Getting Quote for Doors

bpollenNovember 5, 2013

So, in my long quest to get two exterior doors, I finally made a decision on the doors and hardware & preferred contractor, based on his cost quote.

I e-mail him & ask for a quote on such and such door, model #, bronze hardware, 36 inches, and a 2nd door, model #, bronze hardware, 32 inches.

He e-mails back that he could provide both of those doors, incl installation, for a certain amount.

Huh? He doesn't cite the model nos., state whether that includes door molding/casing, repeat the model nos or color of hinges & threshold, or an estimate of how long it'd take to get the doors in or installed.

I have e-mailed back that I'm going to need a more specific quote than what he provided, so I put in the model numbers, details, hardware colors, etc., and put blanks for him to fill in estimates of time length to get the doors installed. I also put in blanks for him to separate out what he's charging for the doors vs. his charges for the installation.

Is it common just to quote a flat fee for the whole project without a formal sheet listing the details?

As for time length, I ALWAYS require at least an estimate of time length to complete the project. That's because of a bad incident that happened to me years ago (I was left without a floor in my house for weeks in the dead of winter, while the contractor took off to who knows where - I got really sick from the cold, and my heating bills went through the roof).

Am I being too picky? I've never bought doors before. Is this the way it's normally done, you think? Shopping and arranging for these doors has been one of the worst experiences in my history of owning my old house.

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I just had two exterior doors replaced. The guy came over and measured, asked me what I wanted, then called me back with a price. In my case I just needed a fire rated door going to the garage and the other door I wanted glass with the mini-blinds inside so I didn't need to pick out a specific door (like I would for the front entry doors).He dropped by the formal proposal and it was generic "remove and dispose of existing doors, install xxx-door style". We verbally discussed the lead times. His price covered everything except I supplied the door handles. This was great because my door frames were so out of plum and awful, it took 5 hours just to install one door! I asked if he wanted to do a change order to increase cost but he said no. Ask your guy if his price includes any new door jamb or threshold if needed, etc.. Tell him your not being difficult but because of past experiences you like everything in writing up front. Good luck! You will love your new doors!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 4:51PM
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If he just did a reply to your email with the model numbers, he doesn't need to spell it out any further. It should be downthread in the email. Contractors on small jobs like yours typically do a bottom line price that includes everything, including materials markup that covers his time for ordering and transporting those materials.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 5:07PM
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Thanks for your responses! That's really helpful. I think I'm being too anal because of prior experiences.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:06PM
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"I e-mail him & ask for a quote on such and such door, model #, bronze hardware, 36 inches, and a 2nd door, model #, bronze hardware, 32 inches."

What's missing;
Had he been to the job site prior to the request for an estimate?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Funny, I gave a verbal estimate to a customer a while back that a new exterior mahogany door would be about $6,000. Then she wanted a complete quote--new door (requiring a new mortise lock), staining and sealing, installed in a new frame, as the old one was steel, with custom sidelites. Total $11K+. It's absolutely important that all details are spelled out beforehand.

It's typical to quote an installed price.

This post was edited by worthy on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 12:48

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Thanks for your responses. After a couple more e-mails, I determined that his quote was wrong. He hadn't understood his notes, and he quoted on two different doors, and he had, in fact, messed up on details that I caught (like including casing for a door that didn't need casing).

What I had neglected to point out about his first e-mail was that his quote included pics of two doors that didn't look like what I ordered. I figured he couldn't have gotten it THAT wrong, that those were stock pics. As it turns out, he HAD gotten it that wrong. We had discussed a type of door that I would NOT want...that's what his quote was for. He had made incorrect notes, or he couldn't read his notes properly.

I later got a correct quote, but didn't end up going with him because I decided to get only one door for now, and that's too small a job for the company.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:49PM
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