Best Insulated Doors
Last Post 12 Apr 2013 01:10 PM by rpatterman. 28 Replies.
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lambabbeyUser is Offline
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19 May 2009 07:26 AM
I need some recommendations for fiberglass doors.    I'm building a small super-insulated ICF house with just a front and back door and I want to make sure that I'm going with doors that are going to minimize the likely thermal bridging problem they're going to cause.    The doors will be painted.    Ideally, I'd like something Craftsman-style with a few lites in the top 1/4, like these.    The best I've found digging around online have been the Therma-Tru Classic-Craft doors, but I'm guessing there are comparable doors that are even better insulated without costing a hell of a lot more.    How do Therma-Tru doors compare to JELD-WEN?  

Any other suggestions?


John

John A Gasbarre
Lamb Abbey Orchards
Union, ME 04862
orchard@lambabbey.com
newbiejohnUser is Offline
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21 May 2009 10:56 AM
Good question, hopefully some good answers coming.. As im looking for the same thing.

John, have you started your ICF home yet? Im in the process of ICF in Maine as well.
lambabbeyUser is Offline
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21 May 2009 11:04 AM
John:

I won't be breaking ground until this Fall or possibly next Spring, depending upon the sale of my current house.

I'm curious to learn more about the structure you'll be building.    Tell me more. . .


John



John A Gasbarre
Lamb Abbey Orchards
Union, ME 04862
orchard@lambabbey.com
newbiejohnUser is Offline
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21 May 2009 03:34 PM
Well,

I have bounced back and forth between double wall construction and ICF. I believe we are now leaning on TF Verticle ICF's. They poured the footers for my home today, and I need to make up my mind in the next couple of days.

I can order the TF's with 4.5" of foam on the exterior with 2.5 on the interior.

We are building a one story Ranch approx 2000sqft.

We are about to order the triple pane fiberglass windows from INLINE in canada.

Im still learning and researching how to best seal up the roof, installations of windows, and doors. Also researching the best solutions for radiant heat.

Also trying to figure out if I need HouseWrap under the HardiPlank siding we plan on using.
lambabbeyUser is Offline
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21 May 2009 03:49 PM
John:

Sounds like we're going to be using similar technology.   There's a ton to learn, eh?    My place will be much smaller than yours--1,300 sq ft--because it's just being built for two of us with no kids.  You'll find the basics for it here:  www.orchardman.com, including plans that are 95% complete, elevations and some technical details.   

Where in Maine is your place being built?   When are you targeting it to be completed?  

We should talk sometime and compare notes.


John
John A Gasbarre
Lamb Abbey Orchards
Union, ME 04862
orchard@lambabbey.com
Jesse ThompsonUser is Offline
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22 May 2009 08:57 AM
Back to doors. Generic American entry doors are a dead end, the aesthetics, seals and sills are inadequate for anyone looking for good performance, thermally or air tightness. We are continually caught between beautiful un-insulated wood slabs and marginally insulated fiberglass doors that aren't good looking.

I would suggest going custom. Take a look at this German door: http://passivhausfenster.at/products/house-doors

With the selection of weatherseals available from Conservation Technologies ( http://conservationtechnology.com/building_weatherseals.htmls ), any good woodworker should be able to make you a similar door that would align with your aesthetic and perform better than anything available on the market. I've always thought that a sauna door company could produce a better looking and insulated door than anything we can buy at a lumberyard.
Jesse Thompson
Kaplan Thompson Architects
http://www.kaplanthompson.com/
Portland, ME

Beautiful, Sustainable, Attainable
newbiejohnUser is Offline
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22 May 2009 10:34 AM
Is anyone in Canada making any high efficiency doors like they are for windows?
lambabbeyUser is Offline
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22 May 2009 10:37 AM
John:

Fibertec does, for one.    But the aesthetics of their doors isn't quite what I'm looking for.


John

John A Gasbarre
Lamb Abbey Orchards
Union, ME 04862
orchard@lambabbey.com
lambabbeyUser is Offline
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22 May 2009 10:43 AM
Jesse:

Custom is probably an option I should consider, however I'm trying to keep the costs on this house from spinning out of control.   The Passivhaus doors you referenced look killer from an insulation standpoint, but as you're already aware, those aren't made for the American market.    I'll take a look at having something custom made as you suggested, just to see how they'd price out.    Any suggestions for woodworkers here in Maine who you'd go to to have a job like this done?    I hate the idea of being the guinea pig on someone's learning curve. . .


John
John A Gasbarre
Lamb Abbey Orchards
Union, ME 04862
orchard@lambabbey.com
Jesse ThompsonUser is Offline
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22 May 2009 11:08 AM
John,

Knowing where you live, go look for some recently idled mid-coast boat builders. Their wood shaping skills are tremendous, complex curves are their bread and butter, and they're used to shaping foam. An insulated wood door should be child's play.

I imagine there are some wooden boat builder forums just like this one out there somewhere...
Jesse Thompson
Kaplan Thompson Architects
http://www.kaplanthompson.com/
Portland, ME

Beautiful, Sustainable, Attainable
lambabbeyUser is Offline
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22 May 2009 04:30 PM
Jesse:

Great suggestions.    I appreciate the direction.


John

John A Gasbarre
Lamb Abbey Orchards
Union, ME 04862
orchard@lambabbey.com
TLC-ICFUser is Offline
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22 May 2009 08:50 PM
Posted By Jesse Thompson on 05/22/2009 11:08 AM
John,

Knowing where you live, go look for some recently idled mid-coast boat builders. Their wood shaping skills are tremendous, complex curves are their bread and butter, and they're used to shaping foam. An insulated wood door should be child's play.

