Exterior door systems tend to be the most rewarding and difficult of all products in the window and door industry. The wide range of options and specifications for doors leads consumers to rely heavily on advice from window and door companies. Due to this problem all Window Choice door systems come with certain standard specifications. Below will be an explanation of these components and why they are important for your door. Window Choice made all of these components standard to eliminate service requests, and allow customers who were unaware of certain products to trust Window Choice in giving them the proper components so that their door systems will last as long as the residence. Almost all door systems are steel, insulated doors. Fiberglass door options are available, but would require a personal consultation to deal with numerous stain and finishing options
Exterior Vinyl Clad
The vinyl covering protects all aspects of the exterior frame. This cladding can be done in any custom color. Most companies will tell customers their doors are maintenance free, but only vinyl clad doors are maintenance free. Aluminum capping is not maintenance free, and will not last more then a few years. It is extremely important for the longevity of your door to have vinyl cladding as it cannot be added post-installation.
Ball Bearing Hinges
Builders and window companies are notorious for using butt hinges for their door systems. Ball bearing hinges are far superior as the bearings provide smooth operation of a door for a much longer period of time. Ball bearing hinges also prevent damage of finish to the hinges, by preventing grinding of the hinge teeth.
The strike plate is the 12” long iron plate running along the outside of the frame beside the wood block(where the locks go). The strike plate protects doors against brute force break-ins. The plate distributes force caused by a kick, or shove throughout the whole frame. This is extremely important since a standard door system will not have a strike plate and this causes only the approximately ½” internal wood framing to be the point of all force. Children can kick-in doors with no strike plates. The strike plate is only seen on the outside of the frame when the door is being installed. This is why many companies save money by not mentioning the plate, since the customer will most likely not notice.
The bottom threshold of a door is generally made from thermally broken aluminum. This is done so that the bottom of a door system will not freeze. Window Choice door systems always have sill extensions attached to the thresholds to allow for “one” step entrance so that customers do not trip over their thresholds. The appearance of a sill extension is a couple inches of aluminum extended to the outside to fill almost the entire step.
Magnetic flexible weather-stripping ensures a tight seal, to reduce heat loss. Adjustable bottom weather-stripping sweeps provides a true barrier against water and air infiltration. Quality weather-stripping is very important as it provides the bulb-seal style barrier against heat and cold. Weather-stripping in general works similar to how a fridge door keeps its door sealed tight.
6 5/8” frames should be standard in the industry, but unfortunately many companies try to save money by installing 4 5/8” frames. This is also due to the commission-style nature of the window and door industry. If a saleperson does not promise a 6 5/8” frame they will earn extra commission by allowing their company to use a 4 5/8” frame. Strength, longevity, style, and the option of storm doors are the main concerns when using a 4 5/8” frame instead of a much better 6 5/8” option. All Window Choice door frames come with 6 5/8” standard unless the wall thickness does not allow the option.
All Window Choice door systems come standard with new finger-joined pine casings. Many companies use MDF to lower costs. Real wood is much nicer, and will prevent the casing from warping, or changing shape. The casings are always installed unpainted. Customers are responsible for painting new wood casings.
Many customers have seen the frames of door glass turn yellow. This happens when companies do not use proper vinyl inserts. All Window Choice insert frames will not turn yellow, or fade since they are high-quality vinyl.