The Manufactured home front door is one of the parts that add the “wow” factor to your home. With great styling and captivating decoration, the front door can turn a manufactured home into an absolute gem.
As it is usual with manufactured home improvement projects, a homeowner would assess the ROI (return on investment) before committing to replacing the old front door with a new one.
In the annals of DIY home improvement, ROI is used to determine whether a home improvement project is worth your while.
It just happens that installing new doors on manufactured homes ranks highest above many other projects you could start.
Here is a list of the top home improvement projects and their rankings, all from Zillow.
New decking and sidings: 70% – 80% ROI
Minor kitchen remodeling: 70% – 80% ROI
Major kitchen remodeling: about 65% ROI
Window replacement: 68% – 78% ROI
Roof replacement: 60% – 70% ROI
Bathroom remodeling: 60% – 70% ROI
The best part is that replacing your front door is quite affordable compared to the above projects yet it brings 80% – 100% ROI.
There are many other reasons why you would replace your front door. For example, front door replacement is one of the measures you’d take to improve the insulating properties of your home as well as boosting the security.
Manufactured Home Front Doors – Best Materials
Front doors are made from different materials with different properties in terms of energy efficiency, soundproofing, security, and privacy, etc.
Wood is still popular, but most doors for mobile homes nowadays are either made from fiberglass or vinyl.
These doors are not entirely made from steel, but, rather, a combination of several materials that supplement the toughness of steel. For instance, you might have realized that many steel doors on the market today feature inner structural components (stiles and rails) made from wood, cores consisting of insulating foam, and the outer skin of steel. Some steel doors come with PV coatings that give them a wood-like finish.
Most of the fiberglass doors you will find on the market resemble steel doors in some aspects. It is not uncommon for fiberglass doors to come with wooden rains and stills and insulating foam in the inner core. Fiberglass is impressively durable. The surface is flat and smooth, giving you an easy painting time. You can order fiberglass embossed if you love the fine texture and wood appearance.
Vinyl doors often come as a mix of aluminum, steel, vinyl, and wood to prevent distortion. They are multi-chambered in the interior for superior thermal insulation. If you are looking for a durable door that can withstand extreme weather and excess cold, you may want to try out Vinyl doors.
They also offer satisfactory resistance to breakage, a feature that makes it a good option for a burglarproof door. Vinyl doors don’t easily rust, scratch, or dent and don’t require close maintenance.
Aluminum is the most often used material in the production of doors for mobile and manufactured homes. That’s probably because it is light, but its affordability is a factor many manufacturers can’t ignore.
Although the metal is considerably weak compared to steel, it remains held up fairly well in high temperatures.
Another valuable feature is its good resistance to rust. Aluminum doors combine other materials for qualities that Aluminum can’t provide.
Doors with hollow cores can save you a lot of money, but they don’t offer optimum security, soundproofing, and insulation.
Glass doors are common in French style or sliding homes, whether manufactured or site-built, but they are just as fragile as you may think – privacy and security is a major issue with such doors.
Six Door Designs
Almost all doors you will find at your local dealer follows these six designs:
1) Solid Style
These doors are exactly what they sound to be: plain solid doors with no window.
2) Diamond style
They comes with a diamond window at the eye level
3) Slider Style
The small window, often made of glass, can be slid sideways. They are often used as backdoors on manufactured homes.
4) Fan Style
The small window is in the shape of a fan.
5) Cottage Style
These doors come with a large window extending from the lock level to the edge of the top part.
6) Six Panel Steel Style
This style of doors looks very much the same as Solid Style, except that they are divided into six panels of steel.
How To Choose The Perfect Front Door For A Manufactured Home
What is the style of the door? The front door is one of the first things the visitor sees before getting inside, and it gives the first impression you don’t want to mess. That’s why you should be a bit choosey when selecting the front door – the more stylish and appealing it is, the better it will look on your home. Your local door manufacturer keeps a catalog of tons of designs one or two of which will most likely impress you.
Fiberglass and steel doors are popular among manufactured home owners although that doesn’t mean aluminum, vinyl, and even wooden doors are in any way inferior.
It all boils down to your needs. If security matters to you more than anything else, exceptionally strong doors such as those made from steel would be a good choice. If soundproofing is your priority then an aluminum door would be great.
Just because the door is made from Steel doesn’t mean it’s the highest quality steel the maker could find. Also, except for those very high-end doors, typical wood doors are seldom “solid wood” as they are often advertised.
Most wooden doors nowadays are made of several pieces of panels, particleboard substrate that has been assembled and overlaid with veneer, or finger joint wood with a fine polish on them.
These doors are known for their affordability and are actually advantageous in terms of stability (they are not prone to warping and cracking). Quality, however, tends to be low compared to doors made from better wood.
Type of the door and cost
What type of door would suit your front door?
What’s the cost of that style?
Can you compromise on style to get a cheap door?
Are you willing to pay more for a certain style?
These characteristics have a profound influence on the door’s cost:
- Requesting a custom-sized door
- Choosing a wood type that is not fir
- Adding glass on your door – more if you choose several optional glasses.
- Choosing a wooden door instead of being specific and choosing a hardboard type (hardboard is the paint grade type of wood)
Different buyers fancy different stylings in French doors.
Generally, a French door is any door that comes as double, either in a 15 or 10 light glass option (one “light” is just a pane of glass) or a “full light.”
Consider verifying what you want before asking for a French door lest you end up with something that looks like it but entirely different in some aspects.
Kind of glass
There are a lot of options to choose from when buying a front door with a glass window on it. The most common glass style is the frosted/privacy option, but even this style has several subcategories encompassing the level of frosting and other things. Additionally, the glass comes in different thicknesses and levels of glazing for different interior purposes.
