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Common Questions About Glass Doors

Beautiful Glass Entrance Doors

When you’ve installed over 10,000 decorative glass doors, you hear a lot of the same questions from home owners. Most concerns are around the glass itself, usually involving security and privacy. When it comes to security, people almost always ask if their front entry will be less secure after the glass is installed. Their fear is that anyone can easily break the glass and walk right into the home. This is nothing to worry about. The glass used in our decorative doors is usually three panes thick. The two exterior panes are tempered safety glass. This takes a lot of effort to break through and will also make a lot of noise if someone tries it. Usually people attempting to break into a home want to do so as quietly as possible and in a less obvious location.

When it comes to privacy, the number one concern is a passersby seeing right into the home. All of the glass used in front entry doors will have some level of obscurity, even extremely clear glass. Most decorative glass manufacturers accomplish this with an opaque design or some level of “wavering.” Think of this effect as that seen in the window of a bathroom but to a lesser degree. Neighbors strolling down the sidewalk will not be able to see directly into your home. At night it is obviously much easier to see into a home through the glass since it is dark outside and light inside. We highly recommend installing a motion detector on the outside porch light. This will illuminate the front of the doorway making it more difficult to see inside.

The final question we often get has to do with the warranty backing this investment. All of our glass doors have a 10-year warranty on the glass and a warranty on the labor for the first year. This warranty is not prorated and comes with the hassle-free customer service we’ve become known for.

We hope we’ve answered some of the concerns you may have about revitalizing your front door with decorative glass. Should you have any additional questions, feel free to call us at 904-880-7788 and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Can I Have Glass In My Fiberglass Door?

Glass Upgrade Fiberglass Door

One of the most common questions we asked is “can glass be added to my fiberglass front door?” Most people asking this are under the impression that decorative glass inserts can only be installed on metal or wood front doors. However, this is simply not the case.

Simply put, yes, many of the glass designs you see in wood and metal doors can also be added to fiberglass doors. The process is relatively the same, but should be done by a professional. Fiberglass doors are typically one solid piece, stamped out of a mold. To insert glass into this type of door, a portion of the design will be completely removed to make space for the glass. This is typically cut along the design lines so as to look more natural and original to the door.

When installed correctly, a decorative glass insert is just as secure as the solid door was before installation. Each piece of glass is specially designed and ordered to fit your door and the cut out section. This glass is also energy efficient and won’t lead to soaring electric bills.

While our most popular insert designs are oval or round, this shape doesn’t work well with every door design. Lucky for you there is a wide range of square, rectangle, and even triangular decorative glass shapes which can be installed in your door. If you haven’t had a chance yet, visit our showroom on Shad Road in Jacksonville. We’re open Monday through Friday 10 to 6 and on Saturday from 10 to 4. Our team is always available to answer your questions and set up a consultation at your home.

Whether you visit us in person or send your request via email, be sure to have a few photos of your door handy along with some of your design ideas. This will ensure we find the right match for your home and have you walking away as another satisfied Dream Doors customer.

Patio Doors: Sliding vs. French

French Patio Doors

When choosing a new back door for your patio the two most common options people decide between are sliding glass or French doors. Each style of doors has its pros and cons. We’ll review them here to help you make an informed decision.

Sliding Glass Patio Doors: A very popular choice in most Jacksonville homes, the biggest benefit of these doors is that they are a space-saver. Unlike a French door which opens inside or outside of your home, the sliding glass door stays along the frame of the wall and never gets in your way. Many higher-end models even feature built-in blinds providing instant privacy. Sliding glass doors are also far less expensive than French patio doors. The downside here is a lack of style choices. Many homes with a more classic style will not look as nice with a sliding glass door installed.

French Patio Doors: Providing a beautiful, classic look, French patio doors are an elegant addition to most home designs. They have two big advantages over sliding glass doors. First of all, with the option to open both doors, moving furniture in and out of the home is far easier. Plus if you have a screened in patio, opening both doors instantly expands your living space when entertaining company. Their other big advantage is a lower threshold as they lack a track to slide on. This is great for people who may trip over a track. The biggest drawback of French doors is the amount of space they take to open and close. This makes them a better choice for larger houses. Also remember, as they work similarly to standard doors, they are more susceptible to shifting as your foundation settles.

