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 Post subject: help-suggestions for sliding patio door
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:05 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 12
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I am researching patio doors and like windows,. the choices can be overwhelming. I live in Phila. and our winters can be severe so I would like a door that is energy efficient. What are the pros and cons as to vinyle vs fiberglass. I guess at the minimum low-e and argon are necessary. the exterior dimensions are 77 1/2" w x 82 1/4 h. So to go with a standard size some framing and then caping is necesarry. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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EDITED: Since this thread was edited and some previous posts removed, my response to one of the posts makes no sense..... so I am removing it.


Last edited by Window4U (IL) on Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Patio doors come in standard widths today. You happen to have one of the oddball openings. You have two choices in the replacement of your door. You can go vinyl and have the new door match the existing for a small fee. If you order a standard size then you'll need to downsize the opening. Downsizing the opening takes some skill in completing properly. This is one sore spot in my mind when others just spank up some boards and try to patch the inside and outside with whatever they can find in the backyard. Do some planning and get some one with knowledge of doing it correctly. The inside is where most installers cob it together. Good Luck!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:34 pm
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Location: minneapolis,minnesota
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Im curious where your taking your measurments from on the exterior, what type of trim exists brickmould etc. on the inside you can use 3 1/4 casing that helps especially with the header, what is the finish on the interior, sheetrock, plywood, plaster, :) :?:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
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with measurements on the exterior of 77 x 82 i assumme the interior measurements are near 70 1/2 x 79 1/2 which would be standard not custom order ( big price difference )
To be sure losen the interior casing (top and sides) and measure 2x4 to 2 x4 top and bottom (height and width)and write back to me on this thread.
It may need built in and down or custom ordered both at additional costs.
Or it may not need any extras and the others will charge you anyway because you do not know any different.
Funny business isnt it. buyer always ask questions. The most honest person in this business in my opinion is a professional installer. He only gets paid if its done right. As far as what brand to buy ? How much do you want to spend and how long do you plan to stay in your home?
I have Anderson in my home for 15 yrs. no problems. But I know there are other doors out there now for less than I paid then .
Pella thermastar and atrium have a door for Less than $800 installed that will work well but are considered low end ( because they are )
Simonton,Alside (wood reinforced vinyl nice door), Polaris (nice door), Shuco (Never seen one "site favorite") Anderson and many others for $1500 plus .
My overall pick (here we go ) Is the Alside door ( if you purchase it from Window World , I dont make a dime off of this) Its a very nice door and they sell a 6 ft with low E argon installed for $959 (measures 70 5/8x 791/2") Without a coutom order.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:29 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 12
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Thanks for all responses. I'll try to answer all questions. THe current door is a hollow wood core door with storm door centered between two single pane side lights. appears original encased in thin wood The frame appears to be 2x6's on the sides and the top. There is a poured concrete threshold at the bottom approx. 1" H the entire length of the opening. The opening is from the rear of the property at ground level through a poured concrete foundation. The interior is framed sheetrock. The interior and exterior dimensions rough opening are the same (not including the 2x6's) We are now considering french in swing patio doors as opposed to the slider. We have looked at the Marvin integrity and like it ( a distributor is 1/2 mile away.) All comments once again appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Personally i hate french doors. Not because of the way they look but because what gravity does to themand the inconvenience of the screen and trying to open both sides with out moving furniture.
As far as french doors go my favorites are pella and anderson another suggestion is a sliding vinyl door by simonton it kinda has a french door look.
Think about it. You have two large heavy slabs hanging from the sides and meeting in the middle. Gravity and use pulling down on them all the time. Given 2 to 3 years they sag in ward causing operation and sealing problems. The only reason I like the anderson or pella is the locking mechanism for the stationary panel holds the one slab securely and adds support.
Again I havent seen the Marvin and it may have all these same features or more. One thing I do know about french doors is do not go cheap or you will have problems.