Low-end and high-end doors
As you would expect, high-end doors are the costliest doors you could get in your local dealer’s store. They also tend to be of high quality. Low-end doors, on another hand, are cheap and often made from cheap material.
Size and Panels
The size of the panels can depend hugely on the material of construction and the overall size of the door. You should be careful about the size of panels carefully because their size influences visibility (if the door is part glass, that is).
Value for simplistic living or your love for environmental conservation could be the reason why you are in a manufactured home in the first place. Regardless, you don’t want bloated energy bills at the end of every month.
Sometimes it takes small things like the type of doors on your home and eco-friendly bulbs to cut your energy consumption.
If a door has poor insulation properties, for example, it could mean your air conditioner is using more energy to warm the living room.
Efficient doors normally come with an Energy star on them. However, you can tell whether the door is efficient or not simply by checking the material of construction and insulation properties. Wooden and fiberglass doors tend to have higher insulation signatures than steel and aluminum doors.
Configuration sounds like a less important feature to check in a door, but it has a profound effect on your experience. The doors come in an array of styles – double opening or single opening doors. Consider the track used in the house, then take the measurements to your dealer.
Cost of Maintenance
Seasons do change, sometimes dramatically, and your door must put up with every change. If your front door works just fine in the fall but starts to rot in the damp weather of the winter, you will spend a lot of money on repair and even replacement. It is prudent to buy an all-climate door that doesn’t require frequent maintenance work.
Things to Do Before Shopping
Determine the Handing
Door swing (“handing”): Left-hand, right-hand, left-hand active, right-hand active, outside opening, inside opening; it really can be confusing.
Imagine yourself trying to open the door while standing in such a way that you’re on the side where you’re pulling the door towards you, whichever side the door’s knob is located in the “swing” or “hand” of the door.
Imagine yourself standing within the frame of the door with your back facing the hinge side, now swing your hand the way your door does – the hand you used is the “swing” or “hand” of the door.
Measuring the size of your door
Measure the door’s length and width and take the measurements to your local dealer. Complications tend to arise when taking measurements of an entire pre-hung unit. You will need to take the width and height of the whole door opening (we mean stud to stud, header to floor – often referred to as the rough opening). You might need to remove the interior casing or molding to the back of the door’s frame.
Measure the thickness of your wall
Basically, what you want here is the thickness of the complete wall in addition to the width of the stud. What you’ll get from these measurements is your “jamb” size. Measuring exterior vs interior walls is slightly different.
Top Makers of Front Doors for Manufactured Homes
Doors for manufactured homes are a bit unique compared to those for site-built homes. That’s why you would rather buy them from a seller with a deep understanding of manufactured homes than a generalized dealer who simply avails them because there is demand.
Here are some of the renowned dealers dealing either exclusively or almost wholly in doors for manufactured homes.
Krosswoods is one of the top makers of interior and exterior doors in the United States. They operate from Tucson, Arizona, and their deliveries across the country take between 4 and 5 days.
If you would like a custom-made wooden door, they are the right guys to contact.
They also provide quality prehung doors with remarkable craftsmanship. The fact that they deal almost entirely in wooden doors means that you will have to look elsewhere for doors made from steel and other non-wood material.
Most of the doors offered by Masonite come with a lengthy warranty which could mean their products are of superb quality. Whether you want fiberglass, steel, or wooden door, you can bet it will be a high-performance product because they have been dealing in doors for about three decades.
Their doors are split into three categories:
These doors are a product of baseline construction with basic all-panel design, a touch of glass, and simple materials.
Doors with enhanced construction and several options for a bigger glass.
These doors are products of state-of-the-art design and construction for a homeowner who wants the most impressive entryway they can afford.
Eucatex of North America
Eucatex have their hands on a lot of things – they will supply some building materials, paints, and still make doors for any home. Their doors for manufactured homes are outstanding and that’s why they are on this list.
They are suppliers of purpose-built doors against such things as noise, ballistic shock, pressure, and radiation.
If you are looking for a bulletproof front door or a metallic door with acoustical properties, they are some of the best dealers to approach.
They, however, seem to be overly focused on industrial doors than residential solutions. Still, they don’t disappoint.
You might think Peachtree supplies wooden doors, but, in reality, they are sort of an authority in the market of fiberglass doors in North America.
Their Newport line of front doors consists of Duo-choice panel-style doors and smooth fiberglass alternatives.
The smooth fiberglass options are good at withstanding rot and moisture and are easier to paint.
Kolbe & Kolbe are suppliers of both smooth and textured fiberglass doors with high-insulation cores. No ozone-depleting carbons are used in the manufacture of doors in their catalog.
They are also renowned suppliers of composite doors (basically, doors made from two different materials with different properties that add up to produce a specific feature).
One mentionable line of front doors from Pella is PowerHouse which comes in three varieties: smooth, oak-grain, and fir.
The firm says the materials in their materials never deteriorate, and the insulation properties are 5 times better than typical wooden doors.
The jambs on their doors are noticeably constructed just above the sill, that’s a fantastic effort to prevent damage from water.
Doors from Jeld Wen come with two times the fiberglass you would find in industry-standard fiberglass doors.
For that reason, their premium fiberglass doors are impressively durable and secure than most products from their competitors.
Their doors are available in over 32 styles, including smooth surfaced options and wood-mimicking mahogany varieties.
Selecting the front door for your manufactured home is not a hard task, but one needs to bear in mind the climate conditions or their locality and the quality of material used to make the door.
Such factors as durability, affordability, style, and cost of maintenance costs should be considered as well.
It is advisable to buy from a supplier dealing exclusively with manufactured home necessities.
But that doesn’t mean general suppliers don’t offer excellent doors.
If you do your research and know what you really need, the process of selecting a front door for your manufactured home can be as easy as ABC.