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Old 04-28-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
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The reality of new door costs?


Hey everyone, new homeowner here (and new to this forum). My house is 15 years old and needs new front and rear doors, especially the rear door as the corner of it is rusted and peeling up pretty bad. Needless to say the doors are nowhere near airtight anymore.

So I went shopping at Lowe's and Home Depot and thought I had everything figured out. ~$120 for a new steel door and ~$240 for installation.
As my homework continued though I used ServiceMagic to shop around on installation prices. Then Sears contacted me. Long story short, they want $2000 installed for a new door. Granted, it comes with hardware, is pretty thick steel, seems like it has good insulating value, 20 year warranty, and some other nifty sounding features. But $2k? I almost choked when the salesman showed me the figure. Is this the reality of home repairs? Is the "you get what you pay for" mantra true and this extreme?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-29-2011, 12:13 AM   #2
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The reality of new door costs?


I have done quite a bit over research on doors for my own home and here is what I found.

It all depends on the door and what you are looking for. Is it just a single door or does it have sidelights? No Glass, Plain glass, or decorative glass? A basic 6 panel steel or smooth fiberglass or a basic 9-lite door hung is a standard 4 9/16 primed wood jamb is not as expensive as a "looks exactly like wood" fiberglass slab with decorative glass hung in a composite jamb with PVC casing. Much of this is a matter of taste like smooth vs wood grained, some of it, like the rot resistant composites in the jambs and adjustable sills are recommended to make the door last longer and are usually worth the extra money.

The doors they stock at Home Depot are manufactured in larger number so it makes them lower cost. They also sometimes use cheaper parts.

What is the brand of door Sears is installing? They come up as a dealer for Provia in my area. Provia is an expensive door, contractors who install them say it is worth it. That could explain the price.

From what I have read a big part of the door quality comes from the installation and who hangs it in the jamb. Most door suppliers ship parts to the local distributor and the distributor puts the units together. As you do your research on the internet, remember that when you read posts that bash door brands because they are hung crooked or don't close right. Most of the time it is not the door slab.

Visit your local lumber yard or door/window dealer, many will either do installations or do contractor referrals. Good luck and get at least 3 quotes from reputable installers. I would be skeptical of the $240 Home Depot installation price. (Oh, you wanted the door to open and close? That will be $500 more.)

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Old 04-29-2011, 05:31 AM   #3
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The reality of new door costs?


It's a basic 6-panel, no lites. 36x80. Comes with all hardware and a peephole installed. 24 gauge steel

They also sell a 20 gauge steel with a lifetime warranty but I didn't even get the price on that one.

The brand name is not on the quote but I just emailed the salesman.

Thanks for the tip on getting 3 quotes. Sounds like a good idea. I'm starting to think though, that for it to be worth I'm going to need to save more than a few hundred bucks off the Sears price. My thinking is what good is a 20 year warranty if I'm not sure if the installer is going to be around by then? And will the manufacturer just claim poor installation? Sears said they take on the manufacturer's warranty, and Sears as a company doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:44 AM   #4
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The reality of new door costs?


You need a good, local carpenter/handyman.
I hate the stereotype of the term handyman.
I worked for a large remodeling firm that had a Handyman Division.
They were great carpenters and did all the small projects.

Warranties are usually limited.
Steel doors rust over time.
Hinges wear out
Weatherstripping fails and latches need adjusting.

That's life.

I suggest looking into a fiberglass door.
Therma Tru is a very popular company that a lot of the Lumberyards use.
Get out of the Box stores and Sears.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:44 AM   #5
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The reality of new door costs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimV View Post

Visit your local lumber yard or door/window dealer, many will either do installations or do contractor referrals. Good luck and get at least 3 quotes from reputable installers. I would be skeptical of the $240 Home Depot installation price. (Oh, you wanted the door to open and close? That will be $500 more.)
I’d stay away from installations by Box Stores, Sears, or any service where the contractor pays to be a member to receive referrals.

Contractors that work for big chain stores are likely newly licensed and only work for them because they don't have their own customer base. Those stores can offer them a decent volume of work but out of that $249 installation the installer will only get a fraction of that price. The only way the installer can make decent money is to be fast which is not in your best interest.

As mentioned your better off going to your local lumber yard for your door purchase and ask for contractor referrals. If you find a contractor you like and he says he cant get to you for a couple months, that’s usually a good thing.
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Last edited by kwikfishron; 04-29-2011 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:50 PM   #6
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The reality of new door costs?


By the way usually how much does a fiberglass door cost? Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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The reality of new door costs?


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By the way usually how much does a fiberglass door cost? Thanks!
Varies from brand to brand but we usually figure on a 10-20% premium.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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The reality of new door costs?


I would also highly recommend fiberglass, and staying away from the box stores. We used to install doors purchased by our clients at their request, however, we no longer do. the cheaper doors really are poorly made and very difficult to get adjusted properly, and to stay that way. Typically (with a cheap door) you have to choose whether you want a door that seals tightly, or latches and operates smoothly. They just can't do both like a better product can.

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