Tom Shafer

Install Doors to Manufacturer Specifications

October 21, 2016

Certain door brands are generally viewed as "high quality," but it's important to install doors per their manufacturer's specifications to capture the full benefit of any brand.

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Entrance door components

An entrance door has several components:

  1. The door slab, or door leaf
  2. The frame, vertical jambs and the head horizontal jamb
  3. The sill

Most doors have warranties stipulating that the entire door, frame, sill and door leaf are all from the same manufacturer. These components must also be assembled according to the manufacturer's instructions, using the exact nails or staples and sealant.

Door manufacturing and distribution

Many entrance door manufacturers make only the door leaf itself, the part that swings. Most manufacturers build the frame and buy a sill that is designed to work with that particular door then offer these components for sell to their customers.

Door manufacturer customers are distributors who then sell to different dealers, lumberyards, and custom millwork shops. Many of these customers do a set-up on the doors: They buy the components and put doors together.

Door components are available many places. The door manufacturers make them. For example, Endura, in Greensboro North Carolina, makes many frame parts and many different sills. A dealer who sets up doors may purchase parts from Endura. These are quality parts, but are not from the manufacturer.

This does not mean the door is not of good or even excellent quality. I have seen many set up doors from small shops who buy their components from many places. The jambs from Brazil, the sills from Mexico and the door slab from Asia. They are precise in fit and only the best sealants are used.

The importance of door installation

Installation is part of the quality chain. All manufacturers print precise instructions on how to install their doors. If they are not followed, the great door may not be a good door, it might leak or fail to operate properly.

Remember all doors are not created equal. Ask questions about the components, installation process and warranty.

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