Exterior doors are one of the most important and underestimated features of a home. They protect us from extreme weather, unwanted entry, and outside temperature variations. A durable and long lasting door is a must in today’s home. We put this guide together in hopes of helping you pick the best exterior doors in San Diego. Let’s make sure our home improvements are the best they can be with the highest quality exterior doors.
Styles of Exterior Doors in San Diego
There are several areas of a home and varieties of exterior doors that work within those locations for San Diego homes. Most homes in San Diego have a solid single or double door as their front door. Backdoors can be similar, or they can be sliding glass doors often found for patio door exits. Side doors are often wood doors and tend to be the least used doors in a home. Whatever the location, the door material and size are important to purpose and function of the door.
San Diego Front Entry Doors
When someone mentions a door, front entry doors are often what comes to mind for homeowners. These exterior doors are often one of the first things a visitor will see and touch. Front entry doors come in a variety of colors and materials. The materials that the door is made from is the most important aspect of the door (sorry color buyers). Durable materials that are energy efficient are crucial for a good exterior door. These doors will handle the brunt of weather and use, so they need to be top quality. Fiberglass fully insulated doors are the best option for San Diego homeowners. These doors provide the energy efficiency, style, and security that homeowners need.
Another unique aspect of exterior front doors in San Diego is the width of the door openings. We are one of the few areas around that have roughly 5-foot openings which are just wide enough for a double door. Because of this distinct width size we have customized doors for the home with these entries called 5-0 (pronounced five ō) doors. Switching out these exterior doors for a larger more standard size door requires a lot more work than you would think. So, if you have a 5-0 exterior door make sure you reach out to the right installation company to ensure you are getting the correct product for you home.
San Diego Backdoors
Backdoors as exterior doors in San Diego were traditionally similar to front doors of homes often without sidelites. They were often made from the same material and even matched stylistically. Nowadays, backdoors are more associated with sliding patio doors or french doors instead of single entry doors. However, depending on the locations of the exits to the backyard you may still see these doors present. They are often found when the exit point is in a room that is relatively full of required cabinets or appliances such as in the kitchen. These rooms don’t often leave a lot of room for large door openings, so they are ideal for these single entry doors that match the front door. Some homeowners even put Dutch doors in this location in the home to provide additional airflow, light, or views to the backyard.
San Diego Patio Doors
There are nearly endless choices for a patio door in San Diego. As discussed, these doors can be a single entry door similar to the front door but more often in modern homes you see the sliding glass door or French door leading to the patio. These door types provide more light and an unobstructed vista through to the patio and backyard. Adding more panel such as a four-panel French door allows for even more light and is an excellent style for homes. However, if you want the most light, open space, and modern styling then a moving glass wall system is the best choice. Homeowners throughout San Diego are switching out their patio doors with the beautiful and modern moving glass walls. Who wouldn’t want an exterior door like this?
San Diego Side Doors
Side doors are often the most overlooked and underestimated door in the home. Often the door that leads to the garage, these exterior doors could be vital points of security to the home yet many are left as simple wood doors. These doors are not only inefficient and are replaced more often than a fiberglass entry door, but they are also less secure. When it comes to security, the garage often houses the most expensive item in the home… the car. Even if the main garage door is locked, making a side door an easy target for a break-in is not the best idea. The fiberglass doors provide a much higher degree of security and will last much longer than the simple wood door.
Unique Features of Exterior Doors in San Diego
Exterior doors come with a variety of unique options in frame materials, accessories, and energy efficiency packages for homes in San Diego. Depending on which manufacturer you choose for your exterior door, homeowners have a near endless section to choose from.
Frame Materials for Exterior Doors in San Diego
Exterior doors come in several frame materials. Wood and fiberglass doors are the most common frame material for front doors in San Diego. Patio doors and back doors made from aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass, and wood or a combination or wood and fiberglass are all available to San Diego homeowners. Each option has its benefits, so it’s important to choose the right material for your home even if it doesn’t match the door you are replacing.
Accessory Packages for Exterior Doors in San Diego
Everything from the door handles, lock, to the glass and grid types falls into the category of accessories for the doors. These options can be switched out for different requirements. Exterior door handles have many options in style, such as knobs versus handles. Each handle has it’s own unique locking techniques. However, all the locks being put in on exterior doors can be keyed to like which means the same key can access entry on any of the doors. That means fewer keys for the homeowner to carry around. Finally, the glass on exterior doors, whether a front door or sliding patio door, can be customized to fit your style and energy efficiency requirements.
Energy Efficiency of Exterior Doors in San Diego
Modern exterior doors in San Diego are becoming more and more energy efficient. With better insulation, areas that used to leak energy in and out of the house are now as air tight as a well-insulated wall. The benefit of the increase in energy efficiency means that you save money on your energy bill each month. An additional benefit of this energy efficiency also means better noise reduction. So the interior of the home is better insulated against temperature variations and excess noise from outside the home.
