Why You Shouldn’t Use DIY Tutorials When Installing Exterior French Doors

You want to install French doors… Oui? Installing exterior French doors adds class, beauty, and light to any home, so it is a very good choice. With French doors, you connect your living space to the outdoors and let in sun, or keep it out.

You may be an experienced carpenter and have done many DIY projects in the past, including installing classic windows and doors.  You probably have been looking at some YouTube videos for DIY tutorials on installing doors and are trying to see if you’re up to the challenge. DIY French door installations are riskier than those tutorials make it appear,  and you may end up having to replace the doors in the next couple of years.

Knowing how to install exterior French doors may be more than you can handle.

Here are some of the reasons why you may be better off contacting Colorado Classic Exteriors to get a quote on professional door installation.

Device Dearth

One of the reasons people choose DIY is to save money. The tools and other devices you need may not be readily available in your workshop and you will have to pay for this equipment before you begin. As you know, tools are expensive.

The devices and supplies you will need include:

  • Caulking , sealant,  and caulking gun
  • Window tape
  • Insulation
  • 4-foot level and wood shims
  • Measuring tape
  • Reciprocating saw and precision cutter knife
  • Screwdriver & bits and trim screws
  • Drill
  • Hammer & nails
  • Door latch & lock
  • Pry bar
  • Safety glasses and leather gloves

A professional installer will have most of these and many of these devices and supplies won’t even be included as expenses. At Colorado Classic Exteriors, we won’t even charge if extra insulation has to be supplied since we consider this part of doing an A+ job.

Preparation Pitfalls

The first step in getting your new doors home is transportation. French doors are very large and heavy and made of glass and require careful handling and transportation. Do you have an adequate vehicle or will you have to pay for delivery service? 

You may be installing your new French doors to replace the ones you are removing. You may also be installing them in a new location. Neither option is simple.

If you are replacing existing doors, you should be checking the size of the opening and ensuring the new door fits correctly. You may have to add some framing material for an adequate fit or enlarge the hole.

You also need to check for rot around the old door frame and replace sections of the frame as required. 

If you are installing the doors in a new location, you will need to check for electrical wiring or existing piping and may need to get a professional in to move these. In this case, you’ll also need a stud finder to plan your opening. The whole process of cutting and preparing the new opening is a precise and challenging undertaking.

Sealing Struggles

If your new exterior French doors do not have adequate sealing around them, even though you paid a premium price for energy-efficient doors, you will end up with higher energy bills.

The first concern about sealing around your French doors is the improper use of window tape down across the bottom seal. You also need to have the correct amount of fiberglass insulation across the top and sides of the door.

If you pack in too much fiberglass insulation, it won’t be effective as it needs to breathe. If you put too little, you will have heat loss. You need to ensure the correct balance for optimum energy efficiency.

You also need to use the proper amount of caulking as well as the proper type. The sealant has to be applied to the sill pan and all around the outside of the opening. Once again, doing this correctly is essential to prevent heat loss.

Plumb Problems

When removing your old doors and installing your new French doors, you’ll need help. This is because both sets of doors are heavy and you don’t want to damage them or hurt yourself.

Your new French doors are made of glass. If the corners of your opening are not perfectly square and you don’t install the doors perfectly level, you may end up with warping of the frame. If the frame warps or the alignment of your doors isn’t exactly right, you may get cracks in the glass or improper closing.

With exposure to heat and cold, you may need to make costly repairs in the next couple of years. In the worst-case scenario, you might have to replace your entry door. That would lead to having to pay the costs you hoped to avoid by doing the work yourself.

Time Troubles

A professional installation company knows exactly what they’re doing and has done it many times before. For you, planning, preparing and executing take a lot more time. 

The professional installers may be able to complete the job in less than a day. They already know what type of preparation the job needs and can perform the task with the assurance of experience.

You will need much more time. Do you really want your home open for a few days allowing unwanted critters to enter, or even unwanted individuals?

Insurance Issues

Installing heavy doors and windows may lead to property damage or personal harm. Choosing to do the installation yourself leaves you unprotected if damage occurs to yourself or your property.

Colorado Classic Exteriors is fully insured since all window and door installers have undergone evaluation and certification. Should any damage occur or anybody is injured during installation, you have peace of mind knowing that you are not financially liable.

Correct Choice

Installing exterior French doors is a great choice…oui! Doing it yourself, perhaps…non! You want to add a classy look to your exterior that will last for years. You want a quality installation job that is professionally and safely done.

Set up an appointment with Colorado Classic Exteriors today and we’ll help you make the best decision for this important home improvement project. You’ll be glad you did!