Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

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Brewtownphilee
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Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

Hello,

Does anyone have any experience in purchasing and/or installing residential steel-framed entry doors? I'm looking at upgrading our entry doors and found several systems from larger manufacturers such as Mastercraft and MMI (Jeld-Wen). However, other than some short Home Depot comments, I have been unable to find any thorough consumer/installer reviews. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you. :beer
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mrsbetsy
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by mrsbetsy »

We did this recently in our 45 year old home. We have double entry doors, but the size is no longer standard. We used a locally owned mom and pop shop and could not be happier.

I have no knowledge of the big players so I'd just encourage you...in the current climate...to go local. They will strive for quality service and that's worth a few extra bucks.

Mrs. Betsy
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Brewtownphilee
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

Thanks for the response. I'm just itching to use my power tool collection, but I will look into some local outfits. :beer
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cheese_breath
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by cheese_breath »

Is there a difference between a steel-frame door and a steel door? This is an honest question, not sarcasm.
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Valuethinker
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Valuethinker »

Brewtownphilee wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:04 pm Hello,

Does anyone have any experience in purchasing and/or installing residential steel-framed entry doors? I'm looking at upgrading our entry doors and found several systems from larger manufacturers such as Mastercraft and MMI (Jeld-Wen). However, other than some short Home Depot comments, I have been unable to find any thorough consumer/installer reviews. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you. :beer
What happens if your local Fire Department has to gain entry?

Genuine question. Not intended to be a snark. Around here (wood frame doors, UK) they have special battering rams (I have bolts through the frame, on the hinge side of the door - it would make a mess) and special devices to cut through window bars.

Out in the countryside people use Land Rovers to pull doors off the frame - if you have a country house with valuable possessions.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by crefwatch »

It can be challenging to install a pre-hung door that does not match the dimensions of the original construction opening. That's an argument for hiring a company with good recommendations.

One person's story is not conclusive, but when I replaced my side door myself, I had to shim the sides, remove, adjust, and reintall the exterior casing trim, and cut away the (hardwood!) sill to increase the height of the opening. It was quite a task for a competent but amateur carpenter. I got the opening sealed up in one day, but could not finish all the work that day. It was hard to chew away at the sill with a router.

On balance, it might have been faster and easier to rip out the entire existing bottom sill, but I liked the look and lack of decay there. The point is that the pre-hung door is a unified system including weatherstripping and rain-shedding design. You can't alter them, and you don't want the new door to be distorted by pressure from a faulty installation.

I was disappointed that every fancy door system at Home Depot (that year ... ) had to be finish-painted by the buyer, even though my choice was white. The warranty was void if you did not paint the door.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by ddurrett896 »

Valuethinker wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 am What happens if your local Fire Department has to gain entry?
Garage door.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Sandtrap »

Steel Frame Prehung Steel Door, fire treated core.

Have done a number of these commercially.

They can be extremely heavy. Installation can be unforgiving.
Be sure to have it professionally installed.

j :happy
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Carl53
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Carl53 »

Brewtownphilee wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:04 pm Hello,

Does anyone have any experience in purchasing and/or installing residential steel-framed entry doors? I'm looking at upgrading our entry doors and found several systems from larger manufacturers such as Mastercraft and MMI (Jeld-Wen). However, other than some short Home Depot comments, I have been unable to find any thorough consumer/installer reviews. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you. :beer

I purchased a double (64" wide) and single (32" wide) custom ordered steel door systems from Menards (Mastercraft) this year. I had them drop shipped to my home. They came on a tractor trailer, fed ex, and were extremely well packaged. I did have to disassemble them from the pallet to get them into the garage (too tall). I hired a local carpenter that has done several jobs for me that I was well pleased with and that I am well acquainted with to do the installation (with my help). The single door turned out not to have all the features I had ordered and Menards arranged to replace it. The front double door went in without too much difficulty. The store delivered the second mistake to me weeks after the original delivery, but it was someone else's door. The next replacement single door came the next day with multiple issues. I decided to install it anyway since I had already removed the old door. My carpenter (and I were dismayed to see how much retrofit work it was going to take - brick mold needed removing and straightening, joints were loose as if it must have been dropped in factory and could not get it to square/close properly, etc. etc.). Eventually we gave up and reinstalled the original door. It took another iteration with Menards to get the correct door, which went in OK. Menards did end up giving me a $100 gift card, but that did not really cover all the hassle. I even ended up driving twice to the nearest store to talk to about and then return/pickup the single door the fourth time. At this time we are pleased with the doors, but not sure if I'd go that route again as I cannot say that they managed the order properly.