Manufacturers of Exterior Doors in San Diego
Since there is more than one type of exterior door, you may need to look into different manufacturers if you are replacing all of your exterior doors San Diego. Some manufacturers focus on front doors and entry doors while other produce patio doors, French doors, and sliding doors.
Milgard Exterior Doors in San Diego
Milgard Windows & Doors provides some of the highest quality exterior doors available to San Diego residents. Their focus is patio doors, French Doors, sliding doors, and moving glass wall systems. Milgard produces high-quality frame and glass material that is made to last. Their lines of exterior doors come in aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl, and wood (interior) doors in all styles. Their focus on energy efficient exterior doors makes them a leader in modern home improvements for San Diego and beyond.
Masonite Doors in San Diego
Masonite offers products of notable quality at reasonable prices which are well-presented on their website. We are proud to be a vendor for the company, and we are happy to recommend them for your San Diego home. We have a decent amount of information about the company and its products here on our website, but if you would like to visit their website, they present and explain their products and services very well indeed. In general, we highly recommend them.
While wood should generally not be one’s first choice for the material of an exterior door due to its tendency to swell, rot and warp over time when exposed to the elements, especially in climates with high moisture content, measures are taken with Masonite torrefied wood doors. Torrefaction is a process used to strengthen the wood, to fortify it, so that it can better withstand the elements, including exposure to excess moisture, extreme cold or heat, quick changes in temperature, etc. The process of torrefaction is completely green. No harmful or even risky chemicals are used in the process, only heat. The doors are exposed to gradually increasing heat over time. This can somewhat be compared with the tempering process used to strengthen the glass. Essentially, by exposing the product to the elements, the product can withstand the elements. As a result of this involved process, you can count on Masonite wood doors for your choice of brand for a superior exterior door.
Masonite’s torrefied wood doors are available in three species in a beautiful natural finish. These species range from dark to light in color, respectively: Maple, Mahogany and Fir. These doors are also highly customizable. You can choose from a wide range of custom designs, with or without glass, in various shapes and sizes, styles, etc.
Fiberglass is an excellent choice of material for an exterior door, as it consists of resin which is strengthened with glass fibers. It is generally an inexpensive option, and is lightweight, extremely durable, and requires almost no upkeep. Masonite’s fiberglass exterior doors come in a variety of styles, colors, and textures. If you are in any way concerned with the idea of fiberglass exterior doors being too modern, too plain or too fiberglass-looking, fret no longer. Masonite has you in mind, offering fiberglass doors that look like wood, with various finishes and convincing wood-grain textures.
With that aesthetic concern out of the way, you can begin to consider just how fantastic of a choice it would be to have fiberglass doors installed in your home. Fiberglass is a truly prudent investment, as it stands the test of time with its proven durability. It’s the ideal choice for coastal areas like San Diego and any other area prone to severe weather, the high moisture content in the air, or anything else that Mother Nature might throw at it. Fiberglass does not swell, does not rot and does not warp like wood tends to. It is also a more energy-efficient material when it comes to exterior doors, as fiberglass has excellent insulating properties.
When choosing the right exterior doors for your home, you should choose only the best, and always keep safety firmly in mind. A tough exterior door is vital for keeping your home safe, and steel is a clear choice if security is one of your main concerns. No one can deny the stability and durability of this material for any application, least of all for an exterior door. A steel exterior door may concern you if you are worried about aesthetics, but we ask that you please put the idea of a shiny, bulky, riveted door with a massive bolt to secure it out of your mind. A steel door in this day and age can be just as beautiful as any wooden door with a natural finish. In fact, you may have seen quite a few steel doors without even realizing it. Masonite steel doors are just as customizable as their fiberglass doors, giving you all the same options for decorative glass.
Masonite offers two lines of steel doors: Sta-Tru High Definition and Masonite HD. The main differences are that the Sta-Tru line comes pre-painted for a quick and easy install, and comes with a 20-year warranty. The Masonite HD line comes pre-primed and ready to paint for easier customization, and a choice of two warranties depending on which edge is picked – a five-year warranty for the wood edge and a fifteen-year warranty for the steel edge. Rest assured that you can make this door as beautiful as your imagination allows, and rest easy knowing your home is safe from intruders with Masonite steel doors.
If aesthetics rank very highly on your list of priorities in choosing the best exterior door for your San Diego home, you should consider Masonite’s glass doors. These are perhaps the most customizable material option offered by Masonite. There is such a wide range of options for your glass doors that you may get lost for a while just customizing. There are many options as far as filigree designs, window shapes, clear versus obscure glass, internal blinds, and so on. You can also choose any material you like for the frame to fit the needs of your home. You can even choose a door with a vent installed, to let the fresh air flow through the house without having to sacrifice security and privacy – essentially a single-hung window within a door. Regardless of which style you choose, you will certainly let a lot more light into your life with Masonite glass doors.
