This post was written by interior designer Dawn Engle, a specialist in kitchen and bathroom design. After cutting her teeth in the Big Box and independent retail space, Dawn now divides her time between entrepreneurial activities and running her own interior design service.
As an interior design professional, I have a lot of experience in guiding clients through bathroom and shower projects. While some DIYers think they’re advanced enough to tackle the job of installing a shower door themselves – and think it’s a great way to save time and money — I always recommend choosing professional installation.
For starters, those pre-made doors that you find at a big box stores – and which seem like such a good deal — are generally framed so they can use thinner glass. The metal frame tends to look dated. Today’s clients are very educated and are looking for a serene, spa like retreat, so I use frameless doors and glass shower enclosures from professional installers in most of my projects. Not only is this on point with today’s trends, but it adds to the timelessness and luxury of the bath.
Also, using a professional installer takes many of the headaches out of the project for the homeowner. Some things a good custom fabricator and installer bring to the table include:
Complimentary In-Home Consultation
The best companies will use a process that includes a free consultation and a proposal so that you know exactly what your options are and what to expect before you sign a contract or pay a dime. Appointment times should be flexible and easily scheduled to fit your needs. At Dulles Glass, the consultant takes it a step further: he or she will go over all of your design options with you including hardware selections and note any technical issues like the correct side for the hinges, locations of glass panels if used, and special conditions like the need for a notched panel or transom. Book yours today!
The shower base, walls, and finished plumbing must be installed before final measurements are taken. Dulles Glass has trained professionals measure your space using special equipment for accuracy before the shower is fabricated. This is crucial to ensure that the doors and panels are fabricated to allow for any out of plumb or square conditions and fit your space exactly. And incorrect measurements or installation can affect the performance of the door over time. If you were to do the installation yourself, you would be responsible for these measurements and would take all responsibility for a mistake. No one wants to pay for a door or shower enclosure twice because they misread a measuring tape!
This is something often overlooked by overzealous DIYers. A good installer will check to see that the pieces will be able to be delivered to the installation site with ease.
Any reputable company will have insurance so if an accident happens while delivering the glass or during the installation, the liability falls on them to replace it or repair it. Obviously, if you’re doing it yourself and damage anything, your list of To-Do’s has just grown!
Highly Skilled Professional Installers
Glass is HEAVY! At Dulles Glass, installers always work in teams of two or more. The company does background checks on all workers who enter your home for your peace of mind. These guys do this all day, every day and are very familiar with the process and how to troubleshoot small issues. Bradley Phillips, installation manager at Dulles Glass says, “Our installers undergo an extensive training process which includes a mandatory apprenticeship before they can be a Lead Technician.” They are so focused on doing a fabulous job, they even bring Dulles Glass proprietary cleaners to polish up the shower before they leave!
A great company will have excellent customer service and customer reviews. The process at Dulles Glass makes customer service the focus of the project. In fact, Bradley Phillips in the installation department says, “Our team is our best tool in any installation. Although our installers go through rigorous training and apprenticeship requirements they don’t do it all on their own. We have a team of designers, engineers and others who make the process run smoothly.” Online reviews, Angie’s list reviews and more all tell the same story about Dulles Glass: They care about their customers and the job they are doing.
A quality fabricator and installer will have a great warranty. Dulles Glass offers one of the best in the industry, at 3 years.
Now you are armed with what I know about professional shower installation, and why DIY should be “Let Them Do It!” Give your hubby (or yourself) the day off from home improvement and call or come see the pros at Dulles Glass.