A common point of confusion for our clients is the shipping versus delivery of their custom security doors versus the installation of their custom security doors.
We understand why there is so much confusion surrounding the differences between the processes, but it’s important to recognize that they’re separate. They’re fulfilled by three different teams with their own skill sets.
To clear up the confusion and help our clients understand what they can expect from their FBS experience, we want to detail exactly what happens during each step and why the distinction is so important.
Shipping Your Custom Security Door
Shipping may seem self-explanatory to some, but based on the number of questions we get about it, some extra information would be beneficial.
When we refer to the shipment of your custom security doors or windows, we’re talking about the physical movement of the piece from the factory in Italy to the country or continent where it will be delivered.
In most cases, we’re shipping doors and windows from Italy to the United States — typically to Miami, Florida. Miami is a major port and a common delivery point for international shipments, and as a result, it’s a convenient location for FBS main headquarters.
The reason we ship primarily to Miami is a matter of cost. Shipping to Miami and then hiring ground transportation to take the doors and windows across the U.S. is far less expensive than shipping to other ports.
First, your security doors and windows will be shipped from the factory to the port where they’ll be loaded onto a container ship. Once safely aboard the ship, they’ll make the 5,300-mile journey through the sea between Africa, France, and Spain until they reach the Strait of Gibraltar.
Once through the Strait, it will hit the open North Atlantic Ocean and travel down to Miami’s main ports. On average, this journey takes between 9 and 14 days, depending on weather and delays. Of course, once the ship gets to port, it’s at the mercy of customs and the unloading crews.
This is the end of the shipping journey, and from here, we switch to the delivery process.
Custom Security Door Delivery
Upon arrival at the port, your security doors and windows will be unloaded to await the vehicle that will deliver it to its final destination. Essentially, the “delivery” portion of this process is the physical movement of your doors and windows from Miami to the location of your residence.
Obviously, there’s a massive difference in delivery times from here. Sometimes, the product sits in containers at the port, awaiting its designated delivery truck. Sometimes, the truck picks it up quickly and other times not. But the major difference is typically the physical distance between the port and the residence.
Homes in Florida (often, Miami and the surrounding areas) receive their deliveries within a couple of days. But if your residence is in California, you can expect it to take a few more days — perhaps even a week or more.
Between restrictions on how long truck drivers can drive without rest, the possibility of traffic, and other unknowns, a trip from Miami to Los Angeles takes about five days.
Now, it’s possible for you to take this process over from here. If you’d rather organize your own delivery truck, you’re more than welcome to. By default, we assume that clients don’t like to deal with the hassle of organizing this step. However, it’s an option that is open to you, if you’d prefer to do it that way.
Moving Into Position
There’s a bit of a mini-step here that is often overlooked by managers and assistants who’ve never purchased high security doors or windows before. They figure that once the doors and windows are delivered, the installation will be handled by the contractors and everything will be fine — and it will be, but that doesn’t answer the question of who uncrates the product.
Oftentimes, getting the doors and windows off the trailer requires a forklift — sometimes a crane. We’ll get into those details in a minute, but the point of the matter is that our doors are very heavy and will require special accommodations to move them.
We typically recommend piano movers for this portion of the process because they’re used to moving heavy, delicate objects. They’re less likely to scrape, crack the coverings, or otherwise damage the doors when they’re moving them into position.
“Moving into position” refers to the physical uncrating and moving of the door or window to the location in the residence where it will be installed.
Custom Security Door Installation
Installing our custom security doors is an intricate process. It’s not your regular door installation by any means.
Our custom security doors are incredibly heavy. Even at a baseline before any coverings have been put in place or any extra features have been added, the physical structure is heavy.
Steel Security Doors are Heavy
To create a reliable security door, you really need to start with a steel frame. We build the frame and the interior structure using as few pieces as possible to maintain a solid core. Every time you join two pieces together, you create a weak point, so we do our best to avoid lots of assembly in this regard.
Of course, we can’t assemble your custom security door at your residence. When the door ships, it’s in one piece, save for the hardware, which may be connected on site. All of those materials (the steel, the coverings, the technology) become incredibly heavy incredibly fast.
