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French Door Installation with Homebase & Evander

Homebase Window and Doors Review

After nine weeks of waiting, the day finally arrived for the new French doors to be installed! You can read in my last post about the different options we looked at, why we're not doing this job ourselves and why we decided to go with Homebase here.

In short, we picked Homebase Window and Doors as they were the cheapest, however there weren't any online reviews regarding their service or quality on windows and doors, and it was all a bit of a gamble in truth. After having placed the order we learnt Homebase sub-contract a company called Evander for the job and the windows and doors they offer aren't actually made by Homebase as such. We kind of wished we had known this before, just so we could have done a bit more research on the whole thing. As a quick reminder, here's how the old window looked before with the poorly-fitted frosted window..

Turning a Window into a Door
Old Window Turned into French Door

Things I loved about Homebase Windows and Doors was that their quotes are truly no-pressure and not sales-heavy at all. The surveyor turned up, gave us all the information there was to know in paper form without the heavy 20-minute long sales pitch and just left us to make up our own minds in time. We never received a follow-up call (despite how polite these are, I still hate them!) and we weren't pestered by never-ending phone calls like certain other companies. The negatives however was that placing an order was less fuss-free than it needed to be. You have to call into a store to make an actual order, but on arrival we learnt that there were very few staff members who could put through this order. We came back another day only to find the person who could put the order through had never done it before so we had to leave him with our details hoping he could put it through the next day after speaking with another member. We ended up returning to the store three times, the third time to then rectify an error he had then made on the order whilst we weren't there. The error on the order then cost me my nectar points which quickly vanished from my account (I know this shouldn't be a big deal - but c'mon 1000 nectar points!) as he had forgot to re-add the card whilst cancelling and re-making the order. I did try to speak with customer services afterwards twice, but they were less than helpful and pretty much shrugged me off both times, telling me to take it up with Nectar. (Which made no sense as it was their mistake, not Nectar!) So I admitted defeat at my lost nectar points, which yes - I was a little gutted about. In fact, the whole thing left me feeling very unconfident about what I had just bought and I did have some initial buyers regret.

With the order booked, we'll fast forward nine weeks to the day of installation. Since we were turning a window into a door, the installation took place over two parts throughout the day. Firstly, we had builders arrive early in the morning (again, sub-contracted, but paid for as part of the whole order) to knock out the brickwork below the existing window and also to install a lintel above the existing window. They were a lovely pair of guys actually and did a really great job. The cut was really smoothly done and the lintel had been installed seamlessly too. I really hadn't appreciated just how messy this job was going to be and as a result some of our outdoor items got a little bit layered in wet brick dust - I probably should have moved those, oops! (notice the very confused dogs!)

Cutting out brickwork below a window
new opening for french door below window
cutting out brickwork
wet brick dust

After having knocked through the brickwork, the builders left and the window fitters arrived. I didn't really speak much with the fitters, they liaised with the builders initially and then they were very much straight onto the job. Having read lots of reviews from other window and door companies, I expected the job to be over in barely an hour in some kind of speed-fit. (Many reviews for other companies said they had as many as NINE windows fitted in just one day!) But I was really very relieved to see that they were taking their time on the job and they certainly didn't seem rushed in any way. I definitely felt like they were taking the time and care to get the job done to a high standard and it certainly looked amazing when they were done! The door we chose was the 'timeless' version (ideal for period properties) which has an extra little beading on the frame and I absolutely love it!

Homebase and Evander French Doors
Chrome handles on french doors

We did have a little issue after installation a few days in, with the doors 'swelling' in the heat and not closing properly. Evander arrived the very next day to fix the problem and the frame just needed a few extra screws to push it up in the middle to accommodate the heat swelling. Heat swelling by the way, is perfectly normal but of course the door should be fitted to accommodate this and shouldn't cause you any problems with opening and closing. It was a quick 10-minute fix and we've had absolutely no problems since! When both doors are open, I love how it creates a kind of picture-window into the garden.

Picture Window in French Doors
Homebase French Door Installation

The total cost for the door, installation and building work was a touch over £1350 which we took out through a Homebase finance plan (another reason we picked Homebase!). It's definitely not a small figure and it's probably the most we've ever spent on one thing in the house, but it was definitely worth it and of course, the finance plan means it's not such a huge figure to shell out all at once. Having someone come and do the job themselves was ridiculously relaxing. Usually we'd be stressing out, clock-watching, manically trying to work faster to get the job done before sunset and then not finishing the job on time and worrying about security issues throughout the night. Having paid a company to do this for us, was so unbelievably stress-free. It was beautifully fitted, with no dodgy cuts, imperfections or otherwise make-shift solutions that a DIY door might cause. And of course, as it was made to measure, it fits snug as a bug and we can rest assured it's a properly secured door with all those guarantee extras. We still have the walls left to remove, but I can already see the impact this new french door will have on the new to-be room.

Installing French Doors
French Doors by Homebase

Visually, it's much better and has a much greater impact that I had imagined. It looks so new and white - it really puts to shame our otherwise yellowing uPVC windows! I love the chrome handles and I love how its really updated the exterior at the back of the house too. It's looks really high quality and modern and I'm thrilled to bits with it. We've already had the doors open fully during some beautiful spring weather recently and just having a view in this room is amazing!

What do you think to the new doors? Have you ever had french doors installed?

Total Cost:

Installation & Materials: £1350

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