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Exterior Doors - Big Box vs. Door Company

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May 13, 2016
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Exterior Doors - Big Box vs. Door Company

I'm looking to have my exterior side door replaces (door and frame).

I went to a couple window/door companies and prices (before negotiation) range from $1500 (1/4 pain white) to $1800 (3/4 pain) fiberglass (eg. entryguard brand)

Home depot sells similar door style, fiberglass, Stanley brand for $300-$400.

If I was to purchase the door at HD, and have them install, what is a good total price?

How much +- would it be compared to the window/door company?

What are the advantages of going with a window/door company vs. big box?

Expert opinions welcome...:)

Thx.
So easy, even I can do it.
24 replies
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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Installation charges vary and of course, if there are problems, that is extra.
Home Depot and other big box stores use local installers and may even be one of the local companies you have been to. I had this with a counter top. Went to local companies and got estimates and got a better deal at Home Depot and the installer was a company that quoted me a much higher price.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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One advantage to the big box is you have someone to complain to that is more likely to listen. Small local companies are not always the most kind / good hearted souls when it comes to quality issues. Big box stores are, generally, much more receptive to problems and will stand behind the installation itself as they are the ones you pay.

Obviously there are outliers and extreme examples, but that's a major reason people choose big box stores - comfort.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Not many door installers worth their salt will install in stock stuff from a box store. Their installer program usually bring better doors and are local companies.
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Jerico wrote: Not many door installers worth their salt will install in stock stuff from a box store. Their installer program usually bring better doors and are local companies.
I disagree. There is no reason to believe that Anderson windows or doors from a big box store are any different than Anderson (or other brand names). The manufacturers stand by their product regardless who sells it. As for the installation, as I said before, the installers for big box stores are the same local companies that also sell and install independently, they just make a deal with the big box stores for business.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Pete_Coach wrote: I disagree. There is no reason to believe that Anderson windows or doors from a big box store are any different than Anderson (or other brand names). The manufacturers stand by their product regardless who sells it. As for the installation, as I said before, the installers for big box stores are the same local companies that also sell and install independently, they just make a deal with the big box stores for business.
Jeld Wen doors on the shelf at a box store are a different slab than even their special order program through the box store. 100%. Go ask at Depot or Lowes. They use a different slab and better jambs through the special order program. The doors arent $800+ from special order vs $300 on the shelf just to screw customers. For example, in stock doors use 1/2 pound open cell styrofoam sheets (non-structural) for the insulation in side the slab vs 2 pound 2 part closed cell spray foam for special order stuff. Special order stuff uses polyplex white primer (ready to use) for non-colour orders vs whats in the store is required to be painted within 2 weeks of install on SIX sides or else there is no warranty (think about where the 6th side is)

While you may or may not believe doesnt change the facts. Like saying Acura and Honda are the exact same products. Sure they come from the same factory, but they use some different parts.
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Jerico wrote: Jeld Wen doors on the shelf at a box store are a different slab than even their special order program through the box store. 100%. Go ask at Depot or Lowes. They use a different slab and better jambs through the special order program. The doors arent $800+ from special order vs $300 on the shelf just to screw customers. For example, in stock doors use 1/2 pound open cell styrofoam sheets (non-structural) for the insulation in side the slab vs 2 pound 2 part closed cell spray foam for special order stuff. Special order stuff uses polyplex white primer (ready to use) for non-colour orders vs whats in the store is required to be painted within 2 weeks of install on SIX sides or else there is no warranty (think about where the 6th side is)

While you may or may not believe doesnt change the facts. Like saying Acura and Honda are the exact same products. Sure they come from the same factory, but they use some different parts.
Jeld-Wen, Anderson, Lambden, Pollard etc etc all make different door styles, models and features for various price points. If you want a better door or a different model from your big box store, ask them. They carry certain ranges, what sells for them and the others are ordered. This is the same at your small local store.
Fact is, you can get the same doors at Lowes than you can get at your local door store.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Pete_Coach wrote: Jeld-Wen, Anderson, Lambden, Pollard etc etc all make different door styles, models and features for various price points. If you want a better door or a different model from your big box store, ask them. They carry certain ranges, what sells for them and the others are ordered. This is the same at your small local store.
Fact is, you can get the same doors at Lowes than you can get at your local door store.
So I’ll say it again... not many installers worth their salt will install INSTOCK DOORS FROM A BOX STORE. Special order is a different story.

Lowes will sell you TruTech on special order, and Depot will sell Dorplex. Both decent doors in my opinion, but neither are stock product.
Deal Expert
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Jerico wrote: So I’ll say it again... not many installers worth their salt will install INSTOCK DOORS FROM A BOX STORE. Special order is a different story.

Lowes will sell you TruTech on special order, and Depot will sell Dorplex. Both decent doors in my opinion, but neither are stock product.
So, I'll say it again....any installer will install any door given them or sold by them or contracted to install. Big box stores contract local companies to do the installations for them and they install whatever they are told to install.
Just to put "brands" to rest, many companies make doors (and windows) for big box stores. They name them differently to prevent direct comparison of the products but they are the same. Lowes Reliabuilt are Jeld-Wen manufactured and Trutech is a Canadian (Ontario) company. Home Depot uses primarily Stanley and Masonite as their supplier but have others that you can special order (just like your local store).
Point of this is that you get what you pay for. Every brand has low end products and high end products and you can go into any store, shop or big bx an buy whatever you want.
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Not many installers are going to quote you a reasonable price to install one, $300 Stanley door. So you may as well go through Home Depot.
Let's hug it out
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Pete_Coach wrote: So, I'll say it again....any installer will install any door given them or sold by them or contracted to install.
We install for 10+ Lowes stores in Ontario and will not touch in stock product. Nor will other guys that service other territories. Peak for Home Depot wont install in stock product in many areas either. Ive been to Trutech’s factory many times on Zenway, and Dorplex as well.

