rather than its eco-impact.

Value

Prefinished insulated steel doorwith integrated window

Pros:

  • Cost can be less than $250 (depending on size)
  • Interior insulation adds to energy efficiency
  • Durable, rust-proof finish
  • No wait time for stock units

Cons:

  • Styling may not suit a log home
  • Stock sizes may be confining or limited

Splurge

Custom-built wood door with hand-carved accents and integrated window

Pros:

  • Natural material
  • Unique, personalized style
  • Wide choice of sizes
  • Thick door slab can reduce noise transmission

Cons:

  • Expect to pay $1,000 and up
  • Longer wait time
  • Periodic application of wood treatment may be required
  • May be less energy-efficient than an insulated steel door

Cost of ownership: The cost of a wood door may not be easily recouped, but for many log home owners, that doesn’t matter — this custom touch is worth every penny.