Installing Your New Exterior Door: DIY vs. Professional Installation?

A new exterior door can work wonders for your home, boosting security, energy efficiency, and curb appeal. But here’s the big question: should you roll up your sleeves and go the DIY route or leave it to the pros? 

Let’s explore the options and find out what’s best for you.

The DIY route

Let’s face it. Going the DIY route is undeniably cost-effective. No need to break the bank on professional help when you can roll up your sleeves and take charge. After all, installing a door seems like an easy task, right?

With countless online tutorials online, you might be tempted to tackle the job yourself. But, hold your horses – it’s not as easy as it seems. 

As enticing as the cost-saving allure of DIY may be, the pitfalls are numerous, and they’re waiting to trip you up, including:

  • Mismeasurements and improper fitting: A single millimeter off can throw off the entire installation, leading to gaps, air leaks, and security vulnerabilities.
  • Damage to the door or surrounding structure: Improper handling or lack of experience can easily damage your new door or the surrounding frame, requiring costly repairs.
  • Weatherstripping woes: Incorrect weatherstripping installation can lead to water infiltration, drafts, and compromised energy efficiency.
  • Complexities beyond your toolbox: Features like sidelights, storm doors, or custom designs demand specialized knowledge and tools that most DIYers lack.
  • Voided warranties: Improper installation can void your door’s warranty, exposing you to future repairs.

A word of caution: make these mistakes, and you might find yourself waving goodbye to your warranty. So, while the allure of DIY may be strong, tread carefully and consider the potential drawbacks before taking the plunge.

Professional installation

If you’re keeping a close eye on your budget, hiring a professional might not be on your priority list.

  • Precision and Accuracy: Professionals bring a level of accuracy that minimizes the risk of mismeasurements and improper fitting, ensuring a seamless and secure installation.
  • Damage Prevention: Professionals handle doors carefully, reducing the likelihood of damage to your new door or the surrounding structure, and sparing you from unexpected repair costs.
  • Weatherstripping Expertise: Professional installers are well-versed in the nuances of weatherstripping, preventing water infiltration, drafts, and ensuring optimal energy efficiency for your home.
  • Tackling Complexities: Features like sidelights, storm doors, or custom designs aren’t a challenge for professionals. Their specialized knowledge and tools mean that even the most intricate installations are handled with ease.
  • Warranty Protection: Opting for professional installation often includes warranty coverage. This gives you peace of mind and potential cost savings on future repairs.

While it may seem like an extra expense, the benefits of professional installation extend far beyond the upfront cost. Consider it an investment in the long-term performance, security, and efficiency of your new door, ensuring you get the most out of your home improvement project.

Maintenance Tips Post-Installation

Whether you opted for the DIY adventure or enlisted professional help, proper maintenance is the key to ensuring your new exterior door stands the test of time. 

Incorporate these simple tips into your routine to ensure your investment stands the test of time. 

1. Routine Checkups:

  • Regularly inspect your door for any signs of wear, tear, or damage.
  • Keep an eye out for weatherstripping, hinges, and any visible cracks or gaps.

2. Weatherstripping Maintenance:

  • Ensure weatherstripping is intact and properly sealed.
  • Replace the weatherstripping if you notice any signs of wear or damage.

3. Lubricate Moving Parts:

  • Lubricate hinges, handles, and locks annually with a silicone-based lubricant. This helps maintain smooth operation and prevents rusting.

4. Secure Hardware:

  • Periodically check the tightness of screws and hardware.
  • Ensure everything is securely fastened to maintain the door’s stability.

Final thoughts

A new door isn’t just a cosmetic upgrade – it’s an investment in your home’s security, energy efficiency, and overall curb appeal. 

So, whether you’re the hands-on DIY hero or opt for the expertise of professionals, the key is to weigh the pros and cons, stay informed, and make a decision that aligns with both your budget and the long-term well-being of your home. After all, the goal is not just a new door but a doorway to a more secure, efficient, and beautiful home.