When the time comes to change your doors and windows, it is good to know that a lot of options are available when building a door system. That is why I chose to share with you this first example featuring a possibility that is often ignored when buying a new door system.

If you have to replace a door system assembled with a transom of 17’’ high or less above, be aware that you can get a custom door system that will fill up the total height (including the transom) of the original door as demonstrated below.

This option could come in handy when you have to replace a door system assembled with a really small transom (like 9’’ or less) which does not let that much light inside anyway.

For a long time, consumers had to choose between the beauty of a wood door and the strength of a steel door. Today, a few door and window manufacturers found a clever and efficient way to combine both materials. In fact, it is now possible to take a steel door and apply, on the interior surface as an example, a wood veneer which will play a first-rate aesthetic role.

The benefits of choosing a steel door instead of a massive wood door are considerables :

  • Isolation value between R-16 and R-20 for a steel door with wood veneer as opposed to R-8 for the most performant massive wood door.
  • A more solid structure (especially in regards to 22 gauge steel doors) more resistant to chocs and exposition to weather elements.
  • Better resistance against warping.

For a few years now, we noticed another popular trend rising from the market : The possibility to personalize our doors and windows. Manufacturers have to adjust to this new reality by offering a wider range of choices. In addition to a wood veneer applied on the inside surface of a door, you can now get the same wood veneer on the outside surface of the door or, even better, on both sides of the door : The Absolute wood veneer which will perfectly imitate the appearance of a solid wood door. Several wood species are available as well : Oak and pine remain among the most popular choices but other species such as birch, mahogany, cedar and cherrywood are also availables.

All wood doors and windows are having a hard time keeping their place on the market mainly because people do not have the time for their maintenance anymore (this would explain why hybrid products made of two different materials are becoming more popular). This time again, manufacturers have to adapt by offering maintenance-free products. As a result, people can now have access to an entirely factory stained and varnished wood veneer using ultra-resistant and waterproof polyurethane based products. A wide range of color choice can also be available for this feature as well.

For a few years now, people have become more and more aware about security issues when replacing a door system. Therefore it is good to be informed that a lot of options are available to increase the security factor of a door system such as :

The security plate : A metal plate installed on the door frame in order to increase the resistance of the deadbolt of your door handle. This option is generally available for only a few dollars more.

22 Gauge steel door : The thickest steel skin available on the residential doors and windows market. Generally, manufacturers will mostly offer 24 or 26 gauge steel for their doors. In this case it is important to understand that in steel gauge, the LOWER the number is, the thicker the steel is. 22 gauge steel will provide you with a more shock-resistant door system.

And finally, when the time comes to choose a handleset for your door, be aware that it is also possible to equip a door with a Multi-point hardware : a 3-point locking system that will greatly improve the strenght and the stability of a door system.

To our knowledge, the Multi-point systems is one of the most secure system available in Canada. But it would seems that there is an even more secure system available somewhere as proven by this short video that I would like to share with you. I do not know if this system is available in North America but I think it may interest even the most paranoid among us…

12 locking points security door hardware

This week, I would like to share some really interesting information about the installation of new windows. This information was taken from a memo received from a manufacturer specializing in the production of PVC windows : Lajeunesse Windows.

During the course of performing some after sales service ajustments, they frequently encounter situations where they find condensation and ice formation on windows.

These situations are frequent when the window frame goes deeper outside than the actual house frame. People should be aware that there is a general principle stating that a window will perform a lot better if the sealed unit is positioned in the isolated part of the wall. It is even more true when sliding or hung windows are installed in a way that they stick out from the house wall. This could result in the draining holes being blocked by ice therefore preventing the evacuation of water created by the condensation phenomenon.

In conclusion, it is strongly recommended to always install a window in recess toward the interior (1/4’’ minimum) from the exterior wall. In addition, an isolation product (foam or mineral wool) should always be applied all around the window as well as on the whole depth of the wall.

Over the last few years, the fiberglass door has found it’s place on the market mostly because of its “wood grain” finish which when stained, imitates the look of a massive wood door.

Except that most door and window manufacturers which offers the fiberglass door do not offer the option of factory staining the product. Therefore be advised that you might end up having to do it yourself. According to fiberglass door manufacturers such as Masonite, it is perfectly feasible. They even published some documents covering the subject such as this one :

How to stain fiberglass entry systems

Fortunately for those of us less “adventurous”, manufacturers such as Portatec do offer a complete factory stain finish option for fiberglass doors with a wide choice of colors. In this area of expertise, Portatec as created a unique process combining : The application of a primer coat, a stain and then a clear polyurethane coat to increase protection of the finish. The result speaks for itself…

This is of course, one of the many questions you will need to answer when the time comes to change your doors and windows but it would be a shame to overlook it’s importance. After all, the door giving you access to your backyard deserves to be treated with respect before making a choice in this matter. So, patio door or garden door ? Before giving an answer, several elements need to be considered :

The frequency at which the door is used. As an example, do you use this door only to ventilate the house in the spring or in the fall season ? If so, aim toward a patio door. On the other hand, the garden door will be more adapted for those who use it as the main access to their home.

