Proudly serving the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra areas since 1981, Dream Doors and Windows provides unmatched value and service to bring out the best in your home. Whether you need energy efficient windows or want a new entry door to add more curb appeal, our award-winning team can handle all your replacement needs. With custom solutions we make it easy to find the perfect replacement at the perfect price.
If you have a door that is in relatively good condition, it may well be to your advantage to have glass installed into that door rather than replacing the door unit. This typically should save you about half the cost of a complete door replacement.
Keep in mind that all decorative glass is not the same. Just as with jewelry, automobiles, food items, or most anything, there are varying degrees of quality and pricing. It would not be fair go to an expensive jewelry store and be surprised to find their most beautiful diamond is more expensive than a similar looking ring set at Wal-Mart! Decorative glass should be purchased not on the basis of price alone, but on the beauty, appeal and esthetic value to the home you are attempting to upgrade. You will not remember exactly how much you paid for your decorative glass insert one year after the purchase, but you will know if you continue to enjoy your selection. Our advice is, don't base your purchasing decision on price only. Consider other factors of quality, beauty and appeal.
Take into consideration the age of the house and the door. As a rule of thumb, a house and door under twenty (20) years will be a good candidate.
Why? Because the wood slab used in these situations are usually an inexpensive pressed wood center core door slab, inferior to the fiberglass door slab being replaced. They simply do not hold up over time.
The cracked or broken glass is difficult to repair, since the craftsmen who originally built these type doors are almost nonexistent now. This type door glass is illegal and has been for some years, because all door glass by federal law must be tempered safety glass. Dream Doors and Windows can cut out the old glass and/or panels, and install a new decorative safety insert that does meet all current building codes.
Determining which can be difficult. If you are not certain whether yours are sidelights or side windows, simply take a digital picture and email to our team. We'll be happy to tell you which you have. In most cases, adding decorative glass to the side windows can be accomplished with a sash replacement or direct set the sidelight glass into your existing opening.
Obviously, one option you have is to just replace that old door with a new one. There are compelling and good reasons for doing just that. If your house and doors are old, or have some type of problems such as rotting or splitting frames (jambs), or if they don't seal well, are drafty and let bugs, air and water in, then it may be time to replace the old door system.
There are a couple of ways to approach this project. One is called a slab door installation; one is called a pre-hung door installation. Let's look at both, to see which the proper one for you is.
Slab installs almost always use wood door slabs. The reason for this is because wood doors are a true size (such as 36" x 80") and are not undersized. This means they can be trimmed to fit the opening correctly, such as where an opening may not be completely square. Make sure your installer has good experience in slab door installation. These are most difficult to perform and a door can be damaged or ruined by an inexperienced installer.
This method should not be considered, except where it makes sense to do so over the next type of installation, the pre-hung door unit.
As a general rule, all steel and fiberglass door slabs will be replaced as a pre-hung unit. While there is a new trimmable fiberglass slab on the market, it still makes good sense to replace most doors with a pre-hung unit. This insures you get a door unit that performs and seals well against the elements.
It may surprise you learn that all doors are not made the same. There are different grades of doors, and different price points. Here are some facts good to know as you shop for doors.
Now that you have the basics in door types, there is one more thing to understand about doors, and this may be the most important part of this guide.
Most people assume a door is a door, and that there are no basic differences in doors. You may be tempted to choose one based on the lowest purchase price. If you choose a door on the basis of lowest purchase price, and choose a door company for the same reason, you may be vulnerable to spending your money more than once to replace a door not carefully selected.
Most doors are built in places called millworks shops, and there are many in Jacksonville and throughout the state. These shops build doors based on volume and pricing, and quality is not always paramount. In fact, to be competitive, especially when supplying doors to builders or home improvement warehouses such as Lowe's or Home Depot, you can be assured that quality takes a lower position on the priority list.
These generally are builder grade doors and their claim to fame is a lower price point. To achieve that lower price point, inferior products will be used. For instance, the hinges will be anodized or painted and will be low grade residential, which means they are stamped out with very thin metal thicknesses. The weather stripping will be nylon, which loses its ability to conform and seal tightly to the door slab over time. The threshold will be thin cast aluminum with a wood support plate, inviting both termites as a food source and wood rot if moisture gets under the threshold (it will, be assured).
The frame (jambs) will be a fir wood, prone to splitting, termites and wood rot. Look for fancy wording by some companies about their jambs and thresholds, but hedge their claims by adding "Limits jamb rot". In a quality door system, wood rot and termite damage should be eliminated, and stated so in the warranty.
The frames (jambs) on low price doors will always be stapled onto the threshold. This type fastening system lends itself to production, but is also limited in strength.
Builder grade low price doors almost always have excessive reveals, the narrow gap between the door slab and the jamb itself. Wide gaps allows for doors to "fall" in the opening over time, a common problem with doors using inexpensive hinges. This is why doors "stick" or rub, it's because the door has fallen or shifted in the opening. Since there is limited money to be made on inexpensive doors, the manufacturer limits their warranty expense by creating these excessive reveals or gaps. This allows the door to "fall" further before sticking, resulting in less service calls and warranty issues.
There are other options to buying a builder grade door unit. One is to seek out quality name brand doors, such as Andersen, Peachtree, Marvin, and Pella (not the Pella doors sold through Lowe's — these are knockoffs from the real deal). These name brand doors are generally sold through independent door shops and will command higher prices, but the quality far exceeds doors sold at the home improvement warehouses.
Dream Doors and More builds doors to a quality standard, and feature components not found on most doors at any price. We invite you visit our showroom and let us show you the exclusive features offered.
There is as much difference in door companies as there are in door quality. Several things to look out for and confirm up front are:
In conclusion, it pays to shop, compare and ask questions. Be informed as to what a good door really is. Deal with companies that will spend time with you answering questions, has numerous references and a strong community presence. Beware of those who pressure you into making a decision before obtaining all the facts. Look for a large selection of products to insure your door is as special as the home it's installed into.
We invite you to call us at 904-880-7778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions or visit our showroom at 5220 Shad Road in Jacksonville.