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What kind of front door looks decent, is fairly cheap and can withstand rocks?


graviton's Avatar
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07-23-14, 05:25 PM   #1  
What kind of front door looks decent, is fairly cheap and can withstand rocks?

Hi! I need a new front door, and I'd like to spend a relatively small amount of money, and get a door that needn't be stunningly beautiful but at least looks presentable, and won't be dented or marred by rocks thrown by a bad seed who's plagued the whole neighborhood and who can't be controlled by his parents, whose "pull" keeps him out of the Youth Detention Center? Oh, and it definitely can't require painting-ever!! Is fiberglass rock-repellent?

 
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07-23-14, 05:29 PM   #2  
Steel is the only thing I can think of that will be rock "resistant". One without a lite. Painting is inevitable. Fiberglas is tough, but, depending on how hard junior throws the rocks, can dent and splinter. Sounds as if you need a neighborhood get together to plan a requiem for the little booger.

 
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07-24-14, 03:29 AM   #3  
Even steel doors can be dented and all doors will require painting from time to time, how often depends on the exposure to weather.

I wonder if a surveillance camera would provide the evidence to address the situation ??


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07-24-14, 04:43 AM   #4  
Hi chandler, hi marksr, thanks very much for your input. It's great to have a forum where ignoramuses like me can be enlightened.

I'd very much like you to explain to me something that you both said that I really don't understand. Of course, I know absolutely nothing about doors, so let me get that on the record, immediately
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But, last year I had siding put on some of the wooden areas of my house precisely because I no longer wanted to deal with painting. So my thinking regarding the front door is that there ought to be the equivalent of siding for that. When I bought the siding the salesman gave me several options with respect to the material--metal, vinyl. But with all the options, the color was a permanent part of the material, or at least that was what I've always believed. Am I wrong? Now, with plastic products, it literally is part of the material--it's not affixed to the outside. I'm looking right now at a red plastic Old Spice deodorant. That redness will never fade, no matter what environment it's subjected to. And even with metal--for example cars. The paint on cars is affixed in such a way that it doesn't flake and chip like the paint on the walls of a room. I've seen video of very old American cars in Cuba--cars from the 1950s--and the paint is not flaking off or significantly faded. So if I got a fiberglass door, wouldn't the color be a part of the material, like the red plastic Old Spice deodorant?

And really, whatever the underlying material of the door is--even supposing I got a wooden door--why couldn't the surface be made of a material that never needs painting because the color is a permanent part of it? In other words, if you want a strong door, and choose a hard wood, why couldn't you attach an attractive plastic or metal surface that would eliminate the need for painting?

 
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07-24-14, 05:36 AM   #5  
You can buy prefinished doors and most of those finishes will last longer than a field applied finish .... but sooner or later they will have to be refinished. The big issue is the damage caused by vandalism! Besides hurting the looks, any damage that breaks the paint will cause the paint to peel.

Even though they were sold with a lifetime warranty on the finish, I've painted quite a few aluminum sided houses because the original finish was completely worn out. I'm sure you've seen old aluminum siding that looked like the paint was washing off. Even vinyl siding will fade over time although the few vinyl siding jobs I've painted were more for color change than to restore the original finish.


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07-25-14, 02:30 PM   #6  
Thanks marksr for your response. If we put aside the question of vandalism (because I spoke to several neighbors and we're going to take concerted action to deal with the problem), what kind of door is relatively inexpensive and will provide adequate security, and have a finish that lasts pretty long? And could you comment on any shortcomings of fiberglass doors?

 
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07-25-14, 02:45 PM   #7  
I don't know much about the fiberglass doors, most of the builders I've painted for have preferred metal doors. I also don't know a lot about the prefinished doors, I've been on jobs that had them but since I didn't have to paint them .....

IMO nothing looks better than a nicely stained/finished wood door but they don't hold up as well as metal and should only be used when there is a big covered porch to protect the door from the elements. Metal doors finish nicely, especially if you spray the finish but a decent job can be had with a brush or even a roller. Any door without glass is relatively cheap, generally the bigger the glass, the higher the price with leaded glass costing the most.

The security part is pretty much the same for all exterior doors with a lot dependent on the lockset and how it interacts with the jamb.


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07-25-14, 03:11 PM   #8  
They do make vinyl clad entry doors, but they aren't common and are limited in colors. Not cheap either.

Now, if you just want white, a smooth finish FG door with solid PVC or vinyl clad jambs and trim may be an answer. If it gets a lot of sun, it can still yellow somewhat over time. I waited 5 yrs to paint a garage man door that got afternoon sun, and though it still looked ok, I could tell that the outside had yellowed compared to the inside. The good thing about FG is it won't rust even if scratched or dinged through the paint film. It may need to be repainted for appearance, but not for protection. Take that old spice cap and leave it outside in the sun for a year, I guarantee it will fade and craze. You'd probably be able to crumble it to bits with one hand. It's plastic w/o the UV inhibitors found in FG and other plastic like products.

FG is tough, steel is strong, there's a difference. If the little punk is throwing typical sized stones, it won't hurt FG but will ding steel. If he's throwing fist sized chunks of brick, neither one will stand up. FG will crack at the impact if hit by a sharp corner, steel will deform and possibly also crack.

Security wise, either one would be up to the task if properly installed using a security strike, jamb reinforcements, and proper hardware.

As to dealing with him...get a video and sue them or file a complaint. Maybe after a few fines and judgements, they will do something. My wife always tells me I'm the "Get off my lawn!" guy (not that I have a lawn as such), but if they don't learn respect for others now, when will they?


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