The frames are like the doors, steel over wood. I understand the doors have some insulation inside. They seem very tight against the wind. One other item. The glass we ordered with ours is quite beautiful, but I was disappointed to see a tiny etching in them indicating that the glass was made in China.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Cyclesafe »

Stay away from box stores and their installers.

Properly installing a functional door/frame is a very big deal. It needs to exclude others, fit, be water tight, and be attractive. Beware of installers who take shortcuts and can't be found when there are issues years down the road.

Selecting a sufficiently high quality door/frame is the first step. Bear in mind that although it should be able to resist impulsive violence, a determined trespasser will go through a window before taking on a formidable door. Overkill is possible here.

The second step, measuring and installing, is more important. Space for frames is determined by clearance between studs and width of studs / drywall / siding. Door width between the frame must consider free space for opening etc. The door must be properly hung within the frame and it must fit properly to prevent any water entry.

It is theoretically possible to custom make a door to hang in an existing frame, but nobody does this. It is far easier to replace the "system".

Pella seems like a good brand with good installers. Pricey. You have more options if you can do it yourself.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by hudson »

ddurrett896 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:46 am
Valuethinker wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 am What happens if your local Fire Department has to gain entry?
Garage door.
I worked in a business where there was a break-in. The thief gained access through an industrial steel door/frame. They just bent the metal door and frame back far enough so that the door swung open. The thief was caught and convicted. I got to talk to him. I asked him how he got in. He said that he used a 15 inch flat pry bar and a 3 pound hammer. He said that he was in in no time.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Dottie57 »

ddurrett896 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:46 am
Valuethinker wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 am What happens if your local Fire Department has to gain entry?
Garage door.
That gains entry to the garage. Not necessarily the home.
MadHungarian
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by MadHungarian »

It's not about absolutely preventing break-in, since a determined person can always get in with enough work and time. It's about making it longer and harder and noisier and riskier. So the lazy & smart thief will then go to your neighbor's easier house instead.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Sandi_k »

Sandtrap wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:48 am Steel Frame Prehung Steel Door, fire treated core.

Have done a number of these commercially.

They can be extremely heavy. Installation can be unforgiving.
Be sure to have it professionally installed.

We did this for the side door into our garage. We had to argue with the local door store, as they'd never installed a commercial door in a residential application.

And then the professional painter used WATER BASED PAINT on it, and we now have rust blooms on the door and its frame. :twisted:
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by jjbiv »

Valuethinker wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 am
Brewtownphilee wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:04 pm Hello,

Does anyone have any experience in purchasing and/or installing residential steel-framed entry doors? I'm looking at upgrading our entry doors and found several systems from larger manufacturers such as Mastercraft and MMI (Jeld-Wen). However, other than some short Home Depot comments, I have been unable to find any thorough consumer/installer reviews. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you. :beer
What happens if your local Fire Department has to gain entry?

Genuine question. Not intended to be a snark. Around here (wood frame doors, UK) they have special battering rams (I have bolts through the frame, on the hinge side of the door - it would make a mess) and special devices to cut through window bars.
They open the Knox Box, take the key out, and open the door?
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by ram »

cheese_breath wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:21 pm Is there a difference between a steel-frame door and a steel door? This is an honest question, not sarcasm.
My house has a front door which I believe is steel clad. Meaning there is a sheet of steel perhaps about 1.5 mm thick on two sides with an insulator such as wood with a thickness of 25 mm ( 1 inch) in between. It is in a steel frame. I am not strong enough to kick it open but it should yield to the fire department ram.

