One of the most important items on your home is exterior doors. They must be functional, well insulated, last for many years and be beautiful. This is a tall order to fill but I think I can point you in the right direction.
Lets face it there are more door selections out there than you could look thru in several years. So we need to narrow the choices down.
Wood Doors are beautiful and offer insulating quality to your home, but they have their limitations. We have owned several homes prior to this one, and I remember one thing distinctly about wood doors, that is high maintenance.
If you live in a humid climate like I do, wood swells and retracts, as the humidity changes causing the door to disfigure slightly. This makes for some closing and opening problems. Wood has a tendency to need paint more often also. Dont take this the wrong way, a beautiful wood entry door, that is coated with urethane properly can hold up well, but the maintenance is higher than metal doors.
Metal Doors are stronger and can be fitted with larger glass panes and if insulated properly are energy efficient. I would recommend buying metal doors that are Styrofoam filled for insulation. Also any exterior door unit that you buy should have an adjustable door jam and high quality seals.
Metal doors should have a galvanized coating from the factory and be pre-primed. It is important to keep your metal doors painted and rust free. They will not need painting as often as wood, but will rust is they are neglected.
One of the main reasons that we chose metal exterior doors for the house was they are commonly used by builders in our area. We used the same tactics that we did when choosing House Windows We went to houses being built in the area by quality builders and took note of the exterior door manufacturers. We then went to visit them in our area. We did not go to a retailer; we went directly to the factory where they were being put together.
The factory looked at our House Plans and gave us an estimate. We saved 40% over retail. It was definitely worth the trouble!
Ask the exterior door manufacturer for a temporary door for your main entrance. Why? Great question! Have you ever seen what a contractor can do to a beautiful leaded glass entry door with a metal toolbox, enough said!
Your carpenters will install the door jab with the temporary door(s) in it, then when the house is completed they will install your beautiful new door(s) in its place. The cost of the temporary exterior doors was minimal for us. They had a couple of damaged doors that they gave me for $50 dollars.
Another item that you need to consider is double paned glass in your exterior doors. The cost was about 30% more and the payoff is a quieter house and less noise from outside.
Hope this helps you on your quest for great exterior doors while building your own home!
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