By Katy Tomasulo Until recently, one of the biggest callbacks involving exterior doors was rotting frames. Manufactured sills placed between the jambs meant that the wood frame rested on the deck or slab, giving water an easy entry point to soak into the wood and wick up through the frame. Recently, however, door manufacturers have been developing systems that keep the jamb off the floor and out of harm's way.
"One of the biggest issues with entry doors is water finding its way into the house," says Todd Friedman, a product marketing and sales manager for Pella's entry door systems. "Whether under the door or through the door, water finds its way in and becomes an expensive mess." Pella is one of the companies addressing the issue, with the "Jamb-On-Sill" system that places the door jambs on an anodized aluminum sill that runs end to end. A second line of defense is a foam spacer in between the frame and the sill that keeps incidental water from seeping in.
Pease and Windsor Windows also have door sill systems in place. In addition to keeping the sill off the slab, Pease's No Wick frame system includes dual-seal weather stripping and dip-treated moisture resistant wood parts.
Peachtree's non-porous polymer jamb riser raises the door, while the injection-molded pan-shaped sub-sill ensures that no water gets through where the jamb and sill meet. "Typically, your doors are the most used parts of the exterior house," says Peachtree's brand manager Chris Brown. "From a [contractor's] perspective, how well your doors operate is basically a good litmus test of the quality of materials you've used inside the house."
Stanley. Sliding and swing patio doors are constructed with a pultruded fiberglass frame and panel components and dual-pane insulated glass. According to the firm, the pre-finished doors are virtually maintenance free, resist expansion and contraction, and offer high structural performance ratings. (800) 782-6539. www.stanleyworks.com. DoorCraft. The company's steel doors now feature steel bottom rails, eliminating traditional wood rails that may collect water and rot. The rails are crafted using excess steel from the door manufacturing process and do not raise the price of the product. (800) 877-9482. www.doorcraftdoors.com.
Pella. Available on all of the company's entry doors, this high-performance sill system positions door and side light jambs on top of the sill to keep them from absorbing water. The extruded anodized aluminum sill also includes a wood thermal break on the inside of the door. (800) 847-3552. www.pella.com.
American Weather-Seal. The Nu-Sash Stafford sliding patio door carries a center-of-glass R-value of 10 and includes polished brass hardware and a heavy-duty sliding screen. The exterior comes in white, sandalwood, or bronze; interiors are available in light oak, dark oak, or white. (800) 358-2954. www.amerweatherseal.com.
CertainTeed. Available in a range of styles, this line of sliding patio doors comes in two-, three-, and four-panel designs. The doors feature adjustable stainless steel tandem rollers, heavy vinyl profiles with metal reinforcement, and aluminum thresholds. They are available in white or tan with color-matched or brass hardware. (800) 233-8990. www.certainteed.com.
Simpson Door. Inspired by Craftsman architecture, this door collection comes with a range of art glass designs. Doors are offered in Douglas fir or Western hemlock and come in one-, two-, or three-panel designs with one-, two-, or three-light glass options. Three heights and a range of widths are available. (800) 952-4057. www.simpsondoor.com. Madawaska Doors. Constructed of solid knotty pine, door #1005 is manufactured with tongue and groove stiles held together by hidden horizontal spines. Shown with a dark stain and finish, the door is wire brushed to enhance its texture. (800) 483-2358. www.madawaska-doors.com.
Simonton Windows. The Garden Door vinyl replacement patio door features fusion welded construction for greater structural integrity and decreased air and water infiltration. Available in single or double units, the door comes with multi-point locking hardware and a continuous fixed gear hinge. (800) 746-6686. www.simonton.com.
Windsor Windows and Doors. Now available in 9-foot-tall models, the company's in-swing wood doors have a structural astragal, which allows doors up to 12 feet wide to have one frame while reducing the chance of leaks and enhancing structural integrity, says the maker. Also included is an easy-adjust hinge system, draining sill system, and optional multi-point locking hardware. (515) 223-6660. www.windsorwindows.com.
Peachtree. The company's new sill system incorporates a jamb riser, a composite sub-sill system that raises the door jamb up to keep it away from moisture and water infiltration and prevent frame rotting. The feature is available on Newport II and Avanti entry doors. (800) 732-2499. www.peach99.com. Crystal Window and Door Systems. Fiberglass pre-hung entry doors are available with a paintable and stainable wood grain or smooth skin surface. The door skins are .062 to .070 inch thick. Doors come with no panels or in six- or four-panel designs in a range of widths. (800) 472-9988. www.crystalwindows.com.