While selecting and installing doors may seem like a straightforward task at first glance, the design options and technical considerations required can actually be overwhelming.
Also, new door installation is only one of the many door-related projects that door contractors are best equipped to handle. Doors are some of the most used elements in a home. Few things are more noticeable then ill selected doors, or conversely, attractive, well-designed entryways. They are among the most visible finishing details in a house, one that you and your family will see every time you come home and anytime you pass from one room to the next.
Doors can dramatically change the façade of house for better—in the case of a fresh door design—or worse, as with a weathered and worn door. Furthermore, given the extent of use that every door gets, it is important that your doors will reliably serve you for a long time.
Choosing attractive, durable doors that complement the other features of your home is therefore essential. A Diamond Certified door contractor can guide you through a wide range of design options and features, and help integrate them seamlessly into your home environment both inside and out.
Decide What Kind of Work You Need from Local Door Installers
When starting the process of a door installation project, you can ensure that things go smoothly by doing a little homework first, and having some idea of what you want before hiring a contractor.
Are you looking to replace entry doors? Are you interested in sliding doors, French doors, accordion doors, or doors with other special features? What kind of security features would you prefer? Are you replacing all of your doors, and if not, do you wish to match your new doors with your existing doors?
What kind of handle, knob, lock, or latch do you prefer? What kind of molding do you like best? Do you simply need a door repair or maintenance?
Answering some of these questions in advance will expedite the process of locating the right door contractor for your project.
New Home Door Durability
One of the most important features of any door has little to do with its appearance: durability or longevity. Door fixtures and handles will be used 10,000 to 20,000 times per decade, so to avoid having to repeat your door project again next year, it's important to choose high-quality products.
Solid metal moving parts, for instance, have a much longer life than do plastic parts. Look for doorknobs that are guaranteed for a minimum of five years. It is not uncommon for antique handle and lock features in well-built homes that are 100+ years old to continue functioning well.
The amount of energy required to manufacture package, ship, and install door features every 5 or 10 years Will cost you to pay dramatically more over the life of your home that you would by simply choosing high quality fixtures that you like the first time around.
Front Door Design
What kind of door style do you prefer? What other elements are you attempting to match your doors with? It is vital to your home appearance and curb appeal to select doors that match your exterior, whether it consists of siding, wood, brick, stucco, or stone.
Lift and slide
Commonly referred to as sliding or patio doors, this system space-saving doors uses multiple panels in front of each other. Lift and slide doors are not to be confused with pocket doors which slide into a wall. A common variation is the barn door. One advantage of lift and slide doors is that, thanks to their lack of inward or outward swing, they can come in a variety of sizes and offer open wall capabilities.
Multi-fold or accordion doors
These doors painted on a series of engines along a track, and stacks smoothly at one end to open up a wall. Because they do not slide inside the wall or lie flush against the wall, swing area is still a factor. Such doors are perfect for opening up indoor/outdoor spaces or like patios, sunrooms, swimming pools, and dining areas.
These doors rest entirely on the bottom of the frame and pivot on a hinge located along the bottom side of the door. Because the weight is not "hung," these doors can be significantly heavier and increase the longevity of the frame. They also allow for the use of a larger door by reducing the swing radius.
Steel pane doors
One advantage of steel doors is that, given the capacity of steel to support more weight, the windowpanes on a steel door can be significantly thinner. This provides the sense of greater openness and can also offer a wider range of less orthodox glass designs.
Pocket doors are a common door type with several desirable features. Rather than swinging open and shut these doors slide into the wall, effectively vanishing when open. This can have the effect of making a bedroom or bathroom feel slightly less closed or private, but also saves space, and can add a touch of luxury, romance, or modernity to accent a room.
Such doors also often feature windows or frosted glass, allowing light to permeate deep inside the room. These doors can additionally provide a colorful or stark contrast to the colors in the rest of the room. Perhaps the most popular place for pocket doors is on closet and pantries. Multilayered pocket doors can also effectively create their own wall, closing off and opening the outside.