Masonite offers a range of coverage for their doors. The warranties are not all the same, so it is best either to ask a representative well-versed in the matter or review the information yourself at your own leisure. Fortunately, all the relevant information is made freely and easily available on their website, so you will be able to make as informed a decision as possible when choosing which door best fits the exterior of your home.
Manufacturer Warranties on Exterior Doors in San Diego
We always suggest working with manufacturers that have strong warranties. Milgard has a lifetime warranty on their residential products and Plastpro has a variety of warranties depending on the product selected including a lifetime warranty. These companies know they build products that are made to last, so they are willing to stand behind them with excellent support and services. Why get stuck with an unnecessary service bill by purchasing inferior products without a warranty?
Purchasing Exterior Doors in San Diego
Due to the variety of exterior door and door options, we find it best to work with an installation company that buys directly from the manufacturers. Purchasing all your doors with one company allows you easier control over the home improvement project, which means fewer contracts, less confusion on pricing, and less scheduling headaches. When you work with a good exterior door replacement company, then you have access to all the exterior doors you will need to purchase, with well advise decisions along the process, and an excellent final product installation.
How to Choose the Right Installer for Exterior Doors in San Diego
So, how do you choose the right company to work with? In San Diego, there seems to be no end to the exterior door installation businesses and contractors. There are many things to consider along your journey to picking the right exterior door with well-advised reasons for San Diego homes.
Some people like to hire the solopreneur or the contractor that can work on his own. While there are benefits to this, many companies that are worth their price have built up their business because it takes teams of people to do the best work in home improvement. Others want to hire a small business which comes with some perks like additional team members and more dedicated time to customer projects. Finally, some homeowners only hire big business which shows the experience for the work proven for many years and expansions of the company.
With so many options, we wanted to highlight some of the most important ways to ensure you are working with the right company for your job no matter what size company you hire.
Research Companies Available for Exterior Doors in San Diego
First and foremost, customers do a lot of research to find what options area available in their area. While many businesses service large areas, the reality is they may have to charge more for jobs on the outskirts of their service area. Also, just because a company lists exterior doors on the website does not always mean they install all forms of exterior doors. If you want to limit the issues with home improvements restricting the number of contractors can be helpful. Once you have narrowed down the options, the next step is closer research.
Licensed Installation Company for Exterior Doors San Diego
Every construction company, no matter how big or small, needs to be licensed to do work in the State of California. You can research their license and insurance status at the California State Licensing Board. If they aren’t licensed then, you shouldn’t work with them. You don’t have the same rights of protection by the law (and neither do the contractors) if you don’t hire a licensed company.
These issues can be nightmares if your exterior door home improvement goes awry. Some companies will even list a license that does not belong to them knowing most people aren’t checking. So it’s always best to double check the license number they give you even if you see one listed. If the names don’t match make sure to check into it by looking at the registered owners of the companies and sales people that are listed. There is enough information on the website for you to reach out to the license holder should you have any questions.
And remember, not all advertising companies dig into the license of the companies for which they advertise. So even if you see advertisements, they may be coming from an unlicensed company. You, as the homeowner, are the best line of defense for your home. Home improvements are significant investments and should be researched as much as possible to avoid issues.
Company Reviews for Exterior Door Installations
After narrowing down your search further by researching the license numbers for the companies you are considering, it is a good idea to check the reviews that a company is receiving. There are so many sites where consumers post reviews for businesses that handle exterior doors in San Diego. Many of these companies have plenty of 5-star reviews to read through but looking at all reviews, positive and negative, gives you a better understanding of how these companies work.
Unfortunately, we live in a unique reviewing society where most reviews seem to be absolutely positive or absolutely negative. So gleaning through the reasons that the reviewer posted for their rating is usually the best way to understand how the company handles problems. Perhaps a customer is complaining that the company didn’t call them back right away during the sales process, but if you are in no rush, then this type of review doesn’t affect how you and the company will work together. Similarly, a positive review that says they were great at installing all the windows doesn’t give you the information you are looking for regarding their experience with exterior doors San Diego.
Finally, tons of reviews regarding the same issue happening on different jobs over time tells you that the company isn’t working towards fixing the problem. If you see only one negative review on a subject, then it’s likely that the corporation has made progress in addressing that issue so that it doesn’t happen again. So make sure to read all reviews and not just go with a 5-star company whose main issues may be what will drive you crazy during your home improvement.
Exterior Door Installation Warranty
Researching the installation warranties for each company will also help narrow down the list of contractors. Similar to manufacturer warranties, installation companies also warranty their work or a portion of their work for the homeowner’s peace of mind. These warranties mean that the contractor will come back and fix issues if their work was at fault.
A good warranty saves you money and headaches down the line and, honestly, there are bound to be some problems. So, having a good relationship with a well-guaranteed company can be the icing on the cake for your home improvements. If they don’t warranty their work, and the manufacturer doesn’t warranty their product for life, you are likely to end up footing the bill for any issues.