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Do I Need a Permit to Install French Doors?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: David in Colorado needs some help installing some French doors. What can we do for you today?

    DAVID: We have a house with a really, really – it’s got to be 4 feet by 4 feet sliding glass. And we don’t like it, so we wanted to put French doors in there. And I didn’t know if we had to have a special permit or a special person do that. Or can I do it myself with the right instruction? And I’m pretty handy.

    TOM: So this is an exterior door?

    DAVID: Yes.

    TOM: And right now it’s a sliding-glass door and you want to convert it to a French door?

    DAVID: Yes.

    TOM: So, OK – so, a question. First question: “Do I need a permit or do I not need a permit?” I think if it’s a repair, which is a replacement of a door, I’m pretty sure you do not need a permit for that. But you should check, just in case.

    DAVID: Yep.

    TOM: Can you do it yourself? Have you ever replaced a door before?

    DAVID: Just once with the three hinges and just that. Nothing that big.

    TOM: It’s not a hard job, OK? But it can be a tricky job if it doesn’t go well. Because it’s super-important to get the whole door in there, attached properly to the frame, hung straight so that there’s no twisting or bending. And while it’s difficult to install a regular exterior door – a single-hung exterior door – it’s even more difficult to do a French door where you have two doors that close in on themselves. It’s not impossible but it’s sort of – it’s not Carpentry 101; it’s a little more advanced.

    DAVID: You guys know a resource that does that?

    TOM: Where are you located?

    DAVID: Colorado Springs.

    TOM: I’ll tell you the best way to find a contractor in Colorado Springs and that is to go to AngiesList.com and sign up for a membership. Not very expensive. And they’ve got great, real reviews of contractors all across the country. You’ll be able to find one that services your area and one that will deliver a really good work product, OK?

    DAVID: I appreciate that. You guys are great to listen to when I’m in your area. Thank you.

    TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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