Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

whats wrong with Therma-true

Isamemon's picture

did not want to sdistract from another thread that was aksking about flooring and someone mentioned  that sometimes big advertising does not maean quality.....how very true....


however the example was therma true doors


what problems have people had with them. I have a house coming up with 2 french doors and three  single doors, all therma tru


I havent notice any call back problems with the few I have put in so far


maybe they have not been in my projects long enough ?


if they are a problem, what is a good alternative without spending tons of money


and wher I live , wood does not hold up


Edited 11/6/2004 12:31 pm ET by Isamemon

(post #63326, reply #1 of 43)

I've only used about a dozen TT doors but I have never found one that did not have a problem of one kind or another.

Most have a shorter head jamb piece than threashold so the jamb is never square to hang or trimn to of expect a tight fit against weather.

I am told that all door companies only make the door blanks and then their distributors asemble them into jambs so TTs in other parts of the country might be different. Another assembly problem is that several have had misaligned hinges and screws so crooked they kook like they were set by a drunk with a hammer or a rock instead of a tradesman with a screwdriver.

My biggest complaint is about the structural integrity of the FG units. They have a very small wood stily so when you drill for lockset and deadbolt, there is almost no wood left. The wimpy thing then bows in at the top and bottom from wind pressure or just the weather strip. Within a couple months, the wind and moths are sailing thru the corners of the Therma Thru

 

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #63326, reply #2 of 43)

Wow.  We talking about the same door?  I've had nothing but good luck with TT doors, although I only install their FG models.  Jambs are square, fit is solid, no problem with the hinges.  If what you say about the mfr making the slab and farming out the rest is true, then it sounds as though the distributor where you got yours from is making the doors after a prolonged happy-hour fiesta.  As for the stile weakening the door, I didn't notice any flex, and I have yet to have a call back on any TT door I've installed.


I highly recommend them and look forward to installing the TT doors, at least those we can get around these parts.


 


I never met a tool I didn't like!

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

(post #63326, reply #5 of 43)

Replaced the same door twice and the third is still going bad. The owner finally gave up on that one and had me instal a storm door over it. First couple replacements were on my nickle for labour so I refuse to try it again.

All the other problems are simply a PIA for me - to reseat hinges etc to have them working prooperly. I just don't need the hassle when I can get other doors that are good and walk themselves in.

 

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #63326, reply #6 of 43)

What else do you use?  Here we have a choice of either Masonite/Stanley or TT, unless I go to the House of Doors and have them custom order one from a mfgr I'm not familiar with.  I ditto Bobs thought on the stile, last one I put in had a plywood core that looked similar to an lvl, pretty solid to me.


 


I never met a tool I didn't like!

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

(post #63326, reply #11 of 43)

For full view, I like Ansdersen or marvin. For utility doors, Peachtree. I have seen displays of the masonite high end units that look good, but haven't used one yet. We have alsdo made some of our own doors.

I used some Pellas several years ago and the doors were fine but the windows left me cold. So on this last job, I had a lot of doors and went with Pella over Marvin for a 20K difference, but I am pretty disappointed overall in this order and am likely to be careful about Pella in the future again

 

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #63326, reply #12 of 43)

I have a TT steel french door . The hinges are junk and the wind whisles through at the top and bottom corners of the weather striping.     If they farm out the casing that is not my fault . but I know what works and will not buy another TT door.   You are only as good as your last door. 

(post #63326, reply #29 of 43)

Masonite is the old Premdor with a new brand name.  If you didn't like Prem before, you will have the same dislike for them under the Masonite name.


One of the steel door models Prem used to make, in their Dixon, TN plant, was one with rollformed 20 gage stiles and rails.  No wood in the door on the edges, except for a block at the lock prep.


A great door design in a foamfilled steel model, IMHO.


Don't know whether you can get them up where you are, but Benchmark "Legend" steel doors are quite good.  Their plant is in Fredericksburg, VA, and they were bought by Therma-Tru in '98.  Their product lines are entirely distinct from one another.  The "Legend" is all steel . . . no wood stiles or rails.

Gene Davis, Davis Housewrights, Inc., Lake Placid, NY

 

 

(post #63326, reply #32 of 43)

Unfreakingbelievable.  Got a call today from a couple for whom I installed an exterior door about 3 weeks ago.  Seems there's a gap at the top on the lock jamb of about 1/4"  Went out and took a 5' straightedge.  The door is bowed inward at the top and somewhat at the bottom.  It's flexed pretty good.  It's a TT FG with 9 lite window, so the rail is minimum.  First call back on a TT FG.  Guess I'll go with steel and insist on additional primer and paint next time...


Talk about your timing. 


