Cost and Quality of Fiberglass Entry Doors


You get what you pay for

Remember you get what you pay for. Fiberglass entry doors can be classed into a number of different price points. The costs range a few hundred dollars to thousands. Why is there such a price difference and can you make an informed decision?

Low end of price points

$150 - $600

At DIY and home improvement megastores, one can see a huge range of products. The lowest end are generically-branded or store-branded doors. These are very cheap but may have quality problems. What can you expect? Perhaps the finished surface is very thin and made of low quality materials that delaminate upon exposure to heat. Or after installation, the door will warp to the astonishment of many people who thought fiberglass was resistant to this kind of damage.

Mid and high range

$1000+

As one moves into the thousand dollar range, one encounters doors that are stamped with the original manufacturer's name. Look carefully and ask the retailer questions. Sometimes a store-brand is used in place of the original manufacturer. You can find out the source of the store. For example, the well-known company Jeld-Wen also makes products under the Reliabilt line at Lowes. These doors will be in the mid to high quality range. Cost and quality of fiberglass exterior doors

Depending on what you get, there is a big spread of prices

Two top companies

Two of the top recognized companies, amongst others, are ThermaTru and Provia. Both carry a wide selection. Many installers who work with these doors are used to high quality installation. In addition, each offers long terms on the warranty. With respect to energy efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy has a program called Energy-Star which rates the energy efficiencies of many products including doors. Doors transmit heat and fiberglass is known to have a great insulating choice. The Energy program has named Provia "Partner of the Year" for two consecutive years. If you are investigating Provia, keep in mind that they were known as Precision before 2008.

Manage your costs

At these very high ends, complete entry systems encompassing the door, jamb, side lites etc can run up to four thousand dollars. Considering that some homes have multiple entrances, such as front, garage, porch or patio, etc, these costs can become quite prohibitive!

Steel as an alternative (gasp!)

If one is unwilling to pay a thousand dollars or more (four thousand for a complete entry system), then it is often advised that one opt for a cheaper quality steel door. Steel still outsells all other materials statistically, largely because of low costs and high durability. Steel doesn't bend or warp. Higher end steel products are protected by warranty against rust. The interior of a steel door can be packed with insulating foam to increase the insulating properties (check the R-factor number for comparison). The one missing ingredient is aesthetics, as it cannot replicate the natural look of wood.

Some other high quality companies

Other high quality companies that manufacture fiberglass entry doors (besides Jeld-Wen, ThermaTru and Provia which we've mentioned), as well as steel ones, include Andersen, Masonite and Stanley.



Double configuration

Doors can come in a double configuration. Moreover, "side-lites" can be added to adorn the frame of the door.

Customizable

Depending on your home, your door can be customized to include a "transom" that runs over the top.

Robust to Weather

Regions with changeable climates that see wintry rain and snow can be ideal for non-wood doors.

(C) Copyright 2014 Fiberglass Entry Doors

photo by jdickert via CC 2.0

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