Whether you’re getting your front, side, or sliding patio door replaced, you probably have a list of questions you’re itching to get answered.
How much does a door replacement cost? What should be included in the installation and warranty? How long does the installation take?
These are all valuable questions to ask to ensure you will get a quality door and installation.
Asking questions is the best tactic you can use to protect yourself and your home from a poor installation that would result in you losing time and money.
Southwest Exteriors has been a door replacement contractor for over 30 years in San Antonio. Our design consultants visit hundreds of homes to inspect their doors and answer all questions a homeowner may have about different types of doors, cost, and installation processes.
In this article, we will answer the top frequently asked questions about door replacements so you can have a full list of answers you’ve been looking for or might not have thought of.
We will include questions about general door replacements and some specific to Southwest Exteriors products and services.
After reading, you will walk away with the basic, valuable information about door replacements so that you can be better prepared when going into your project.
Factors that influence the cost are the type of door, size of the door, construction of the door, installation, and customizations.
Like any home improvement project, what you get is what you pay for. If you want a high-quality door and installation, it is going to cost you more.
It’s important to consider your goals and needs for your project to determine what you are looking to spend for a door replacement.
2. Why are high-quality doors so expensive?
No matter what material the door is made of or the style of the door, a high-quality door is not going to be the least expensive option.
When considering getting a high-quality to low-quality door, you have to think about how long you want the door to last, how durable you want it to be, the functionality or style of the door, and what you want in the warranty.
If you want a high-functioning, high-quality, durable entry door that is going to last for a lifetime with little to no maintenance, it is going to cost you more.
The difference between a high-quality and low-quality door is much more than the price. While a lower-quality door may save you money at the moment, it is more than likely going to cost you more in the long run with functionality issues, repairs, and another replacement in the future.
The cost of a high-quality door also means a high-quality installation. Even if a high-quality door is installed improperly, it is not going to last you as long as it should.
3. What door is best for me?
Determining what type of door is best for you depends on your preferences, goals, and budget.
The most common types of doors are vinyl, fiberglass, wood, steel, aluminum, iron, and glass. Each has its own unique qualities to fit whatever your needs may be.
If maximum security is important to you, then a steel or iron door might be your best choice compared to a glass door.
Fiberglass and wood doors have proven durability, and vinyl doors will be your least expensive option.
You want to consider the quality of each type of door, aesthetic value, and customizations available when choosing the best door for you.
A fiberglass composite or sturdy vinyl door is recommended for Texas homes because they can withstand the harsh climate and do not need to be maintained often.
4. Can you replace just the slab?
The slab is the part of the door that swings open and closed. This can be replaced but is not recommended.
Every door is different. If you just replace the slab in the door frame, it is likely it will not fit and function properly.
This is why the entire system of the door needs to be replaced for the door to function properly and last.
With Southwest Exteriors, we replace the entire door system.
5. What should be included with my door installation?
The door replacement installation includes much more than just the swinging door.
All of the jambs, hardware, interior and exterior trim, threshold, and the slab should be included in a quality installation. Painting and staining should also be included with the installation.
If all of these aspects are not included with the installation from a door replacement contractor, you will find yourself having to deal with three separate companies to come out and replace the actual door, trim and surrounding jambs, and finally the paint or stain.
6. How long does it take to install a door?
It typically takes around four hours to install a replacement door. This time is dependent on the size of the door, however.
The larger the project size and the more complex the project, the longer it is going to take.
7. Can you replace my existing door?
Doors can be repaired, but we do not do door repairs at Southwest Exteriors.
If you have a door from us, adjustments to the door are covered under the lifetime warranty. So if the hinges of the door are seeming loose or the door is not opening or closing properly, we will come and adjust it to fit.
The reason we do not do door repairs is that it is like putting a temporary bandage on the door. If any part of the system is damaged and repaired, it is only a matter of time before it fails again and will need more repair.
It is the best practice to replace the entire system of the door if any part is badly damaged.