 


I never met a tool I didn't like!

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

(post #63326, reply #33 of 43)

Edit, BTW, Who's Gene Davis and what did they do with Bob Dylan?  I mean, Bob wrote most of this thread, right?  He change his moniker again?

I never met a tool I didn't like!

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

(post #63326, reply #34 of 43)

Yep.  Truth in journalism.  Bob Dylan never worked at Therma-Tru.

Gene Davis, Davis Housewrights, Inc., Lake Placid, NY

 

 

(post #63326, reply #35 of 43)

At least it's just the slab...  Should mean less hassle resolving the prob...  Be sure and let us know if TT give you a hard time about the warranty.
 

Matt

Matt

(post #63326, reply #36 of 43)

gene, i asked at my lumber yard.. JT's.. they said they get TT from Brosco, Huttig &  a 3d one.. i think it was Clearey..


 and JT's does no assembly of the TT. ( they do assemble mulled Andersens )  the distributors are putting them together


Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

(post #63326, reply #38 of 43)

Supposedly HD is going to call for a rep.  Went out again and put a 6' level on the interior side of the door while it was open; 3/16 -  1/4" gap at the lockset.  If the rep won't authorize replacement, I will probably yank it and install a steel door, probably Stanley for lack of anything better at the immediate moment.  But it wouldn't be another TT.


 


I never met a tool I didn't like!

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

Thermatru junk...er, I mean fiberglass doors still made in pine (post #63326, reply #39 of 43)

THERMATRU JUNK IS WHAT I CALL MY DOOR. I HAVE A DUTCH COLONIAL AND DURING REMODEL A DOOR REP CAME OUT AND SAID GO WITH FIBERGLASS SO WE PURCHASED WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A FIBERGLASS DOOR BECAUSE OF WEATHER PROOFING AND EXPOSURE TO ELEMENTS.  W E L L  LET ME EXPLAIN WHAT I GOT. I GOT A FIBERPLASS SKIN ON A PINE CORE. THE PINE CORE COMES ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGES SO THE EDGES ARE EXPOSED. THAT NOW BECOMES A PROBLEM BECAUSE ON THE HINGE SIDE AT THE BOTTOM I HAVE PINE WOOD ROT ABOUT FOUR INCHES FROM THE BOTTOM. WHY COULDNT THEY MAKE THE EDGES FIBERGLASS?

A SECOND PROBLEM. NO ONE TELLS YOU THAT ALTHOUGH YOU HAVE THE COMFORT OF KNOWING YOU'RE DOING THE RIGHT THING IN BUYING A FIBERGLASS DOOR, THE DAMN THING IS INSTALLED WITH PINE TRIM CASING. I WAS NEVER EVEN GIVEN A CHOICE. I ASSUMED IF A SALESMAN IS TALKING THE BENEFITS OF FIBERGLASS THEN FIBERGLASS IT WILL BE.  I HAVE WOOD ROT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CASING THAT YOU COULD PUT YOUR FINGER THROUGH, IN FACT SOME OF THE WOOD HAS ROTTED AWAY.

i SUPPOSE AS A HOMEOWNER I SHOULDVE ASKED THE STUPID QUESTIONS, JUST THE DUMEST OF ALL QUESTIONS STARTING WITH NUMBER 1 AND ENDING WITH NUMBER 90. IF YOU HAVE LESS THAN 90 QUESTIONS WHEN PURCHASING ANYTHING, GO BACK TO YOUR NOTES AND COME UP WITH 90. AS FOR ME, MY 90TH QUESTION WOULD HAVE BEEN, "AND WHAT IS THE CASING MADE OF"

THERMATRU JUNK   

Greetings (post #63326, reply #41 of 43)

Primed wood on doors, jambs and trim needs a finish coat, they will come primed.

instalation needs to be perfect.  You don't just slap caulk behind and under the unit nor do you forget the proper flashing techniques.

no rot jamb and trim bottoms can and should be offered, recommended, and ordered for the additional charge.

Whomever offered ordered and installed might shoulda read the directions.  In this age of automatic, best practice is still the king.  Anything less isn't worth the effort.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


(post #63326, reply #4 of 43)

In those dozen TT doors with which you had experience, was there a mix of fiberglass and steel?  You have mentioned fiberglass, but I wonder what your problems were with their steel products.


In fiberglass, their Classic Craft product line is made with a big wide lock stile of LVL, faced with red oak at the show surface.  Their FiberClassic and Smooth Star lines both have finger jointed 5/4 thickness stiles, backed up with 22" lock blocks.


They make two lines of steel doors, the cheapest of which is the Construction Series, with skins of .018 thickness, 5/4 stiles, and no lock block.  The Premium steel door has .021 thickness steel, and a 12" lock block.


