Doors are one of the most important features in any home and they directly influence its security and insulation. 79% of homeowners have a greater desire to stay indoors after installing a new front door. In addition to providing an increased sense of security, investing in a new door creates a good first impression for your home, enhances its appeal, and automatically increases its value. According to a survey undertaken by the National Association of Realtors, homeowners that invest in new doors recoup more than 100% percent of their installation costs.
Considering that improperly installing a door is not just a huge security risk, but can also lead to energy wastage and air leakage, it is imperative that you always hire a professional door installation contractor nearby to handle these jobs. Any door installation contractor near you that you plan to hire for a job should be able to positively answer the following questions:
Are You a Licensed Door Installation Contractor?
29 states in the United States require door installation contractors to obtain a state-issued professional license. Amongst these states, California issues a specific D-28 - doors, gates, and activating devices contractor's license. Some like New Jersey consider door installation as home improvement and issue a license accordingly, while states like Louisiana and Hawaii issue specialty contractor licenses to door installation contractors. In the states like Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Illinois that do not issue a state-level license, door installation contractors are typically required to obtain a license at the city, county, or municipality level. You can find out the specific licensing requirements for door installation contractors operating in your locality by contacting your state's licensing department or consumer protection agency. These offices can also help you authenticate these contractors' licenses.
Are You a Bonded and Insured Door Installation Contractor?
Door installation involves lifting heavy materials and using sharp handheld tools, all of which pose different levels of risk. Nail guns alone cause approximately 37,000 emergency room visits every year. It is estimated that over 300,000 door-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms annually, and about 15,000 of these injuries result in amputations.
Hiring an insured door installation contractor absolves you from having to pay any damages if any person, including your contractor, is injured during your door installation project and decides to sue. Hiring a door installation contractor that is also bonded provides you with bonus financial protection by ensuring that you are properly compensated for any defaults in your project by this contractor.
Never hire a door installation contractor near you without seeing proof of the contractor's insurance and bonding. Make sure that the insurance policy includes both workers' compensation insurance and general liability insurance, and that the surety bond is enough to cover the cost of your project.
What Kind of Work Are You Specialized In?
Doors come in various shapes and sizes, and they serve various functions, all of which must be considered when installing them. Generally, doors can be classified based on either their materials or by their design and usage. Some common types of doors are:
Types of doors based on materials:
- Wood doors: these are the most common types of doors. Wood doors are easy to install, durable, and can be used in different ways. However, they require regular care and maintenance
- Metal doors: metal doors are relatively affordable, windstorm and chemical resistant, and can be used in various forms. However, they are prone to rust and are not as aesthetically appealing as wood doors
- Glass doors: these types of doors are typically used in balconies and areas of the house that require an obstructed view. Glass doors provide a luxurious appearance, but they require regular cleaning and maintenance. They are also more expensive than wood and metal doors
- PVC/UPVC doors: these types of doors are easy to install, water-resistant, and durable. However, they are unsuitable as front/entry doors
- Composite doors: composite doors are made using a combination of materials like wood, plastic, metal, muffled foam, glass-reinforced plastic, and in some cases fiberglass. They are mainly used as security doors but they tend to be more expensive than other types of doors
Types of doors based on design and usage:
- Hinged doors: these are the most common types of doors used for home interiors. With hinged doors, one end of the door is installed on hinges that allow the other end to swing from one direction to the other. These doors must be installed in areas that have sufficient space to allow them properly open
- Sliding doors: these doors can be made from materials like wood, glass, and metal, and they are commonly used in showers, balconies, and verandas. As the name implies, slide doors open by sliding horizontally and parallel to a wall. Installing sliding doors is quite difficult. However, when they are properly installed and maintained, these doors can increase the elegance and appeal of a home
- Pocket doors: pocket doors are similar to sliding doors, however, they slide into the wall when fully opened instead of parallel to it. These types of doors cannot be installed in walls that have electrical or plumbing lines running through them
- Roller doors: these types of doors can be found in garages, workshops, storage facilities, and shop fronts. They are durable and long-lasting, require minimal maintenance, and do not use up a lot of space
It is important to make sure that your door installation contractor specializes in the type of door that you want to install. Generally, many professional door installation contractors are experienced enough to handle any type of door installation job, but it never hurts to confirm this.
Who Will Do the Work?
Installing a new door usually involves inviting a stranger into your home. Therefore, it is important that you find out exactly how many people will be involved in the job, and how many of them will have access to your home. In addition to this being a necessary security precaution, it also helps you ensure that any worker involved is properly licensed, insured, and bonded in line with the requirements of your locality.
Do You Offer a Warranty?
When you hire a professional door installation contractor near you, you would be offered two types of warranties after the installation is done, which are a manufacturer's warranty and an installation warranty. The manufacturer's warranty covers the door itself and any defects that it may have, while the installation warranty covers the actual installation of the door and any issues or defects that may arise because of it.
Always confirm from your door installation contractor that you will be offered warranties. Note that warranties come with terms and conditions that must be strictly followed, otherwise your contractor or the door's manufacturer can no longer be held liable for any defects. As such, it is always a good idea to insist on receiving written copies of these warranties, so that you have a clear idea of what these terms and conditions are.
Will This Job Require a Permit?