I imagine there are some wooden boat builder forums just like this one out there somewhere...

no such thing as an insulated wood door. Wood is not a good insulater.
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23 May 2009 11:00 AM
Posted By newbiejohn on 05/21/2009 3:34 PM
Well,

I have bounced back and forth between double wall construction and ICF. I believe we are now leaning on TF Verticle ICF's. They poured the footers for my home today, and I need to make up my mind in the next couple of days.

I can order the TF's with 4.5" of foam on the exterior with 2.5 on the interior.

We are building a one story Ranch approx 2000sqft.



How were you planning on attaching your walls to your footing?  Standard procedure for ICF walls is to install rebar dowels in the footing every 16" to 48" (depends on loads on walls) and aligned with the cavities in your forms.  These typically extend 16"- 24" up into the wall.  If you didn't do this and only installed anchor bolts for standard wall construction, you can come back and drill holes and epoxy grout rebar dowels at the necessary locations - just more work and more expense.  Ideally, you need to determine what kind of wall system you are using (including brand if using ICF due different spacing of ties) prior to installing the footing.  Also, are your footings large enough to support the additional weight of a concrete wall?
newbiejohnUser is Offline
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23 May 2009 05:54 PM
Here are some results for the Fibertech doors..

Screw Holding Capacity Test
Door Static Load Test
ASTM D1761
Minimum Load: 450lbs.
Distinction Door Load: 867lbs.
ASTM D1450 Sec 7.3
Minimum Load: 1000lbs.
Distinction Door Load: 2169lbs.
Machining Test ASTM D1666
The Distinction Door Mat Requirements for Boring
Sawing, Planing, Routing, Drilling & Chisel.
Air Infiltration ASTM E283
Test Pressure: 1.57psf (25mph)
Distinction Door Results: 0.10 scmf/ft
Water Resistance ASTM E331
Test Pressure: 2.68psf (25mph)
Distinction Door Results: Passed, No Leakage
Past Innermost
Uniform Structural Load ASTM E330
Test Pressure: 41.5psf (positive)
Distinction Door Results: Passed, No failure
NERC U Value = 0.15
LINYERUser is Offline
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24 May 2009 07:55 AM
From someone who has had nothing but problems with Fibertec, you will regret it. This company has the most unprofessional people from the President down to customer service. Their casement window crank mechanism to open and close the windows is not sturdy enough and Fibertec will not return my calls or email. If you are ever passing through VT, you are welcome to come and see what I am talking about. Every room in my house has a Fibertec window that isn't working properly and Fibertec will not even get back to me so I can purchase some of the parts. This is the most horrible company I have done business with EVER!! After doing some research on this company, it seems others are having the same problem I am with the windows and the staff.
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14 Jan 2010 03:23 PM
I have a mahogany front door and wishing I would have gone with something more energy efficient. I didn't realize at the time I was building the little insulation value it has. I am planning for my future house to build and would like to get ideas... I was thinking about the Therma-Tru FiberClassic. If there are other doors that perform better, please let me know.

Thanks,
Jere
I built my home with the help of Pierson-Gibbs Homes, "The Hands on House". They build the shell, you finish it. www.p-ghomes.com
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16 Jan 2010 07:37 AM
I used a Home Depot Feather River Door for my entry and a Jeld-Wen for by back door. The Feather River IMHO is far better quality then the Jeld-Wen. Feather River is wrap around FG pre-finished and Jeld-Wen has FG faces with exposed wood edges surrounding. The Jeld-Wen was also cheaper. Both were Energy Star rated. I guess you get what you pay for. Six years in the front door, no problems, looks like new. Three years on back door, looks new.

I believe that Lowe’s sells Therma-Tru which we looked at. Not bad, but were special order in the style we wanted and we needed a door quick. HD had Feather River in stock and in the style we wanted (also found one on sale for $200 off). Heard some bad things about Feather River, but have had no problems.

No real complaints about either, but Feather River appears to be better quality (also more $$). However, frames on both leave a lot to be desired. If you buy off the shelf, check frames and doors for damage. It seems that the box stored just don't care about how they handle things, as many doors at both stores had handling damage.
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12 Oct 2011 03:01 PM
The advice of going custom is a good one until the german products are readily available in North America.  Hoffmeyer's Mill in Ontario have built many custom doors and have 100 yrs + experience between them.  They seem to do anything you want.  A quick google will pull them up and there are plenty of pictures.

As for wood doors not being insulated...well, many companies sandwich wood and foam.  I think most people who have researched insulated doors know this. 
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12 Oct 2011 03:31 PM
Provia claims to make an R-15 Polyurethane door in their 'Legacy' line. The poly is sandwiched between steel that is finished to look like wood.
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02 Apr 2013 03:25 AM
Posted By Jesse Thompson on 22 May 2009 08:57 AM
Back to doors. Generic American entry doors are a dead end, the aesthetics, seals and sills are inadequate for anyone looking for good performance, thermally or air tightness. We are continually caught between beautiful un-insulated wood slabs and marginally insulated fiberglass doors that aren't good looking.




Old thread but the above pretty much sums it up.

Stay away
from Therma-Tru doors, I've heard nothing good about them.

GBA Article on Insulated Doors

Best option is to look to Europe or even Canada for an answer. Intus makes really well designed and affordable entry doors. Mult-locking mechanism and double/triple gaskets.




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