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Helper, UT 84526

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Doors…
Who Knew They We're This Complicated.
It Only Makes Sense That You Have Questions.

Door FAQ

Question list

Just How Different Are Doors From One Another?

The short answer is, extraordinarily. For example, many doors on the market today come pre-installed with decorative accent glass while many others do not. While on the surface this may simply appear to be an aesthetic difference, the reality is that it has much more to do with functionality. As such, a number of important issues and design choices need to be taken into consideration.

The first consideration is the actual performance value of the glass. Does it meet the performance criteria of the Energy Star® program? The performance criteria of the Energy Star program as related to entry doors is based fundamentally on each individual doors “glazing level.” An entry doors “glazing level” is an industry term used to define a doors glass-to-frame ratio. This ratio is extraordinarily important because it determines an entry doors overall energy insulation efficiency.

Why is this even important to you? For two reasons. The first being how well your door can help insulate your home and thus reduce your overall heating and cooling bill and the second, is that if your entry door is Energy Star rated you may qualify for the Energy Star tax credit.

As you can see, just adding a glass accent to your entry door makes a huge difference between entry doors performance.

Then you also have to take into consideration the different type of materials that entry doors are made from. Each type of material has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Most of these strengths and weaknesses has to do with the doors overall Insulative and energy efficiency ratings. You would recognize these ratings as the U-Factor and The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC.

Entry doors can vary widely from one to another—all of which has more to do with your design selections than anything else. It never ceases to amaze me how much thought and research people put into their windows as compared to how little they think about their doors.

Bottom Line: Don't be fooled by cheaper prices. Make sure you know EXACTLY what it is you are buying. Making a wrong choice can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in lost heating and cooling.

What Elements Should I Consider When Choosing An Entry Door For My Home?

When choosing an entry door, all of your choices will boil down into two distinct categories—Style and Function.

Functionality deals with several different areas. The first consideration, contrary to popular belief, should not be the doors energy efficiency. Your first consideration should be about how well your entry door protects you from the elements and would be home invaders. Your door should be tough enough to handle any weather Utah can throw at it as well as good enough to withstand everything but the most determined of intruders.

Once you have the basics—weather protection and safety—out of the way, you should consider energy efficiency. It is extraordinarily important that your entry door be as good or better than your windows. In a recent report, the E.P.A. estimated that more energy loss occurs due to faulty or inadequate entry doors than with windows.

Once all that is taken into consideration, you can then look at your aesthetics. What kind of a finish do you want? Hardware? Accents? In short, you should choose an entry door and finish that compliments your existing home, with hardware and accents that add to the overall appeal and aesthetic design of your new entry door.

Don't worry, we have experts on hand that would be more than happy to walk you through each of the design elements you should consider.

Remember, at Shep's windows and doors, we educate…YOU DECIDE.

What Types Of Materials Are Doors Manufactured Out Of?

Technology is constantly improving. As a result, you can now buy entry doors in a variety of different materials. However, each type of material has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you choose only the door that you know for sure will hold up to it's desired application. For example, if you have an entry door that gets a lot of direct sunlight you may want to consider a steal door as opposed to wood or fiberglass- composite that tend to warp in harsh direct sunlight.

In direct answer to your question, you can obtain an entry door that is made from steel, fiberglass-composite, aluminum or wood.

A steal door is best if you are concerned about security and protection. Steel doors are much stronger than wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. Another advantage to steel entry doors is they will not crack or warp—even in the worst heat wave or in direct sunlight. And, unlike other types of doors, steel doors can be repaired easily, just use the same putty repair kit used on cars. Keep in mind however, that some maintenance is required and that inferior grade steel doors due tend to rust. Our exclusive line of doors are specially treated with a proprietary finish that is GUARANTEED not to rust or fade for 10 years.

Fiberglass Composite are extremely tough and maintenance free. If you're concerned about moisture or humidity then a fiberglass entry door is probably your best bet. A great feature of fiberglass entry doors is these doors can easily mimic the look of wood with the addition of wood grain texturing. Fiberglass doors have one of the longest standing warranties of any doors on the market, have high energy efficiency ratings due to voids in the door being filled with insulation, and they can be painted to match almost any exterior.

Aluminum Doors Next to solid wood doors, aluminum entry doors tend to be the most expensive doors on the market. Most aluminum doors can be obtained only directly from the manufacturer. Each door is custom built so precision and expertise is required and thus your higher costs. But more importantly, aluminum doors don't hold up well to residential use.

