Need to buy commercial entry doors for residential garage. Any advice?

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Aug 4, 2020
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Oklahoma
I have some knowledge of residential doors, but I'm completely lost on this one. I need to replace two exterior walk-in doors for my detached garage/shop. It has cement block walls and currently has hollow steel doors with steel frames. Both the doors and frames need replacement. Pre-hung doors seem to be a no-brainer. I don't need fire rated, ADA, etc., let's just say code is irrelevant (because it is). Trust me, what's on there now is far worse. But if the only thing I can get has some of those features, fine. Just trying to keep cost to a minimum.

What I need:

Door #1
36x80 RH Inswing
Other than a keyed entry locking handle and a keyed locking single-cylinder deadbolt, there are no louvers, glass, or frills of any kind. Just a basic smooth steel door. Seems easy.

Door #2
48x80 LH Inswing
Same as above. Obviously the weird size is the challenge.

Where on Earth can I find these doors for sale that will also sell to a residence AND install it? Or if that's a unicorn combination, who installs commercial doors that I bought elsewhere? I've looked online for probably 8 hours and I just come up with dead ends or insanely expensive prices ($1,000+) with $249 shipping tacked on. I know these won't be similar to residential doors on price, but over $1,000 per door seems insane without even factoring the install cost. I'm thinking $500-800 per door sounds reasonable plus install. No idea on install cost. Regardless, I'm not a cheapskate (except when it comes to motor oil), and want it done right the first time. I just don't have a clue.

Any and all leads & input are welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
 
Joined
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Iowa
Have you called a local company to provide a quote? Anyone in your area know of a good handyman that might have some leads? I know people have used a handy man in my area for tasks they don't want to or can't complete.

Just my $0.02
 
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Why a steel door? Why not a solid wood door which could be easily custom made for you at a lumber yard? A solid oak door is going to be just as hard to get through as a steel door.
 
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Check with the nearest brick/block company. They sell these doors to contractors, and if they won't install, they can probably point you in the right direction.
They even sell those vents that go into the block space of a crawl space, so they handle a lot of items like this.
 
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You got a commercial door service company like Vortex? Otherwise, I'd ask your local lumber yard(NOT Home Depot/Lowes) for a recommendation.
 
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I don't know why you want a steel door? Typically steel jambs and doors are installed in commercial buildings when the block is going up. You could use a steel knock down jamb with steel door but that is a complicated and pricey proposition. A setup like that would need to be purchased from a builders hardware supplier that deals with commercial construction.

In your case I would opt for a fiberglass skinned 6-panel door, prehung, with composite or vinyl jambs. You residential steel doors will rot from the inside and the jambs will rot.

I make lots of money changing out doors since the correct ones weren't installed the first time around.
 

OilMagnate

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I don't know why you want a steel door? Typically steel jambs and doors are installed in commercial buildings when the block is going up. You could use a steel knock down jamb with steel door but that is a complicated and pricey proposition. A setup like that would need to be purchased from a builders hardware supplier that deals with commercial construction.

In your case I would opt for a fiberglass skinned 6-panel door, prehung, with composite or vinyl jambs. You residential steel doors will rot from the inside and the jambs will rot.

I make lots of money changing out doors since the correct ones weren't installed the first time around.
Thanks for your advice. But your post is a little confusing. Where did residential steel doors come into the mix, and out of complete curiosity, why do they "rot from the inside" if they are properly installed? And why would the jambs rot? Because they are wood? That's why I want steel...

I've never heard of a fiberglass skinned door. Same for composite or vinyl jambs. Would they install securely to cement block? I'm after strength, security, durability. In that order.

What makes a commercial steel door and jamb incorrect in your opinion? The only reason I'm replacing the existing ones is due to what I would call "noob sabotage." In my infinite commercial door rookie wisdom, I decided to try "adding" dead bolts to the existing single bore doors. I'm sure you can imagine the disastrous results. But the point is that the doors were fine prior to my ignorance. They've been there since sometime between 1965-1980. So why wouldn't a newer one last just as long?
 
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You have a residential door that is either skinned in fiberglass or steel. The steel rots from the inside out as condensation builds within the panels. The residential metal doors are cheaply made so not only does the metal rust but the wood rails and jambs rot. The fiberglass will not rust. The fiberglass will not dent. You can order a fiberglass door with all composite materials including the jambs. They come as a prehung door unit and these will install install into a concrete block opening.

Commercial doors are a complete different application as mentioned. It is for a commercial building that requires the specifications for it. It doesn't mean that it is better for your application. The residential prehung is what you need and yes it is strong as most require DP rating (design pressure) even if you don't live in a zone that requires it.
 