At the end of the day the decision will come down to personal preference, budget, and what is sensible for your home layout.

Famous Entrances thru Historical Doors

Door at Number Ten Downing Street

Doors are more than simple entrances into our homes and businesses; they are often a statement of what will be found beyond the door. Today we look at some of the famous historical doors from around the world.

At the heart of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. is its famous Rotunda, instantly recognizable to every American. What many may not recognize are the equally famous doors, which open into the Rotunda, The Columbus Doors. These gigantic doors are nearly 17 feet tall and made of bronze, weighing nearly 20,000 pounds. They depict the life of Christopher Columbus and were created by New York artist Randolph Roger in the mid 1800′s in Rome. Installed in the 1863, the doors were moved to their current location in 1871 to be the new main entrance to the Rotunda. These beautiful doors depict scenes from Christopher Columbus’ life.

One of the world’s most famous doors is also one of the most simple in design, that of Number Ten Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime minister of Great Britain. This plain 6-panel black oak door features the number 10 painted in the center and rests beneath a semicircular fanlight window. The door is constantly guarded by a policeman and can only be opened from the inside. Beneath the number 10 is a black iron knocker shaped as a lion’s head. The current door is a replacement for the original which was moved after World War II and is currently housed in the Churchill Museum in London.

Probably the most beautifully adorned and intricate famous doors in all the world hang at the entrance to the Fes’ Royal Palace in Morocco. Here 7 golden gates mark the entrance, shining a small glimpse to the beauty held within. These gigantic brass doors are a major tourist attraction in the area. The King of Morocco uses this palace when visiting Fes, which contains beautiful gardens, painted ceilings, and private mosques. However you’ll have to take our word for it as these doors have never been open to the public and most likely never will be.

How To Adjust Your Front Door


The front entry to any home is often the centerpiece of the “curb appeal experience.” These doors may be insulated, contain decorative glass, have security features built-in and can be quite heavy. Over time this weight can cause the door to lower on the non-hinge side, making opening and closing more difficult. Correcting for this natural change is really quite simple and we’ll review a few quick tips here.

  1. The first step is to identify if you have a problem. The quickest way to do this is to look at the space between the top of the door and the frame. If you notice that the space near the hinges is quite a bit tighter and smaller than on the handle-side, you will definitely want to make an adjustment. If this is the case, you will also notice along the handle-side of the door that the space near the top is tighter than the space near the bottom.
  2. When you open the door, you’ll want to pay close attention to the top hinge. By removing one of the center screws holding the door to the frame, you will often find that it is a shorter screw, maybe 1.5″ in length. This only secures the door to the frame and not the wall stud behind the frame. By replacing this screw, and the others in the hinge, with longer 4″ screws, you will be able to pull the door back toward the wall, making it level once again.
  3. Before changing screws, however, use a wall scanner on the inside of the house against the drywall to ensure no wiring is running along the stud that you’re about to screw into. While this is rare, if you don’t check first the longer screw may penetrate the stud completely and make contact with the wiring, which can lead to a more serious problem.
  4. When inserting the new longer screw into the hinge, be sure to use an electric powered-screwdriver, preferably of high power and quality. This will ensure the screw is securely fastened, so your door adjustment is permanent. Once complete, re-enter the home and check the spacing along the top and side of the door. You should now see that this spacing is even and your door is once again level.

At Dream Doors, we help homeowners improve the quality and beauty of their investment. While the tips mentioned above can improve the function of your existing doors, our staff can show you how to upgrade the look of your home using the same doors. We pioneered the concept of installing decorative glass into a new design for any existing door. To qualify your door, visit our “Qualify Your Door” page or give us a call at 904-880-7778 for assistance.

DIY Home Security Review 2016

front door security

When installing a new decorative glass door in a home, one of the questions we are commonly asked is about security. With that in mind, we wanted to take a moment to review some of the new technology on the market for the DIY enthusiasts.

Remote home monitoring systems have become the new hot item at electronics stores across the country. There are many systems and options to choose from and finding the right one to fit your needs is critical. In addition, many of these systems do not work well with one-another, so if you’re buying multiple devices this is important to consider. Be sure to do your homework by reading online reviews and testimonials about the products. This especially applies to “all-in-one” kits that feature several sensors, internet connectivity and more.

