Need Advice on Front Entry Door Purchase


Hello- We are getting ready to have our front entry door replaced with an entry door and two sidelites. We have determined that we cannot afford Therma-tru. We have also been looking at Benchmark by Therma-tru at Lowes and Feather River at Home Depot. We have ruled out Jeldwen because they do not seem to have wood-texture doors. Another brand that was mentioned was Door Fab at Lowes. I'd appreciate your thoughts about these doors. We will do our own stain most likely. This door will not get heavy use at all- will be opened rarely. As for the finish, if owner applied, I would guess one door would be as good as . Thanks very much for your help! Frank
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frank1492 wrote:

The only person who will really care which door you get is your wife-- or maybe her girlfriends. So let her pick it out and make some points.
Only thing is since there are sidelites, be sure to use a double cylinder on the deadbolt-- and make sure you get a Grade 1 security level lock. I recently picked up a nice Schlage at HD on sale for $109. Most of the Grade 1 models were at least $160.
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Bitzer wrote:

Double-cylinder is dangerous in fires, and outright illegal in some areas. If you (or your kids) can't find the key in the dark and the smoke, the door ain't opening. And if you leave the key in the lock all the time, there is little advantage over a turn handle. Don't believe me, ask your local FD, or your insurance agent. If you are that worried about burglars, add a little decorative metal grille over the side-lights at waist height.
--
aem sends...


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I agree that the double cyl is a bad idea.
As a locksmith, I recommend that you give strong consideration to the idea of either having the sidelights fabricated with a Lexan panel or if the one you like is glass then on the interior set in a Lexan panel that you can remove with a screw driver for the occasional need to clean the inside.
An additional tip would be to not forget the top and bottom of the door if you go with a wood door. Often the top and bottom never sees any paint or sealer and this allows the door to suck in moisture in the wet season.
If you are going to install weather stripping, (a real good idea) pay attention to the how the face of the latch and deadbolt sit in the door in relation to the weather stripping. I have seen too many lock failures where the installer of the weather stripping will hack into the latch or the bolt and cause a failure down the road.
If the lock face is 1 1/8" and centered on a 2 3/4" thick door, that only gives13/16" from the front of the latch to the face of the door so any weather stripping can't be wider than that unless you offset the latch a bit.
Also if you use some kind of compressible weather stripping, First adjust the latch strike plate so the latch holds the door shut and then give the dead bolt strike plate about 1/32" clearance. You do not want the bolt to rub on the strike plate as this tends to cause premature failure.
Hope this helps.
--

Roger Shoaf

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I bought my Therma-Tru door through the local Norandex-Reynolds (a contractor supply house) franchise, same place that I bought all of my Simonton windows.
The ProVia storm door gets ordered from them next week.
Anyway, I figure I paid ~30% off list as compared to the home centers and almost 50% off what some of the fancy "door and window, sales and installation" stores quoted me.
Even if I had paid an independant contractor to install the door, I still would have saved money over the "fancy" quotes. Since I did it myself, I'm way ahead.
Look around for some contractor supply houses in your area, find out what lines they carry, do your homework on those lines, and see what kind of price-break you can get compared to the "obvious" places to shop for a door. You can also ask them to give you some names of their favorite contractors who might give you a decent price on installation.
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Our front door has the dise lites which we like but we also have the transom window option which we would never get again. The transom window runs the full width of the unit, including across the side lites. Thus the door frames do not run through to the top of the unit. This allows for vibration when we shut the door and makes it seem cheap which it definitely was not. Skip the transom windows!
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smcquilkin had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Need-Advice-on-Front-Entry-Door-Purchase-437673-.htm :
Hi Frank,
I work for Therma-Tru, and we have several fiberglass front door options available in a range of price points. There are a number of Therma-Tru doors that are available at a price comparable to that of Feather River and are secure, energy efficient, durable, available in wood grain or smooth finish and can be painted or stained. Therma-Tru also has a Same-Day Stain Kit that allows you to stain the door in one day and there is information on www.thermatru.com on how to finish a fiberglass door http://www.thermatru.com/customer-support/faqs/finishing/ that you may find helpful when it comes time to stain the door you choose.
Id be happy to assist you in finding a door that meets your needs and fits within your budget. Feel free to e-mail me directly at snipped-for-privacy@clynch.com.
Thanks! Sarah

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smcquilkin had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Need-Advice-on-Front-Entry-Door-Purchase-437673-.htm :
Hi Frank,
I work for Therma-Tru, and we have several fiberglass front door options available in a range of price points. There are a number of Therma-Tru doors that are available at a price comparable to that of Feather River and are secure, energy efficient, durable, available in wood grain or smooth finish and can be painted or stained. Therma-Tru also has a Same-Day Stain Kit that allows you to stain the door in one day and there is information on www.thermatru.com on how to finish a fiberglass door http://www.thermatru.com/customer-support/faqs/finishing/ that you may find helpful when it comes time to stain the door you choose.
Id be happy to assist you in finding a door that meets your needs and fits within your budget. Feel free to e-mail me directly at snipped-for-privacy@clynch.com.
Thanks! Sarah

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