What are composite doors made of

How to choose a front door 2021 - ideas - nc to do

The ideal front door has to be sturdy, yet handsome and graceful

MANY FIBERGLASS composite doors not only resemble real wood, but also have wooden components. This Therma-Tru Arcadia door has oven-dried oak edges and wood reinforcement for the lock.

Entrance doors need to be sturdy enough to withstand wind, rain, scorching sun, and possible intruders, yet handsome enough to make a great first impression. Unfortunately, meeting these requirements is a daunting task for many front doors. Most of the older ones are made of wood or wood veneer, which warps, cracks and delaminates after years of exposure to the elements. Metal doors don't last forever either - the surface of some older steel doors can peel off.

Whether you are describing your front door or just want to swap a solid door for one with panes of glass that offers more light, you will have many options available to you. There are new wooden doors that withstand the elements better than previous versions, as well as metal and fiberglass doors that look like wood but are more secure and often cost less.

Detect damage
Sometimes replacing a door simply means swapping out one door called a panel or blank for another. In some cases, however, you will need to tear out and replace the old door frame that contains the door jambs and the door sill - especially if those wooden elements start to rot.

Even if the old door frame is fine, the nailed wall studs can bend and climb out of the square. This makes it difficult to open and close the door. In order for a new wooden door to fit into an unusual frame, you need to level the top and bottom or even cut off one of these edges so that the door hangs properly. This is only possible with a wooden door. Metal and fiberglass doors cannot be planed or cut.

Most new doors are curtain-type, which means that the door is hinged in a new frame (these systems also include some form of weather strip). Curtain doors are an ideal choice when the old frame is bad or when you are removing the frame because you want to enlarge the opening.

The first step in replacing your old door with a curtain door is whether you need a left or right door. Stand in the door and look outside. If the lock is on your right, you have a door on the right.

To choose the right jamb size, measure the height and width of the existing door jamb between the inside edges of the cabinet. Add 1/2 inch to the frame height and 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch to the width. The width of the door is measured across the surface. Most doors are sold as 3-0 (36 in) or wider.

An alternative to replacing the entire frame is to use door replacement kits, e.g. B. "Replace Door Systems" from Pease Industries. Here the door is hung in a small steel frame attached to the old one. The benefits include the ease of installation and the added security of the steel frame. However, these kits slightly reduce the original opening, come in a few sizes, and cannot be installed over rotten posts.

Photo by Melabee M. Miller

CUSTOMIZED DOORS are real modifications of a standard door design. This Chautauqua Woods system includes decorative glass ovals and side light bars.

Material matters

Most manufacturers offer dozens of door styles, and you can find a wide variety of wooden houses, home centers, and door dealers to choose from. Or design your own door. Some manufacturers allow you to specify the types of panels and glass options you want. However, these doors must be specially ordered and take two to eight weeks to deliver. A third option is to have a local woodworker or milling shop build a wooden door according to your specifications. Again, the downsides are time and money.

Perhaps the most important decision is what your door is made of. Most combine several materials; For example, many fiberglass and steel doors have wooden frames. But it is the surface material that affects the appearance, durability, safety and price the most.

Wooden doors are most common. Versatility and beauty are their strengths. Natural wood doors and made-to-measure wooden doors are available in oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, fir and pine. You can also find lacquer quality doors in various types of softwood, such as pine and western hemlock.

Many standard wooden doors are a sandwich made of wood veneer skins over a wooden core. This configuration minimizes the expansion and contraction that cause warping. Starting at around US $ 200, they are an inexpensive alternative to solid wood doors. Look for hard furniture-quality veneers that are at least 5mm thick. anything that is thinner is too easy to damage.

Companies like Lamson-Taylor, Pella, and Simpson advise against bending and warping by laminating two pieces of wood to make the spars and rails. The split construction is also used for door panels, but they have an insulating core. The result is a wooden door with an insulation value of around R-5 compared to R-2 for conventional versions. These doors cost between $ 300 and $ 500.

Solid wood doors cost the most. A three-foot-wide by 6-foot-8-inch, six-panel pine door costs at least $ 600, while hardwood doors are even more expensive. Deposit around $ 2,000-4,000 for a complete system that includes a curtain door in the frame, hinges, lock sets, sidelights, and weatherstrip.

When shopping for prefabricated wooden doors, look for permanent stains and clear surfaces like polyurethane. High-gloss paints offer the best protection for painted doors. Whichever finish you choose, apply it to the top and bottom edges. This prevents a wooden door from absorbing moisture and swelling.