A bank vault may need a 25 mm thick all steel door in a heavy steel frame.
Ram
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by jw2s »

cheese_breath wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:21 pm Is there a difference between a steel-frame door and a steel door? This is an honest question, not sarcasm.
Yes, there is a difference.
The door itself.
And the frame it is hung from.

You can have a steel door set in a wood frame. The wood frame is the weak point. You can kick the door and break the door from the wooden frame.

Say you have a steel door set in a steel frame.
You are not kicking that in.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by jw2s »

ddurrett896 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:46 am
Valuethinker wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 am What happens if your local Fire Department has to gain entry?
Garage door.
They will, without fail, gain entry.

They have many tools and techniques to defeat steel doors.
brennok
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by brennok »

Had Home Depot install my replacement doors, solid core slab, and steel exterior door. It is fine, but would not use them again. They did ok, but definitely cut some corners. Unfortunately all my local stores are the classic only open during my normal work hours so I had a limited choice without taking multiple days off.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by btenny »

I have a steel screen door that is framed in steel and installed in front of my carved wooden front door. See below for the link to the local dealer that I used. It is the door that is baseball bat proof and thief proof you see on TV. It has a steel double dead bolt lock and interior hinges etc... It can only be bought as a package deal installed by the company. The installation is great and professional. I got mine about 4 years ago. I paid about $1200 for the complete package.

I did the screen door as I wanted to leave my front door open late in the evening to get the breezes through the house.

https://steelshieldsecurity.com/securit ... 1nEALw_wcB
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

cheese_breath wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:21 pm Is there a difference between a steel-frame door and a steel door? This is an honest question, not sarcasm.
Steel-framed steel doors are far stronger than steel doors in wooden frames. Almost all doors break along the frame near the locking mechanism when forced open.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

Sandtrap wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:48 am Steel Frame Prehung Steel Door, fire treated core.

Have done a number of these commercially.

They can be extremely heavy. Installation can be unforgiving.
Be sure to have it professionally installed.

j :happy
Thank you, sir. :beer
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

Carl53 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 9:04 am
Brewtownphilee wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:04 pm Hello,

Does anyone have any experience in purchasing and/or installing residential steel-framed entry doors? I'm looking at upgrading our entry doors and found several systems from larger manufacturers such as Mastercraft and MMI (Jeld-Wen). However, other than some short Home Depot comments, I have been unable to find any thorough consumer/installer reviews. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you. :beer

I purchased a double (64" wide) and single (32" wide) custom ordered steel door systems from Menards (Mastercraft) this year. I had them drop shipped to my home. They came on a tractor trailer, fed ex, and were extremely well packaged. I did have to disassemble them from the pallet to get them into the garage (too tall). I hired a local carpenter that has done several jobs for me that I was well pleased with and that I am well acquainted with to do the installation (with my help). The single door turned out not to have all the features I had ordered and Menards arranged to replace it. The front double door went in without too much difficulty. The store delivered the second mistake to me weeks after the original delivery, but it was someone else's door. The next replacement single door came the next day with multiple issues. I decided to install it anyway since I had already removed the old door. My carpenter (and I were dismayed to see how much retrofit work it was going to take - brick mold needed removing and straightening, joints were loose as if it must have been dropped in factory and could not get it to square/close properly, etc. etc.). Eventually we gave up and reinstalled the original door. It took another iteration with Menards to get the correct door, which went in OK. Menards did end up giving me a $100 gift card, but that did not really cover all the hassle. I even ended up driving twice to the nearest store to talk to about and then return/pickup the single door the fourth time. At this time we are pleased with the doors, but not sure if I'd go that route again as I cannot say that they managed the order properly.