Whereas a standard solid core wood door might start around 80 pounds (36 kg) — and go upward from there, depending on wood choice and size of the door — steel doors can weigh a few hundred pounds. Our custom security doors typically range from about 200 pounds to 1,200 pounds (91-544kg), depending on the coverings you choose.
Most luxury homeowners are buying solid core wood doors for their residences, and that’s perfectly fine. They look nice, they feel much better than the cheap hollow core doors, and they help keep noises out of the room — but they don’t keep intruders out.
Special Installation — Electrical and Network
Depending on the upgrades you’ve chosen on your custom security door, you may have extra installation requirements. For example, many of our clients choose to include motorized doors.
Obviously, the motor that opens and closes the door needs to have an electrical source. Our motors are hidden in the door frame now, so they won’t require any extra space from the architect or general contractor, but they still need the necessary wiring to be in place.
Many of our clients that choose motorized doors also choose biometric screening for entry. Depending on the options you’ve chosen, you may also need an ethernet connection for network capabilities. All of this will be communicated to the architect and general contractor ahead of time, as these need to be installed and ready to go before the door is delivered to the residence.
There are battery backups installed internally for all of our electronic devices to cover you in the case of a power outage. If you enroll in our Platinum Level Service Plan, we’ll replace these batteries annually for you during your routine annual maintenance visit.
All custom security doors and windows (as of January 2020) include one year of complimentary Platinum Level Service, which also provides access to 24/7 phone support and technical assistance. It also guarantees that a technician will travel to your residence within 48 hours to investigate any problem we can’t solve over the phone (weather permitting).
Remote assistance is included with all of our high security doors, which works well for most of our clients. However, some are adamant that we be on-site for installation and project management and choose to hire us for that purpose as well.
Before installers leave the site, we’ll talk them through the process of testing every aspect of the door to make sure it’s functioning properly. From the hinges or pivots to motors to biometrics, we’ll check it all and make sure your house manager feels comfortable.
Again, we’ll make sure everything is tested before installers leave and can demonstrate any and all features to the homeowner or house manager. However, a demonstration is not required in order to learn how to use our products.
We have spent a copious amount of time ensuring that our custom security doors and the technology we incorporate into them are easy to use. What’s the point in having facial recognition capabilities if you don’t know how to use them?
The interface is very intuitive. But even if you have trouble, you’ll be covered by that first year of Platinum Level Service, so you can always call us.
Less Work For You: Concierge Installation Service
Because our custom security door installation is so intricate and involves so many people with various specialties, our clients often ask us to handle the coordination of these experts.
We certainly don’t mind doing this — finding qualified movers, electricians, general contractors, etc. so the homeowners or house managers don’t have to deal with it. It’s a service we offer called Concierge Installation and we do it entirely because it makes your life easier.
This is a very common preference for security door installations into existing homes. Not only does a team need to be assembled from scratch, but retrofits are (almost) always more complex than a new build.
With new construction, there’s already an architect, a builder, a team of contractors (including electricians and audio-visual technicians), and various crew members to do all the work necessary. In these cases, homeowners might go with our Basic Installation Service.
Complete Control: Basic Installation Service
Basic Installation Service is our default option, and essentially means that an FBS technician will be available remotely to offer assistance and your crew can handle the physical installation.
The homeowner or house manager will be in charge of finding all contractors on their own to complete the installation of the door. Again, this is why Basic Installation Services are so popular among homeowners building new residences.
While at first, it may seem as though this is inconvenient, some people prefer having the level of control that Basic Installation affords. In fact, it’s a common choice among homeowners who already have a significant network of contractors in their circle.
If this is not something you feel comfortable doing, you always have the option of upgrading to Concierge Installation Service.
Getting Started with Your Custom Security Door
You may be able to tell, but we can talk about custom security doors and windows all day. While it’s fun to talk about the various coverings we can incorporate so your security door fits perfectly into your home, that part isn’t what makes us do what we do.
Keeping people safe — helping them sleep better at night — is what we’re passionate about.
It doesn’t matter where you live or what level of security you need — if you can dream it, we can do it.
If you’re ready to learn more about how we can accomplish these goals for you as well, contact us today.