Consider a Door That Offers More

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers

Are you looking for a great entry door that delivers from all angles? You’re not alone—many homeowners want more than just a good aesthetic match for their homes. Luckily, the professionals keep finding ways to offer functional solutions without sacrificing style. There’s so much more to doors than first meets the eye—here are some extra features that go beyond the basics!

Therma-Tru Impressions Integrated Storm and Entry Door System

The Impressions Integrated Storm and Entry Door System combines the single entry door of your choice with a complementary storm door into one easy-to-install unit. This Classic Craft® Founders Collection™ in Canvas entry will be protected from the elements through the seasons.

Extra Protection on the Outside

Storm doors are usually installed as an addition to an exterior door, but now they don’t have to be. Integrated systems allow you to purchase an entry door plus a storm door in one unit, ensuring everything fits together as intended and that the final picture actually looks good. It’s simple—just explore your door options and find something you want to see on your home—it can be solid or include glass, have a paintable or wood-look surface, etc.—and then select a storm door that frames it in a matching or contrasting color. Go subtle or bold—the choice is yours!

Why should you consider a storm door in the first place? There are so many reasons. Storm doors act as an extra layer of protection, preventing the main entry door from weathering in the elements or taking damage from debris. They also affect efficiency by creating an air gap between the interior and exterior. Perhaps you want to take advantage of the storm door alone? Simply open the main door to allow light to come inside. You can also swap out the glass panel for a screen to let in fresh air. A variety of different storm door designs have been used on homes around the world for centuries, so you can be sure you will benefit as well.

Therma-Tru Retractable Screen Door on Classic Craft Artissa Collection in Fir Grain

Do you wish your hinged doors could have a seamless screen to keep bugs out, but only when you need it? The new Retractable Screen Doors for Therma-Tru Doors offer just that. This solid Classic Craft® Artissa Collection™ in Fir Grain entry is outfitted with a fine mesh screen that’s practically transparent and rolls up neatly into its housing on the side when not in use. You can tell it’s on across this doorway thanks to the thin horizontal lines at about head and knee height!

Convenient Built-in Functionality

If built-in accessories appeal to you, you’ll love the other extras that are available for main entry doors as well. Things like integrated blinds and retractable screen doors aren’t terribly common, but they offer a nice touch for people looking for practical solutions to everyday issues.

Internal blinds are just that—blinds between two panes of glass in a door. They have a number of distinct advantages over external blinds owing to their design. Not only do they make cleaning easy because dust can’t gather on their slats, but they also operate cordlessly with a handle. That means they’re safe for kids and pets, and you don’t have to worry about tangles affecting your ability to control the amount of light coming inside. Internal blinds are available on a variety of full and partial lite entry doors to suit any style, but keep in mind that they’re only compatible with clear glass.

Retractable screen doors are an exciting innovation for entries all around the house! They offer ventilation without the hassle of installing a secondary door with a screen—the only option you had for hinged doors in the past. The retractable screen is housed in a low-profile cassette when not in use and easily pulls across the doorway when you want it. This seamless system works well for single doors and even for bridging across French doors! Retractable screens can be purchased as part of your whole door system or installed later, and because they’re not part of the door itself, they don’t limit style in any way. The only thing to keep in mind is that they work best for inswing doors!

Therma-Tru Smooth-Star Impact-Rated Door

If you need to outfit a home in a WBDR or HVHZ area, you might think your door options are limited. Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful impact-rated doors available, and they come in all sorts of styles. This Smooth-Star® entry with Saratoga™ glass is one example, even with the full lite! If it takes a hit in a storm, the laminated glass will prevent debris from breaching the door.

Doors Rated for Environmental Challenges

Of course, there are some entry door features that you don’t see and won’t actively use, but they still add value to your home. Rated products are designed to serve a particular purpose, and they’ve been rated to guarantee they meet those specific criteria. There are a few different options available, but you may not need to worry about some of them depending on where you live.

ENERGY STAR® Rated - All homes can benefit from an ENERGY STAR® entry, because an inefficient door will leak and work against your HVAC system throughout the seasons. Everything from the construction of the door itself, to the tightness of its seals against the frame, to the methods used to create and incorporate the glass matters. You’ll find that rated energy-efficient options vary based on location, but there are always plenty to choose from!

Impact-Rated – Many residents of Florida must build their homes with impact-rated products due to the risk of catastrophic hurricanes, but it’s a smart idea to invest if you live along the Atlantic or Gulf coasts where you may also be affected. Impact-rated doors are rated to two levels—those for most coastal areas carry the Wind-Borne Debris Region (WBDR) label and have laminated impact glass while those for the tip of Florida are designated High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) options and feature laminated glass plus steel-plate reinforced doors.

Fire-Rated – Fire-rated doors are used in all sorts of applications. For example, homes in areas prone to wildfires should be outfitted with fire-resistant exterior finishes, because anything that ignites easily puts the whole structure at risk. If you live in a multi-family building, you may be required to install fire-resistant doors to reduce the risk of fire spread between units. Finally, even single-family homes benefit—the door between an attached garage and the house can help protect your family in the event of a car fire. Most fire-rated doors carry a 20-minute rating, meaning they’ll hold up to fire at extremely high temperatures for 20 minutes. You’ll find paintable and wood-look fiberglass and steel entries in this category, but note that they’re all solid-panel because glass can’t withstand such high temperatures.

No matter what kind of door you’re in the market for, take a look at what Therma-Tru® has to offer! Their collection spans all styles and has suitable products to meet the environmental challenges posed around the country. Of course, you’ll also find some nifty functional features that you’ll enjoy using in your daily life in the mix as well. Find a local dealer who can help you outfit your home with the perfect doors for your needs!

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