If you’re not a practiced DIY-er, it can be difficult to know what to expect when it comes to installing your replacement entry door. We’re here to help take the mystery out of the process.
If you are installing your new or replacement entry door yourself or simply want to better understand the process before the professionals arrive on installation day, it is important to know the difference between pocket and full-frame installation. Understanding these methods of installation before you’ve even started shopping for a new entry door can be very helpful.
Pocket installation means that the existing frame is left intact, with the new entry door being slid into place within the frame. The door must obviously fit within the frame, so the size can be a limitation. This type of installation can typically be completed in about an hour per door.
Homeowners will often opt for pocket installation if the current frame is still square, level and in good condition. They may want to preserve historic woodwork, as well. If the current opening is structurally sound, some homeowners may seek pocket installation as a convenient option.
For the full-frame method of entry door installation, everything with the existing door is removed, including the frame and the trim. A new frame, insulation and trim are all installed with the new entry door. Whereas pocket installation limits your options to the size of the existing frame, there is greater design flexibility when you opt for full-frame installation. The size and shape of the opening can be changed to accommodate a new type of door.
The drawback is that this particular method is more time- and labor-intensive, requiring the installers to work both inside and outside your home, but it does allow you greater design flexibility with your replacement entry door
Once you have purchased your replacement entry door, next comes installation. If you are having a professional install it, whether it be a manufacturer’s installer or an independent contractor, you have a right to expect a high level of service. After all, a new door is a financial investment in your home. Not only does your front entry door provide a warm welcome for friends, family and guests, but it can also improve the curb appeal of your home.
If you are dealing with an experienced professional, expect them to coordinate a convenient date for the installation and review the door installation plan with you in advance. To prepare for installation day, move any furniture or decorations away from the area where the installers will be working. They should always be respectful of your space during the installation, but it can help make their job easier if there is less clutter and more room to work.
Once installation day arrives, the installers will likely cover their work area with drop cloths to help protect your space. They will carefully remove your old door, disposing of it themselves once their work is complete. They will be respectful of your space, limiting their work to one isolated area of your home so as not to make a mess of your house.
Expect the installers to keep you updated on the status of the installation throughout the day. Once they are finished putting the door in place, the last steps of their task will consist of adding the necessary hardware and any interior and exterior trim if necessary.
You’ll know the installers’ work here is done once they’ve begun to clean up after themselves. It should be the expectation that the installers leave the work area as clean as it was when they first arrived. Before leaving, they will likely ask if you have any questions about the installation and also brief you on how to operate and maintain your new entry front door, including providing you with any necessary warranty information.
Originally published March 21, 2020 by Pella Corporation
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