Fiberglass Entry Door


SWMBO has decreed that front door must be replaced with a fiberglass one. After I don't know how many hours shopping for one she has narrowed it down to 3 different brands and styles. Knowing absolutely nothing about these doors and finding very little of any use on the web except manufacturers/vendors ramblings and a few bitter homeowners comments, I decided to place the question to you. Are there any known problems or support issues with the following: Pella, Therma-Tru or Benchmark by Thermatru? The price of all are very similar and to my untrained eye the doors appear very similar. I would appreciate any and all constructive comments.
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On Tue 07 Oct 2008 03:32:20p, rmorton told us...

You usually can't go wrong with Pella products. All things being equal, I would check out and compare all the warranties.
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Wayne Boatwright
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Should have mentioned the warranties - all lifetime. Also should have mentioned location - Eastern North Carolina.
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On Tue 07 Oct 2008 04:27:48p, rmorton told us...

They all appear to be quality doors. I would next check the specifications for each door regarding heat range of exterior material, insulation value, etc. Overall, I don't think you could go wrong with any of the choices, but there might be variations in these characteristics. If they're comparable, I'd go with the appearance that appeals most.
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Wayne Boatwright
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wrote:

Dang. Can you get "green" peanuts?
Nothing like a bawled peanut.
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rmorton wrote:

My wife and I have been looking for an entry door also. We have decided on the Pella. The warranty seems to be about the same as the others. The one person that we talked to that has a Pella door, has not had any problems with it.
Just as a side note we were shopping for a new storm door (went with a Larson) for the back door when it was decided that we would be replacing the front entry door also. I was so told. By the way we are in North East N.C. and not to many places to buy doors here. Lowes and a few other lumber companies.
Chris
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Chris wrote:

The one warranty tidbit I managed to pick up is that Pella is the only company to supposedly honor their warranty if a stormdoor is used over it. Don't know for sure this may have just been salesman talk.
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wrote:

I live in the Mojave desert. The entry door faces west, so a fiberglass entry door will not stand up to the constant summer heat.
Your area may be a milder climate.
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What is your door now, I am looking at Menards fiberglass doors but they have to be finished, unfinished the sun will degrade it. I am looking at fiberglass over metal for winter insulation, but wood is about as good. For a home wood looks best.
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wrote:

What is your door now, I am looking at Menards fiberglass doors but they have to be finished, unfinished the sun will degrade it. I am looking at fiberglass over metal for winter insulation, but wood is about as good. For a home wood looks best.
================================================ After my wood door got kicked in by a burgler I've omly bought metal exterior doors.
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Its not the door its the hardware the thief broke, with the same hardware you will be just as insecure.
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wrote:

For my own doors I usually make a piece of wood to fit between the stud and door jamb, glue and screw it.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?picjq0qe&s=4
That way the deadbolt is into solid wood attached to the RO. But you're right, couple of whacks with a framing hammer or a size 14 workboot and the hardware is toast.
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Red Green wrote:

A quality deadbolt won't shatter. What shatters is either the edge of the door, if it is a cheap door, or more commonly, the cheap finger-glued door jamb. I've repaired plenty of both over the years. Filling the cavity between jamb and RO, using real screws on the strike plate and door edge, and even lagging the jamb through a block into the stud, make a big difference. Real metal door in real metal frame is most secure, of course, but usually considered unacceptable by the homeowner due to the look. They sell all sorts of extended-vertically strike plates, and metal cups, and wrap-around-the-door trim plates to repair/reinforce cheap doors. For a side or garage door, a hidden-screw shield to keep crowbars away from lockset, and a tubular guard around the knob, to keep it from getting vise-gripped, are often effective. Kicking is LOUD- if you can pull a car up to the door and use legs or jack to apply point-force against the latch, it breaks a lot more quietly. If there is nothing to push against, a pair of size-huge vicegrips and a pipe on the knob stem or outside of deadbolt, can twist it right out of the door.
You learn a lot being a gopher on apartment construction projects. Empty but near-finished buildings, supply shacks, and tool cribs, are thief magnets.
-- aem sends...
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ransley wrote:

Our current door is metal but the boss is not happy with the appearance. In previous house had replaced with fiberglas and a gel stain sure made it easy to get the proper color. Thought might need to redo every few years but it lasted 12 years before we moved. I agree that the wood does look best but this door will get baked by the sun and beat on by rain. looking for as maintenance free as can get.
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rmorton wrote:

Thanks to everyone the replied. Now off to the stores to let the boss pick out which one she wants. Thanks again for the insight.
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By the way, fiberglass doors require a gel stain if you are going to stain it. Forget minwax gel stain on a Pella door. It works poorly. Use google to search for fiberglass door stain and you will find all kinds of comments from this and other groups. But stay away from minwax on a Pella door. Also I used a water based exterior polyurethane and so far it is holding up well.

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One word, Pella.
I have a therma tru. The glass started leaking after a couple of years. Yes they will replace the door but what a pain in the but. My Pella is not leaking and if it did the glass is removable.
Pay attention to the weatherstripping and threshold. Aluminum thresholds dent easily. My Pella uses a composition material.

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