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Why does it cost so much to have a new storm door installed?

Why does it cost so much to have a new storm door installed?


Old 06-12-17, 10:53 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 443
Why does it cost so much to have a new storm door installed?

I know people cant give out prices and quotes on here. But I'm frustrated. I've had 3 different installers come to my house and give quotes on installing a new front storm door on my house. Each one in the $6,800 to $7,500 range. I'm sorry but I just have a hard time accepting it costs that much. We're not getting anything extravagant. Simple fiberglass door (either ProVia or Therma Tru). No glass in the door. 3/4 sidelights.

We live in a neighborhood where the home prices range from $600-$700k and so I feel like they see that and jack up the price? Just for comparison I visited Lowes and they quoted me around $3,600. But I know there are risks with them.

I'm just having a hard time swallowing the price.

Any advice?
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Old 06-12-17, 11:22 AM
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Well I don't know about other parts of the country, but yeah, around here the price does depend on the area. My son worked for a contractor while he was going to college and he did the majority of work in the mainline, where his prices were steep. If he had a job in a lower income area, he charged less.

Nothing personal, but it's been my experience, the more someone makes, the less they want to pay.
Not being smart, but advice could be to learn to DIY.
Old 06-12-17, 11:43 AM
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I installed a storm door on my house a few years ago. Unfortunately the door was not designed to accept a storm door. So while the door was moderately priced the installation was a major affair. It was not a matter of simply screwing it in place. I had to custom mill trim to space out the door frame to mount the storm then I had make custom brackets to mount the door closers then there was painting the new wood. To look at it now you'd think it took an hour to stick up but actually took two days, a few trips back and forth to the shop and a lot of labor.
Old 06-12-17, 11:51 AM
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1500 on cheap side of door with side light more like 3000 just for door combo. depending on house and how much modification needed price about right.
Old 06-12-17, 11:54 AM
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I can't give any advice on the price, but I am a contractor in SOCAL and some people are loaded with cash Some are not loaded but the price is the same. You select the product and shop around.

I won't bash the big stores, but my impression is they assign you a contractor rather than you meeting the contractor first and going over things. I would like to meet with the contractor and get some feedback from past customers.
Old 06-12-17, 12:56 PM
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Depends on the job. Since storm doors are relatively simple, they rarely go out ahead of time. If they get there and find major work required (like PD) they would normally return to the store and either decline the job or give a labor and materials estimate. So a $99 install, could easily turn in to $300. Homeowners could never understand that.

That's why every fancy front door I sold I always explained WHY they should pay the minimal extra fee to have it made "storm door ready".

For actual door installs, the installer always went out and did a "measure" but since it was often during the day, they rarely met the homeowners.

I was the store "troubleshooter" and they always asked me to go out when a customer complained about quoted prices or workmanship. I couldn't understand why one door install was quoted at $500 (normally $189 att) til I got there. Rotten framing and brittle asphalt siding, roaches swarming out of the walls when disturbed, the house smelled of dog feces and urine. $500 seemed more than fair after that.

This was when I worked at HD 2000-2005. Things may have changed.
Old 06-12-17, 01:03 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 443
Thanks Everyone. We're up near the mainline in Phila Suburbs, all 3 companies are local. to clarify I probably shouldn't have used the term "storm door" when I really mean exterior entry door. The below pic is one we spec'd out that's estimated at over $7,300 installed. Now that does include the door and sidelights. The whole frame. All 3 came out and did measurements. Two of them took an hour with their sales pitch. I told the 3rd one I didnt have time for that.

BTW I'm a fairly decent DIY'er but I feel like something like this is too much.

So over $7k for this?? I feel like I'm being fleeced. I do have the name of a good handyman in the area everyone loves. Maybe I'll buy the materials myself and have him install.

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Old 06-12-17, 03:20 PM
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Wait! Are these companies trying to sell the doors as part of the package? That explains a lot.

Go to a local yard or door supplier and spec out the door you want. Not a box store. Then you'll know what their mark-up is and the labor costs.

Never herd of Provia, but ThermoTru is a national brand. There are others as well. Jeld-Wen, Feather River, Masonite, probably more. You should be able to get that door for about $1000-1200 or less since it has plain glass. Textured FG (stainable) is more. Smooth FG is less. If you want it pre-finished, the price will go up quite a bit and may limit your choice of manufacturers. Matching frame also drives it up.
Old 06-12-17, 03:23 PM
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Lets do the math...

1. How much is the door?
2. My construction experience for that door is 4 men one day.

I estimate I would charge the Philly area if I had a door business $3200 labor.. ( May be flexible on that but I would have to see the job.

Add that to the door.

Your in an area where contractors pay double taxes I believe. You should know this..Philly and state...

There are pick up travel fees, fuel costs, paying my men, keeping electric on at my shop, phones, secretary work, And your warranty you'll get from me...

All these things add up and is the cost of being in business.
Old 06-12-17, 03:32 PM
Join Date: May 2017
Location: USA
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A job like that could be done if you have a couple of friends to help with moving the door and sidelight unit around. It will be very heavy and will take someone inside and someone outside to help finesse the unit to where it will be anchored permanently.

My thought is the cost is so expensive because of the unknowns when the old door and sidelights are removed. The contractor may be factoring in other possible fixes that might be encountered. Another factor to the cost is that the work is something that does require real precision. However, whether or not the contractor is skilled and experienced in removing and replacing that door is something you would want references on.

Also in my experience as a seasoned DIY person, doors are one of those things that can go really well or be a real time consuming project that eats up an entire weekend. So my thought is the contractor is also thinking about that part of it.

However, considering the door and sidelight unit may be as high as $4,000 I would not expect the labor to be equal to the cost. But in my experience with contractors they estimate jobs that could be worse case scenarios. My guess would be a contractor factors in an all day job (8 hours), 3 guys to do the job at 100 bucks per hour, and then a 25% company margin which brings you to $3,000 for labor.

Believe me, I feel your pain in the cost of that job. I would also think that over $7,000 to replace the door is a lot of money and would start looking at if I could do it myself. However, it is the front door and it is a big job to tackle. If it isn't installed correctly and sags or swells, the work to fix it becomes an even more expensive project.
Old 06-12-17, 03:36 PM
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Additionally its probably has to be custom framed. Squaring a door is a job many cant do..

Pay a handyman now and call a pro later to fix it... You get what you pay for...
Old 06-12-17, 03:51 PM
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Always be leary of replacing a door in a house made of stucco. I just refused a job because it was a stucco house, the door needed to be replaced from the inside because of this. There was tile on the other side at a height which would prevent me from accessing it that way. This would have meant breaking into the stucco in order to replace the door. Way more headache than I wanted to I simply said that I don't do stucco jobs.

Possible that your job entails way more work than you think.
Old 06-12-17, 05:41 PM
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I cant say either way in this specific scenario, but.... last year when our house flooded & we remodeled, we bought 4 exterior doors of various styles to replace the existing doors.
The doors I bought were between $200 & $300 each. A front door, carport door, back/kitchen door & a utility room door. The home & neighbor hood we live in is a middle income subdivision, typically 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1200 - 1750 sq ft heated & typically brick homes, in the range of $90 - $110,000.

I had all four doors installed, the front door also has a glass storm door that we kept, so it was removed & replaced all for..................

$600.... and they all open/close fine. No issues. Been working since probably July 2016...???
Also had a keypad electric lock installed on the front door.. & we have enjoyed that.

However, this is in the deep south.. N/E Louisiana.

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