- Is there air leaking in and out causing hot or cold drafts?
- Are your energy bills running high, could you be heating/cooling the wide open spaces?
- Is that door nailed or painted shut, thus totally unsafe exit in case of an emergency?
- Is your door hard to open/close, or lock securely?
- Is your door old, cracked, stained, or just plain broken, is it a pain to have around?
Replace the Door Yourself or Hire the Experienced Pro: this is one of the really tough choices, (either a carpenter, contractor, or professional installer) which choice is right for you?
- Do you enjoy home projects? Are you Jack of All Trades and Tool use?
- Do you have that perfect helper who you enjoy working with and is available to help you?
- Do you have the time needed to complete the project in one afternoon or weekend?
- Do you have all the right tools to do the job?
- Measuring Tape, Note Pad, Pencil to pre-measure doors and frame sizes (at least Twice)
- Pre-ordered Door to fit your Frame: Correct size (all measurements double checked)
- Pre-selected Hardware (knobs, hinges, lock, & screws) compatible with door
- Tools: Screwdrivers, Utility Knife, Chisel, Wood plane/shaver
- Drill and bits for all possible size conditions
- Possible Finishing Materials such as: paint, varnish, sealant, & applicator
- If this is not what you had in mind for your Saturday and/or Sunday there are a number of reliable door and window installers that can provide you references.
- Get references (names, addresses, phone numbers)
- A couple of price quotes (include time frame for starting work and completion date
- Check out examples of their prior work and customer satisfaction.
- Do they offer a guarantee of workmanship?
- Make sure your price quote/bid includes
- All materials (including prep) or equipment used and/or rented
- Cost to prep the site, including prepping existing area, frame
- Labor cost for set up & clean up time, & fuel/gas charge if any to and from site
- Cost to remove any trash/debris created at the work site.
- Estimate of Sale Tax (Which may not be calculated within the price quote.)
- Estimate of Permit & Inspection Fees
- Est. of General Contractor Fees for supervising a project which may run an additional 10% to 25% of the bill so ask about these cost up front
- Once you hire a contractor/carpenter/installer make sure you're prepared for them.
- Prepare the work area for strangers to be in your home:
- Remove or secure anything you don't want damaged or broken
- Secure valuables, don't give anyone the opportunity to be dishonest
- Make a restroom available for these workers
- Have an extra roll of paper towels handy, and an old newspaper or cardboard
- Have cold water bottles and/or soda available if you want to be extra nice
- Understand these are the pros that's why you chose them for this job
- Get the names of who are working in your home and whom is running the job
- If you have questions or concerns address them with that person in charge
- Watch from a spot out of the way, give them plenty of room to work
- Stay close enough to listen for any questions they may have of you
- Remember you're the customer and most workers are just as nice as you
- Looking on the internet it appears the consensus is generally hire the pro for all windows & exterior doors, or anything really expensive door, unless you are the local handy expert.
As residents and professionals here in Tampa Bay for over 20 years, we hope you find the information provided useful in your search for the perfect door or accessory to protect what is important to you and those you care about.