In the manufacturing, coats of paint are compressed along the aluminum, as well as the frame during door installation. Aluminum, as you know, is an excellent conductor of heat and therein lies the problem. When colder temperatures hit, the external aluminum tends to maintain a lower temperature than the interior. The slightly warmer, indoor air condenses upon the aluminum surface. The aluminum surface itself doesn’t absorb the moisture but the compressed layers of paint are vulnerable to moisture seepage. Due to this, the edge of your doors or frames can develop heavy mold growth. Usually behind the walls where you can't see it until it's to late.

To address the problem of condensation, thermal breaks called thresholds must be inserted along the doorframe. However, the aluminum threshold gets damaged over a period of time. The constant use of the entry door, coupled with constant exposure to moist or humid climate (especially during Utah winters) cause irreversible deterioration of the sill and the surrounding drywall.

The only solution to correct a damaged aluminum threshold is to replace it with a new one—the costs for replacing an aluminum threshold is prohibitively expensive.

In short, we find the issues and problems associated with aluminum doors outweigh the benefits and as such we do not carry, sell or install them.

Solid Wood Doors are unmatched in beauty and elegance. Solid wood doors can be hand carved with intricate designs, stained or painted to any color you wish and is unmatched in both versatility and beauty. But, solid wood doors simply do not have the Insulative properties of today's modern doors, so if energy efficiency is important to you, then a solid wood door won't be a good fit. In fact, according to recent studies fiberglass doors insulate up to 5x better than wood.

Wood doors are also quite heavy and with direct exposure to sunlight will warp and sag over time, requiring adjustments and or trimming of the door to fix the air and moisture infiltration.

What's So Complicated About Replacing And Entry Door?

Replacing a door is not as simple as it seems. Contrary to popular belief, replacing your front door is not an easy DIY project. There are a number of issues you need to be aware of when replacing your entry door.

First and foremost, you need to check for frame damage. Sometimes replacing and entry doors is as simple as swapping out one "blank" for another. It’s why so many homeowners think they can go down to the local "big box" retailer, buy a replacement door and swap them out themselves. BUT, most homeowners don't know how to inspect their frames. A frame has to be square, level and plum or you are just asking for problems.

Homes settle over time and the studs that the doorframe is attached to can warp over time and this throws your frame out of square. This makes it almost impossible to get a good seal, and could very well be the reason why you are having to replace your door in the first place.

Then you need to make sure the fixtures you are using are actually rated for the door being installed. Some doors are heavier than others and using the wrong fixtures will result in your door ripping the screws right out of your frame…or worse.

You will also need to make sure that you choose the proper size for your doorjamb. Of course, you could just avoid all this guesswork and simply call us. We will make sure it’s done right the first time.

You Mentioned Something About A Doorjamb, What Is That?

There are in fact two types of doorjambs, but trying to explain them and why they're so important is difficult to do without a picture, but we’ll do our best.

A door jamb is a vertical section of the door frame and each door has two jambs. There is the "hinge jamb" and the "strike jamb." The "hinge jamb" is where the hinges are located and what allows the door to swing freely. Traditionally, you will see three hinges on the “hinge jamb.” These hinges carry all of the weight of the door, so it is imperative that the hardware used is matched specifically for the door being used.

The “strike jamb” is the side where your doors handle and locking mechanism are located and where your door “latches into the strike.” The striker plate is that little piece of metal located around the middle of the jamb where the bolt of the door “strikes” and then locks.

The two jambs combined are used to mount the entire frame to the surrounding wall. As a side note, the horizontal part of the frame that connects the two jambs together is called the head.

These two jambs are CRITICAL to an effective working door.

Before You Even Consider Ordering A Door or Door Frame Several Factors About Your Doorjambs Need To Be Evaluated.

  • The “throat size” of your jamb
  • Type of hardware to be used
  • Size of the cut-outs to be made
  • Determining whether Reinforcements are needed

Why Is A Doorjamb So Critical For An Effective Working Door?

As discussed previously, your doorjambs are CRITICAL to having an effective working door. Any weakness or defect in either doorjamb can result in a multitude of problems. The most significant issue of concern is that any misalignment, faulty installation, or wrong rating results in vastly inferior security protection for your home and family.

BOTTOM LINE: A Weak or Damaged Door Jamb Provides EASY ACCESS to home invaders.

We cannot stress enough how important the integrity of your door jambs are to your overall security. We highly recommend that you call us to inspect your doorjambs before you even think about changing out your doors. It costs you nothing and when it comes to the safety of your family, you can never be too careful.