when a home improvement project is more complicated than expected

Some time back Terry and I decided we wanted to replace our sliding glass door with a French door. The slider was clunky and unwieldy, and we really liked the French door we had installed in Gilroy. Last fall we decided it was time to get it done. It turned out to be a more complex task than we expected.

Our first action was to contact our local general contractor, who had done such a good job for us on other projects, such as upgrading our kitchen sink and counters. Turns out French doors are not in his wheelhouse. He would have installed an off-the-shelf French door from Home Depot. That would not work.

Our next move was to contact a national company that advertises regularly in the newspaper. The salesman came out and gave us a dog and pony show that included setting up a heat lamp and a pane of glass to demonstrate how good his product was at deflecting heat. He then had us sit through two videos that did nothing to help us in our decision-making process. When he finally got around to giving us a quote it was, well, sticker shock.

French doorWe then called a company that advertised in our Four Seasons community magazine. The salesman started out by telling us why we didn’t want to get solar for our house right then. Say what? We wanted a French door; we weren’t asking him about solar. From there he had his own dog and pony show. The quote came in on the high side, and when we looked at his company’s reviews on Yelp the firm did not fare well.

Undeterred, we called a company that advertises in the local monthly advertising magazine. The salesperson came out, took measurements, and gave us a quote. The price was reasonable and within a couple of days we decided to proceed. He came back to complete the paperwork, pick up our check for the deposit, and confirm the measurements. The office manager emailed us a drawing to confirm that the door opened the way we wanted it to.

It was a twelve week wait (supply chain issues, you know) but the installers arrived last Monday. They were here right at 8:00 a.m. and did a thorough and meticulous job. They were done and out of here in less than three hours. The door looks great and functions smoothly.

Sometimes you just need to walk through the process to get to the desired end.

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