A door is not just a door, it is the whole face...

Wednesday January 20 2021

The metallic door and window in what used to be a garage door. PHOTO/Promise Twinamukye.

By Promise Twinamukye

When Musoke, an engineer, realised he did not have a lot to do with a garage on his house, he decided to turn it into a second living room for guests and a reading room for his children.

It was supposed to look like an ordinary room, thus the garage door would not work. He needed more light into the room to counter the cost of installing more lights that would be kept on through the day.

He decided to replace the big garage door with a smaller glass door and window.

After staying in a house for a long time, some people tend to emulate Musoke by changing a number of things in the house; floor, ceiling or doors.

Each part of the house while going through a renovation poses different challenges, for example, the floor and the ceiling may require you to shift everything from the room, while for the door in most cases, depending on the size, some parts of the wall will be broken or built.

If you are going to replace a door or install from scratch, you need to remember why you are doing it. This is because one decision could make your house secure or change its face.


For example, your front door is more than an entrance into your home, it is the first thing your guests will look at before they enter your house. However, the element of security cannot be overlooked.

You may also need to explore other instances whether you are installing the door yourself or calling a professional to do it.

How often will you use the door?

This will help you answer several questions. It will help you understand whether you want the door light or heavy.

If it is the front door, a heavy one may look great but with time, it will prove to be burdensome. It is better to focus on a functional one that for instance is sound or water proof.

The same would apply for a door heading into the backyard, it should be installed with security in mind.

The material you need will depend on one’s preferences. Musoke considered metal because it does not rot easily. This will last longer and also requires minimal maintenance.

Musoke says the thicker the metal, the better the door. This brings on varying pricing too. A thicker metal is often more pricey than the thinner metal door. Fiberglass in this case is more recommendable.

“Fiberglass doors are energy-efficient, affordable and made to last in all climates — plus you can paint them with any colour or stain them to get a wood-like effect.” Hunter MacFarlane, a Lowe’s project expert, says wooden doors always bring to the house a rustic and attractive feel although they need more maintenance than the metallic ones.

Check the measurements

If you are replacing the door slab and not getting the whole pre-hung door, the correct dimensions are vital. This is done from the measurements of the already installed frame.

The measurements will include the door height, door width, hinge locations, hinge type (pass-through or mortise), hinge size, lock and deadbolt locations from the top of the door, and the backset of the lock and hinge locations.

If you are getting the whole door with its frame, the process is easier.


The doors depend on the quality of the metal or wood.

A good quality metallic door will range from Shs700, 000 to Shs1.5m but in the years Musoke installed his door and window, he spent over Shs1.2m for the whole installation, inclusive of labour.

But it entirely depends on the type of metal you are using. You can get a metallic door at as low as Shs200, 000.

A professional carpenter can install a door, starting from Shs30, 000 for a wooden door and Shs40, 000 for metallic one depending on the kind of door one wants to install.

Wooden door prices depend on the type of timber the door is made of.  A carpenter from Reliable furniture on Kyadondo road says the prices range from Shs350, 000 to Shs450, 000. This does not include installation fees.

Unless your door or frame are bent or distorted or the door was poorly installed from the beginning, total replacement may not be necessary.

And basically, the more space you have, the more choices of door types you can have. When you have little space, you could put a sliding door into consideration.