Sure, you can replace an old shower curtain with a new one, but a more impressive upgrade is installing a hinged shower door. A door instead of a curtain is an attractive improvement that makes it a permanent enclosure that won’t go unnoticed. When we made the switch in a small bathroom, it gave the room an immediate aesthetic upgrade — and the door did a better job of containing water spray than a curtain. The clean lines of the door made the modest room seem larger too.
At bath and home centers, there’s a large selection of shower doors with a choice of finishes and styles to fit most any decor. A shower door is made of several components: a door, a bottom track, a wall and strike jamb, a hinge and jamb, and seals. There are also end caps, anchors and screw covers in a plastic bag of hardware that can be intimidating. When assembled, you caulk and seal the exterior joints and the shower is ready for use.
A carpenter will charge $407, which includes labor and material, to install a good quality 36-inch-wide hinged shower door. You can buy the unit for $270, install it, and pocket a 34% saving. You’ll need carpentry tools, including a drill, a tape measure, a screwdriver, a miter box, a hacksaw, caulk and a caulk gun. Before you begin, lay out all the parts so you can identify them; and read the instructions thoroughly to learn how they all go together. Then reread the instructions before you begin the installation.
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Pro Cost — DIY Cost — Pro time — DIY Time — DIY Savings — Percent Saved
$407 — $270 — 3.2 — 4.0 — $137 — 34%