Why Get Multiple Quotes for Your New Doors?
New doors can make a world of difference for a home. Whether it's sprucing up the curb appeal with an eye-catching front door, opening a room to a patio space with a set of french doors, or replacing builder-grade slab doors throughout the interior with something a bit more high-end, they can be show-stopping features.
That is, if the project is done right and for the right price.
One of the best ways to ensure that a door project does go smoothly is to get multiple quotes for the job. Homeowners should be comparing quotes for several contractors before signing anything, and there are multiple benefits to doing so. This guide will explain them.
The Benefits of Getting Multiple Quotes for a Door Project
It pays to get multiple quotes for door projects. Whether it's one front door or 10 interior doors, having multiple quotes to compare puts the homeowner in the driver's seat. Here are six reasons why:
1. Multiple quotes give homeowners an understanding of the project
Most homeowners aren't intimately familiar with finish carpentry or exterior door installations. While they're probably experts in whatever field they've chosen, this inexperience with construction projects can work against them when it comes to a door project. They simply don't know what goes into replacing doors. Getting several quotes will help.
Homeowners who accept several quotes for their door project will have an opportunity to see what a project entails. With multiple quotes in hand, they can assess the different line items and get a clearer picture of what the job will require. For instance, if a homeowner is replacing a single door with a set of french doors, they might not realize how much framing needs to occur to accommodate the new door. But, if they compare quotes, the line items might explain it.
One could argue that a singular quote could serve this purpose, but remember that there is often more than one way to handle a construction project. By getting a handful of quotes, they'll be able to assess which direction or approach suits them and their project the best.
2. Homeowners have a chance to meet the contractors
While door installations, whether interior or exterior, aren't typically long-running projects, there is still a relationship built between the contractor and the homeowner. They'll spend time picking out the materials, the doors, the hardware, and choosing between different insulation values and styles. This could potentially be a lot of time for homeowners to spend with these contractors. Wouldn't it be nice if they knew what they were like ahead of time?
Getting multiple quotes puts the contractors in front of the homeowner, allowing them to get a feel for their professionalism and attitude. Contractors who slow down and listen to the homeowner's desires regarding their door project before submitting a neat, thoughtful, and timely quote will typically be wonderful to work with. Conversely, contractors who talk down to homeowners or submit half-written quotes on coffee-stained napkins will only get worse once they land the job.
3. It's the time to compare materials and suppliers
Before a contractor submits a quote, they should discuss the homeowner's ideas and hopes for the project. They'll then suggest the materials (in this case the doors and hardware) they think will best suit the homeowner's needs, and submit those proposed materials with the quote. Homeowners can then take quotes from multiple contractors and compare the materials, deciding which fit their needs and offer the most value.
It's also worth noting that homeowners have the right to know where the contractor is buying the materials for their home. However, contractors aren't required to divulge this information until the homeowner asks. Homeowners who do leverage this right can get a better look at the contractor's supply chain, and they can even ask for quotes from multiple supply houses. This can go a long way toward saving money or reducing the risk of a supply chain shortage.
While the homeowner will want to nail down their top two or three door choices, they may not know exactly which hardware they want. In this case, the homeowner can request the contractor include a contractor's allowance in the quote. This is a line item on a quote with a maximum value assigned, but no specific details. This allows the project to move forward without having every minor detail squared away, leaving some decisions up to the contractor.
4. Homeowners can compare finish levels and costs
Exterior and interior doors come in a wide range of finish levels, qualities, and, ultimately, prices. By having multiple quotes to peruse, homeowners can compare the costs associated with these different trim levels and decide the direction they'd like to go.
For example, there are essentially three grades of exterior doors: entry-level, mid-grade, and luxury-grade. Entry-level doors may include basic fiberglass or steel doors, which are sturdy and inexpensive, but often very plain. Mid-grade doors may include wood or other composite materials, as well as steel, with the addition of sidelights or transoms. For luxury-grade doors, expect oversized doors made from exotic wood species, intricate glass patterns and designs, bifolding sliding glass doors, or even high-tech hardware.
The same would apply for interior doors, where entry-level might include hollow core doors, mid-grade might include solid hybrid cores, and luxury-grade would be solid wood.
As far as brands are concerned, most finish levels will include brands like Pella, Therma-Tru, Builders Choice, and Jeld-Wen. For luxury doors, the sky is the limit as there are many custom builders and designers available that can create totally one-off entry doors.
5. Reviewing quotes makes the homeowner an educated consumer
Accepting and signing the first quote that comes through the door is one of the most common ways to be taken for a ride. To keep that from happening, homeowners should be requesting and comparing quotes from several contractors, giving them an inside look into what each contractor thinks is necessary to complete the job. In short, these quotes provide a bit of an education.
For example, let's say a homeowner is taking inventory of the quotes they've received for a patio door project. All of the quotes are similar but one. This one quote left a few items off that the other quotes all included. Is this due to inexperience or an oversight? Or is this an experienced door contractor who knows something no one else does?
Or, consider the opposite: that quote contains additional items that no other door quotes include. Is this contractor trying to take advantage of the homeowner? Either way, it warrants some research.
The only way to know that these discrepancies even exist is by comparing multiple quotes. Without other quotes to compare, they may be signing on the dotted line, being taken for a ride.
6. There's an opportunity to save money
Homeowners can use multiple quotes to save money, as well.
It's important that homeowners realize that contractors often mark their materials or labor up a bit. This may be to pad their profits or to give themselves a bit of wiggle room on the price. The homeowner has to recognize this and prepare for this stage of the negotiation game.
Having multiple quotes in hand can help the homeowner pinpoint some of these inflated materials, labor costs, or even timelines that may seem impossibly good (they probably are). The homeowner can then approach the contractor they actually want to work with and see if there's some room for improvement on the price. The contractor can then lower the price but push the job to a slower season, or shop for even better prices on doors or hardware to recover its profits.
Either way, the homeowner may save some money simply because they took a few extra moments during the planning phase to get multiple door quotes.
Ready to Receive Quotes and Achieve Your Dreams?
If you're ready to receive quotes for your door project, let us help. We can connect you with up to four qualified contractors in your area, and they'll supply you with the quotes and information necessary to achieve your goals. Let ContractorClicks.com help you on the way to achieving the entry or interior doors of your dreams.