I Installed Non-ProVia Doors In My Home,
And Now I Feel Like An Idiot
When I Needed New Doors, I Didn’t Follow
The Advice I Give My Customers… And I Paid The Price.
BY JASON QUILLMAN, OWNER
Do as I say, not as I do. Especially if you’re a homeowner in need of new exterior doors in the St. Louis metro area.
At XteriorPRO, ProVia is the only brand of entry door we install. I don’t offer any other entry doors because, simply put, they’re not even remotely in the same ballpark as ProVia in terms of quality.
In 2011, however, I made an exception and installed non-ProVia doors in my home.
Here’s what happened…
A representative for a shall-remain-nameless door manufacturer came into the XteriorPRO office to pitch his company’s doors. He wanted to see if we were interested in adding them to our product offerings.
The representative was a great salesman, and he put on an excellent presentation. The doors themselves also looked pretty nice, too.
It was the price tag that slightly worried me—the doors cost literally a fraction of what ProVia doors did. But I figured they might be a solid budget-based alternative to a premium brand like ProVia, so I told the representative that I’d consider selling them to my customers. (This was before I implemented the Zero Compromises policy.)
At the time, I was in the midst of my own major home-improvement project. I had recently installed 20 high-end windows in my home, and I also needed to replace the exterior doors. I was initially going to go with ProVia doors, but those windows cost a pretty penny.
So I committed what I consider the Cardinal Sin of home improvement: I went cheap and bought the inexpensive doors the representative pitched to my company. I figured, “Why not?” I might be able to save some money and still get solid quality.
Mistake #1: Sacrificing Quality For Price.
I regretted the decision almost immediately. When the doors arrived, they didn’t come with many features that are standard on ProVia doors. With ProVia doors, you get literally EVERYTHING when you buy a door—mull covers, pre-finish, cladding… the works.
Not so with the cheap doors I bought. I called the company and essentially asked where the rest of my doors were. They told me that features like mull covers and cladding were “upgrades” I had to pay extra for. I was at no point made aware of this when I went through the buying process.
But, honestly, it was no one’s fault but my own. I fell for a slick presentation and attractive price tag when should have known better—I work in the industry, after all!
Mistake #2: Not Doing My Due Diligence.
Still, I went ahead and installed the doors on my home. I figured it was too late to back out now—I had already bought the doors, and they were sitting in my garage.
So I bought all of the “upgrades” I needed, and then installed the doors. I utilized the same rigid workmanship practices my crew and I perform on my customers’ projects, installing each door with flawless precision.
It didn’t matter—even immaculate installation couldn’t save these doors.
The glass in the doors leaked water. Snow drifts blow through gaps that definitely should not have been there. The paint had completely faded within a few years. And the jambs had quickly rubbed down to the bare wood.
The doors gave me problem after problem. To make matters worse, I got the runaround every time I called the company about a warranty issue. They would either say my issue wasn’t covered by the warranty or refer me to another company (“Your glass leaks? Not our problem—call the glass manufacturer!”).
This would never happen with ProVia. Not only are their doors THE strongest in the industry, but they’re lightning-fast when fixing warranty issues (of which there are very, very, VERY few).
Mistake #3: Trusting A Company That Makes Cheap Products To Honor Their Word.
Just four years later, I was kicking myself for not installing ProVia doors. There was no question that I would have to replace the crummy doors I installed sooner rather than later. So in reality, these “cheap” doors actually cost me MUCH more than if I’d gone with ProVia in the first place. Now I had to eat the cost of these bad doors and pay for new ones.
Bottom line: I am example A1 of what happens when you shop based on a low price rather than the best value. I went with “cheap” doors… and I got burned.
Learn from my mistake. Don’t try to pinch pennies on the front end… or you WILL pay for it later.
I figured that out the hard (and expensive!) way. What was even worse, the company knew that I could be a pretty decent-sized customer of theirs, and they still didn’t try to make me happy. Needless to say, I have never installed one of those doors in my customers’ homes since my experience.
Pictures Of The Cheap Doors I Installed On My Home
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