Replacing Your Interior Doors? 4 Questions to Ask

Written by Susan Aumaier of Interior Door & Closet Co.
Updated January 2, 2015
TruStile Doors knotty alder interior door
Pick an interior door that fits your style and home decor. (Photo courtesy of TruStile Doors)

Thinking about replacing your interior doors? An expert answers four common door replacement questions.

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1. Why would I want to replace my interior doors or closet doors?

Many people are surprised to learn that replacing the doors throughout their home is one of the least expensive and fastest ways to update the look of the entire house. We often talk to customers who have remodeled everything, but are still not satisfied, and they can't quite put their finger on it. Typically it's the doors!

When you’re planning to remodel, it’s important to include interior doors in the budget.  After all, the doors are the finishing touch that pulls everything together, like putting a bow on a gift!

2. I’ve decided to replace my interior doors doors. What should I look for in a company?

In addition to finding a door company that has a large selection of quality products, you should ask:

• Can they paint or stain their products? If so, is this done in my home or at their workshop before installation?

• Can they customize products to meet my needs?

• Does the company use subcontractors or their own employees?

• Does the company have positive reviews?

• How long has the company been in continuous operation?

• What kind of warranty is included?

When you’re planning to remodel, it’s important to include interior doors in the budget. (Photo by Interior Door & Closet)

3. What is a green door, and how popular are they?

More customers are looking for “earth-friendly” doors. Here are some examples that you would find in this category:

• Doors made with wood from tree farms. Tree farms grow trees specifically for this purpose, then those trees are replaced with new plantings.

• A “molded skin” door is a very popular choice. This is an engineered door made of a wood pulp and resin mix. This reduces the amount of actual wood used in the door.

• Bamboo doors: Most people don't realize it, but bamboo isn't wood at all. It's a fast-growing type of grass and quickly replenishes itself.

Doors with the look of exotic wood, such as mahogany, can be made with a common tree wood or medium-density fiberboard core and an exotic wood veneer. These doors are less expensive than a wood door made entirely from solid pieces of an exotic tree.

4. Any tips to avoid making mistakes when shopping for new interior doors?

Identify doors that fit your style

Don’t settle on a door just because it meets your budget. You’re going to live with these doors for years to come, so you want to make sure you like them before buying them.

You get what you pay for

Another mistake is thinking you can buy the same doors from a big box store and install them yourself. In most cases this isn't true. It takes a certain skill set to properly cut and install a door. And just because a door might look like a more expensive model, that doesn’t mean it’s of the same quality.

If you’re having your doors professionally installed, consider a company that’s family-owned and local. Also make sure your door installer has a valid contractor's license and is bonded.

Sometimes we are called out to install new doors to replace ones that were incorrectly cut and installed by a painter or floor installer. If you use a company that specializes in installing doors, it can save you not only money, but time and frustration as well.

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About this Experts Contributor: Susan Aumaier has been the office manager for the Interior Door & Closet Co. of Huntington Beach since July 2007. It provides general contracting services installing interior doors and closet organizers in Huntington Beach, California, and throughout Orange County.

As of January 2, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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