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People think finishing a door is difficult to do on their own. They worry that they could ruin the door. It''s clear that the new Classic Craft model was created to assuage that concern. The door comes with a red oak-styled grain pattern, detailed panels with shadow lines, solid oak square edges and an adjustable oak sill. The pre-finish is available energy in the two most popular wood stain colors today, according to Niderberg: natural oak and cherry. Maintenance is simplified, because fiberglass doesn''t have to be restained. All that''s required, he said, is a new polyurethane top-coat every three to five years. The pre-finished Classic Craft costs an additional at retail versus the unfinished model. Both models cost less than a comparable wood door and come with a lifetime warranty. This was intended for those accustomed to buying wood," Niderberg said. "But we wanted to add some extra features and benefits. Chosen for the entrance to the NAHB Show Village 2001 D.R. Horton home is an elegant Classic-Craft fiberglass Raised-Panel door from Theram-Tru. Available in nearly 150 efficient raised or deeply embossed panel designs that produce dramatic shadow lines, Classic-Craft doors give you all the premium touches you''d expect to find in the finest wood doors, plus more.

Other alternatives are made of a polyurethane foam insulation core - offering six times the energy efficiency of wood - faced on both sides with vinyl or aluminum. These typically cost for a 6-foot-wide door. All well-made nonwood doors are designed with thermal breaks (separations between indoor and outdoor surfaces that block the conduction of heat or cold.) Glazing options Of course, the largest part of a glass sliding door is glass. To make a door truly energy efficient, high-performance glazing is key. Fortunately, this is standard with most high-quality sliders. You''ll find double-paned glass with low-E (low energy) coating and, in some cases, argon gas filling. Low-E reduces heat transfer and protects against ultraviolet damage; argon gas filling provides greater insulation. Some manufacturers let you specify the glazing you want when you order. Where sun-caused fading or damage can e a serious problem, you may want to opt for glass with a solar bronze or solar gray tint to reject ultraviolet energy rays. In addition, some efficient companies offer decorative stained or beveled glass with true brass caming (leading). For bathrooms or other places where privacy is a concern, obscure glass is available.

Therma-Tru Doors When you''re one of the nation''s largest homebuilders, your reputation means everything. That''s where quality fiberglass Therma-Tru doors come into play. assurance of quality when it specifies fiberglass Therma-Tru doors. The company, which recently acquired U.S. Home to become the largest homebuilder in the U.S., constructs about 500 homes a year in the Tampa market. The single-family residences range in price from $120,000 to $300,000. The company wants energy to make sure efficient its customers are satisfied, and steel doors were not doing the trick. We had an issue with steel doors, and the fact that they would show dents and marks easily. That''s just not the case with fiberglass Therma-Tru doors. We were one of the first to use the Smooth-Star door in our market The look is sharp, the lines are crisp and the durability is superior. It''s simply a well-built door.

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