How to fit your own door... and why you really shouldn't
Let us be clear. Unless you are a highly skilled installer, we never recommend that you fit your own doors.
Some of you might believe we’re bound to say that because we are, among other things, professional door fitters. Others people will point at the reduced expense in fitting your own doors, but we encourage you to look at the real cost of doing it yourself.
Here are the top 5 things we believe you should consider when considering DIY instead of fitting the best.
1. Damage limitation
One of the hardest parts of fitting your own doors is replacing the existing frames without damaging your wall. The best method is to cut the frames at intervals and remove them one small piece at a time. However, it can still be a tricky job and if you do damage the wall, it’s not just replacing the door you’ll need to read up on. All of this takes time and can disrupt your personal schedule – particularly if things don't go according to plan.
2. Moving from A to B
The next step is actually getting the door from where you have purchased it to the location. As easy as this might sound, you’ll be amazed how many doors get scratched and dented in transportation. If you need to pay for repairs before you've even started, that’s a bad sign, and if you need to buy another door entirely, or even repaint it, the time and money you intended to save will suddenly disappear. If you've paid a professional company to fit the door, this becomes their problem and will not incur any further expense.
3. How's your handy work?
If you're skilled at using a screwdriver and spirit levels then you may be able to get the door looking good, or at least straight, but there is a difference between looking good and being efficiently installed. Unless your door fits perfectly - and we mean perfectly - into your opening, then it won't be airtight. If it's not airtight then there will be implications with regards to energy efficiency and, even worse, with the overall security of your door.
4. Meeting regulations
It is now law that every door installed within a home complies with British standards. If you use a reputable fitting company then a surveyor will issue you with a certificate, but if you go it alone you'll need to contact your local council and arrange a local building regulator to come and do this for you, which can vary greatly in cost. Like everything else, if this process goes smoothly then great, but if anything goes wrong, it's always best to have a professional who is there to fix the problem for you.
5. No guarantees
The biggest problem with going the DIY route is that you have no guarantee, so every time something goes wrong, you'll have to repeat the process all over again. Comparatively, using a reputable company not only gives you the best possible fit with the highest quality doors but can also offer guarantees lasting anything from 5-years to the rest of your life. So, if you shop around for the best guarantee, not only do you not have to worry about the quality of the workmanship, but you and your family will have peace of mind for many years to come.
All-in-all, you're the only one who can make the decision on whether to pay extra for a company with a great reputation or to save money by doing it yourself, but at very least we hope we have highlighted the fact there is more to fitting a door than initially meets the eye.
If you really believe you can do it then good luck to you, but why not consider seeking a free, no-obligation consultation with a local expert to get some professional advice?
Unless you are a skilled professional, it is never advisable to fit your own doors and windows. However, it is sometimes useful to know what size your door is and so here we answer a surprisingly common question:
“Just how exactly do I measure my door?”
Here are 5 quick tips that will allow you to get those measurements.
1. What handing is your door?
If you stand sideways with your back to the hinge-side of the door, take note of whether the door swings open to the left or right. That will determine whether it is a left or right-hand door.
2. Measure the width of the door
Take a tape measure and stretch it evenly across the middle of the door, noting the length down on a piece of paper. Make sure you measure the door itself and not the opening within your wall.
3. Measure the height of your door
Take your tape measure and place it on the bottom of the door, running the tape measure up to the top. Measure the door itself and not the opening, and as a small tip, measuring the hinge-side of the door, as opposed to the front or back, represents the true figure you are after. Jot it down.
4. Measure the depth of your door
This means the width of the actual door, so run your tape measure across the lock-side edge of the door for extra convenience before writing down the figure on your piece of paper. Again, take this measurement from the actual door and not the door frame, as surroundings and fittings can make the measurement a little inaccurate.
5. Do the math
On your paper will be three digits - Height x Width x Depth.
For further information on doors, take a look at our Doors Buying Guide.
'How to fit your own door... and why you really shouldn't'