Fiberglass entry door

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  #1  
Old 11-21-19, 02:04 PM
C
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Fiberglass entry door

We currently have a Stanley steel entry door. It is about 15 years old but still in good shape.
The door has a half circle light with dividers. However, the door faces west and on summer afternoons it gets so hot that the caulk/adhesive used to mount the window melts and runs down the door making an ugly mess. Wife wants it gone - the door along with the mess.

I was at HD today looking for something other than a door when I spotted some really nice looking fiberglass entry doors with decorative "leaded" glass inserts. Price range from $600 to $1100 depending on the fanciness of the glass and fake moldings.

I have zero experience with fiberglass doors. Are there any drawbacks or advantages over steel?
 
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Old 11-21-19, 03:33 PM
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They are warmer to the touch, slightly better insulation value. Most people regard them as a big step up in quality.
 
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Old 11-21-19, 04:46 PM
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XSleeper - first you convinced me that LP Smartside was a good choice (we're ordering it this week) and now I'm going to spec a fiberglass door with my contractor. I'll probably shop around a bit but the HD ones looked pretty good. We're headed to Lowes tomorrow to look at theirs. Thanks for the reply.

Wife is officially happy now.
 
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Old 11-21-19, 05:19 PM
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Just a comment. I assume fiberglass doors are fire rated and approved in all communities.

To the OP: Do you have a full glass storm door? If so that will add an enormous amount of heat unless it's e-glass. My daughter burned her hand on my son's door knob when it was facing the west sun behind a glass storm door. Don't know if fiberglass doors are real stable under extreme heat conditions. Just a thought to consider.
 
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Old 11-22-19, 02:24 AM
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If you get a fiberglass door and want to stain the exterior, be aware it's a multi step process that takes time to do it right vs painting.

Last one I had took a long weekend with coats of gel stain and top coats to get it to look right!
 
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Old 11-22-19, 07:53 AM
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What color is the door you have now painted?
When new there was a sticker on it warning against painting it a dark.
As asked before, if you have a full view storm door it's acting like a solar panel, if you finish the new door a dark color you'll be back where you started with a hot door.
 
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Old 11-23-19, 05:45 AM
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My fiberglass door from HD said warranty was void if a storm door was used in front of it. As discussed above, because or the heat build up between the doors. I installed one anyway and simply kept the full screen in place until snow flew. Worked out fine. Although I did see some chalking weep from the full sun on the glass storm door in the winter. No long term ill effects over ten years.

Don’t know whether the new owner will know enough to not leave the glass storm in place through the summer.
 
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Old 11-23-19, 06:26 AM
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Noem - this is an entry door. The only reason to have it fire rated would be to keep fire in the house. :0)

I do have a full view storm door. We also keep the screen in place until the snow flies. However, heat build up might be a problem that we will have to look into since the space between the doors gets hot on sunny days even in winter.

On edit - I did a bit more research (read the maintenance requirements on a couple of brands) and I think I'll probably pass on the fiberglass door. Too many things can go wrong, mostly related to exposure. Things like cracking, bowing, sealant leaks etc. My guess is that they are a very good choice for an install when the door does not get a lot of direct sun exposure.
 

Last edited by cwbuff; 11-23-19 at 06:44 AM.
  #9  
Old 11-23-19, 06:56 AM
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CW, depending on your local, fire entry doors may be required by code. For instance an attached garage house entry door would require fire rating. Or a town house or condo. I'm not sure but I would think the fire rating would include the ability of the door structure to maintain integrity for a time during a fire.

I understand that you don't want or need to contain a fire in the house with a fire rated entry door. BUT...If you're in an area like California and wildfires are common you might want to contain or prevent a fire from getting in for a period of time. Case in point, THERMA TRU door company advocates this system for those who do live in rural areas and Ca. and other areas where fire could come from the outside. They in fact provide 20 minute and 90 minute rated entry doors for any locality.

Again locality would dictate the codes and necessity.

Personally I would opt for the traditional steel door. Seems less likely for problems. Plus I kind of like that solid feel.
 
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