Another popular alternative similar to the pocket door is the barn door. This door style slides in front of the wall rather than inside it. Barn doors are still space-saving, but may obscure light switches, and don't offer the same privacy that a pocket door for traditional swinging door would offer, thanks to the gap between the door and door frame.
Glass doors offer yet another appealing alternative. Such interior doors are common in both traditional swinging and pocket styles, and offer the advantage of leading natural light from one part of the house filter into another while maintaining privacy. Most glass doors in the home environment are opaque or frosted. Traditional solid woodpaneled doors can also be upgraded by replacing panels with glass.
Antique or salvage doors
Antique or salvage doors offer a host of benefits, and have become popular thanks to their throwback charm, higher-quality hardware, and often, lower prices. Be sure to take the time to find a salvage door that properly fits your space, and is largely free of your regularities and warps.
Color, Texture, and Pattern
Doors have the capacity to liven up a room significantly yet tastefully, saving you. They can make a white walled room seem more colorful, and highlight colors and patterns in the furnishings of an interior environment.
Additionally, colorful interior doors can offer aesthetic transitions from one room to a next. Consider spicing up at least one room in your home with a colorful door, be it in a mudroom, basement, bathroom, or bedroom.
You might also consider a multicolored door or a patterned door design.
A final current trend is the use of garage doors or wall sized systems of pocket, sliding, or accordion doors to create an open wall, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors. Open walls are unparalleled for adding light, openness, and space to an interior environment. This specialty design trend can transform an interior space.
Security From Local Door Contractors
One of the most important features for entry doors in particular is adequate security. For any entry door project, it is therefore important to assess your security needs. Specially made, heavy duty security doors can keep out intruders and the elements, and provide you and your family with peace of mind.
Security doors are built to withstand several hundred pounds of force, and also offer features that protect against intruders, fire, and other hazards. They are also more weather resistant, and come in a wide range of design styles, though they are often made of steel or heavy-duty aluminum.
Door hardware also comes in a variety of security grades and forms, from dead bolts and alarm triggers to simple handle locks.
The available space you have is another consideration when selecting a door. Will your door fit easily in the existing entryway, hallway, or other opening? Is there room for the door to fully open? Will the open door block other passageways, or bump into ceiling fixtures such as lights, events, and fans? Will the door remain more open then closed, and if so, will the open door obstruct the room or provide an inconvenience?
If it is an interior door, will the height of the door leave space at the bottom for ventilation necessary for adequate climate control. Will the height of the door leave space at the bottom for rugs or carpet when the door swings open.
New Entry Doors
The front door is perhaps the single most noticeable element in a home, and can make or break your home's curb appeal. clearly, features like insulation, weatherproofing, and durability are key when selecting a front door.
Your front door is also an opportunity to make a bold statement and define the kind of home you live in. If the budget allows, custom carved, painted, and/or patterned doors will set your home apart from those around it. Here, color, geometrical patterns, and texture all come into play. other popular design features include, double doors, arched doors, and gate-style doors.
Do you want your home to have more open feel and have a door with windows or open geometrical designs? Would you prefer a more secure fortress-like feel of a heavy carved wood door? How large do you want your door to be? The frontal proportions of some homes call for larger door designs.
Your front door says something both about you and about the kind of home you live in. Antique doors or doors with exotic Mediterranean, Asian, or modern features can provide eye-catching stylized effects.
Another consideration for exterior doors is energy efficiency. Although doors account for a small portion of the exterior surface area of the home, it is the primary culprit for energy loss. Paying attention to the energy efficiency of your door area is the best way to ensure that your house stays properly heated and cooled.
If you live in an area with more extreme weather and/or tend to use climate or air quality control systems, an energy-efficient door can take 10% off your utility bills. Additionally, in certain areas, energy-efficient fixtures qualify for a tax credit.
The most common materials you will select from when choosing your interior and exterior doors are fiberglass, wood, or steel.
