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ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
ATTIC CONDENSATION CAUSE & CURE
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BOOKSTORE - EXTERIORS
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CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
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EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
EXTERIOR WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
EXTRACTIVE BLEEDING STAINS
FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK
FLASHING SIDING DETAILS
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FLASHING WINDOW DETAILS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GLUES ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
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HOUSEWRAP / SHEATHING WRAP
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HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOG HOME GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR
PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION
PAINT FAILURE DICTIONARY
PAINT SURFACE PREPARATION
PORCHES & Sunrooms
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
ROT, TIMBER FRAME
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
SEARS KIT HOUSES
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOUND CONTROL in buildings
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE CLEANING METHODS
STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRIM, EXTERIOR CHOICES, INSTALLATION
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in buildings
VAPOR BARRIERS, VINYL SIDING
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
How to install exterior doors: this article discusses the selection and installation of exterior doors, including the types of doors, how doors are constructed, door energy efficiency, and flashing and sealing doors to avoid air and water leaks.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.In this article series we discuss the selection and installation of windows and doors, following best construction and design practices for building lighting and ventilation, with attention to the impact on building heating and cooling costs, indoor air quality, and comfort of occupants.
We review the proper installation details for windows and doors, and we compare the durability of different window and door materials and types. This article includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.
See WINDOWS & DOORS our home page for window and door information, and also see WINDOW TYPES - Photo Guide for a photographic guide to window and door types and architectural styles. Ourlinks listed at Related Topics provide in-depth articles on window and door selection, inspection, installation, problem diagnosis, and repair.
Our photograph (above left-DJF) illustrates a fiberglass exterior door during installation. Pre-hung doors make the door installation more rapid and often more accurate, but nevertheless it is important to assure that the door jamb, when set into the opening, is properly secured plumb and square and with proper clearances. Making the doorway rough opening as square as you can makes for a better time installing the door assembly. The finished, installed door is shown later in this article. Photo courtesy Eric Galow, Galow Homes.
What Exit Doors are Required on Residential buildings?
Using the Residential Building Code of New York State for an example,
While some entry doors are well-protected from the elements by porches or recessed entries, many face harsh weather exposures in addition to the usual bumps and bruises from children, furniture movers, and others.
In addition, doors must resist warping, shrinking, and swelling across a wide range of temperatures and moisture conditions in order to close tightly and to operate smoothly—all in all, a tall order met with an increasing degree of sophistication by manufacturers.
For new construction, most entry doors are purchased pre hung as an “entry system,” which, in addition to the frame, hardware, weather-seals, and any sidelites, may also include integrated security systems, lighting, and keyless entry systems.
Note: Interior doors are covered under “Interior Finish,” starting on page 186 in the Best Construction text.
While solid-wood entry doors can last for decades and grace the fronts of many older homes, they are rapidly giving way to a host of hybrid and composite products, some of which are difficult to categorize. While most budget-oriented projects use steel-faced doors, fiberglass and composite doors are the fastest growing market segment, promising greater durability at a price still well below solid wood.
Exterior doors are typically classified by their facing material, but their performance and durability is more a function of their internal construction (Table 3-7).
A few larger exterior door manufacturers, such as Jeld-Wen and Kolbe and Kolbe Millworks, still manufacture stock designs in solid wood, but many who have stayed in the business are niche suppliers of high-end custom doors in an endless variety of wood species, shapes, and styles from Shaker simplicity to 14-foot castle doors (see Window & Door Sources).
Our photo (left) shows a blue-painted solid core exterior door that was installed circa 1967 on a New York home. Photo courtesy Galow Homes. On traditional homes a raised panel solid wood exterior door has been used for more than 100 years. The door needs to be kept painted and sealed or protected from the weather by an entrance roof.
To improve strength and stability in wood doors, Kolbe and Kolbe uses laminated-veneer lumber (LVL) for locking rails, and custom door makers Lamson-Taylor and Simpson build up their rails, stiles, and panels from two or more layers of wood.
Lamson-Taylor laminates foam insulation between two solid wood faces to create a unique insulated wood door that the company says is immune to problems with temperature and humidity differences across the door.
To keep costs down and improve stability, many manufacturers offer simulated panel doors with a real wood veneer over an engineered wood core. These are sturdy and offer good value, but the veneered face is more vulnerable to damage than a solid wood model.
If well maintained and periodically repainted or stained, a high-quality wood door can last indefinitely. However, they are best suited to temperate climates and should be protected from direct weather exposure with a suitable overhang or inset.
Watch out: Our photo (left) shows a rust-damaged exterior door that was exposed to weather and not maintained. The door frame and trim at this opening were also rotted. Unused, the building owner didn't notice this deterioration until the door, jamb, and trim all needed to be replaced. Here is a closeup photo of the rusted door bottom.
Most steel doors come embossed with a wood-grain pattern and preprimed with a baked-on polyester finish, although smooth metal finishes are also available.
For better protection, some manufacturers apply a vinyl coating with wood grain, which can be stained with a high solids stain. The vinyl is fairly durable, but deep scratches are difficult to conceal. For a more realistic wood look, some manufacturers apply a stainable wood-fiber finish. Follow manufacturers’ recommendations regarding prep work and finishing.
In general, premium steel doors are very strong and durable, although they require regular painting and over time will likely acquire a dent or two. Rust is generally not a problem with galvanized or stainless-steel facings, but condensation can damage finishes on doors without thermal breaks.