Carrying out certain home improvement projects without obtaining the necessary building permits can result in serious penalties. Permits are typically issued locally, and local governments determine the types of projects that require permits in their jurisdiction. For example, Fremont, California does not require a permit for the replacement of doors as long as the initial framing is not altered and the building is not located in a Wildland Urban Interface Area. Fitchburg, Wisconsin requires a permit for all door installations and replacements, while Crestview, Florida requires a permit to replace exterior doors and garage doors but does not require one to replace residential interior doors.
Professional door installation contractors nearby typically know the permit requirements for the localities that they operate in and the fastest ways to obtain these permits. You can also find out the door installation permit requirements of your area by contacting your local government's building department.
Will You Provide References?
Before hiring a door installation contractor, make sure that this contractor can provide you with a list of references, perhaps including clients living near you. Based on the Federal Trade Commission's recommendation, any credible door installation contractor should be able to provide you with the contact details of at least three former clients. Alternatively, you can independently source for reviews on your door installation contractor online by using review websites like Yelp, Google Review, and Better Business Bureau.
Do You Have a Business License?
The United States has more than 30.7 million small businesses currently registered and operating in the country, and obtaining a business license is a mandatory requirement for these businesses. This business license is proof that your door installation contractor is authorized to conduct business in your locality. Always request a copy of the license itself or the license number from your door installation contractor and authenticate it through your local Secretary of State's office.Â
What Are Common Door Installation Problems?
Listed below are some of the most common problems associated with improperly installing a door:
- Misaligned bottom wall plates
- Uneven doors
- Warped doors
- Non-fitting/loose trims
- Loose or stripped screw holes
- Rough opening is too big
- Squeaky hinges
- The door pops open or closes on its own
- The door drags on the floor
To avoid these problems, you should always hire a professional door installation contractor to help you replace and install new doors in your home.
How Much Does Door Installation Cost?
Installing a door in the United States will cost you an average of $800 - $1,200. This cost is mostly affected by the type of door that is being installed and the material that it is made from. Listed below are some common door installation cost estimates:
What Are the Factors That Affect the Cost of Door Installation?
The cost of door installation is affected by the type of material that the door is made from. Another factor that greatly influences the cost of door installation is the location of the door. Exterior doors are required to be more durable, weather-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing than interior doors which makes them more expensive. This also affects the amount of labor expended in installing them, which invariably makes exterior door installations more expensive than interior door installations.
Finally, the cost of door installation is affected by the labor-intensity of the installation. Professional door installation contractors charge between $50 and $100 per hour for their labor. Installing a door in a space that has never had any doors before will take more time, and therefore cost more than installing one in a space with a pre-existing door frame. Note, hiring a contractor near you may help reduce other associated costs like travel and logistics expenses.
What Qualifications Should Door Installation Contractors Have?
Although door installation generally involves on-the-job learning and skill acquisition, many door installation contractors are educated up to the high school level and have either a high school diploma or its educational equivalent. Some door installation contractors further their education by attending community colleges and technical schools where they study woodworking and other relevant courses. Professional door installation contractors can also obtain voluntary certifications from trade associations and professional bodies like the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance.
Do You Need a Handyman or a Door Installation Contractor?
Always hire a good professional door installation contractor near you to install doors in your home. Handymen are workers that resolve minor household problems like fixing light fixtures and patching small holes in walls, and they do not have the training or precision required for proper door installation. As such, hiring a professional door installation contractor frees you from the stress and cost of having to redo any improper installations done by a handyman.
What Are Common Post Door Installation Expenses?
Installing a door in your home can incur extra expenses, most of which are optional but helpful. For example, you may decide to add extra insulation to your home by installing a storm door or you may decide to add an ordinary screen door to keep out pests, bugs, and insects. Including any of these additional doors to your door installation will cost you an extra $200 - $500. You might also want to enhance the beauty of your door by installing path lights or by painting it. Path lights cost between $70 and $100 each and will have to be installed by an electrician for a fee of about $40 - $100 per hour while painting your door can cost you about $40 - $80.
Finally, if your door installation contractor had to remove and dispose of any old doors before installing a new one, you may have to pay a removal and disposal fee of about $30 - $50 per door. However, you should confirm from your door installation contractor whether the cost of doing this will be charged separately or included in your door installation bill.
Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Door Installation Expenses?
In 2018, property damage accounted for 98.1% of the insurance claims filed by homeowners that had a homeowner's insurance policy. Because homeowner's insurance only covers accidental or sudden damages, the circumstances under which it will cover your door installation expenses are limited. For example, if your front door is irreparably damaged by a tree branch during a storm or as a result of vandalism, then your homeowner's insurance will cover the expenses of installing a new one. However, if you have to install a new door because the previous one was damaged as a result of normal wear and tear, then your homeowner's insurance policy will not pay for it.
Note that the specific types of perils or damages that a homeowner's insurance policy will cover depend on the insurance company that issued it. Therefore, it is important that you always take your time to understand the terms and conditions of any insurance policy that you wish to purchase.
Can I Use Digital Payment to Pay My Door Installation Contractor?
Like most small businesses in the US today, any door installation contractor near you will be willing to take digital payment. However, if you intend to use a digital payment platform, you should verify that your door installation contractor is willing to accept payment this way. Although digital payments are more convenient and more secure than cash transactions, some contractors still prefer the latter. If your door installation contractor belongs to this group, make sure that you are issued a receipt of payment for every cash transaction that you perform.