steel doors in coastal areas
just wanted to gather some feedback to present to our contracted home owners. they’re upset that we intend to install steel entry doors on their semi-coastal home. i say semi-coastal since it is on the intercoastal waterway. the water is more brackish than salt water and you don’t get the “beach/salty” feeling in the air at their home site. we specified in our contract that we intend to use steel doors (most are french, 15 lite doors) with pvc jambs, pvc brickmold, and stainless steel hinges. does anyone have experience with steel doors falling apart in a coastal or semi-coastal area? how about in a lake front or river front environment? we’re guessing that they are upset because of something that somebody at hd or lowes told them. my father’s company does a lot of business in the nags head area (eastern north carolina), and, while i haven’t been able to confirm this over the weekend, i think that the majority of doors sold here are steel. i know fiberglass is a better way to go but i don’t think they should have any real problems so long as the doors are properly painted and maintained (they think the doors will rust off before the house is finished). any shared experiences would be greatly appreciated.
I agree with your clients. the only reason you would use steel is to cut corners. they wont hold up in coastal areas.
I was with ThermaTru Doors for over a dozen years, and was in a position to know the facts of the business. ThermaTru makes more doors than any of their competitors, the huge majority of them steel.
On the east coast, at least until 2000 when I left the business, ThermaTru enjoyed a large market share of the coastal areas in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic states, and New England. Millions of steel doors were shipped into those markets.
Unless your doors are outswing units, there is no reason to use SS hinges.
jud... we've used steel doors since they started marketing them
we live and build in coastal RI.. on an island in the middle of the bay
my own house has all Therma-tru.. and guess what ?... for the first 20 ( yes 20 ) years we lived in this house, three out of the six exterior doors never even got painted..just the factory primer
we also have a similar experience with Peachtree and Stanley
the galvalume steel they use is a superior product...
the only time i've seen rust is when the doors get scratched and don't get refinished..
so..i'd guess that we've sold and installed several hundred steel doors since we went on our own in '75.....
nowadays , some of our customers want to upgrade to fiberglass doors.. but either way, i have no problem recommending steel doors in a coastal enviornmentMike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore
"some of our customers want to upgrade to fiberglass doors"Was that a typo? some of your customers want to downgrade to FG?;)
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I agree that the FiberClassics are like spaghetti, but the ClassicCraft fiberglass door is another story.
Put this one in a shady spot, and it will certainly be considered an upgrade. The ClassicCraft, with full length 2x4-sized LVL sub-stile on its strike side, fake CVG doug fir grain, and black came leaded glass.
Not for everyone. Certainly not for you. But I put a 6-panel ClassicCraft on my own house, long since sold, and it has performed well for over 10 years now. Painted a deep Chinese red, installed back under about 7 feet of roof overhang, I am certain its paint job far outlasted one if applied over wood.
I have Therma Tru doors in my house and they are all rusting. Painting the edge of cut steel is impossible to keep up. The Fiber Classic doors are so weak you can hold the foot of the door with your foot and move the top of the door 3 inches.
Edited 7/9/2006 10:21 pm ET by shellbuilder
Don't moan to me. I got my money and left. Standard Brands owns 'em now.
What's keeping you from swapping them out, if they are performing so badly.
The doors will not rust if properly maintained. I have had problems with rust but it was still due to lack of maintainence. I use fiberglass now. The plastic brickmold is the way to go too.
We built our home on the West Wash coast and the only doors that were waranteed by the builders were fiberglass doors because of the salt air, wind driven rain.
90% or more of the doors were ThermaTru
thanks for all of the honest responses. i found out today that the doors we ordered are thermatru. i talked to the manager of a wholesale distribution company (eastern aluminum supply - exterior building products) in elizabeth city, nc (they service the outer banks area - a coastal environment) who suggested painting the doors immediately after installation and recaulking (with a high quality silicone caulk) the 15 liite inserts (caulking around the vinyl perimeter grid where it contacts steel as well as caulking the vinyl and glass inner perimeter). he did say that they mostly sell fiberglass along the coastline but his parents have steel and leave along a canal and haven't had any problems. in addition, my father (who owns a wholesale distribution company) talked with the thermatru sales rep who basically said the same thing. he did mention that the warranty is still valid regardless of where the doors are installed (2 year on the door and 10 year on the glass). he also told a similar story about steel holding up when most thought it wouldn't.
our customers are looking for something that is 100% maintanance free. this simply doesn't exist. while fiberglass would be a "better" option it isn't what was specified in the contract (they could always upgrade to fiberglass) and with little maintanance (probably new paint every 3-4 years) steel will work just fine.
I'm coastal and for my house, I would use steel before FG
For most of my customers - custom wood doors up front and steel for untility areas. Like you8 said, paint keeps the rust out
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