Nearly there: all that stands between you and a completed entry door project is the installation! This is a critical step, and it will impact the performance of your door for years to come. What do you need to know?
Your Exterior Door Installation Options
You’ve selected a gorgeous new fiberglass, steel, wood, or wood clad door. Now what? You can:
1. Hire a Professional Installer
Professional installation helps ensure that your door performs optimally.
Why Going Pro is a Good Idea: You will get superior results. It’s that simple. When you are investing in a $5000, $10,000, or $15,000 entry system, scrimping on installation can backfire. You need to make sure the door is plumb, level, and square and that water infiltration will be prevented. Pros have the training and expertise to do this — and to help you avoid problems with malfunctioning and subpar operation down the road.
You will also receive a written warranty covering labor, so you achieve extra peace of mind as well.
Who to Hire: Choose a specialized installer who is certified from the manufacturer of your door. They will have the training and knowledge necessary to make sure that your entry door is properly placed and fully functional.
Price Point: Installation by a certified installer is the high-end option in terms of price. You can expect to pay between $300 and $3000. Why the significant range? The cost is determined by various factors, such as the experience of the installer, the labor warranty
provided, and the size of your door.
2. Hire a Handyman
Is this option right for you?
Why Handymen are Handy for Installation: This is a cost-effective solution; their rates will be lower than those charged by professional installers. And, if you find the right individual, you can see great results.
Who to Hire: Opt for someone with experience in exterior door installation specifically. This is a specialized skill, and as mentioned, they will need to make sure the door is plumb, level, and square. Ask for references — and call them!
Price Point: Costs vary dramatically between individuals and markets. If it’s more than a few hundred dollars, keep looking or go the pro route.
A Word of Caution: This is a cost-effective option that is most suitable for entry- and mid-level doors. If you bought an off-the-shelf door at Lowes, for example, sure: call a handyman and have them come over and get the job done. If, however, you purchased an extensive exterior door system, professional installation delivers the results — and reassurance — you need.
Also, insist that your labor warranty be written. You need a record of this in case the installation process caused damage or performance issues.
3. Do It Yourself
Are you a committed DIYer?
When DIY Is Appropriate: If you purchased an off-the-shelf door and you have some skills around the house, you can try to DIY.
When you choose a higher-end door, please use caution. You do not want to void any warranties, damage your door, or cause yourself headaches when drafts, water, and other unwelcome guests invite themselves in.
Required Skills: You’ll have to know how to measure accurately; prepare the opening; check the sill; install a continuous sill pan; caulk the opening; set the door;
shim, square, and fasten the frame; seal the shim space; and more.
You will also need a caulk gun, drill/driver, countersink drill bits, hammer, pry bar, level, putty knife, reciprocating saw, and tape measure. And don’t forget the safety glasses and hearing protection!
Price Point: It costs your time — and maybe your cash if you need to call in a pro or handyman to finish the job properly or re-install!
Proper installation is critical; without it, your exterior doors will not function as they should, and you can leave yourself open to everything from inadvertent damage to water infiltration. If you have questions about the process, call 317-993-3660 to schedule a consultation with Franklin Window & Door. We’re here to provide clear education, a hassle-free experience, and peace of mind that the job was done right.