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Exterior Wood Door Warranties Explained

When buying an exterior wood door, it’s important to understand exactly what is covered by the manufacturers’ warranty. Gregg Hoyer explains the difference between a fully protected, partially protected and unprotected doorway and how that can affect your doors’ warranty.


Exterior wood door warranties can be confusing, we get a lot of questions about it and it’s really important for you to understand them and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.

Before we can talk about warranties, we have to assume that all the wood doors we’re talking about have been finished according to the manufacturer’s requirements.

What are we talking about as far as defects? We’re talking about stile and rail separation, veneer delamination on stiles, rails or panels, checking or splitting, and warp or bow. It’s important for you to check the manufacturer’s warranty to understand exactly what they cover.

Here we have a standard construction wood door, a Performance door with the solid bottom rail, ultra-block, and special glue joint, and the premium solid lumber Nantucket door. We have to remember exposure is very important for warranties. In the Fully Protected Doorway, my standard construction door will have a one year warranty, the performance door will have a five year warranty, and the nantucket door will have a ten year warranty. In the Partially Protected Doorway, I have to first determine the size of the porch or the roof.  That porch needs to come out one half the distance from the sill to the ceiling of the porch. Let me give you an example, if the distance from the sill to the ceiling of the porch is ten feet, that roof must come out at least five feet. If it does, it’s a Partially Protected Doorway and my standard construction wood door would have a one year warranty, the performance door would have the five year warranty, and the Nantucket door would have a ten year warranty. But let’s say that the roof didn’t come out five feet, let’s say it only came out two or three feet, that would be considered the same thing as a completely Unprotected Doorway. In that case, there is no warranty on the standard construction door, there’s no warranty on the Performance door, but the Nantucket door and the Metropolitan (these premium solid lumber doors) will still retain their warranty. Now, Simpson does make a version of the performance door with an exterior skin that allows it to be used in that very difficult exposure – that Unprotected Doorway.

What else do I need to remember? Well, I need to remember that I have to keep my finish up and I need to keep it maintained all the time or I will void the warranty. So once a year, check your finish, whether it’s varnish or paint, if it’s breaking down recoat it and keep it in good shape and you won’t void the warranty. If what you’re mostly concerned about is a really great warranty, a very tough product, and you don’t want to worry about exposure, one of the easiest things you can do is go to the premium products and you don’t have anything to worry about.

Exterior Door, Wood Door, Preparation
Updated on March 8, 2019

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