Like windows, doors have gone from being a standard home component to something much more. In addition to providing a way in and out of your home, they now help maximize its beauty, comfort and energy efficiency, serving as lovely design elements that add to historic and architectural accuracy. They can also connect your indoor and outdoor living spaces seamlessly while helping improve home comfort and security. Given the role doors play, it’s important then to make sure they’re in top form all year round.
What if your exterior doors are already old and failing? Before they compromise the look and feel of your home, they have to be replaced. Getting a newer, better door can help maintain the look and comfort of your home, but it will require careful planning. This goes beyond than just choosing which door type and material best fits your needs. You also have to decide whether it’s better to do the installation yourself or hire a professional for the job.
DIY vs. Pro: Factors to Consider
Both methods have something to offer, but what is truly better for you? Here’s a rundown on what to expect from DIY and professional door installation:
Door installation can be a significant investment, so some homeowners may be concerned with their budget. If you choose DIY work, you only need to spend for the door itself. While this helps you save money upfront, you’ll have to be extremely careful not to make a mistake during your installation. Should you make one, you’ll be looking at additional costs to replace the damaged materials later on. This means a repeat visit and purchase to a door manufacturer.
When you go for professional door installation, on the other hand, you’ll be paying for both the replacement door and labor. Spending more may turn off some homeowners, but working with an expert installer keeps chances of problems and mistakes to a minimum. Because of this, you can be sure your new door is properly and perfectly installed right the first time.
DIY door installation may take a while, especially for the untrained homeowner. You’ll want to be honest with yourself about your skills. As a beginner, you’ll have to figure out which tools and materials to use, plus learn how to perform the actual door installation. This may not be an issue if you have a lot on your hands, but this also means leaving your home without a sturdy door to head off the elements, keep external threats at bay and prevent energy loss. This isn’t the case with professional door installation. You won’t have to worry about delays when you work with a pro because experienced contractors can do the job quickly and efficiently while following standard procedures.
Door installation takes precise work–you’ll have to make sure the replacement unit fits perfectly within the door opening. You also have to check that the hardware and locking system are working smoothly. You’ll be using your entry or patio door every day, so making sure they operate as they should can make a big difference to functionality and aesthetics.
This is assuming your DIY work goes well, as doing things on your own can be rife with mistakes. In fact, you could miss underlying issues that might affect your new door’s performance. Working with a pro, however, can help prevent this. They know what to look for, spotting issues to minimize risks of a botched installation. In the event of unwelcome surprises, they have the means and the experience to deal with issues promptly.
If you’re taking the DIY route, you’ll have to purchase a high-quality door from a manufacturer. Their products usually come with solid warranties, covering the material, glass and even customization options such as hardware finish and locking system. The only downside is that warranties typically lose validity when doors aren’t installed by a certified contractor. This means you won’t be covered should the door start failing before it should. Professional work, on the other hand, lets you enjoy both product warranties and craftsmanship guarantees for years. These add an extra layer of protection to your investment, allowing for greater peace of mind.
DIY door installation will save you money upfront, but it can also lead to additional costs down the line, on top of potentially taking too long and having zero warranty protection. That’s why professional door installation is the way to go.
Working with pros guarantees the work will run smoothly from start to finish and your door can provide the long-lasting performance you expect. Just make sure you work only with a reliable door contractor. Choose one with the necessary licenses, insurance coverage and certifications while taking into account their reputation and business experience, as well. With the right people, you know you’ll fully make the most of your door installation project.
David Reber is the general manager for Renewal by Andersen® of Kansas City, a leader in the local window and door replacement industry. He is passionate about helping homeowners make smart home improvement decisions, starting with the best window and door replacement solutions for them. Check out the company blog for updates from David!