LESLIE: Nancy in Arizona is on the line with a broken patio door.
Nancy, what’s going on?
NANCY: It’s very, very hard to open it and it’s getting worse.
NANCY: I have to – when I go to open it, I have to lift up on the handle a little bit to even get it to open.
NANCY: Now, my question is – I had a friend come by and he said, “Oh, there’s a kit. You can fix that.” And so that’s fine. But my question is: should I replace this door or should – what do you – or get one of those French doors that have wood and glass on them?
TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
NANCY: Which one would be more energy-efficient?
TOM: You have an old, aluminum sliding door right now? Like a heavy, metal door?
NANCY: You’ve got it, yeah.
TOM: Yeah. You know, they’re – that door is never going to be efficient and the rollers are probably worn out, because that’s what happens to those doors. And sure, you can replace those rollers but it is what it is. I will say that the new sliding-glass doors, they’re vinyl-clad, like a vinyl-clad Andersen door. Andersen makes one that’s designed for remodeling and one that’s designed for new construction. And the difference is really important, because the remodeling door is exactly 1 inch shorter in height than the new-construction door, which you don’t notice. But if you’re putting it in, it makes it a lot easier because it fits in the existing opening.
So, if you get the right door, replacing that slider with a new Andersen vinyl-clad slider is not that complicated a job for a carpenter to do. He can do it in a couple of hours. But it’s just a beautiful door that’s going to perform well and be energy-efficient.
Now, the French doors are nice, too; they’re beautiful. And Leslie, you probably recommend that over a slider, because it looks great, but they’re a little harder to keep airtight.
LESLIE: I mean they really are harder to keep airtight because you’re dealing with, now, so many more opening points. And you’ve got – similar with the top and the bottom with the slider but now, with the French doors, you’ve got the opening down the center. And you tend to get air leakage around the top and the sides and all of those functioning points.
However, there are things that you can do as far as weather-stripping, even a weather-stripping on the bottom that the door sort of locks into. But they’re gorgeous and they really do change the look of a room. And there’s just something that really finishes the space with a French door. So I think if you find the right French door and it’s properly fit and it’s properly installed with the right weather-stripping, you’ll greatly reduce the amount of drafts and the amount of air leakage that could occur with it.
I really love them. I have them in my own house.
TOM: Well, good luck. I think you’ll enjoy that. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.