What Does it Take to Install a Door?

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What Does it Take to Install a Door?

DAD installing DoorWhat does it take to install a door?  Many clients are fascinated and in awe of what it takes to properly perform what seems like a “simple job.”  Although the cost of purchasing and installing a complete quality interior door system roughly averages $615-$840 plus generally $400-$900 to properly prep, prime, and spray paint the door system, there is far more to these numbers.

Recently, a very nice family in Irvine where DAD’s is performing a full interior remodel suggested that I “put something out there” illustrating how involved things really are.  In fact, they made the comment “the more I watch what you do, the more I realize how little I really know.”  They continued by adding “watching How-to and DIY videos on the internet and TV does not even come close to allowing someone to gain an appreciation for what’s really involved in doing a proper and professional quality job – it’s hard work, time consuming, and you really need to know what you’re doing.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!  This family suggested that I tell the story about installing a door – everything; from removing the old door through painting and final clean-up.  Seeing what was involved and the challenges encountered, they suggested I share this “simple” job with everyone else.

I figured I should start explaining from the beginning – tools and materials!  I spent a weekend carefully documenting all the required tools and materials, including their cost, to properly and professionally install a door.

What Does it Take to Install a Door?What Does it Take to Install a Door?Next, I performed a time and motion study installing 5 different pre-hung interior solid core doors and 1 exterior door.  Their sizes ranged from 28” to 36” wide.  All were 80” high and installed into standard 2×4 openings with 1/2” drywall on both sides (the exterior door had stucco on the outside).  I used the same TM Cobb door, El & El door casing, and Emtek hinges and doorknobs on each of the interior doors.  The exterior door was a fiberglass door by Therma-Tru with hardware and lockset by Emtek.  Therefore, everything was basically the same except some of the doors were wider and the exterior door had 2×6 casing on the outside.

It requires almost 27 hours to properly and professionally install a door from the time I first meet the client to completion.  It also requires almost $4,800 ($4,771.89 to be exact) in tools.  Each interior door required about $500 in materials and taxes (includes the solid core door, jams, casings, hardware, and sundry materials).  For the exterior door, the materials and taxes were about double the interior costs.

The steps for the entire door installation process are:

  1. Best Local Contractor DAD's ConstructionVisit the client’s house to meet with them, select a door and hardware style, and take measurements.

  2. Develop the estimate and contract to perform the work.

  3. Drive back out to the client’s house to present the estimate and contract and obtain the clients signature to perform the work.

  4. Purchase everything.

  5. Pick up the door, jams, casings, and installation materials from the supplier.

  6. Pickup all the required tools from the shop.

  7. What Does it Take to Install a Door?Deliver everything to the client’s home, including the tools.

  8. Mask the work area and flooring after removing necessary flooring.

  9. Remove the old door, jams, and casing.

  10. Cut-up and dispose of the old door, jams, and casings.

  11. Cleanup.

  12. Install the new door, jams, and casings.

  13. Install the hardware, then remove and repackage.

  14. What Does it Take to Install a Door?Cleanup

  15. Take all the tools back to the shop.

  16. Pickup all the tools to prep, prime, and spray paint the entire new door system, including the spray rig.

  17. Purchase the primer, paint, masking, and sundry paint supplies.

  18. Deliver to the client’s home the primer, paint, masking, and sundry paint supplies, also the tools and spray rig to paint.

  19. Best Contractor DAD's ConstructionBuild temporary spray booth, mask, prep, prime, and paint the door, jams, and casings.

  20. Cleanup; remove temporary spray booth.

  21. Reinstall the door hardware and the new door stop.

  22. Take back to the shop all the tools and spray rig.

I wondered:  how do these “fly-by-night” and “discount 1-day” contractors and installers do a quality, professional job when they show up at your home in a beat-up truck with a handful of tools from the 18th century?

What about labor?  After buying $4,800 in tools and $500 in materials, the question of labor remains!  On average, it works out to about $9.60 per hour.  That’s $3.40 under the California minimum wage.  Still think the price to install that door is high?

I asked some people in a volunteer organization that I belong if they ever had an interior door replaced.  Several said “yes” and paid $300 to $750 to install the door (they had to purchase the door, door case, all the hardware, lockset, and have it delivered to their home).  Moreover, they had to paint the door and make the necessary carpet and flooring repairs.  Just for the record, DAD’s does everything.  There are no hidden anything with DAD’s.  We take full responsibility for every job and its turn-key – “soup to nuts.”  We purchase and install everything.  After DAD’s completes the job, there’s nothing to do but enjoy the beautiful work!

I then asked if they were happy with the door installation performed by these other companies?  Everyone said “no.”  They hired based on price and were not happy with the results.  Would they hire the person or company back?  Again, a resounding “no” was the answer.  I took it one step further by asking if they were happy with the paint job.  Here, the answer was a big loud “NO.”

There you have it.  What it really takes to replace that old, worn out hinged door in your home.  It’s amazing what can be learned by carefully looking at all the factors involved in doing a project.  I’ve been at this for over 45 years and I was surprised!

If you would like more information on enjoying the best new door installation or enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience, call DAD at (949) 380-0177 or at dan@dadsconstruction.com for a free in home consultation (DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California including Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo).

Best Local Contractor DAD's Construction

“Taking Care of Your Home . . . The Way We Would Our Own”

Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD’s Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation Contractor, https://www.dadsconstruction.com.  © DAD’s Home Services & Construction, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.