You have been doing your due diligence in your search for the perfect new door for your home. You have researched on line and in magazines, watched the Do-It-Yourself shows and even talked to friends and neighbors. You have definitely ruled out a metal or steel door for obvious reasons and know that you do not want another wood door like the one you are replacing. Now you know that a fiberglass door is the way to go for sure.
But wait, there are still tons of options for fiberglass doors so how do you know what to look for? Heckard's Door is here to help with some tips of choosing the best Fiberglass Door for your home.
1.Paint or Stain? First you must decide if you want a paint able or a stain able fiberglass door. Meaning, do you intend to have your door painted a certain color as in red, black or blue - or - do you want a door that still looks like real wood but has all of the benefits of the fiberglass?
This is a good place to start breaking down your options for styles and cost. Some of the doors styles come in only smooth or only stain able. For example, the Rustic Series Door from PlastPro is only available in the textured, stain able door. You can really achieve a real-wood look with a properly finished fiberglass door.
"We love that we still get that strong wood appearance without having to worry about rot or warping.""We have people tell us all the time that they love our new wood doors," said Frank and Linda of Gainesville, Florida. "When we tell them that the doors are actually fiberglass and not wood, they always get this look of disbelief and want to get a closer
The new doors will most likely be installed "un-finished" or "raw" meaning that they will not be painted or stained upon arrival. Some companies offer the doors to be pre-finished but be cautious. While the pre-finish option can come out ok, you must consider that the pre-finish will probably cost more, take longer and most important is permanent. If the finish is dinged or scratched at all during the transport or installation, you will have a difficult time trying to match a factory finish. On the other hand, having a local pro do the painting or staining will allow you to have someone accountable for it.
2. A full decorative glass or a panel design or both? Decorative glass in your fiberglass door can really enhance the beauty of the home while letting the natural light in as well. The two biggest concerns that most people have with a lot of glass in the door is 1. Can people see in easily? and 2. Is it safe or is it easily broken? The glass is safe, is NOT easily broken - and - is not easy to see through from the outside.
The safety of the glass is very impressive across the line whether it is ODL Doorglass or RSL or PlastPro. The decorative glass is 1" thick and triple paned with a decorative pane sealed between 2 outer layers of annealed safety glass. It is very strong and very difficult for someone to break into, especially to gain access. So, if you are worried about someone breaking into your home because you have a full glass front entry door, please do not be.
The privacy of the glass is different from the safety. While it is all engineered the same, the different glass designs and patterns make each piece unique and thus different as far as visibility. None of the decorative glass pieces are clear and all are made of different obscure glass patterns. All of the glass is reflective during the day with the sun out and most are obscure enough to where someone has to get right up on the glass to see inside at all.
Bottom line, the decorative glass is more safe and more private than any other door or window that you currently have in the home.
3. What brand? There are many companies that carry, sell and install fiberglass doors but only a few who actually produce and manufacture them. All of them are different but all of them are also make quality products.
After you have decided if you want a stainable or paintable fiberglass door and then decided if you want all glass or panels, you can look at choosing the exact style for you. This is hardest part of the entire process for most people simply because there are so many options available. Without having a knowledgeable professional to help you through, the process can be just a bit overwhelming.
Each manufacturer, PlastPro, JeldWen, ThermaTru and Masonite all have styles that are unique to them individually. Going to the websites along with requesting literature from either the company directly or a local vendor may also help. If you can get to a local vendor with a showroom, you are really in good shape - just make sure that is not a box store!