How to Start a Door-Fitting Business | Checkatrade
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How to start a door fitting business

Every building needs doors. And since they are such a necessity, it’s no surprise that door fitting is a service in constant demand. Not just anyone can fit a door either. It’s a specialised skill that’s highly sought after.

Starting a door-fitting business: The basics

Going self-employed as a door fitter is an opportunity to capitalise on a thriving market. You can also benefit from becoming your own boss.

You’ll have complete freedom to choose your working hours, clients and the nuts and bolts of your service.

This new level of independence can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. So, here’s how to set up your own door-fitting business. It’s time to take that next step in your career!

Do I need qualifications to start a door-fitting business?

Qualifications are very important when starting a business. So, you’ll need to present your set of credentials. This shows customers you have the professional skills and training needed to carry out quality work.

For door fitting, you’ll need at the very least some form of carpentry qualifications to show your expertise in woodwork.

It’s a good idea to have Pro-fitter Fenestration Training and Certification to highlight your specific skills in door fitting. As this makes your business stand out from the competition.

Internal door fitting near me

What equipment should I have for door fitting?

Turning up to a job underprepared is bad for your reputation. So, it’s vital that you have a full inventory of tools from the get-go.

Approaching your jobs fully equipped helps avoid delays. And this makes your life much easier.

Also, make sure you invest in high-quality equipment. Poor tools can cause problems and involve spending more money on costly replacements.

Here are the essentials needed for door-fitting:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Panel saw
  • Chisels
  • Plane
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Sand paper
  • Utility knife
  • Power drill

Don’t forget, you’ll also need a van for transporting your tools between jobs.

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What skills are important for door fitting?

You’ll face challenges on the job when you’re self-employed and running your own business. A wide set of skills are needed to overcome these scenarios.

Here are the most important qualities to have:

  • Dexterity for accurate screwing, cutting and planning.
  • Physical strength for lifting, removing and fitting doors
  • Basic maths skills for precise measurements and managing your business finances
  • Interpersonal skills for building both client relationships and your reputation
  • Attention to detail for inch-perfect installations
  • Building and construction knowledge. For approaching different types of interiors and building entrances

How do I start a door-fitting business?

Much like starting a window fitting business or garage door installation business, you’ll have to register your business with HMRC.

This for legal reasons. Also, you’ll need to choose the structure of your business. For example, are you a sole trader or a limited company as the structure?

Running your business as a sole trader tends to be easier as there’s less paperwork and admin involved.

However, you won’t get the same financial security as you would with a limited company structure. These are just some of the pros and cons to consider when making your decision.

For a comparison, check out our guide on what the difference is between a sole trader vs. a limited company.

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Preparing for success

When starting your door fitting business, you should prepare beforehand. Create a business plan that covers the ins and outs of the services you will offer. Also, include the type of clients you hope to attract.

Here are some door fitting business ideas to use as inspiration on what you want to offer:

  • Specialise in fitting UPVC doors
  • Offer door repairs and replacements as part of your service
  • Provide a 24-hour express service for emergency callouts
  • Specialise in fire doors and safety testing

Specialising your services helps you to target a specific market. And this will give you a competitive edge. Remember to research what local competitors are offering to spot any gaps your business can fill.

Insurance

  • Public liability insurance – If your customers are mostly homeowners, you’ll need this insurance policy. It covers claims made against you by members of the public. It also covers the cost of compensation for personal injuries, loss or damage to property etc.
  • Professional indemnity insurance – There’s always a chance you make a mistake or complete work that a client isn’t happy with. This type of insurance will protect you from claims in these situations
  • Tools insurance – Covers replacement costs if your equipment is lost or stolen as a result of theft, fire or flooding

Do businesses need insurance?

Pricing

First, assess competitors in your local area and charge similar prices. You should avoid setting your prices too low to undercut the market. As you’ll need to cover your day-to-day costs while you become established.

But, if you decide to include services which give you a unique selling point, reflect this in your pricing. As you can charge premium prices if you’re working on a complex project that takes longer.

How to run your door fitting business

Once you’ve set yourself up, there are a few things to do to keep your business running smoothly:

Revenue

The only way to check you’re making profit, and by how much, is to regularly check your cashflow.

So, stay on top of recording your income and expenditure. This gives you a good idea of how your door fitting business is going.

Remember, it’s normal to be operating at a loss in the beginning when setting up a business.

If you are concerned, consider taking out a business loan. Just make sure you understand the terms, and can pay the repayment schedule on time. As keeping your books in order is important.

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Taxes

Managing your taxes is another part of the territory when setting up a new business.

You’ll need to file your taxes, but these vary according to the business structure.

So, check which you should be filing for. Hiring an accountant can help If you need help with documenting your taxes.

Digital Marketing

If you want to grow your business, self-promotion is important. For example, create an online presence via websites, social media and paid advertising.

There are many different marketing strategies you can use, but signing up to Checkatrade is best for tradespeople. After joining, your business will be visible to over three million monthly site users.

So, this membership raises your online profile and presents images of your finest work. You can also display customer recommendations to boost your reputation.

You’ll also be shown to other business owners if you want to offer door fitting as a subcontracted service. Just take the conversation from there.

Social media

Social media is another tool you should make use of. Share images and videos of completed jobs and build rapport with new customers/clients who need door fittings.

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Print Marketing

Print marketing is still an effective way to promote your business in a local area.

If your target customers are homeowners, distribute flyers or leaflets in target neighbourhoods. This will drum up new business and spread the word.

Look out for properties that have land to build on, too. As, these areas are where extensions are more likely to be built.

Business cards are a great promotional tool to hand out to potential clients. Especially if you want to develop contracts with construction companies.

Also, use your van to market your business. Just read our guide on the cost of vehicle graphics. Then, add your business name and contact details to get your name out there.

Door fitting business FAQs

How much can I earn as a self-employed door fitter?

A door-fitter salary will depend on the volume of work you are able to secure. Also, how much you charge and your ability to complete work on time will contribute.

  • When starting out, a trained door fitter can earn around £26,500
  • Experienced door fitters can earn up to £45,500, or more

What is the daily rate for door fitting?

The average rate for a day of door fitting is around £120-£200. This varies depending on:

  1. The type of door fitting services you offer
  2. What price is considered competitive in your area

Is door fitting a profitable business?

Door fitting is a specialist craft which requires the expertise and experience of a skilled carpenter. The window, door and conservatory industry is a thriving market with a variety of products and services to offer.

So, there’s plenty of opportunity to make a profit.

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