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Doors FAQ

How Many Doors Can I Choose From?

There are literally over 40,000 different types of doors, all of them with their own unique design and features. Trying to figure out what door best suits your taste and needs is akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. Our trained professionals are here to help you find that perfect door.

Are Doors Really All That Different From One Another?

Short Answer, ABSOLUTLEY. Many doors come with pre-installed glass while others do not. This, in and of itself, raises a number of important design and function questions that you need to be aware of when choosing your door.

For example, the performance criteria of the Energy Star program for doors is based on each individual doors “glazing level;” the doors “glazing level” is industry speak for a doors glass-to-frame ratio. This ratio will determine the doors energy insulation efficiency. This becomes particularly important if you are trying to qualify for the Energy Star tax credit.

Then, on top of the “glazing level” doors also have different materials that they are constructed with, all with their own unique properties and doors also have different insulation and energy efficiency ratings. These ratings are referred to as the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).

It honestly makes no sense to upgrade your windows and not give your doors the same consideration. In fact, doors that are not properly installed can cost you, the homeowner, hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year in lost heating and cooling costs.

How Do I Pick A Door?

The first thing you need to realize is that choosing a door comes down to two things, style and function. Your entry door needs to be tough enough to deal with any weather conditions as well as being tough enough to protect you from would be home invaders. Then, you are going to want to make sure it matches the design and color of your home.

You also need to make sure you understand the different types of materials that doors are made of and the specific advantages of each, then you want to make sure you can get the door in the color you want or that the door is at the very least, paintable. Lastly, you want to make sure that the energy efficiency of your door and its insulation properties are as good or better than your windows.

What Are The Different Types Of Materials That Doors Are Made Of?

With the advancement of technology, home entry doors and even some interior room doors, are made of steel, fiberglass-composite, aluminum or wood.

A Steel Door is best if you are highly sensitive to security and protection. Steel doors are stronger than wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. They also will not crack or warp, even in the worst type of heat waves or in direct sunlight. Another nice feature is that steel doors can easily be repaired with a putty auto repair kit. However, this type door will require some maintenance and routine painting as these doors do have a tendency to rust.

Fiberglass Composite is extremely tough and maintenance free. These are the best doors if you are concerned about moisture or humidity. One nice feature is that these doors can easily mimic the look of wood with the addition of wood grain texturing. Some other nice features are that fiberglass doors have one of the longest standing warranties of any doors, they have high energy efficiency ratings due to voids in the door being filled with insulation, and they can be painted to match almost any exterior.

Aluminum Doors - Most aluminum doors can only be obtained directly from the manufacturer. Each is custom built and so precision and expertise is required. The advantages are that aluminum has less of a tendency to rust than steel, are sturdier than fiberglass, and come in a baked-on enamel finish that can come in almost any color of your choosing. Other than solid wood, aluminum doors are the most expensive.

Solid Wood Doors are unmatched in beauty, from hand carved trim to intricate designs, wood is unmatched in both versatility and beauty. However, solid wood doors are expensive and require routine maintenance. Of all the doors, solid wood doors tend to be the most expensive.

Is There Anything I Need To Be Aware Of When Replacing My Door?

Replacing a door is not as simple as it seems and, as a result, there are a number of issues and items you need to know. First, you need to make sure the fixtures you use are rated for the door you want to install. Some doors are heavier than others and use of the wrong fixtures can result in your door ripping the screws right out of your frame…or worse.

You also need to check for frame damage. While replacing a door is sometimes as easy as exchanging one “blank” for another, other times it requires a complete change out of the frame. This is especially true if you find signs of mold or rot. Even more so, you need to check and make sure your frame is still square; often time as a home “settles” over time, the studs that the door frame is nailed to warp and throw your frame out of square. This will make it almost impossible to get a good seal and could result in costly drafts. The only door that will allow you to adjust for an out of square is wood doors that can be planed. You will also need to make sure that you choose the proper jamb size. Of course, you could just avoid all this and simply call us. We will make sure it’s done right the first time.

What Is A Door Jamb?

Explaining what a door jamb is and why it is so important is very difficult to do with out a picture. In short, a door jamb is the vertical section of the door frame. Each door has two jambs. The hinge jamb is where the hinges are located and what allows the door to move freely. On average, you will see three hinges on the "hinge jamb" that carries the weight of the door. The strike jamb is the side where your doors locking mechanism latches into the strike. The striker plate is that little piece of metal located around the middle of the jamb where the bolt of the door “strikes” and then locks. The two jambs combined are what is used to mount the entire frame to the surrounding wall. These two jambs are CRITICAL to an effective door. As a side note, the horizontal part of the frame that connects the two jambs together is called the head.

Why Is A Door Jamb So Important?

As we mentioned earlier, your door jambs are CRITICAL to having an effective door. Any weakness or defective in either door jamb can result in a multitude of problems, not the least of which is inferior security protection for your family.

A Weak or Damaged Door Jamb Provides EASY ACCESS to home invaders.

We cannot stress enough how important the integrity of your door jambs are to your overall security.

Before You Even Consider Ordering A Door or Door Frame Several Factors About Your Door Jambs Need To Be Evaluated.

  • The “throat size” of your jamb
  • Type of hardware to be used
  • Size of the cut-outs to be made
  • Determining whether Reinforcements are needed

We highly recommend that you have a professional inspect your door jambs before you change out your doors. When it comes to the safety of your family, you can never be to careful.