Up until a few years ago, nearly all the exterior entry doors I installed were made of wood. Every time I finished an install I packed up my tools and left the job knowing the door wouldn’t last long—especially if it was on the south side of a home. I always do everything I can to protect the doors—I seal the tops and bottoms with three coats before hanging them. But no matter how well the painters finish the door afterwards, the homeowners rarely maintain the finish; within a year, the bottom rail begins to separate from the stiles, and…well, that’s all she wrote.
When fiberglass doors first hit the market, I hated them. Paint wouldn’t stick to them, the skins developed a chalky glaze no matter how they were finished, and they moved around a lot when the temperature changed.
A Note from the Publisher:
WARNING: POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST!
Many people have asked about my new home and shop, so we’re publishing a new series of From the Road articles. You’ll notice I’m using a lot of Katz Roadshow-sponsored materials. We choose our sponsors carefully, from among the best manufacturers in the industry, and that’s why I chose to use their products on my own home, too, some of which were donated.
But boy, fiberglass doors come a long way. Today the wood grain patterns available on fiberglass doors—from mahogany to fir to cherry—are every bit as attractive as a solid wood door. Fiberglass doors are insulated and provide a thermal break. The Plastpro door I used has all composite stiles and rails—no wood components—so it will never fail.
These days, I wouldn’t dream of installing a wood door, especially on a problematic opening.
|Even on my own shop—where everything is wood—I opted for a fiberglass door for the south side rear entrance to the bathroom. I picked an entry door with a Douglas fir grain and distressed it some while applying the stain.
But first I had to cut it down 1 ½ in. so the height would match the windows and patio doors. Plastpro has a “Trimmable” line of doors that can be cut to fit custom openings (1 in. off the stiles; 1/2 in. off the top, and 1 1/2 in. off the bottom!). But the door I ordered was not in the Trimmable line.
Watch this video and learn why cutting down a fiberglass door is a lot different than cutting a wood door!