The frames are like the doors, steel over wood. I understand the doors have some insulation inside. They seem very tight against the wind. One other item. The glass we ordered with ours is quite beautiful, but I was disappointed to see a tiny etching in them indicating that the glass was made in China.
Thanks for the extensive feedback. I was hesitant on the Mastercraft version already and this seals it. The MMI looks a lot easier to install. :beer
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

MadHungarian wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 1:26 pm It's not about absolutely preventing break-in, since a determined person can always get in with enough work and time. It's about making it longer and harder and noisier and riskier. So the lazy & smart thief will then go to your neighbor's easier house instead.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. :beer
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

btenny wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 10:05 pm I have a steel screen door that is framed in steel and installed in front of my carved wooden front door. See below for the link to the local dealer that I used. It is the door that is baseball bat proof and thief proof you see on TV. It has a steel double dead bolt lock and interior hinges etc... It can only be bought as a package deal installed by the company. The installation is great and professional. I got mine about 4 years ago. I paid about $1200 for the complete package.

I did the screen door as I wanted to leave my front door open late in the evening to get the breezes through the house.

https://steelshieldsecurity.com/securit ... 1nEALw_wcB
Thank you for the suggestion. :beer
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teCh0010
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by teCh0010 »

I have ordered doors from this shop twice :

https://www.tuscanironentries.com/copy- ... an-classic

Doors are made in TN, welded in their shop in TN. Doors, frame, everything all fabricated and powder coated in their shop. I have the eskridge door as an 8 foot tall 5 foot wide double door. It is a heavy beast. They will make custom from your rough opening.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by windaar »

Making it impossible to break into your house is impossible. You can have a titanium door and they come in through a window. When I looked into this a while back I learned that what was needed was glass blocks for the basement windows, a good alarm system, and a Mossberg with buckshot.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

teCh0010 wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 5:24 pm I have ordered doors from this shop twice :

https://www.tuscanironentries.com/copy- ... an-classic

Doors are made in TN, welded in their shop in TN. Doors, frame, everything all fabricated and powder coated in their shop. I have the eskridge door as an 8 foot tall 5 foot wide double door. It is a heavy beast. They will make custom from your rough opening.
That is some beautiful work. Thank you for the suggestion. :beer
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

windaar wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 6:29 pm Making it impossible to break into your house is impossible. You can have a titanium door and they come in through a window. When I looked into this a while back I learned that what was needed was glass blocks for the basement windows, a good alarm system, and a Mossberg with buckshot.
+1

The idea is to create a layered defense. This delays them and creates time for you to react and/or they give up and go somewhere else.

"Displacement is a valid law enforcement technique." :wink:
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by F150HD »

Brewtownphilee wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 4:50 pm
cheese_breath wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 10:21 pm Is there a difference between a steel-frame door and a steel door? This is an honest question, not sarcasm.
Steel-framed steel doors are far stronger than steel doors in wooden frames. Almost all doors break along the frame near the locking mechanism when forced open.
have also read....the harder it is to break in, the more damage they will do to your home trying to break in.

That may have been mentioned on this very site in the past.

Clearly one could just break a window to get in, far far easier.

Of course, much is germane to where one lives. In big cities, windows often have bars on them (lower levels).
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by atikovi »

ddurrett896 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:46 am
Valuethinker wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 am What happens if your local Fire Department has to gain entry?
Garage door.
I assume breaking a window takes just one second, unless they have bars.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Chuck107 »

.....
Last edited by Chuck107 on Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by pshonore »

At one time, Stanley sold replacement steel doors. These came pre-hung with a steel frame and were sized to fit into a standard 36" wood door frames. I bought one and installed it myself. Easy - remove only the existing door and screw the frame into the remaining existing jamb. It reduced the opening approx 1/2". That was almost 40 years ago, still going strong. I do not know if they still market it.
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by ddurrett896 »

atikovi wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 12:12 pm I assume breaking a window takes just one second, unless they have bars.
or this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Maph1a2qFf4
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Re: Steel-framed Residential Entry Doors

Post by Brewtownphilee »

pshonore wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 3:16 pm At one time, Stanley sold replacement steel doors. These came pre-hung with a steel frame and were sized to fit into a standard 36" wood door frames. I bought one and installed it myself. Easy - remove only the existing door and screw the frame into the remaining existing jamb. It reduced the opening approx 1/2". That was almost 40 years ago, still going strong. I do not know if they still market it.
Thanks for the suggestion. I checked their website and it appears they no longer market those. :(
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