Steel doors can be both attractive and surprisingly inexpensive. They can range from $150-$500, and of course steel is among the strongest building materials. Sizing and installing a steel door including all materials typically costs $1000-$1500, but you will earn three quarters of this back upon resale.
The downside of steel doors is that they're less durable than wood or fiberglass doors, typically lasting only 5 to 7 years, depending on usage and exposure to the elements. Steel doors are also more expensive to repair.
Fiberglass doors present a happy medium between steel and wood, offering the cost-effectiveness of steel and many of the aesthetic benefits of wood. But perhaps the greatest advantage of a fiberglass door is that its durability is twice that of wood and steel. Additionally, it is virtually maintenance-free, rarely requiring a reseal, paint, or stain.
It also offers considerable protection from intruders and ranks at the top of the list for insulation and energy efficiency. Fiberglass doors cost between $150 and $600, and the total project cost is typically between $1500 and $2500.
For many homeowners, there is no aesthetic substitute for a wood door. Wood is the standard for higher budget projects, providing luxury and handcrafted features that steel and fiberglass doors cannot match. As such, wood is typically more expensive than either of the two common alternatives, ranging from $500 to $2000+, not including installation.
Additionally, wood doors typically need to be repainted or resealed a minimum of every two years. However, wood doors are also easier to repair. You can also purchase higher energy efficiency doors that are made of sustainably grown and harvested wood. They're in mind that the energy efficiency of any door also depends on its framework and windows.
One important consideration when selecting a door material is energy efficiency. Exterior doors account Certain door materials conduct or transfer heat energy more easily than others, while others are better at naturally insulating the interior environment. Do you want solid-core doors for hollow-core doors?
Hollow-core doors may be less expensive and look the same as solid-core doors, but both their insulation properties and soundproofing qualities are vastly inferior to solid-core doors. They also feel dramatically less sturdy, something you'll notice every time you open and close them.
Develop a Budget for Materials and Labor
Once you better understand the scope of your project, you can begin developing a budget. Visit a home improvement store in major San Francisco districts. You can also perform a web search to look at the available options and prices for the kind of door you want.
The best place to start is Diamond Certified, which provides a lengthy list of door designs and manufacturers. What door style do you prefer? Standard design options include sliding, pocket, and hinge.
What kind of material do you like? Options include wood, steel, and fiberglass.
As you research online or in your local San Francisco home improvement store, keep a comprehensive list or spreadsheet detailing estimated materials needed, sources, and prices. Be sure to include peripheral material costs in addition to the actual door, such as molding and seals. A detailed budget and price list will prove useful when negotiating with prospective contractors.
Look for Licensed Door Contractors in San Francisco
Be sure to look for San Francisco contractors that possess both the necessary experience and contractor’s licenses for the specific type of work you need.
All San Francisco door contractors must be licensed by the California State Contractors License Board. The CSLB offers 43 different license classifications. You can verify a prospective contractor’s current license on the CSLB website.
Licensed San Francisco door contractors service all the major San Francisco districts, including Sunset, Richmond, Mission, Tenderloin, Bernal Heights, Excelsior, Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, North Beach, and Bayview, and smaller areas like the Castro, Cole Valley, Cow Hollow, Diamond Heights, Duboce Triangle, and Eureka Valley.
It’s likely that the contractors you’re considering have a portfolio of previous projects for you to browse, which will offer a good indication of the scale and style of work they have completed. In addition to this, you can request references from previous customers. Portfolios and references go a long way in providing you the information you need to make the best informed door contractor selection.
Look for Diamond Certified Door Contractors in Sonoma County
You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a door contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified door installation company.
Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.
Obtain Permits, If Necessary
Under the California Building Code, no building or structure can be altered, repaired, or improved without obtaining a permit. Codes vary greatly by city and county, so you can find out more about your specific San Francisco door project on the CSLB website, which details requirements by city and county.
In addition, your licensed San Francisco door contractor can help you identify whether your project requires a permit and how to obtain a permit, if necessary.View/Print