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 Post subject: whatever
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: minneapolis,minnesota
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it sounds pretty simple what ever youy decide to install, if you go with a french door set make sure youhave that threshold level and you shim correctly above the hingesif it fits I like to use little half inch plywood blocks check the opening carefully for, twist,plumetc. they all can cause time especially if your inexperienced add a twobyof what ever your house is framed with now to each sidethen rip down cedar decking5/4 to the same widthnail that to both sides add sheeting to the outside window tapeto the outsideover that seam and the nail finn,add trim or in your case since your french door comes with brickmoldorder without or take it off and throw it awayadd what ever trim you want to fill in the downsize make the window tape covers the sheeting seem onto the jamb you will also have to use backer rod between the ro an d the jamb tape first put backer in from the inside seal with silcone then add the insulation on the inside sheetrock tape mudd and if you not very good at that know worries throw a 1/6 3/4 oak board on for trimmaybe a backer band on the edge orsome princeton stop on the face really depends what you have for interior trim. or if none of thois makes sense im crazy or you should hire a professional especially with french doors


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:04 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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You can really use what ever you want in that opening. If it will fit then it's good to go. Handyman brings up one good point on the space required for these doors. Since they swing in they require a cleared area to open. This can dig into some space inside. The comments on gravity and sagging I disagree with. Double doors require a skilled installer that knows what their doing. I worked in the Industrial side of the industry for many years. I hung more pairs of fire doors in schools and businesses than I could ever think of. The only time they have ever sagged or rubbed is when some one screws them up. Most people put those little 90 degree door stops that go on top a hinge. The hinge pin is removed and the door stop is held in place by pushing the pin through it and then into the hinges. There is nothing worse you can put on your door!!!!!!!! Every time that door is pushed open fast or even leaned on it puts a huge amount of stress on that hinge. It will pull the screws out and even bend the hinge. This is one of the biggest problem makers in the industry. The other thing is sticking the broom handle in between the door edge and the frame to stop a self closing door from closing. The only other thing I've seen is hinge wear. The door is used so much that the inside of the hinge barrel is worn down from the pin. It only happens on doors that don't use ball bearing hinges. If the doors are hung correctly and the security screws are tightened with shims properly. The door should never sag. Always check the screws even from the factory and make sure they are tight. Most the time the screws aren't snugged down all the way. If done right they will last and work great forever!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Guy
You disagreed with me and confirmed the problems I had at the same time in the same paragraph.
By the way commercial doors and fire doors are usually steel and have industrial hinges and hardware. Residential does not.
Skilled installer or not nothing you do can compete with a 4 year old hanging on the slab swinging back and forth. Ive seen 4 inch screws snap or bend even under normal usage or light usage and you know what happens when you lose the screws on the top hinge on either side.Ball bearing hinges yeah right they wear out to (they are usually nylon bushings on residential doors, sometimes brass) Lose the bearings lose the door.By the time the bearings get replaced the 2 slabs have rubbed together where they meet and seals are damaged and slabs are damaged. The hinge pins wear down. They sure do. If you lose the top hinge you lose everything.
Lets see Customer abuse (or kid), hinge failure, bearing failure, And lets go with general hardware failure where to two slabs latch together. None of this has anything to do with an installer. Its the type of door and the problems that go with it. The weight of the slabs( gravity) and the amount of usage Abusive or not all wear on the components of this type of door. Especially a cheap one. Maybe a good alternative would be an atrium door where only 1 side opens and the other is fixed but still looks like a french door ? Not to many problems with these at all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 12
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Thanks for all the replies. Based upon the responses we are no longer nor were we ever strongly considering french doors where both doors opened. We were leaning towards the atrium where one door opens inward. On a previous post a reply stated stay away from wood clad products because in extreme temperatures as they expand and contract at different rates and thusly problems occur. Is this true and if so is vinyl or fiberglass the best bet and once again suggestions for atrium doors mid to high end suggestions appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Handyman, I still disagree with you. If a four year old is using the door as a swing, that's just abuse. The kid needs a kick in the britches and told to stay away from the door. Yes the commercial door is made heavier and uses a thicker hinge. But if your using a solid core wood door then you should use the heavier hinge with it. If you don't have ball bearing hinges where you are then your behind the times. All my doors come with them and they don't fall out. It's a well proven fact that if you hang the door right and it's some what plumb. Ball bearing hinges should last you at least 20 years plus. We do it here everyday and have never had any problems as far back as I can remember. The only issues are those damn door stops that insert through the hinge pin and sit on top the hinge. These will set a door out of whack in a heartbeat every time. They will literally bend the hinge.