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You have a residential door that is either skinned in fiberglass or steel. The steel rots from the inside out as condensation builds within the panels. The residential metal doors are cheaply made so not only does the metal rust but the wood rails and jambs rot. The fiberglass will not rust. The fiberglass will not dent. You can order a fiberglass door with all composite materials including the jambs. They come as a prehung door unit and these will install install into a concrete block opening.

Commercial doors are a complete different application as mentioned. It is for a commercial building that requires the specifications for it. It doesn't mean that it is better for your application. The residential prehung is what you need and yes it is strong as most require DP rating (design pressure) even if you don't live in a zone that requires it.
might it make a dfference where the OP lives? I mean, you are in Florida, land of high humidity. I have steel doors on my home and they don't rot as you say, but I am in Minnesota. I probably would prefer fiberglas though, for the energy efficiency. But I am just not sur the extra cost of fiberglas over steel would ever pay off over it's lifetime.
One other question, is fiberglas paintable?
 
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Doesn't really matter. The steel residential entry doors are on the lower range of quality. You are in essence at the entry level product. The fiberglass skin will need to be painted no different than any other door. With the fiberglass door, composite jambs and rails that door will more than likely never need to be replaced. The metal door may need to be replaced due to rot in less than 10 years. The rails on the hinge side and latch side if you look at the bottom will swell up causing the paint and wood check/swell. The same happens with the jamb at the first 12 inches.

I typically use fiberglass door with composite or vinyl jambs, vinyl/pvc trims outside on any service related door. If its a front door and money is no object as well as maintenance then I would opt for Mahogany door and jambs. Naturally a door like that requires a decent overhang and entryway. However, this is not the topic of discussion here.
 

OilMagnate

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You have a residential door that is either skinned in fiberglass or steel. The residential metal doors are cheaply made so not only does the metal rust but the wood rails and jambs rot.
Um. No. I have a hollow steel door. I know this because the previous owner cut a dog door into one of them. Nothing but air inside and steel outside. The frames are definitely steel as well, unless magnets stick to wood in 2020?

Sarcasm aside, I will look into the fiberglass option. Didn't know it existed. If it's cheaper, I'll consider it. Otherwise, if it wasn't for the modifications both I and the previous owner made to these steel doors, they'd be in perfect shape today, so I'll replace with the same and leave them as-is.
 
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We are talking two different products. Commercial door and residential doors. Commercial doors, again, have metal frames with metal doors typically used in a commercial application. They will be hollow. The fiberglass option is normally filled with foam. Good luck with the project.
 
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Security is a consideration when steel doors and frames are installed. If your shop has valuable tools and such a steel door might be a good choice. This of course assumes any other access points like windows are secure as well.

A solid wood door mounted into a existing steel frame is another option.
 

OilMagnate

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Security is a consideration when steel doors and frames are installed. If your shop has valuable tools and such a steel door might be a good choice. This of course assumes any other access points like windows are secure as well.

A solid wood door mounted into a existing steel frame is another option.
Exactly. And yes, the doors (and technically the new overhead bay door) are the only weak spot.

Solid core wood on steel frame? I'm trying to imagine that in my head, and it seems weird. Not being critical, just hard to imagine. So far steel seems to be the best candidate. Haven't checked on fiberglass yet. Will ponder the wood/steel combination (and open to input from others on this). Sadly, the two cheapest quotes (neither is precise at all and both require a more accurate on-site evaluation) I've been given are Home Depot at $1800-2300 plus installation or a local company for $1560 ($725 & $835) for both doors plus installation. Neither has given an installation quote.
 
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Exactly. And yes, the doors (and technically the new overhead bay door) are the only weak spot.

Solid core wood on steel frame? I'm trying to imagine that in my head, and it seems weird. Not being critical, just hard to imagine. So far steel seems to be the best candidate. Haven't checked on fiberglass yet. Will ponder the wood/steel combination (and open to input from others on this). Sadly, the two cheapest quotes (neither is precise at all and both require a more accurate on-site evaluation) I've been given are Home Depot at $1800-2300 plus installation or a local company for $1560 ($725 & $835) for both doors plus installation. Neither has given an installation quote.


Wood on a steel frame is doable. In one example I saw the steel frame was a channel backed by wood. The hinge screws went through drilled holes in the steel and into the wood. The owner wanted better security for his shop which was located a few hundred feet from the main house. The door was actually a salvaged front door. Almost two inches thick solid wood from the thirties but in great condition.
 
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