Choosing Garage Side Entry Door


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Old 01-01-15, 02:19 PM
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Choosing Garage Side Entry Door

Hi!

I have bought my first house last summer, and one of the issues that I am trying to figure out is with what to replace a destroyed side entry door in the garage. I am pretty sure that it was originally an interior door, in which they cut in a hole for the dog (with a flap cover). Now the door is coming apart from the elements.

What would be a good choice for the replacement door? I do not need it to be fancy but hopefully it will look good. It's a 32x80 door, the box seems fine, so I only need a slab I think.

I considered a steel door but it dents easily, probably won't look very good after a short time.

I wonder if I can just buy a wooden slab door and paint it right, or it should be some special exterior door?

What about fiberglass or plastic? My concern here is that this is the side of the house that receives a lot of sunlight, and plastic is sensitive to that I think.

Finally, I am trying to make the garage somewhat warm, with the insulated and drywalled walls. What does that say about the door slab choice?

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-01-15, 02:25 PM
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I like steel doors because they generally don't rot [some have wooden framework and just a steel skin] I don't know much about fiberglass doors but paint should protect it from the UV rays. If you go with a wood door it needs to be an exterior door! Interior doors are hollow and the glue/veneer won't hold up to the elements. It is important to prime/paint [or poly] all the edges of the door including the top and bottom. The weatherstripping is more important than the type of exterior door used.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 07:58 PM
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Thanks! I've seen a wooden door slab today at Home Depot, which said "solid wood core". It did not say whether it was an exterior or an interior door. Would that be an ok choice? Wouldn't a solid wood core twist with time?
 
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Old 01-01-15, 08:11 PM
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FG FG FG!

Interior will be 1 3/8" Exterior will be 1 3/4". What is your existing door thickness?

Wood doors can last exposed to the elements if they are properly prepared. That solid wood core label probably means pressed wood. Was this a flat door?
 
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Old 01-02-15, 03:19 AM
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If the door is a flat slab [veneer] with a particleboard core - it's an exterior door. Solid wood panel doors come in both interior and exterior. The exterior doors are a little thicker and use a better glue.

I would not consider installing a hollow core door on the exterior and would be leery of an interior solid wood panel door on the exterior, you need to make sure it's an exterior door!
 
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Old 01-02-15, 04:04 AM
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I would recommend a steel door. Their made for the purpose you want. Unless you hit it hard with something they won't dent easily.
 
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Old 01-02-15, 04:11 AM
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... and dents can be repaired if they bother you. Generally small dents on a side door don't bother folks and I'd rather have a few dents than have to make sure I stay on top of the painting maintenance so the wood door will last.
 
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Old 01-02-15, 06:39 AM
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Steel. Depending on your expertise, it is often easier to install a prehung than a slab. While you are at it, if you have any thoughts of doing wood working or anything else in the garage, or if you do your own lawn maintenance, consider widening the opening and installing a 36" door. Much more practical for carrying shovels, rakes, lumber, or whatever through it. And it's not going to get any easier than it is right now with the framing is exposed.
 
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Old 01-02-15, 10:25 AM
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Thanks, guys, a lot of info! Ok, I am thinking again about the steel one. Home Depot carries a steel exterior door for $99 (no frame just the 6-panel door itself). For the wooden doors - the one I looked at was flat and said "solid wood core" on the label but I couldn't find anything about exterior vs interior. It was not expensive, something like $69.

The store had 4 steel doors of the kind I considered in stock, and every single one of them was already dented and scratched. Kinda made me think that that will be a hassle over time...
 
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Old 01-02-15, 01:43 PM
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The thickness of the door should tell whether or not it's an exterior door [interior doors are thinner]

I've probably painted over a 1000 steel doors and while you occasionally see dents most have been dent free. I built a shop about 30 yrs or so ago and got a deal on a dented 6 panel steel door. I repaired the dent because it was on the exterior side of the door. Major dents [like that one] are fixed similar to car body damage. Minor ones just a need a little filler and primer. It isn't uncommon for a steel door to have scratches by the time it's ready for paint.
 
 

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