Door Frequently Asked Questions
Replacing your exterior door can increase your home’s value and help reduce your energy bills if you choose energy efficient exterior doors.
The following are questions to consider when deciding which door is right for you?
Q: What “Style” would be available on exterior doors?
A: Exterior doors are available in a variety of designs. There is the basic steel door or the decorative, hand-carved wood door. You need to find the one that fits your preference and budget. Also consider sidelights, which will transform any home.
Q: What “Materials” are used on exterior doors?
A: Exterior doors are constructed from fiberglass, wood, steel or engineered composite. Here are some advantages to each material: Fiberglass – This material features the feel and look of genuine wood, right down to the knots and cracks (with less upkeep). They are built to consistently withstand the harshness of any climate (hot or cold, wet or dry). Wood - Comes from trees that grow in a variety of species, such as fir, pine, mahogany or alder. Each species has a range of characteristics, like grain, color and sap content, which all contribute to its unique appearance. Steel – This is an economical option, offering strength and durability and is a good choice for most climates. These doors are also treated to deliver excellent rust-resistance. They will require only minimal maintenance.
Q: What “Features” should I consider when choosing the door?
A: Depending on what is important to you will help make your decision on what to have. Is it Security? All three materials are acceptable, while steel is stronger than wood or fiberglass, the difference is not significant. Regardless of which door you choose, you want to make sure it fits tightly into the frame with no more than 1/8" clearance between the door and the frame. Also make sure it is fitted with secure, high quality door locks - not only will these features give you security, they’ll also help prevent drafts and reduce heating costs.
Q: What about “Glass” options that are available for exterior doors?
A: Exterior doors offer glass panels with full view, 3/4 view, half view, and 1/4 view, with one sidelight or two. There’s clear glass, textured glass, tinted glass and decorative glass. Exterior doors come with many options when it comes to the glass.
Q: What does the word “Swing” mean on an exterior door?
A: Doors are available as inswing (I/S) or outswing (O/S) models. This simply means which way your exterior door will swing: outward (toward the outside of the house) or inward (toward the inside). Most homes are built to accommodate inswing doors. However, your exterior door can be designed to swing outward if you prefer, or if your home design requires it.
Q: What should I consider regarding the “Hinges” on exterior doors?
A: Hinges can be located on either the right-hand or left-hand side of the door. Generally, hinges are on the left for an outswing door, and on the right for an inswing door. You can always have a door created to meet your specific needs.
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