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drew2000 11-24-2011 08:48 AM

Please help me understand if I need a custom door
Hey Guys,
I have had two different contractors come out and quote me $5,000+ to install a new patio door (french door, 2 panel, in-swing, with a ~1 foot transom). One was Case (Fred Division) and the other was Nova Exteriors.

I just realized that both quotes were for CUSTOM, one was Provia and the other was Therma-Tru.

I am trying to figure out WHY everyone is quoting custom doors vs. standard size doors (and is the practice legit, or are they padding profits?). I only have minimal requirements, I am not asking for any crazy features.

I will post a picture soon, and measurements too of course. I've asked my latest contractor for more information on why custom was needed.


joecaption 11-24-2011 11:50 AM

Only reasons I can think of is if an odd ball sized door.
French doors can be ordered about 100 differant ways with tons of features, materials, in opening out opening, open on left, open on right and differant heights widths and jam widths, differant colored hindges ect.
Just measure from inside to inside of jam and add 1-1/2" (the jam thickness is 3/4" on each side so 3/4 plus 3/4 = 1-1/2") and the doors height.
The most common size is 6'8" tall by 6' wide. In most cases a 5' wide door ( 2, 2'6" doors) would be special ordered not really a custom made door.

nealtw 11-24-2011 01:37 PM

If you know what the measurements were on the quote, we will be able to tell if it is custom. There are a lot of choices with doors and windows, every order may be special or custom with type of set up.

drew2000 11-24-2011 06:15 PM

The width is just about 5' (I measured it at 58" + 1 1/2)

I will have to get the height tomorrow.

I am getting up early tomorrow to try and buy a gas range on Black Friday. Hopefully I can save some money on the range so I can pay for this $$$$$$ door.



nealtw 11-24-2011 06:22 PM

A standard size double 30" door would be 60" plus 1 1/2 plus the 1/2" molding they put in between the doors. So the rough opening would need to be 62 1/2 to 63" inches wide.
It looks like you do need a custom door.

joecaption 11-24-2011 06:26 PM

I ordered a 5-0 , 6-8 fiberglass full light , brass hindges, vinyl jams and vinyl brick moulding, adjustable sill and hindges from Eastern Aluminum Supply and paid $750.00 for it.
One of my customers ordered an Atrim door, out opening, 6-0 6-8, fiberglass, full lights with blinds, vinyl brick moulding and jams, adjustable sills for around $1000.00. From Home Depot.
Far less then the $5000.00 you were quoted. There must be some hidden repair work to be done that you did not mention.
Just replacing a door should only take 1/2 a day, repair work, far more.
If anyone installs this door make them install a sill pan before the door goes in and window tape around the nailing fins.

BridgeMan 11-25-2011 12:51 AM

Didn't someone once say, "A Fool And His Money Are Easily Parted"? No reflections on anyone, as I've been fooled more than once myself. But what I'm gently suggesting is that you do some shopping around for a product that will work for your situation, while not costing you an arm and a leg. If it has to be custom, so be it (and expect to pay for it). But you might consider exploring the possibility of slightly modifying the rough opening yourself (if the header dimensions and everything else allow) to enable buying a less expensive, non-custom product. Or for sure, consider the option of you buying the door in advance, and having the person of your choice install it for a labor-only charge. All residential doors come with a manufacturer's product warranty, so don't let anyone tell you they can't install a door you bought because of "warranty issues."

Case in point: On one of the projects I inspected for the State Human Services Department last year, the "wood-butcher" contractor ruined a large patio French door by cracking the frame (he very sheepishly admitted during my walk-through that "his guys might have forced it a bit" during installation; on another job going on at the same time, he never bothered applying for a building permit--$46,000 major complete rebuild). I suggested the client-owner contact the door manufacturer, which she did--a new door arrived on site within a week, at no cost to her.

nealtw 11-25-2011 01:26 AM

This is what happens when people pull out the glass patio slider and install french doors with out changeing the header. You would think by now some one would be building a door just for this purpose.

drew2000 11-25-2011 04:30 AM

Well, the original door was a french patio door, not a slider (FWIW).

edit: Had a thought---on these homes the BASE model had a sliding glass door, the french door was an upgrade. So the builder may have used the same size hole and installed custom french doors if specified by the buyer.

My door DOES include a transom.

I was quoted about $3000 for the Therma Tru door+transom, about $2000 for labor.

It does include some minor extra repairs, but not much.

My 2nd quote (also about $5000) was for a Pro-via door without the transom (use existing).

I am planning to get a 3rd quote soon.

I don't want to be the fool :o but I also don't want to have Home Depot install it and send some random guy out to install it (had a bad experience with that before).

I got to Sears at 1:45 this morning and waited until 4AM in 37F weather, but saved about $1000 on appliances. :clap:


joecaption 11-25-2011 06:37 AM

There is no devider between the doors in a french door in most cases.
Adding the transom makes it a custom door.
A simple thing like a transome might have a dozen differant ways it can look. Full glass, deviders at differant spaces, type of glass, clear, frosted, acrilic block ect..
The header over a slidder and a french door are the same size, it would be holding up the same amount of weight over a given span for both doors.

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