So I’ll say it again... you wont find a dedicated door pro to install the in stock product. Its not worth making a few bucks on a door install and being called back 3 times to service the product, not the install. You cant force someone to install inferior product. Flooring installers wont install the lower end flooring as its just not worth the hassle either. Please dont try and educate someone who lives this day in and day out with false information.

I literally do this for a living. What would you like to know?
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RCGA wrote: Not many installers are going to quote you a reasonable price to install one, $300 Stanley door. So you may as well go through Home Depot.
When we installed in-stock stuff it was the same price for a $99 commodity door as it was for a $3,000 fibreglass single door. $535. People were always shocked, but in most cases the fiddling around getting the el cheapo door installed was the same as the fiddling around making sure the fibreglass door was perfect. Doors dont care where they are installed, and installers dont care how much the door was. Price is the same to show up to your house for 3-4 hours with 2 guys and put in a door.
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Jerico wrote: When we installed in-stock stuff it was the same price for a $99 commodity door as it was for a $3,000 fibreglass single door. $535. People were always shocked, but in most cases the fiddling around getting the el cheapo door installed was the same as the fiddling around making sure the fibreglass door was perfect. Doors dont care where they are installed, and installers dont care how much the door was. Price is the same to show up to your house for 3-4 hours with 2 guys and put in a door.
So, "will not touch in stock product. Nor will other guys that service other territories. Peak for Home Depot wont install in stock product in many areas either" is not correct?
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Pete_Coach wrote: So, "will not touch in stock product. Nor will other guys that service other territories. Peak for Home Depot wont install in stock product in many areas either" is not correct?
When we did it about 4-5 years or more ago quality is such that we won't touch it anymore. So I 100% stand by what I stated.

I'm really confused by what your end game is arguing with someone who does this day in and day out.

Me: I do this for a living
You: yes but as someone who had a door put in once I know more than you
Me: ...?
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May 22, 2007
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Jerico wrote: When we did it about 4-5 years or more ago quality is such that we won't touch it anymore. So I 100% stand by what I stated.

I'm really confused by what your end game is arguing with someone who does this day in and day out.

Me: I do this for a living
You: yes but as someone who had a door put in once I know more than you
Me: ...?
[..]
I agree with you as recently I purchased what I thought was a very nice door at a great price from Lowes. I called several companies in the GTA to quote for install and while I found one guy who would do it, he was going on vacation for a month over December. In this process most companies refused to install the door due to lack of quality. I decided to get quotes from a few door manufacturers who when they saw the door showed me several differences from mine to theirs...I decided to pay to $2200 and have it built to spec etc. Now that it is installed I can say how happy I am I went that route. You get what you pay for.

Good luck [..]. :)
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Nov 2, 2005
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Jerico wrote: When we did it about 4-5 years or more ago quality is such that we won't touch it anymore. So I 100% stand by what I stated.

I'm really confused by what your end game is arguing with someone who does this day in and day out.

Me: I do this for a living
You: yes but as someone who had a door put in once I know more than you
Me: ...?
Totally agree. I put a stock Reliabuilt garden door from Lowes in a rental property I own over the Summer. The materials are cheap, the assembly is poor. The jambs on mine were 3/16 closer at the bottom than the top but I didn't realise this until well into the installation. The hinges had been rebated a bit more at the bottom to make this less noticeable so someone at the factory had obviously realised the mistake. The locks on the non-opening door are lame and the bolt of bottom one just locates into the plastic trim without any reinforcement, not exactly very secure. Unfortunately I was too invested in this door before I realised just how crap it was or else I would have returned it.

I'd have been pissed if I'd spent $500+ to have this POS installed by someone else. I probably got what I paid for but I certainly wouldn't install one in my own home.
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dirtmover wrote: Totally agree. I put a stock Reliabuilt garden door from Lowes in a rental property I own over the Summer. The materials are cheap, the assembly is poor.
I'd have been pissed if I'd spent $500+ to have this POS installed by someone else. I probably got what I paid for but I certainly wouldn't install one in my own home.
If the dollar store sold doors, those would be the ones they sold. They have a place in the world, but are not great. Rental property, new home build etc. People call me within 1-2 years to replace those doors. That is builder grade, the next level is easily twice as much for something similar.
[OP]
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May 13, 2016
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Jerico wrote: Not many door installers worth their salt will install in stock stuff from a box store. Their installer program usually bring better doors and are local companies.
Thanks for the discussion peeps.

What is a good price for a 1/2 pain fiberglass exterior door& frame? Just a ballpark. Any Brand suggestions?
So easy, even I can do it.
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Jan 25, 2007
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User994596 wrote: Thanks for the discussion peeps.

What is a good price for a 1/2 pain fiberglass exterior door& frame? Just a ballpark. Any Brand suggestions?
When you buy fibreglass you are paying the same price if it has glass or not. So getting a cut out is wasting money...

But $3k for a Dorplex door is about right, installed. Of all the brands we sell and Ive seen, Dorplex is the way to go.
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Dec 4, 2016
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For what it's worth, I bought my screen door from home depot, and got it delivered and installed by their installer. 5 years later, it still works. The mosquito mesh felt apart, but the glass is fine. I didn't buy the cheaper door available at Home Depot. At that time, I wasn't aware of the difference between in-stock and special order doors. I asked about the install price, and figured I should spend more on the door itself than the installation. Overall, better result than what I would have done.

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