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MKostris 06-09-2011 12:03 PM

Exterior French Doors in South Florida
We are replacing 3 sets of French Doors across the back of our home. Exterior Doors in South Florida? The wood doors we presently have are builder grade and in poor condition. What would you suggest?

oh'mike 06-09-2011 01:17 PM

Take a serious look a Anderson---They are one of the most trouble free---I've never had a call back on those.

Pella should be avoided IMO. Lots of problems there.

Daniel Holzman 06-09-2011 01:21 PM

South Florida is obviously prime hurricane country. Critical issue is how well the doors are secured against blowing open (or in, depending on whether you get open out or open in French doors). You should also look into what type of temporary shutter you can put over the door if a hurricane blows in. Most French doors have a lot of glass, and it is essentially impossible to secure glass against missile impact during a major storm, hence the use of sacrificial shutters.

MKostris 06-09-2011 03:22 PM

I have lived in South Florida all my life and have been through several hurricanes. The french doors will have impact glass and are approved for hurricane winds and flying objects. I am more concerned about the "material" used for the doors. We have been looking at aluminum doors with stainless steel locking systems. Any comments?

Daniel Holzman 06-09-2011 03:49 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Good to know that the doors down in Florida are hurricane rated. I was not aware that there were any glass doors rated to resist hurricane driven debris, but of course where I live hurricanes are rare, so the glass used would not necessarily be up to the task. I am attaching a photo of a house I inspected on the Louisiana coast after Hurricane Rita. Note the former location of a (presumed) French door. I actually saw quite a few French doors blown in, blown out, blown off, and generally blown to pieces, but I had no way to verify the manufacturer or the type of glass.

Jessidog 06-30-2011 07:33 AM

I also live in south Florida and I have replaced the four sliding patio doors with French doors over the past few years. I bought the doors from Lowes and the manufacturer was Jeld-Wen. The doors (and the windows I am now replacing) are structurally robust since (as I understand it), all doors and windows sold in southeast Florida must meet wind code requirements. I did the installation myself and the only structural change I made was to install longer screws in the hinges since the doors are very heavy (wood core with a steel outer layer). The 6 ft wide door was an in-stock item, but the two 8 ft the 10 ft door units were custom built orders. They have LoE glass, which should help my A/C costs a little.

I'm sure there are better built doors and I could have spent a lot more $. But the first door has been installed for at least 5 years and it looks as good and is as structurally sound as when it was put in. One consideration would be that my doors are all covered by a significant overhang of the roof. Therefore they rarely get pounding rain or direct sun exposure.

This is my experience; your mileage may vary.


oh'mike 06-30-2011 03:17 PM

Thanks for the review---it's nice to hear the good ones.---Mike--

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