Enough space inside the house. Essential for adequate operation of a garden door opening toward the inside. In case of insufficient space, a patio door would be a better choice. You can of course choose a garden door opening toward the outside but be aware that this is not an ideal solution from an aesthetic point of view because the door sill which is generally positioned outside will be found inside the house.

Visibility an light. Be advised that the glass surface of a patio door is approximately 33% bigger than the one of a garden door.

Opening size and air entry. For those of you who want maximum air entry, it would be wise to choose a garden door; more specifically a model where the secondary door is equipped with an operating post allowing both doors to be opened when needed. You can also combine this set-up with a double screen system (sliding or opening both sides) for maximum ventilation.

Never forget that the choices you make regarding door and window renovation will have a direct impact on your everyday life inside your home. Therefore always take the time to give these matters a great deal of thought before reaching a decision because you will have to live with it for many years to come.

With winter approching fast, it is possible to fell dafts of cool air coming from your doors and windows. According to the Energy Efficiency Agency, 60% of the annual energy expenses of your home are dedicated to heating costs, which easily represents at least 1000$ per year. A sustantial amount of money can be saved by performing simple actions which needs to be done before cold season.

The maintenance of your doors and PVC windows is relatively simple. These products will not require any painting, staining or preventive treatments. Cleaning them can be done with mild cleaning product (like dishwashing soap) mixed with water. Hinges can be lubricated with teflon based products or dry silicone.

Stell door hinges should be lubricated with grease once a year, during fall season, using this simple procedure : Remove the pin one hinge at a time, apply a thin layer of grease and put the pin back on. Repeat the procedure for each hinge.

Verify all door weatherstripping which could be damaged as well as all window sealing which could be dry, torn off, splitted or even completely gone.

Finally, it is recommended to remove all internal screens for the complete duration of the winter.

Water infiltrations can become really harmful for your home. They can damage interior facing and help create mould. Of course, your doors and windows will always remain an element to keep an eye on on a regular basis regarding possible risks of water infiltration.

First step in verifying your doors and windows : the inspection of the sealant condition. We need to make sure that it still sticks and is ”crack free”. Of course, it is important to remplace the sealant if needed.

Then, verify all water draining holes on your doors and windows : located at the door sill level and at the bottom of the windows. Make sure that nothing is blocking them. Be advised that some lesser quality window products might not have any draining holes which could of course increase the risks of water infiltration.

The next step would be to carefully inspect the shape of the material including assembling pieces and all components of your doors and windows. As time passes by, contraction and expansion of door and window materials and components eventually creates tiny spaces which could further water infiltration.

Keep in mind that there will always be a possibility that water could penetrate your walls through even the tinniest cracks. We need to understand that water will inevitabely follow all wall sufaces, including those of doors and windows. Water is bound to look for the shortest way to reach the ground and therefore cracks all around doors and windows will offer excellent shortcuts.

Your house is the first thing that you project to the face of the world. A wrong choice of color for your doors and windows will therefore produce an direct impact on your image in your neighborhood. We can create a strong and durable impression when choosing the right paint color. In order to help you start on the right foot in choosing a color for your door and window renovation project, here are some general advices on the subject :

  1. If  you feel uncomfortable regarding color choices, do not be afraid to ask for professional help on the subject. Many designers specializing in this particular field can offer consultations at a reasonable price.
  2. Keep in mind that regarding the choice of an exterior color, it is mostly all about context. Therefore, the color that you will end up choosing might not be the one you prefer but the one which is most in harmony with the other houses in your area. Like it or not, your house is a part of the urban scenery… Unless you live on a desert island…
  3. Try to do a preliminary test of a color on a piece of paper and expose it outside during different periods of the day. Exterior light changes during the couse of the day and can considerably alter the appearance of a color.
  4. For an entry door, consider going with a white door frame if you are thinking of choosing a neutral or rich color. This will give it a fresh and clean feel. We can also create some interesting contrasts by matching the color of the door frame with the windows while choosing a different color (mabye darker) for the door itself.
  5. For a house made of wood or stone, you could choose to go with a door with stained wood finish. Therefore, the front door will feel more integrated to the overall look of the house.
  6. To create a lighter contrast with a red brick wall, choose a shade of beige matching the brick mortar instead of going with white.
  7. Most of the better door and window manufacturers usually have a wide selection of colors to choose from. Be aware that even though none of them suits you, it is possible for some manufacturers to create a personnnalized color as per a supplied sample of your chosen color.

You need to replace your front door and none of the available models on the market suits the architectural style that you have been searching for ? You are in a creative mood and have a good idea of what your dream door would look like but unfortunately nothing in the door and window world is remotely similar to what you have imagined ? Well, be advised that there are door manufacturers, such as Portatec, who have a custom creation department dedicated to help you in every step of the creation process of the door of your dreams. You just have to supply a rough handmade sketch. Starting from that, a technical drawing can be produced for your approval as well as provide precise guidelines for every production steps in order to create your personalized entry door system.
Personalized colors, custom decorative mouldings, adapted height and width, door glass units available in an infinite variety of styles and sizes… The possibilities are endless. You just have to find the right team of experts that will make your vision a reality. Let your imagination go… We will take care of the rest.