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Free lunches?

October 27, 2010

Let me start out by saying, doors can be expensive to purchase and install. If you do not make a wise purchasing decision, they can also be expensive to maintain. Therefore, it makes sense to be an informed buyer when purchasing doors and look beyond just cost. Value is not always found at the lowest purchase price.

The doors and door glass on display in our showroom are plentiful and beautiful to look at. We believe you should be able to shop and make evaluations about a product in the most natural settings. We never suggest people buy from a catalog, because the actual products always look different that those found in catalogs or brochures. We encourage people to look, touch and feel the exact products they select.

Some folks try to compare our quality products with builder grade products such as those found at Home Depot and Lowe’s. Those folks do a very good overall job with many different items. However, for the most part, their products are built for the do-it-yourself- market. This means they are competing with the other big box retailers, and quality takes a back seat to price. A product can only be reduced in price so far before affecting the overall quality.

Well meaning consumers, not very experienced at purchasing doors, may look in the big box stores and assume all doors are essentially the same. In fact, many times they will see a door set in the aisle at a big box store that has an especially low price. It may look somewhat appealing, but the price is even more appealing. That becomes the price standard, making it difficult to absorb the pricing structure of true quality doors.

Once a price becomes fixed in someone’s mind as the benchmark, it can be difficult for them to expect to pay more. Here are the questions one must ask before affixing to memory the low price as seen on the loss leader door stuck in the main aisle at your local big box retailer. Will that price include:

  1. Installation?
  2. Permit fee?
  3. Interior trim molding?
  4. Exterior trim molding?
  5. Caulk, shim packs and drops?
  6. Painting or staining?
  7. Locksets?
  8. Special order if you need extra wide jambs?
  9. Special order if you need a different profile threshold?
  10. Modifications to the door opening and/or the door unit itself?
  11. Lifetime warranty?
  12. Sidelights if needed?

Most folks find that, once those questions are answered, and a true picture of apples to apples comparisons are made, the inexpensive door units from the big box stores simply don’t offer the value of a quality door unit offered by a professional door company.

As the saying goes, there are no free lunches.