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Doors & Windows

House doors (2 front, 2 back) - suggestions for materials and installation question

I'm currently staying in the house that my parents bought 60 years ago and is now owned by my brothers, one of whom still lives here. I'm almost positive the doors are original and they are in really bad shape. Two break-ins a few years ago didn't help; I wasn't here at the time so I'm not sure why they weren't replaced then but - well, here we are.


Since I got back last year we've had a lot of work done on this house, some of which was a priority (ie, hole in roof). Now it's time to deal with the doors and I'm not sure how to do that; I'm the one who gets to handle the arrangements but I've never been a homeowner - always rented - so this is a bit out of my "area of expertise." All the other work was done by contractors; is that what we'd do for the doors? Are we supposed to buy doors and get someone to install them, and if so what kind of contractor would I look for? All the others we've used have been specialists - roofers, painters, plumbers, etc.


Or are we supposed to hang the doors ourselves, in which case - do we just keep the frames, or are they supposed to be replaced too? I came across a YouTube video about installing a prehung door that came with the frame; I didn't get past the list of tools and supplies needed, it was way too much for any of us. I do know one contractor - the roofer - who also does doors, but he told me those are custom-made and I suspect they'd be way out of our budget. This house still needs a lot of work.


About the materials - A brief check of HD's online catalog showed me that there's more than one choice - wood, steel, fiberglass... Currently the two outside doors, front and back, are wood, but considering that one is splintered from one of the break-ins I'm not sure wood is a good choice for a replacement; I'm thinking something else might be sturdier. But since one of these is going to be on the front of the house it needs to be at least slightly attractive (or maybe "not ugly" would be fine :) )


About windows in the doors - the current doors do have them and I like them because of the extra light and visibility but I'd like to hear others' thoughts on this, especially regarding security. I'm not positive but I don't think any of the glass was broken in either of the break-ins; the locks on the doorknobs were probably inadequate enough for that. There are 2-sided deadbolts on both doors now, something I don't really like because of the need for a key to even get out, but I think someone told me that's required in a door with a window.


There are also screen doors on both front and back entrances. The front is metal but with glass louvers (?) in front of a screen - great for adjusting the ventilation and noise level from the street if we want to keep the main door open but I'm not even sure these are still made. The back is just metal with a screen insert.


Obviously we're just at the beginning of this project but I'm hoping it won't be too complicated. Any ideas, suggestions, information you can contribute will help give us some direction.

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Posted 2013-07-24T18:53:57+0000  by MargaretA MargaretA

Home Depot's Installers will replace anything that is damaged, rotted or decayed. Your best bet is to swing by a Store and talk to one of their Millwork Associates. They can guide you on your way to improving the curb appeal and saftey of your home.


Generally, Fiberglass doors are deemed superior to Steel doors due to not being able to dent them as easily. They also will not rust.


Glass in doors is Tempered Glass now. It may not have been when those doors were made. Tempered glass will resist break-ins much better than a regular piece of glass. A double cylinder deadbolt is commonly used on doors with glass simply for the reason you stated. Break the glass and reach in and turn the deadbolt. With a key, that is not left in the deadbolt, it makes it much more difficult.


Stormdoors will help protect the doors. They will also allow even more light into the home while home and provide another deterrent to breakins with and additional lock. However, if you do choose a Fiberglass door, they should be ventilated to allow the door to breath. Otherwise, the door may seperate and then you have another headache.


Hope this helps some,


Posted 2013-07-28T00:16:21+0000  by MikeG
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