Therma-Tru is one of the few foamfill door companies that seeks to carry its name brand out to the builder, with advertising, packaging, and product labeling.  And when I say "door company," I mean slab maker, a business that takes steel, wood, and fiberglass components, and makes the foam-filled door leaves, or "slabs."


It looks like Canada's Premdor will try to do the same as Therma-Tru now, since they have bought Masonite, and are using the recognized Masonite name for their door product lines, both exterior and interior.


Neither of these door slab makers has any real control over the quality of the prehung product that lumberyards sell to contractors.  The prehanging assembly work, and the sourcing of all the other-than-slab components that go into the assemblies, are in the hands of the distributors, with names like Huttig, Brosco, and Carolina Builders.


That said, I would never recommend a fiberglass door to someone, unless it was to be installed way back in under an overhang, so it was protected from weather and sunlight.  And I would only use the thicker-skinned Classic Craft, with its big wide LVL lock stile, never the FiberClassic or Smooth Star.


Any hinged full-lite glass door, IMHO, should be outfitted with a triple-point lockset.  A full lite door is essentially just a frame around glass, without any torsional panel strength, and to latch one only at the regular 36" height, leaves an unsupported top corner, a long way away, to flap in the wind.


Want cost-effective glass doors for the patio or terrace side of the house?  Get Pella ProLine, either slider or hinged.  You won't be sorry.

Gene Davis, Davis Housewrights, Inc., Lake Placid, NY

 

 

(post #63326, reply #7 of 43)

Check out Disc #53 and 22 to see if this is protected enough on the FG door. I did see later on a cutaway sample of how they make up the wood reinforce on the stile. The lock block is 22" long, but only about 3 -1/2" wide so when the holes are drilled there is only about a half inch of solid material left behind.

The other misc fit and hinge problems were on steel doors, prehung, fullview as in REAR jpg near the flag, or half lites on utility doors. I don't know if they were the higher grade TT but probably, because my suppliers always know I am looking for full quality as much as I can get. I just hate it when they keep trying to steer me to TT.

You still have retirement funds or stock in TT?

 

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #63326, reply #8 of 43)

That said, I would never recommend a fiberglass door to someone


Bob, here along the coastline we have shifted over to almost exclusively FG doors simply due to the steel ones rotting out so quickly.  You can (re)prme and paint, and paint and paint and paint, but it's only a matter of time for a steel door in an exposed location; and most HOs won't maintain the painting schedule to prevent it from happening anyway.  The only steel doors that have a chance are those that are protected from the elements. 


You are pretty adamant in recommending against FG, and I'm just curious as to why.  Might be something I should know about when it comes time to recommend a door.


 


I never met a tool I didn't like!

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

(post #63326, reply #13 of 43)

The fiberglass doors are just too flexible for me. 

Gene Davis, Davis Housewrights, Inc., Lake Placid, NY

 

 

(post #63326, reply #14 of 43)

That's my point on that FG one.

 

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

What?? (post #63326, reply #42 of 43)

  "The fiberglass doors are just too flexible for me. "

Fiberglass is a skin (not a structural element) that wraps the frame and its components. Whether the door is fiberglass or steel skinned should have no effect on the door's flexibility!  The assembly (frame) is pretty much the same for each door. The obvious advantage of fiberglass is that it does not rust. Smooth fiberglass holds paint well PROVIDED it has been properly cleaned.  

Door installation is like tuning a piano. It requires skill. Everything has to lie in the same plane, else the door won't seal out the air properly. All reveals must be equal. Check your diagonals. A long screw is always installed in the upper hinge. It must penetrate the stud well because it must withstand the "pull" the door's weight places on the upper hinge.

All my installations have a long screws on the strike side as well. I take off the weather stripping, pre-drill, shim, and place three sturdy screws on that side of the jamb. They are hidden from view once the w-strip is re-installed. All my doors are hung so that they can be tended to should the need ever arise. 

Don't ever depend on brick molding alone to hold the door in place. The finish nails that hold the b-molding to the frame are the weak link in the structure...so...beef up with screws (as described above). Door installation is fun work...a pain in the butt if not done correctly.

Mel Fros froscarpentry.com

(post #63326, reply #9 of 43)

gene...we've used Peachtree, Stanley, Therma-Tru, Marvin, and Andersen


most of our entry doors are Therma-Tru.. never had any complaints with them..


 on our own house ( 1985 ) all of the doors are
PeachTree.. very satisfied with them..


 we've been using more of the FiberClassic  and SmoothStar doors lately.. again ,no complaints.. is there something i should be looking for ?


