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Selection & Purchase of Doors

Barn Doors

Choosing the right door for your building isn't complicated but does require some thought. The doors on your building get used more than anything else hands down.

Entrance Doors
We recommend entry doors with steel jambs.  Wood jamb doors are available for wood sided barns and garages too.   Nine lite doors and flush entry doors are both available with steel jambs and the difference in cost is minimal.

Large Openings
Garage doors (overhead doors) are the most convenient type of door you can buy. They can be opened automatically with the touch of a button.  A slider door is more durable for farm use and will take a beating from animals better.  Did you know that not all slider doors come with a bottom rail?  Ours do!

By the way, a slider door, just like the overhead door, must be assembled from parts, they don't ship as a unit.

The type of door you need depends on the purpose of your building, how large an opening you need for a given wall height, and the overall width requirement of the door.

Here are the pro's and con's of each type of door.

Sliding Door
♦ Durable - best suited for farm / animals ♦ Don't seal - lets in critters & dust
♦ Most door height for given wall height ♦ Not Insulated
♦ Cheap for large openings ♦ Can freeze up in winter
♦ Huge openings are possible ♦ Big doors get heavy

Overhead Door

♦ Good sealing properties ♦ Rails require 12" (or more) vertical clearance
♦ Can be insulated ♦ Larger doors get expensive
♦ Easy to open (push a button) ♦ Quality varies (easy to buy junk)
♦ Many colors & styles available
♦ Less likely to freeze shut in winter

A non-insulated overhead door has no inside cover and as such is called a pan door. Insulated doors include either a vinyl or steel interior panel and are called sandwich doors.

Polystyrene insulation is a cut to fit insulation that is glued to the interior of the door skin. Even when cut precisely this leaves small voids in parts of the door, thus making effective R value less than the R value of the material used.

Polyurethane insulation is an injected product that expands to fill voids sealing the overhead door effectively and more closely producing effective R value that is close to the R value of the material utilized.

Just like insulation R value (discussed in our next tech bulletin) the actual installed R value of an overhead door is nothing like the published R value.  A typical steel door with an R 10-11 value would yield an installed R value closer to 5-8, mostly due to thermal bridging due to steel construction.

Ideal Residential Install Guide
Ideal Commercial Install Guide
CHI Residential Install Guide
CHI Commercial Install Guide

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