When you're building a custom home for a client, one of the decisions they'll have to make is the type of door they want installed. You don't want to wait until the last minute to make this decision because the front door has a big impact on the appearance of the home from the curb.
The options are nearly endless when it comes to entry doors, but there are some special things to consider when you're building in the humid and storm-prone Florida climate. Here are some options in materials and designs for exterior doors.
Steel, Wood, or Fiberglass
Exterior doors are all designed to be strong, so one of the big differences between different types is their durability. For instance, wood doors swell with changes in humidity and can be damaged by UV exposure and insects. Steel and fiberglass, on the other hand, tolerate high humidity and the extreme Florida heat, and they are also resistant to insects that thrive in warm and humid conditions.
Fiberglass is an excellent material for exterior doors. It is very strong and can be made to look like real wood with grain lines and surface texture. Fiberglass won't rust and is difficult to scratch. It is also an energy-efficient building material.
Maintenance is another thing to think about. Wood doors usually need the most maintenance, but steel and fiberglass doors also need some cleaning and painting or staining occasionally. However, since steel and fiberglass don't deteriorate like wood, they generally need far less maintenance. This factor could be a key selling feature if your clients want a material that lasts a long time but won't have too much maintenance.
Impact Doors and Glass
Installing impact doors on a new home should probably be high on your list of priorities. When hurricanes are always a possibility, you want as much protection as possible for the home. One way to add protection is to buy doors that stand up to direct impacts and hurricane-force winds.
Choose doors that have high impact ratings on them. The impact rating lets you know the door, frame, and glass are all strong enough to withstand powerful winds when the door is installed properly.
You can even have impact glass placed in patio doors. While the glass might crack if a heavy object is blown against it, the glass won't fly apart and send shards hurling into the home. Instead, a film between the two layers of glass holds the broken glass in the frame. This offers protection against extreme weather as well as intruders.
The benefit of choosing impact doors is that your clients can have as much decorative glass around the door as they like without sacrificing safety.
Transoms, Sidelites, and Windows
While safety, longevity, and maintenance requirements come into play when choosing entry doors, you and your clients also want to consider the style. Your clients may want a beautiful door complete with frosted or clear glass sidelites.
Sidelites placed on one or both sides of an entry door or a transom window placed above the door lets more natural light into the home, which is something many people try to achieve. Most importantly, the glass gives the home style.
You can choose from a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes for the glass, whether you have sidelites, a transom, or just a door glass installed. If you also choose insulated glass, you won't have to worry about the outdoor heat running up your client's power bill when using the air conditioner.Once you and your clients finalize your plans for entry doors on the new home, call Mikro Corp for a quote and quick delivery of any building materials you need to complete the job.