 


Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

(post #63326, reply #10 of 43)

I'll add to this discussion with a quick comment about Stanley doors. Here in Houston, Texas the jambs do not hold up to the weather.  The jamb stock is made out of finger-jointed white pine and it starts to rot where it meets the aluminum threshold after a few years of service. The doors give good service, but the whole unit becomes worthless if jamb material looses its structural integrity. Local suppliers sell some jamb stock called Jamb Saver. It is rot-resistant enginnered wood on the bottom 12 inches joined to regular wood for the balance of its length. My experience with this product has been favorable; although, I often have to build my own jambs because many of the prehung doors do not come with this material. Stanley should use this product to fabricate its prehung units. Have any of you had similar experience with Stanley doors?

TTru rot-free jamb/sill interface (post #63326, reply #43 of 43)

 Here in Houston, Texas the jambs do not hold up to the weather.

 Check this link  http://www.enduraproducts.com/product-overview/framesaver/index.aspx for a rot-free TT jamb/sill interface. I order all my doors with this feature. I have no difficulty convincing my clients that this is the way to go.

I can well imagine that the intensity of Huston's summer sun punishes the finger-jointed, primed-and-painted door frame. No matter the door brand, finger-joint stock does not hold up well when exposure to the sun. Pella makes door frames that are aluminum clad...and you pay accordingly. 

As others have noted, assembly of TT (name your fav brand) doors/frames is done by a non TT factory. I suppose much of the process is automated. I too find that hinge screws are poorly installed...crooked...not fully seated. And sill sealant is not cleaned off. However, these are minor inconveniences relative to the quality of the product. The business has become very competitive. There are less well-known companies that make excellent doors.

Mel Fros froscarpentry.com

(post #63326, reply #23 of 43)

Who builds yours, Brosco or Huttig?  I always thought that the guys in the Huttig door shop in Newington, CT did a great job.  I have seen what Brosco brings in here to Gregory Supply, and the quality is variable.


For a stain job on a grained FiberClassis or ClassicCraft, don't use anything but the Therma-Tru kit product.  They worked hard to get it right, and they did.  The combination of the stain and the waterborne clearcoat outperforms anything else by a factor of two or three.


I always thought the adjustable "security" strike was a piece of crap, and insisted I got a plain prep on the strike jamb.  Then I would outfit the unit with either the strike that comes with the hardware (Schlage A or Emtek for me, unless I am going Baldwin), or use one of Timely's adjustable ones, shown here.


Gene Davis, Davis Housewrights, Inc., Lake Placid, NY

 

 

(post #63326, reply #25 of 43)

i'm pretty sure Huttig builds the TT..


 Brosco now has all of the Andersen.. which used to be shared with Cleary ( out of CT)


 


interesting insights on the door industry from you...


 i 've always been impressed with the And. Frenchwood product.. and in terms of price , it's a lot easier on the budget than the Marvin doors


worst product  ( to me ) is the Weathershield doors and windows.. i've lost more money trying to deal with them... that i just gave up.. i now refuse to do any weathershield work for my prospective customers.. i just tell them , i will replace the weathershield witha  different mfr.


can't remember who the dist is for Weathershield.. but they do make a bad product  worse.. ( could it be Huttig ? )


Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

(post #63326, reply #27 of 43)

Mine come out of the Brosco shop.

 

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #63326, reply #37 of 43)

Hi, never seen an adjustable strike before....who stocks them.....

(post #63326, reply #3 of 43)

I have used Therma-Tru doors for close to 20 years and have had no proplems.

John Svenson, builder,  remodeler,  NE Ohio

John Svenson, builder,  remodeler,  NE Ohio

(post #63326, reply #15 of 43)

I can't count how many Therma Tru doors I've installed, but it's well over a hundred. Both fiberglass and steel. Only one problem with a warped slab on a double door, and the distibutor replaced that without any qualms...I've swapped out a few slabs for stylistic reasons, and was always amazed at how the replacement slabs fit with out any tweaking...

But, in the last couple of years, the pre-hung frames have become poo. Crappy reveals, tops, bottoms, and sides...hinge screws so crooked, that the hinges can't fully close...hinges not in the mortices...lousy threshold adjustments, and I refuse to set any with a fixed fiberglass thresh...

and, back to the slabs, 2 weeks ago I hung six TTs with semi-circular lights...all the lights were installed crookedly, not sure if that's the distributor or TT...

I'd like to find a better door, too<G>

Don't worry, we can fix that later!

www.tvwsolar.com

The Village Woodworks, Inc

Chapel Hill, NC

 

We'll have a kid Or maybe we'll rent one He's got to be straight We don't want a bent one He'll drink his baby brew From a big brass cup Someday he may be president If things loosen up