Frequently Asked Questions About Doors
You Say My Choices Are Almost Limitless… What Did You Mean By That?
When you factor in colour, glass, fixture, and hardware options along with material type, manufacturer and style of door, there are literally over 35,000 different types of doors on the market today. When shopping for a door you are quite literally trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. For example, on just one big-box retailer’s website alone, there are over 2,700 choices… it’s overwhelming.
That is why we have trained professionals on staff whose job is to inform and educate you on your choices. By asking questions, our consultants are able to whittle down your choices into a manageable handful.
By the time we are done, you will have a door that you absolutely love.
Isn’t A Door Just A Door… Aren’t You Just Trying To Compound The Issue Just To Sell Me Something?
First of all, we hate selling. In our experience, nobody likes to be sold anything… it’s disingenuous. That is why our staff is specifically trained to be consultants that inform and educate, NOT to sell. This is particularly poignant because, contrary to popular belief, doors are extraordinarily complicated. For example, just on energy efficiency alone, you are dealing with a multitude of factors. Case in point:
The Energy Star program has specific performance criteria. One of which is a door’s “glazing level.” A door’s “glazing level” is an industry term that refers to a door glass-to-frame ratio. This ratio has a direct effect on the determination of a doors Insulative energy efficiency. All of which is a requirement if you are trying to earn an Energy Star tax credit… let alone trying to save money on your energy bill.
But then, not only is there a determination on the glazing level that needs to be made, you then have to look at the quality of the glass being used.
Then you have to deal with the different types of materials that a door can be made out of. Each of which has its own unique properties—insulative and energy efficiency—which is referred to as the U-Factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC.
The list goes on, but I believe we made our point. Doors are complicated and you need an EXPERT to help guide you through the morass… and at RBA British Columbia, that is EXACTLY what we are and what we do.
Speaking Of Materials… What Are My Choices When It Comes To Doors?
When it comes to doors, there are four basic types of materials that are used in their construction. There are more exotic materials, but these are the basic four.
Steel Doors: Steel doors are by and large the strongest doors on the market. These are your best choice if you are highly sensitive to security and protection. Steel doors, even in the worst type of heat or direct sunlight will not crack or warp. If your steel door does suffer damage it can be easily repaired with an automotive putty repair kit, sanded down, and then repainted.
The negative is that a steel door does require some maintenance as well as routine painting as the colour tends to fade and steel has a tendency to rust… especially in a Canadian winter.
Fiberglass Composites: Extraordinarily tough and as an added bonus are practically maintenance-free. In our experience, these are the best doors for Canada when you consider moisture and humidity. Unlike other materials, fiberglass composites can easily be made to resemble the look of wood. Also, fiberglass doors have one of the longest-standing warranties in the industry. Also, if you’re highly sensitive to energy savings, Fiberglass composite doors have one of the highest energy efficiency ratings of any doors on the market. Lastly, with our in-house finishing shop, these doors can be painted to match just about any exterior.
Aluminum Doors: Next to solid wood, aluminum doors are the most expensive doors on the market. The reason? Just about all-aluminum doors has to be obtained directly from the manufacturer. As a result, precision and expertise are required in order to get the measurements exactly correct. With that said, aluminum doors do have some significant advantages. Aluminum rusts a lot less than steel, is stronger than fiberglass, and with its baked-on enamel finish, your colours are less likely to fade and do not require repainting.
Solid Wood Doors: Nothing matches wood for sheer beauty. Wood also allows a homeowner to personalize their doors with and carved trim to intricate designs. In short, wood is unmatched in either versatility or beauty. However, solid wood doors are the most expensive doors on the market. Wood doors also require significant routine maintenance and can crack or warp in weather extremes.
What’s A Door Jamb… and Why Should I Care?
There are two doorjambs to every door. The first, or “hinge jamb” is the vertical section of the frame that holds the “hinges” that attach your door to the frame. This element is critical because it carries all the weight of the door. The second is the “strike jamb” and it is where the latch on the door “strikes” the frame. This is critical because it’s what “locks” the door against intrusion. Both are CRITICAL to having an effective door.
A Weak or Damaged Door Jamb Provides EASY ACCESS to home invaders.
Any weakness or defect in either doorjamb can result in a multitude of problems, not the least of which is inferior security and protection for your family.
Before You Even Consider Getting A New Door You Need To KNOW
- The “throat size” of your jamb
- Type of hardware you are going to use and is it rated for the door you want
- Size of the cut-outs to be made
- Determining whether Reinforcements are needed
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a professional inspect your door jambs before you change out your doors. When it comes to the safety and security of your family… do you really want to risk it?
Is There Anything Else You Think I Should Know About Replacing My Door?
Before you consider replacing a door, you need to know a few things. Sure, sometimes replacing your door is as easy as exchanging one door for another… but that is the exception NOT the rule.
The reality is that homes settle over time. As a result, most doorframes are out of the square and need to be fixed before replacing the door. Also, you need to consider the weight of the new door as compared to the old one. Solid wood doors are exceptionally heavy when compared to their fiberglass counterparts. As such, reinforcements may need to be made to your frame to support the extra weight. Using the wrong fixtures and hardware can result in severe damage.
You also need to check for any signs of rot or damage to the frame. Often, door seals are compromised and over time moisture seeps in and the frames are damaged. If this is the case, your frame needs to be replaced.
Then there are issues of door jamb size, door handles, and more.
Bottom Line: you should call us at (604) 800-5176 so we can inspect your door, and point out to you all the issues you need to consider when replacing your door.