Replacement Exterior 15 Lite Door


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Old 10-11-11, 11:48 AM
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Question Replacement Exterior 15 Lite Door

We have 4 15-lite doors installed on the rear of our home - 3 together from the family room and one an exit from the master bedroom with transoms above. The rear of our house is unprotected (golf course in rear)- so receives full brunt of wind and rain. Our house is 5 years old and these doors leak terribly. It is a combination of poor installation (you can see daylight) and builder's grade doors (door frame rot). We want to replace the doors and received an estimate from Pella (installed $8000). We're interested in investigating other options and believe we're handy enough if this is a DIY project. Looking for recommendations for brands (Andersen Renewal, Jeld Wen, others?) and whether this is a DIY project - we're fairly handy have installed interior doors but concerned with what we're getting into (transoms etc). Understand you get what you pay for (we have the builder grade today with bad results) but don't want to spend more than necessary to solve our problem.
 
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Old 10-11-11, 12:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

This certainly could be a DIY project and I think an easy way to get familiar is hire out replacing one of them with the understanding the contractor is teaching you how to do the rest by yourself - some will balk but you'll find someone who will go along with this.
 
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Old 10-11-11, 03:29 PM
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$8K, definitely look around!! Did you pick out the most expensive mahogany doors they had? I would opt for fiberglas doors. They weather much better than wood and aren't as gauche as metal doors. Do you plan on keeping the 15 light design, or will you be closing in a little for privacy?
 
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Old 10-11-11, 03:39 PM
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Sorry...I have to disagree a little bit. (If I'm reading the post correctly)....I would never EVER recommend a newbie try and install a 3 panel unit as their first project. I'll bet that 2 open and one is fixed? That takes a certain amount of skill to be done correctly.

A single door can be installed and adjusted after the fact relatively simply if a mistake is made...not so with a 3 panel. Very big, very heavy, and more prone to problems if not done correctly.

Agreed...$8K is a bit crazy...but you are talking about a Pella factory store I imagine? Can't get much more expensive than that.

And you mentioned transoms...are they part of the door or in separate framing?
 
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Old 10-12-11, 07:33 AM
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Not Mahogany :)

We didn't pick out mahogany. We priced replacing the 3 15 lite doors (one fixed two operational) and the transoms above with Pella entry doors that are the same thing. That was 5700. Another 2300 to replace the single standalone door w/transom. 8k to get basically the same thing we have without leaks ruining our hardwood and seeping into our basement below. So yes a bit of sticker shock. We wouldn't want to replace with other than glass panels because we overlook the golf course. The doors leak under the threshold and at the non hinged side. We can see daylight through the side. The leaks have gotten progressively worse over time. I am struggling to determine if we need to pay for the expensive doors so they can handle the rain/wind we get or whether we just had poor installation and correcting that would solve our issue with a mid range priced door. I think thats my key question to the forum. As far as our DIY skills I'd place us as handy - although the 3 panel door is intimidating and making a mistake leaves us with a big hole. We've installed pre finished hardwood, framing / drywall, trim molding, electrical and installed interior doors in the past but agree this might be over our head. We planned to start with the single door if we take this on.
 
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Old 10-12-11, 08:18 AM
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Ugh, sorry - I misread your post and though you were replacing a bunch of single doors, not a three panel door. I agree with Vic now that he straightened me out.
 
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Old 10-12-11, 08:49 AM
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I'll just address the finishing aspect of the job

As noted above, metal or fiberglass doors will last the longest with the least amount of upkeep. Wood doors need to have all 6 sides coated with poly/paint. That includes the top and bottom edge. Failure to seal the top and bottoms allows the door to suck up moisture - that might be what happened to your current doors.

Since your set on using wood doors, I assume you plan to stain them. You would apply 1 coat of stain [if used] and wipe of the excess. Then poly would be applied to all 6 sides. Poly is fine for the interior side but the exterior's last 2 coats should be a spar urethane like minwax's helmsman. You would sand lightly between coats. The exterior will need to be sanded and recoated every year or two - it depends on how much weather it is exposed to.
 
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Old 10-12-11, 09:41 AM
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I don't think anyone said they were wood doors? That was just a reference by Larry to the price.

I imagine they are vinyl or aluminum clad...not sure what Pella offers. Clad doors are normally bare wood or factory finished on the inside surface.

As to the price...does that include installation? I can see you easily hitting $4000+ if the transom is mulled to the doors. Some quick pricing on Andersen (which I prefer over Pella) shows that to be true.
 
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Old 10-12-11, 02:41 PM
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15 Lite replacement doors

Yes the price for the Pella included installation by the certified Pella people. We just had Andersen renewal out who priced the single door and transom at 2300 also. The Andersen person was a bit more forthcoming in why we have the leakage. Our triple doors seems to be 3 individual doors cobbled together and not a single unit built as 3 doors. Expect their price to be in line with what Pella told us.
 
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Old 10-12-11, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45
I don't think anyone said they were wood doors? T
oops ......

not enough characters
 
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Old 10-12-11, 03:01 PM
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Well...I have to tell you.....though the prices may be pretty high...you might be better going with one of those companies. As I said...I like Andersen better than Pella. But unless you know a good carpenter (like Chandler)...going with a big company may cost more, but at least you'll have recourse if there is a problem.

For a project like this, you do not want a Big Box store like HD or Lowes doing the work (though they can be good for materials price comparison).

I know it may seem like a shock....but I've been to fancy houses to do basic estimates and what was installed when the houses were built would cost 2-3 times more to replace with better quality products.
 
 

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