Purchasing a Bilco door is a good investment for a basement. When you want a high-quality and durable basement door, you must be ready to pay the high price. Find out from our research how much it will cost to install or replace a Bilco basement door.
A Bilco door will cost you around $1,100 to $6,000 for the complete installation. The door itself ranges from $500 to $750 or more, depending on the door size. For the labor costs, this will vary in the market. You will spend on the creation of stairs and sloped foundations that only professionals can do.
If you want to save, you can do it on your own. But you must have previous experience installing bulkhead doors to avoid errors. You can also avoid replacing if you buy the necessary door accessories. Read further to learn more about Bilco doors.
Are Bilco Basement Doors Expensive To Install?
Bilco is a trusted name for bulkhead basement doors. You can have convenient access from the basement to the outside through the door. If you want to install one for your home, you should take into account the estimated expenses.
A new Bilco basement door will cost around $500 to $700 if you don't hire someone to install it for you. This estimate will vary depending on the door size. The cheapest is the size O, while size C is the most expensive.
The labor cost covers a big chunk of your expenses. If you want a professional to do the job for you, you will spend around $1,100 to $6,000. You can avoid water damage caused by improper installation of the door in the future.
You should install the new basement door in the early stages of construction. You need to prepare the site before installation. There are features to include, like the stairs leading to the basement and the foundation walls. Also, you can either install the door on a flat or sloped areaway.
For the replacement, it will cost from $810 to $1,010. If you will buy door accessories, prepare for an extra $300.
All in all, it is expensive to install a Bilco basement door.
Do Bilco Doors Have A Warranty?
It is also crucial to know if your new Bilco door has a warranty. You want that the benefits to justify the high costs of buying and installing the door. Other than the door, accessories and finishing have varying warranty conditions.
Bilco ensures customer satisfaction by offering trouble-free services. There is a limited 5-year warranty from the date of manufacture for residential products. The warranty covers both Classic and Ultra basement door series and stair stringers.
The basement door weatherstrip kit has only a 1-year warranty on the manufacturer's defects. You cannot also return the item for replacement.
The company will replace the door if due to manufacturer's defect. But you cannot take advantage of the warranty if the following happens:
- Abuse or misuse of the product
- Acts of God or impact of foreign objects
- Damage caused by improper handling and storage
- Defective basement walls and foundation where you install the door
- Damage due to salt spraying
- Damage during the installation process (by falling objects or scratching)
- Exposure near coastal conditions within a 5-mile vicinity (except if you have a Bilco Ultra series door)
- Condensation on the product
- Repairs or replacement without written consent from BILCO
- Costs of normal wear and tear of the door
For the product finish, the powder coat paint has a one-year warranty against flaking or peeling in the normal use of the door. You must paint the door within 45 days to benefit from the 5-year warranty if the door has a primer finish.
BILCO recommends that you should follow the paint manufacturer's instructions. The company also suggests using an oil-based exterior enamel for best results.
Note well that you should thoroughly read the warranty conditions to get the most of your Bilco door.
Do Bilco Doors Need Maintenance?
Even though Bilco doors are tough and backed by a warranty, you should not disregard caring for the doors. According to the operation and maintenance instructions from BILCO, you must do the following:
- Clean the dirt and debris on the door frame. You can prevent objects from getting stuck on the frame and fully close the door.
- Have a regular clean-up for the channel-shaped frames to permit the free flow of the water from the drain.
- Lubricate joints, latches, and lower spring housings in periodic intervals.
- Apply additional coats of alkyd-based red oxide primer as needed every few years.
- Replace damaged door parts and accessories.
With regular and proper maintenance, you can benefit from the maximum service life of the door. You can target any damage on the door before it gets worse. If not, you might need to replace the door.
When To Replace Bilco Doors?
The time for you to replace the door is when you see irreparable damages like warping or corrosion. Water damage and rotting affect the foundations underneath. You might notice that the doors won't close tight because it is out of the frame.
You should assess the door regularly to see the early signs of damage. Also, when replacing, you should hire a professional to avoid damage to the new door.
What can you replace a Bilco door with?
A bulkhead door might not be enticing or feasible in your area. If Bilco doors are not convincing, you can choose other basement door options that won't compromise function.
Here are some Bilco door alternatives you can choose from:
1. Clamshell/Clam Door
Bilco doors are not watertight unless you properly seal them. If you want to keep out the water in your basement, select a clamshell door.
Unlike a bulkhead door, clam doors only have one door flap. The material for this door is 100% fiberglass. You don't need regular maintenance because rust is not a problem. The door can withstand up to 700 pounds without any weight stress.
If you pick this basement door, it will cost you about $1,500 for a high-quality clamshell door.
2. Deck Hatch
Another option is a deck hatch. If you plan to create a deck over your exterior basement staircase, you can follow this idea. The hatch only takes a little space and blends well on the surface. Like Bilco doors, you can also lock the deck hatch.
You can find a deck hatch for as low as $120, but you might spend more for professional installation.
3. Flat Hatch
Similar to a deck hatch, a flat hatch is a water and rust-resistant alternative. Unlike Bilco doors, this door withstands salt spray. You can easily access or go out from your basement to a flat surface. This door is not completely hidden, but it is not as noticeable as bulkhead doors.
Your costs will vary due to the materials and labor costs. High-quality brands of flat hatches can cost at least $2,425 for that door only. Also, if the surface you wish to install the door is not that flat, you will incur more.
4. Hidden Door
This alternative is a way of concealing your access to the basement. The common location for this door is on the surface of a porch. You will need to lift the door to open it. It is also water and rust-resistant like other basement doors. If you choose this door, prepare for the expensive costs.
5. Basement Window Well
If you want to allow natural light into the basement, a window well is a great choice. You can have a window well if the basement has a deep-set ground. These wells will look better than a bulkhead door. It will cost you around $500 to $1,500 for regrading, window covers, and other related materials.
If any of the choices still do not suit your needs, you can D-I-Y the basement door.
Bilco doors are expensive to install. Your installation costs will vary due to professional labor, materials, and other door accessories. For new doors, you will need to create the stairs and the foundation walls. It is best to replace the door immediately if there is any damage.
You also get the best protection for your doors because there is a 5-year warranty for residential door products. But you should not disregard maintaining the door's condition. If you do not want a Bilco door, there are other basement door options to install.
You can read more about basement doors from these posts:
Does A Basement Door Have To Be Fire Rated?