January 28, 2014

exterior door nightmare

Our screen doors have seen better days, and we knew that we'd eventually have to replace them, but the back door was actually in decent shape and seemed to be recently replaced. The problem was the style and lock set, it was a commercial door rather than a residential one, didn't let in a lot of light, and had an elaborate internal locking system, which meant we couldn't change the handle. We got three quotes, two extremely high ones, and a fairly low one from Lowe's. It was a tough decision since I don't really trust a big box store with major projects, but they have an install guarantee so I knew they would fix anything that was done improperly. We ended up going with Lowe's in order to save some money, and by some I mean thousands of dollars.

Here's the back door we decided to change:

From the get-go, I was disappointed and annoyed with Lowe's. Here's a condensed version of what happened:

They tried to charge $30 for a simple lead test, but I said I could buy the same lead test for a dollar from the store. $30 saved. They charged for measuring the door openings and a quote, but luckily that money went towards the installation cost. The contractor that first showed up to take measurements was stumped because our rough openings are not standard, so we had to meet another day with his boss who knew more about the installation process. Why send out someone who doesn't know what they're doing in the first place?

We received the quote, but it was for a steel replacement door rather than a fiberglass one that we wanted. That's when I found out that Lowe's doesn't carry fiberglass replacement doors, only pre-hung ones (which include the jamb, meaning more installation costs). Our quote had to be redone and at this point had expired and was not in the store system anymore. They had to manually re-enter everything ... this was my fifth door related trip to Lowe's. We finally paid for the doors, waited a few weeks for them to come in, and got a call from the contractor to schedule the install.

On the day of the install, the contractor called and had to reschedule for the following week because he hurt his hand the previous day. Next week, on the new day of install, the husband let me know the doors came and everything was going as planned. He texted me a picture of the back door ... the wrong back door.

The door we ordered didn't have blinds, it was supposed to have an internal grid. This was clearly the wrong door. The contractor installed it and notified Lowe's that they need to order the correct window. When I got home, I noticed our front storm door wasn't replaced, and the husband let me know that Lowe's ordered the wrong size storm door. I couldn't believe it, after all my trips there to triple and quadruple check that the order is correct, they got the wrong doors! I was furious

The blinds were hard to photograph, so you'll just have to trust me that they looked ... tacky.

On the bright side, they finally ordered the correct size storm door and new window and were really quick to correct the issues. I just wish they were correct from the start. A few weeks later, we got a phone call to schedule the final install of our storm door and the install of the new door window. I'm super happy with the storm doors which finally close and our back door lets in a lot of light. I'm not too excited that the hinges are so obviously brass, but I can make it work. Side note: I took the pictures when it was dark so it's easier to see the internal grids, but I'm happy to say that during the day it's 100 times brighter in our kitchen!

Once it gets a little warmer out, we'll paint the kitchen and doors. We need to leave the doors open all day after painting them, so that's something we'll do on a sunny spring weekend ... can't wait (for the warm weather, not the painting)! 

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