Also, pay attention to careful detailing. As a rule, the more complicated the carvings and moldings and the thicker and wider the stiles and rails, the better the door. The same applies to the panel thickness. For example, Nord's high-end doors have 1 3/8-inch panels compared to the 9/16 and 3/4-inch panels on low-end models.

Photo by Melabee M. Miller

ENTRANCE DOORS are the only way to add decorative glass accents to most homes. The Simpson Cambria door contains lead glass in a variety of designs. Prices start at around $ 850.

Steel doors

A steel door is the best choice when safety and durability are top priorities. Steel elements are stronger than wood or fiberglass doors and do not crack or warp. Any dents or dents on these doors can be pulled and filled with a body repair kit.

Steel doors are also the least expensive: prices start at around $ 150 for a 3-foot-wide x 6-foot-8-inch paneled door with no hardware or glazing. However, a steel door system with sidelights and high quality fittings can almost cover the cost of a wooden door system.

All steel doors have an inner frame made of wood or, for strength, steel. The cavities within the frame are filled with high-density foam insulation. Premium doors typically have a 24-gauge outer skin and steel frame, but some offer heavier steel (represented by a lower number). The surface is usually smooth or has an embossed wood grain pattern.

Most steel doors have a baked-on polyester coating that needs to be repainted on a regular basis. Premium versions are given a vinyl coating similar to that of vinyl-coated windows for increased weather resistance. Some even have a dyeable wood fiber coating or, in the case of really high quality versions, a plywood veneer.

Steel doors are usually part of a curtain system. But if you simply unhinge the old door and hang a new one, keep in mind that steel doors come with hinges or holes for the pre-drilled hinges. The hinge area on the door must match the hinge area on the existing door frame. Some doors come with an additional pre-drilled hole for the hinges that allows minor adjustments to be made when hanging the door.

If you choose an embossed wood grain, make sure that it runs horizontally on the rails and vertically on the stiles. Finally, check the warranty. Some manufacturers invalidate it if you install an aluminum storm door with the steel door. The reason: The heat build-up between the doors can cause the surface to peel off.

Photo by Melabee M. Miller

BEAUTY CAN BE more than just skin-deep on a steel entrance door. Stanley's Sta-Tru line offers a variety of glazing options and includes an insulated core for energy efficiency. Prices start at around $ 1,200 for the system shown.

Fiberglass composite doors

Fiberglass composite doors are robust and maintenance-free and a smart choice for harsh or humid climates. They mimic the look of wood with a wood grain and can be stained to match oak, cherry, walnut, and a variety of other woods. Beneath its molded surface is a frame made of wooden posts and rails, including wooden edges for the lock set. Cavities in the framework are insulated with polyurethane foam.

Fiberglass composite doors have a long guarantee. For example, Pease Industries supports its models as long as you own the house. However, because installation has an impact on life, these long warranties typically only apply to full access systems that include the frame.

Affordability is another plus. Expect around $ 200 for a 3 foot wide x 6 foot 8 inch paneled door with no glazing or hardware. However, because accessories are the same price regardless of material, a fully loaded fiber optic access system can cost around $ 4,000.

As with steel doors, make sure that the embossed wood grain pattern runs horizontally on the rails and vertically on the stiles, as with real wood grain. If you are only installing the door, make sure the hinges match the existing frame.

Aluminum doors

Use aluminum doors like steel elements, an insulating core covered by a metal skin. In contrast to other door systems, however, aluminum versions are only sold through dealers. Each is specially made for your opening.

Manufacturers offer all kinds of options. For example, Hess Manufacturing's Armaclad line doors come in dozens of styles and colors, and have a smooth or wood grain.

Aluminum doors have a stove-enamel finish, so they don't need to be painted and they don't rust. This explains the standard 20-year guarantee. You can also match the color and style of your door with an aluminum storm door. However, all of these benefits don't come cheap. With prices starting at $ 600, solid wood aluminum doors are the most expensive choice.

Buy smart

When buying the door itself or the entire door-frame system, keep the following shopping tips in mind:

With complete access systems, make sure that all components come from the same manufacturer. (Many systems are assembled by dealers with parts that may not fit together perfectly.) Check that the weather strip seals properly and that the sill is locked to the bottom edge of the door.

Pay attention to low-e glazing for window units. For additional security, some manufacturers offer glazing that is burglar-resistant. Decorative windows made with real lead or brass cost more than those made with fake stuff.

High quality steel and fiberglass doors have a thermal break - often a vinyl strip or part of the wooden frame - that separates the inner and outer door skin. This prevents outside cold and heat from being conducted through the skin and frame and preventing frost from building up on the inside.

Choosing the right front door pays off with smooth operation, less maintenance and additional energy savings. You will also have a sleek entry that will make a great first impression for years to come.