On another note. Where did you get your dimensions for the patio door above. If the outside was measured brick to brick with standard two inch brickmould. The unit size would be 74 1/2" wide and 80 3/4" tall. The average brickmould hangs over the frame 1-1/4" on each side. So you subtract 2-1/2" from width and 1-1/2" on top. This will give you the approximate unit size. It's still a gamble though. I've never been wrong using that theory yet (knock on wood). I've just never had any issues with double doors in residential applications. If a commercial door sags then I put a pivot hinge on and it's done. Or I get a continuous hinge which is the ultimate choice. The door will never sag!! I do agree that an atrium door is much more efficient. You could also put a 40" door with two 14" sidelights in the opening. You may have to spread the mulls a bit but it look great. I use four hinges on my 40" doors by the way!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Guy
my dinensions where derived from a 2x4 on each side
74 1/2 - 3 = 71 1/2 Which leaves 1" play 1/2" on each side. slide in a 3/4 board on the latch side ( on a slider probably ,a little to tight) If you have or want to.
Add a 2x4 on the top (probably a little to tight) so use a 1x4.
this make the opening 71 1/2 x 80 (perfect for a 70 1/2 x 79 1/2 door )
use 3 1/4" casing and some insulation and its beautiful. from my house your house and even in the rear view mirror. Heck it even looks good standing right in front of it.(inside and out) No need for a costom ordered door.
Ball bearing hinges do fail and 4 year olds do what they do but its still my problem when it happens .
For you MRDSE I still like the atrium door from pella but I am sure there are others out there just as good . As far as expansion contraction rates blah blah blah thats what they are a way to differintiate one salesmans product from another to make you buy theirs. or if you dont make you feel bad because you didnt.
Buy the best you can afford just dont let someone talk you into spending more than you can.( I am a hipocrite spend at least $1200 on the door plus extra for installation minimum you get what you pay for with doors)
Guy I am not behind the times either . I can only install to the best of my abilities what is sold. I can not alter the orignal fabrication of the manufacturer or it would void the warranty and be all on me.
Four hinges, Continuous, (piano) who manufactures a stock door with these options?(residential)
20 years no problems.? Yet you know all the solutions to them. (and I can tell you know what you are doing I bow to you as a fellow INSTALLER)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:17 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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I got you on the opening for the patio door. You were already down sizing the opening. Sorry i misunderstood you. I would do the exact same thing and yes your right they look great when their done. I agree with you on Pella. I think they have the best slider on the market for patio doors. It's nice having another Pella supporter around. I pretty much stand up here on the stage getting bombarded by rocks when I support them. But I've had great luck with them and I buy them direct at a great price. Best thing is I can usually get my product here to my door in no longer than two weeks from my order date.

As for the behind the times shot. I read my post again and apologize for that insult towards you. I didn't word the statement very well. I was really meaning your door supplier was behind the times. My local door manufacturers both give me Stanley 3.5 x 3.5 Heavy Duty BB hinges. I have supplier that specializes in Stanley doors and another that uses Therma-Tru. I can get them in Stainless or Bright Brass. Both my suppliers also make commercial products so they have them on hand all the time. It makes for a much easier operating door. Your warranty won't void if you upgrade hinges with the same screw pattern. If my sales rep ever said that I would Pimp Slap him back to reality.

The extra hardware is my addition. I was in the door and frame manufacturing part of the trade for many years. So my suppliers trust my judgment and really let me do what I want. They know if I bring product back for warranty issues. I'm on the up and up with them. I cut the fourth hinge in myself. The continuous gear hinge I use is from the commercial industry made by "Select". It's a $75.00 hinge but it's worth it's weight in gold to me and certain customers. I take care of an elderly community with 300 condo's. They were having issues with burglar's kicking the doors in. I add that hinge and some security hardware and they have to kick their brains out to get in. So they made to much noise and got caught. I've changed out more than half the doors there as of today. I do about ten per year for them. I also use them in other situations, but they work great. Thank you for the kind words. I really bow to you for being open minded to new ideas. It's how we all learn and advance in the trade!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Guy
Finally we agree on several issues to the benefit of the customer. MRDCSE I know you probably got more than what you wanted but I hope you benefited from it.
Guy its so much better when they get information from the guys in the trenches with out the technical jargon that Salesmen use to wow their customers into submission and open their wallets (or a 10 year loan)
Truth be known many of them have no idea what they are selling past the specs in a book ( U values, Welds, Virgin vinyl, Warranty)
Nice debate with you and to mrdcse good luck.
Going to butt heads on another thread.


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