8. What is the maximum door size you can do?
With Southwest Exteriors, we can install an entry door as wide as 42 in. and as tall as 10 ft.
For sliding doors, we can install a door from 5 ft. to 20 ft. long and up to 10 ft. tall.
9. What’s the difference between your doors and other contractors?
We offer these types of doors because we believe them to be the best option for San Antonio homes. They are high-quality doors paired with a high-quality installation made to last in your home for a lifetime.
10. Can I get blinds with my doors?
We do offer the option to add blinds to doors. The blinds go in between the panes of the glass of the door to be operated with a sliding mechanism on the door.
If blinds are something you know you want in your new door, it is important to check with each contractor you are considering to make sure they offer that.
Making sure a contractor offers what you are wanting from your project is important with any customizations and specific qualities.
11. Can I keep my existing hardware?
If you have already bought a door handle set and want to use it on your new door, generally, you can do that.
The only reason you would not be able to do that is if the backset and bore do not match up on the door and lock.
The backset is the mechanism on the side of the door that the handle controls when you open the door. The bore is the hole that is cut in the door where the actual handle is installed.
If these do not match up, then the hardware will not fit in the door, the door will not latch correctly, and it cannot be used.
12. Can I get matching locks and keys if I’m replacing multiple doors?
Yes, you can install the same lock with the same keys if you are replacing multiple doors at a time, for example, a front and a back door.
If you plan on replacing more than one door and want them to be keyed alike, it is recommended that you have them ordered and replaced at the same time.
If you install new doors with different keys before and want them to later use the same key, you can still contact a locksmith after the installation to have them change the locks of one or both doors to match.
This causes an extra hassle to your project, and it would be easier to have both doors replaced and keyed alike at the same time to save some time and money.
13. Can I paint and stain the interior and exterior of the door in different colors?
Yes, you can paint or stain the interior of the door differently than the exterior if you would like.
You could even paint the exterior of the door and stain the interior to match your wood floors or vice versa if you’d like.
Because this is a customization, it will cost you a few hundred dollars on top of your project.
14. What kind of customizations can I do with a door?
Depending on the contractor, you can customize a door to your exact liking from the door material, style, finish, and color.
There are hundreds of different glass styles and designs to choose from as well as the stain, color, and grain texture of the door. If you can dream it, chances are somebody can make it.
15. If I don’t like the way my door swings, can I change that with my new door?
Yes, you can change the way your door swings if you do not like the direction it currently does.
The only thing that would get in the way of this is if there was permanently established furniture or architectural designs that would not allow for the door to swing the opposite way.
16. What is the warranty for the door?
Southwest Exteriors offers a lifetime warranty for the door for as long as it is in your home. The manufacturers we work with also include a product warranty, so the product will be included in that warranty, and installation and labor are provided by Southwest Exteriors.
With any door replacement contractor, the warranty should at least include adjustments for the lifetime of the door in your home.
17. Is there a door that will protect against animal scratches?
If you have a dog or cat that continuously scratches the door, there is no type or finish of a door that is immune to excessive scratching.
18. Is there any maintenance required for my door?
The best maintenance you can perform for your door is to check it regularly for any issues such as rotting around the jambs, light coming in around the edges, or if it does not function properly.
Keeping the hinges oiled is important to ensure the door will be able to open and close.
For sliding doors, it is important to clean the tracks along the door to keep them functioning properly.
If paint or stain chips or fades, a simple touch-up can be applied to keep it looking new.
Are you ready to have your door replaced?
Now that you know the top FAQs for door replacements, you are one step closer to your project.
Ample research and asking questions are the best things you can do to know what you want to get out of your door replacement and puts you one step closer to choosing the right contractor for the job.
At Southwest Exteriors, we want you to be educated on all aspects of the door replacement process, and we are here to answer all of your questions. We want you to know exactly what you’re getting into with a door replacement whether you choose us for the job or not.