Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I decide which entry door is best for me?
A: You need to narrow your choices down to those that can meet your needs. There are a few key things to consider before deciding on an entry door or door system:
Do you prefer a painted or stained finish?
How much exposure to the elements (e.g., sun, rain) does your entry see?
How long will you be staying in your home?
What style is appropriate for both the home and neighborhood you live in?
What are your budget concerns?
Q. What wood types are available?
A. The standard wood used is a paint grade beech with skinned medium-density fiberboard (MDF). However, we can build your door out of any wood you specify. Some of the more commonly requested wood upgrades are: oak, maple, cherry, mahogany, vertical-grain Douglas fir and walnut.
Q: What exactly is a “prehung” door?
A: A prehung door is simply a door that has been hinged and attached to a new jamb or frame prior to being installed into the opening. It is usually prepared for the lock set and may also include other items such as a sill, weather stripping, exterior trim and door stops.
Q: What is a “prefit” or “retrofit” door?
A: A prefit door is a door that has been properly sized, beveled, machined for hinges and bored for a lock set to fit into a door jamb or frame that is already installed in the opening. Usually this is done by “matching” the existing door’s measurements, provided it fits the opening properly.
Q: I am replacing my existing doors. Is it better to use “prehung” or “prefit” doors?
A: Whether or not to use prehung doors depends upon a few things:
First, are you replacing the door casings as well
What shape are the existing jambs in; are they scratched or dented
Do all your doors currently fit well and operate properly
If any of the above conditions exist, using prehung doors would probably be a better choice.
You are only changing the doors and not your door casings
Your jambs are in good shape
Your doors are all fitting properly
…then using a prefit door is usually a practical solution.
Q: I want a stained wood entryway. Is it better to buy factory prefinished or to have it finished after installation?
A: It is our opinion that you get the best results by using a factory prefinished product. This is because it is very difficult to achieve quality results after the door has been installed. You will also need to deal with having your entry stained and finished on site by a contractor. This decision is dependent on your budget and what level of quality you are trying to achieve.
Factory prefinished products also have a long lead-time and are costly because they are custom made. There are many stock doors available that are substantially less expensive. However, you will be limited to available sizes and styles, and have fewer choices of wood. Consideration must be made as to how soon you need your entry door installed; this will determine which is best for you.
Q: How are doors measured?
A: Doors are measured in feet and inches as follows: a standard 36″ wide x 80″ height x 1-3/4″ thick door is called a 3/0 (“three oh”, which means 3 feet, 0 inches) x 6/8 (“six eight”, which means 6 feet, 8 inches) x 1-3/4″.
Q: How do I determine if a door is a right-hand or a left-hand swing?
A: Standing on the outside of the opening that the door swings into, look at the hinges. If they are on the right, then it’s a right-hand door. If they are on the left, it’s a left hand door.
Q: What is the rough opening size needed for a prehung door?
A: For single doors add 2″ to the door width and 2-1/2″ to the door height. For instance, a standard 3/0 x 6/8 door would require a 38″ x 82-1/2″ rough opening. Pairs of doors require twice the door width plus 2″ as well as an additional 1/2″.
A standard pair of 3/0 x 6/8 doors with an astragal would require a 74-1/2″ x 82-1/2″ rough opening. An astragal is molding composed of a half round surface surrounded by two flat plains (fillets). An astragal is commonly used to seal between a pair of doors.
Q: How do I determine the “jamb width” for a prehung door?
A: Determining the jamb width for a prehung door can be tricky. For most interior applications it is simply a matter of measuring the overall wall thickness. For instance, a standard wall constructed with 2 x 4 studs and 1/2″ sheetrock on both sides would have a wall thickness of 4-9/16″, that is 3-9/16″ (the net width of the 2 x 4 stud) plus 1″ (1/2″ sheetrock times 2 sides). To determine the wall thickness of an existing interior door you will need to measure the overall jamb width, excluding the casings.
For exterior doors, determining the jamb or frame width is dependent upon what type of siding and exterior trim is being used. In situations where the exterior trim is being applied over the exterior siding, then it is simply a matter of measuring the entire wall thickness. In other situations where the siding material (such as stucco) is butting up to the exterior trim, then the thickness of the exterior material would not be included in the jamb width.
Q: What information will I need to order a prehung door?
A: Here is a checklist of the information we need to be able to place your order:
Rough opening or nominal door size
Jamb width or finished wall thickness
Door style, species and finish
Hinge style and color
Selected lockset (for proper door machining)
Handing or swing of door
Additionally for exterior doors
Exterior trim and siding used on home and/or threshold needed
Distance flooring projects into the door opening
Q: What is the best type of material for paint grade doors, jambs and moldings?
A: There are an ever increasing number of paint grade materials available in the millwork industry today. Composite material, MDF is becoming the standard for paint grade doors and moldings because of its superior paint ability and low cost. Finger-joint pine is another attractive option because of its ease of installation, fairly low cost and wide selection of available material. Poplar is another modestly priced hardwood that is excellent for use as paint grade material, especially on high-end custom work.
Maple / MDF doors (that is maple stiles and rails with MDF panels) are the finest in wood. Vertical grain Douglas fir doors continue to be popular in paint grade applications because of their wide selection and reasonable cost. Fiberglass and steel doors offer the consumer a modestly priced alternative, especially in a high-exposure situation.
Q: Can you provide custom designed doors, mouldings or other millwork?
A: Yes! Viking Door & Window has the largest showroom in the Bay Area. Our friendly, knowledgeable and factory-trained sales staff discusses your individual entry door needs and guides you in your decision making.
Q. Can I get a list of prices?
A. No. The custom nature of our product makes it impractical to generate a comprehensive price sheet. We would be more than happy to provide you with a detailed quote. Simply fill out the online form in the “request a quote” section of this site or call 408 294-5546 to talk directly to a sales person.