What to Expect – Doors

When you call our office to make an appointment for a window estimate you will be asked the following questions:

  1. What style of house do you have?
  2. Have you been shown any window samples or seen a certain brand on display you liked?
  3. When do you see yourself making a decision on your home project?
  4. Will all people that have input on the decision be present for the demonstration?
  5. Will our Financing Services be Of Interest to You?

We ask these questions so we can be fully prepared to meet your needs. After the estimate is confirmed we will meet with you in your home, further discuss your needs and propose the appropriate options. We will provide an in home demonstration of the window products and describe the remodeling process. We will take measurements, ask for design choices and provide you with a written estimate before we leave your home.

Choosing the right entry door for your home is a big decision. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your selection.

Door styles

Your front door adds curb appeal and can draw attention to your home. Create unique designs by combining door panels, transoms and decorative sidelites.

Glass options

Glass adds a touch of elegance to any home. Choose one that reflects your style, whether it’s a full panel of clear energy efficient glass, tinted, or a decorative pattern with caming. Customize your look with matching transoms and sidelites.

Security

You want your front door to be as secure as it is beautiful. Reinforced strike plate areas are a good security measure, and increasing the distance from the lockset to the deadbolt spreads impact load from potential break-ins, thereby increasing security. Check the frame of the door to be sure it’s strong, tight and well-constructed.

The entry door is the beginning of your journey through a house, It’s the first part of the house that anyone going through the house looks at closely. Ideally it should emphasize the character of the house. For new and old homes alike, the front door is a key focal point.

Unfortunately, because they are exposed to weather and heavy wear, entry doors often show their age prematurely. Most older doors are made from wood, a material that has the warm, natural look and feel that most people prefer but is vulnerable to the elements. Season after season of sun and rain eventually warp, crack and bow wood, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays break down wood’s natural lignin, and moisture repeatedly shrinks and swells wood fibers. As a result, when given enough time, wood doors give up the ghost.

Luckily, entry doors have changed significantly during the past few years. Homeowners may now select from a wonderful smorgasbord of options when shopping for new entry doors. Hundreds of types and sizes are available, from conventional wood models to high-tech alternatives made of fiberglass composites and steel.

One significant change is that, unless you’re looking for a bare-bones door replacement, you may buy an entire "entry system." With an entry system, a door is pre-hung in its frame, the door’s bottom edge interlocks with the threshold and weatherstripping encircles the door’s perimeter. Hinges and lockset are designed as part of the system, and sidelites often flank the door. With a system, all components are designed and machined to work together reliably and with uncompromising energy efficiency.

Another change in the door industry is that the lines that once distinguished one door-building material from another have blurred. A wood door isn’t necessarily entirely wood anymore. In fact, some wood doors have steel interiors, and steel doors have wood exteriors. A fiberglass or steel door may have a wood frame. And nearly any door may have a core of foam insulation

Even so, for the sake of discussion, it helps to consider doors according to their primary face material. The choice of wood, fiberglass or steel as a surface material has the greatest impact on a door’s appearance, cost, durability and security

Nearly all doors, wood and non-wood alike, are termed either "flush" or "paneled" doors. Flush doors are flat and smooth on both faces. Paneled doors have rectangular recesses—panels, framed by horizontal rails and vertical stiles. Panel construction originated with wood doors to minimize cracking and warping by giving panels enough room to shift as they expand and contract with changes in moisture. Doors with doorlites (windows) have panel construction with one or more lites substituting for panels.

Exterior Door Selection and Installation

New exterior doors often fit and insulate better than older types. If you have older doors in your home, replacing them might be a good investment, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs, you should consider buying the most energy-efficient doors possible.When selecting doors for energy efficiency, it’s important to first consider their energy performance rating in relation to your climate and home’s design. This will help narrow your selection.

Types of Doors

One common type of exterior door has a steel skin with a polyurethane foam insulation core. It usually includes a magnetic strip (similar to a refrigerator door magnetic seal) as weatherstripping. If installed correctly and if the door is not bent, this type of door needs no further weatherstripping.The R-values of most steel and fiberglass-clad entry doors range from R-5 to R-6 (not including the effects of a window.) For example: A 1-1/2 inch (3.81 cm) thick door without a window offers more than five times the insulating value of a solid wood door of the same size.

Wood and Manufactured-Wood Doors

Wood wins the prize for appearance. It is beautiful, natural and tactile. With either custom or manufactured wood doors, you can choose from several species meant to be finished naturally, including oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, fir, pine, or paint-grade doors from any of several softwoods. Because of their vulnerability to moisture and sun, wood doors must be maintained with a durable finish.

Most mass-produced doors are made with an engineered-wood core that is faced with a veneer, a construction that minimizes warping and movement and makes a door more affordable to build. If you want to design your own front door, you can order it from a large custom door manufacturer such as Simpson Custom Doors. Simpson lets you customize your door by choosing from a myriad of options, including many different prefinished hardwood colors.

Fiberglass Composite Alternatives

Where a door will be exposed to weather or particularly harsh or humid climates, fiberglass-composite doors are a smart choice. These doors realistically imitate the look of wood, thanks to a combination of molded wood grain texturing and the fact that they can be stained to match most popular woods, such as oak, cherry and walnut.

Because they’re quite durable and maintenance-free, fiberglass-composite doors tend to have long limited warranties. A fiberglass door isn’t entirely fiberglass. The durable surface of compression-molded fiberglass covers a framework of wooden styles and rails, including wood edges. The framework’s voids are filled with CFC-free polyurethane foam insulation.

Fiberglass doors are generally less expensive than wood. The other accessories, however, such as glazing and hardware, cost the same no matter what material the door is made from. Fully loaded, a fiberglass entry system can reach the price range of a wood door system. Many fiberglass door manufacturers also make steel doors.

The Steel Deal

If security and durability are your top priorities, a steel door might be your best choice. A steel door is far stronger than either fiberglass or wood. In addition, it won’t crack, warp or come apart. Although residential steel doors can be dented, repairs may be made with an auto-body repair kit.

A steel door isn’t as industrial as it sounds. Most steel doors have surfaces of heavy-gauge galvanized steel that has been embossed with a wood-grain pattern. Some types are given a coating that allows them to be stained. Conventional steel doors are factory primed with a baked-on polyester finish; they generally require periodic repainting. Some are given a vinyl coating for greater weather resistance. All have an inner frame that may be made of wood or, for greater strength, steel. The cavities within the frame are filled with high-density foam insulation.

Steel doors are less expensive than fiberglass and wood. As with fiberglass doors, the price can run nearly as high as a wood entry system when you add amenities such as sidelites and high quality hardware.

A premium residential steel door has a skin of 20-gauge steel and a steel frame. You can special-order thicker steel on some models. If it is embossed with a wood grain pattern, the direction of wood grain should match the direction wood grain would normally go, horizontally on the rails and vertically on the stiles.

Look for dual, low-E glazing and be aware that, if the window is leaded, real lead (or brass) caming is more expensive than faux caming. Keep both security and safety in mind. High-quality steel and fiberglass doors have a thermal break, an insulated separation, that prevents outside cold and heat from being conducted through the door’s skin and frame (with a fiberglass door, this break may simply be the wood frame). This is a must for cold climates; otherwise, frost may form on the door’s inside surface. Even if it costs you a little more, a high-quality door is sure to pay you back with smooth operation, energy efficiency, low maintenance and great looks for years to come.

Rosenello's Windows is a replacement and remodeling contracting company who specializes in window, siding, roofing and door replacement. While we specialize in these areas we also preform all other remodeling needs for your home.

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