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Entry Door, settling house, and large peephole

Entry Door, settling house, and large peephole

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  #1  
Old 09-03-18, 04:06 PM
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Entry Door, settling house, and large peephole

I live in one side of a split-level duplex built in 1979 on sandy property with an incline. I've been here for 15 years; the couple from whom I purchased the house had installed a woodgrain fiberglass front door and I installed a storm door.

About 3-5 years ago the storm door started not closing well, so I assumed the house had settled a bit. (Siding was replaced in 2007 and all termite damage repaired at that time, so door problem shouldn't be structural.)

My house faces ENE and gets lots of direct sun every day, so the fiberglass has flaked and the door faded. I have a back exterior door where water is coming in, and I suspect it wasn't flashed correctly (and it's an inexpensive big box door).

I decided I would replace both entry doors. The first contractor only sells Provia doors; says QC on Therma-Tru doors was causing them too many extra trips. The sales guy seemed new, and he recommended a steel front door and steel frame, saying that would help keep the doorway plumb and eliminate the storm door closing issues. Seems to me I'd be able to fry eggs on a steel front door, and bake the interior of my house too. Wouldn't a fiberglass door be better? Can fiberglass doors come with a steel frame, or would that not really help the shifting issue?

The cost for the steel door with a little glass up top and a mid-range handle was $8800, which seemed about $2k too high to me. (I live near Baltimore.) The basic steel door for the back was quoted at $4500. I was told fiberglass for the front would be another $1200. Do those prices seem high?

As for the back entry door, I'm ok with steel for that. Will installers know to install flashing, and would a drip cap help if there isn't one already? Is there any way to keep blowing rain out short of also having a storm door?

Final question - I have a 7/8" wide-angle peepholes in my entry doors, which gives a much larger view than the standard peephole. (Salesman had never seen and was quite surprised.) If I ask either the contractor or the door company to install wide-angle peepholes, will it invalidate the door warranty?

Thanks all,
Beth
 
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  #2  
Old 09-03-18, 04:21 PM
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We don't know the size or configuration of your door (assume it has sidelights for that price!) and it's hard for us to say how prices compare from one area to the next. They seem high to me.

Every door will benefit from a storm door. No entry door that is exposed to the elements will be able to keep out 100% of wind blown rain without one. If you get thunderstorms and your door isn't under a roof, get a storm door.

​​No way we can speak to the skill of your installers. You would think that if they are in the business they would know... but you do occasionally encounter a hack now and then.

Any kind of door can be installed level and plumb. So the type of door makes absolutely NO difference as far as being or staying plumb is concerned. Storm doors often eventually get tired and sag... the hinges stretch causing the door to drag. And the adjustable threshold can't usually be adjusted any higher to compensate. So that could be the entire problem with the door. If the door is out of plumb or out of level you would notice that on both doors... not just the storm door.

A peep hole should not affect the door warranty whatsoever, (that's usually a problem with gypsum filled fire doors only) but whatever door you choose, you would need to read the fine print in their warranty to be 100% sure.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 04:50 PM
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Door size

Thanks for the helpful comments. The door does NOT have sidelights, just a 4-panel door , 36" x 80", with a little glass up top.

The current front storm that may be sagging is a Pella from a big box store. Is there a better brand I should consider? I'm especially interested in one that might come with tinted glass to lessen the sun damage to the entry door.

I'll get some other contractors in to see how prices compare, and will probably look for fiberglass front door and steel back door.

Thanks,
Beth
 
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Old 09-03-18, 05:07 PM
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Yeah those prices are insanely high then. Any storm door can sag, their hinge designs are all pretty much the same. And any door glass can be tinted with a film. I think you could probably have the tinting done by someone locally for less $.
 
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Old 09-04-18, 06:34 AM
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You want to get a full view storm door with E-Glass that will filter out the "heat" rays of the sun. I would not recommend the tint film. It gets scratched and cloudy over time. Pella (Larson door, not part of the Pella window company) does make an e-glass door and they are quality doors.

Putting in a peep hole (regardless of size is no more than drilling a hole into the door and mounting it. You need the proper drill to cut sheet metal or wood. The door installers should not have a problem with it, but you should tell them ahead of time that you want the peephole and the size.

To help the problem of the storm door starting to sag, there are doors that have 5 vs 4 hinges on them. An over hang or roof will help protect your entrance door and the storm door. The extreme sun problem can be minimized with the use of an awning.

I would stay away from the fiberglass door. A steel front door is your better best. Any type of fiberglass, or resin based material will deteriorate with exposure to the sun. Steel or aluminum will not, although it may contract and flex to a small degree it should not cause any problem with closing or opening properly. Just enough slop should be built in to allow for expansion and contraction of the material.

A side note: Painting a n entrance door with your typical oil or latex paint is iffy. According to the Larson rep, the paint used by the manufacturer is specially designed for weathering, sunlight and cold temps, and is not just a "Rustolium" type paint. However, that being said I have painted many entrance doors with ordinary paint with no I'll affects.
 
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