The fiberglass facing is typically embossed with a stainable wood grain, but is also available with a smooth finish that when painted is hard to distinguish from a painted wood door. Fiberglass doors generally price midway between a steel and wood door and carry long-term warranties.
Fiberglass, while not as strong as steel, is very durable, stable, and energy-efficient. It will not warp, crack, or swell like wood and will not dent like steel, making it a good choice in harsh weather exposures.
While fiberglass can be gouged or cracked if hit hard enough, repairs are no more difficult than for steel doors. Scratches, however, are difficult to sand out without destroying the wood-grain pattern on embossed panels.
Our fiberglass exterior door photo (left) is installed on a home in New York. We plan to construct an entry roof to further protect the door from the weather. Photo courtesy Eric Galow, Galow Homes.
A new breed of engineered wood doors are built of a variety of engineered wood materials, including laminated-veneer lumber (LVL), exterior-grade medium-density-fiberboard (MDF), and exterior-grade particleboard. Some are built with an engineered-wood skin over a foam or particleboard core, while others are milled from a single slab of MDF. Most come with either smooth or embossed wood-grain finishes ready to paint or stain.
Composite doors tend to price between steel and fiberglass and carry warranties up to 10 years. While many wood composites have established a good track record in exterior use, others, such as hardboard, have had problems with swelling and delamination if exposed to the weather and not protected by a good coat of paint.
As with real wood, it would be prudent to use these products in a sheltered entryway and keep them well painted. Until long term durability has been established, their use remains an open question.
Andersen Windows and Doors www.andersenwindows.com Vinyl-clad windows and patio doors, including storm resistant models
Atrium Companies Inc. www.atriumcompanies.com Vinyl and aluminum windows and patio doors
Certainteed Corp. www.certainteed.com Vinyl windows and patio doors
Crestline Windows and Doors www.crestlinewindows.com Wood, vinyl, and aluminum-clad windows and patio doors
Eagle Windows and Doors www.eaglewindow.com Extruded-aluminum-clad windows and sliders with LVL frames and steel entry doors
Fibertec Windows and Door Manufacturing www.fibertec.com Pultruded fiberglass windows and doors
Hurd Windows and Doors www.hurd.com Wood, vinyl, and aluminum clad windows and patio doors
Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors www.jeld-wen.com Wood, vinyl, aluminum-clad, and aluminum windows and patio doors
Kolbe Windows and Doors www.kolbe-kolbe.com Wood, vinyl, and aluminum-clad windows and patio doors
Marvin Window and Doors www.marvin.com Wood and extruded-aluminum-clad windows and patio doors, including true divided lites and storm-resistant models
Milgard Windows and Doors www.milgard.com Wood, aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass-clad windows and patio doors
MW Windows www.mwwindows.com Wood, vinyl, and vinyl-clad windows and patio doors
Peachtree Doors and Windows www.peach99.com Vinyl-clad and aluminum-clad windows with optional hardwood interior; aluminum-clad, steel, and fiberglass patio doors with optional hardwood interior
Pella Windows and Doors www.pella.com Wood and aluminum-clad windows and patio doors with optional between-the-glass shades and blinds, including storm-resistant models
Thermotech Windows Ltd. www.thermotechwindows.com Complete line of fiberglass pultruded windows
Weather Shield Windows and Doors www.weathershield.com Wood, vinyl, vinyl-clad, and aluminum-clad windows and patio doors, including historic replacement windows and storm-resistant models
WindsorWindows and Doors www.windsorwindows.com Wood and vinyl windows and patio doors, including a line of wood windows with a cellular-PVC exterior
Benchmark Entry Systems (division of Therma-Tru Doors) www.benchmarkdoors.com Steel and fiberglass entry doors
Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors www.jeld-wen.com Wood, wood composite wood, fiberglass, and steel entry doors
Kolbe Windows and Doors www.kolbe-kolbe.com Wood, steel, and fiberglass entry doors with LVL core and optional extruded-aluminum cladding on frame
Lamson-Taylor Custom Doors and Millwork www.lamsontaylor.com Custom pine and hardwood entry doors with foam insulation core
Masonite Corp. www.masonite.com Steel, wood-edged steel, and fiberglass entry doors
Peachtree Doors and Windows www.peach99.com Steel and smooth and textured fiberglass entry doors
Pella Windows and Doors www.pella.com Fiberglass and steel entry doors
Phoenix Door Manufacturing Company www.phoenixdoor.com Softwood and hardwood entry doors up to 8 ft. high and custom designs
Simpson Door Company www.simpsondoor.com Douglas-fir, hemlock, oak, and mahogany entrance doors, including custom doors; also primed MDF, particleboard, and composite wood doors
Stanley Door Systems (division of Masonite) www.stanleyworks.com Steel and fiberglass entry doors
Weathershield Windows and Doors www.weathershield.com Wood and steel entry doors, with wood, vinyl, aluminumclad, and vinyl-clad frames
Taylor Building Products www.taylordoor.com Steel (stainable finish) and fiberglass entry doors
Therma-Tru Doors www.thermatru.com Steel and fiberglass entry doors with optional vinyl-clad jambs
American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) www.aamanet.org
Efficient Windows Collaborative www.efficientwindows.org
National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) www.nfrc.org Sustainable by Design www.susdesign.com
Shareware calculators for sun angles, solar heat gain, and shading
Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) www.wdma.com
-- Adapted and paraphrased, edited, and supplemented, with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.
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