A popular gadget is the August Smart Lock. This app-enabled device allows you to lock and unlock your door via your smart phone. The newest generation integrates with Siri so you can use audio commands like “Siri, unlock the front door.” When combined with AppleTV, the Smart Lock can be used remotely via a Wi-Fi bridge.

Besides the full kits, there are also stand-alone devices that can enhance your home’s security. Take for instance the Kuna light fixture, which incorporates a streaming security camera into an elegant outdoor light. Scheduled lighting controls, motion-activated sensors, and two-way audio make this a great device when you’re away from home.

Last, but certainly not least, is the ever-popular front door camera. These systems integrate a streaming video camera into your doorbell, which allows you to see who is at your door without opening it or peeking through the window. These cameras are also accessible remotely so you can communicate with visitors while away. This is especially handy for home deliveries when you’re not there.

At Dream Doors we focus on quality and beauty. While all of the systems mentioned here may be great additions to your home, do your best to put aesthetics first. The last thing we’d want you to do is detract from the beauty of your new front door with an overly bulky home security device.

Cashing In on the 2016 Remodeling Boom

Front Door Renovations

Last month’s blog talked about how to increase the value of your home by. The National Association of REALTORS® Research Department recently released their Remodeling Impact Report which, in a nutshell, covers the expected return on investment of improving various areas of your home. We discovered no surprise here when a complete kitchen renovation topped the list of projects likely to increase the value of a home for resale. Also topping the list for interior improvements were: bathroom upgrade, adding a bathroom, owner’s suite updates, and new wood flooring.

So what about the exterior of the home? Well according to the REALTORS® polled, expensive items such as new roofing, new windows, and new vinyl siding topped the list. As far as the lowest cost for greatest return, you guessed it, upgrading the front entry was definitely the winner in this area. Both new steel and new fiberglass front doors were reviewed for looks, energy efficiency, and curb appeal. An overall improvement in function and livability also topped the list of reasons why this type of upgrade is great when trying to sell your home. While custom glass doors or glass inserts were not specifically cited, our own experience with homeowners has shown that these beautiful enhancements go a long way toward enhancing the first impression during the sale and compliment all other upgrades done to the interior of the home.

While everyone’s experience in buying and selling is different, decisions for remodeling often come down to the bottom line and investment recovery. Many of the items in the report had 0 net impact with 100% of the funds recovered. However, the key here is clinching the deal. There are many homes on the market and making yours stand out among the dozens being viewed by a buyer can put you way ahead of the game.

If you’re considering a few improvements to your home and would like a quote for your front door, contact Dream Doors today to schedule an on-site estimate. You can also visit our showroom at 5220 Shad Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257 for some inspiration.

Make Your Home’s Entrance More Inviting

Revitalized Front Door

Whether it’s Property Brothers, Love It Or list It, The Vanilla Ice Project, or Kitchen Crashers, most of us have our personal favorite when it comes to home improvement TV shows. What makes these shows so popular is that home owners are always looking for new and creative ways to improve their most valuable investment. Many choose the DIY approach while others decide to “leave it to the professionals.” Regardless of what camp you’re in, the biggest surprise most home owners find is how even the smallest of improvements can go a long way toward property value, curb appeal, and resale.

Revitalized Front Doors Have a Big Impact on Value

The front entry is often the easiest place to make the biggest impact for the smallest effort. This 6’ x 6’ area is the first thing visitors see when coming to your home. It is also the first experience potential buyers have when hunting for their dream house. Revitalizing the entryway into your home is often more affordable than many think, and causes a surprisingly short interruption in your daily routine. Whether you choose decorative glass inserts placed in your current door, or decide to replace your entire entry including side windows, the overall impact on the curb appeal of your home will astound you.

Video Tips for the DIY Project

For those of you thinking about the DIY option when it comes to replacing your front door, you may want to watch the clip from This Old House below to see just how much work is involved in tackling this particular home improvement project.

Contact Dream Doors Today!

Whether you’re considering putting your house on the market, or just want to increase the property value during the warm summer months, now is the best time to review your front entry options. Simple touches tend to go the furthest, and your home will be looking its best in no time. Our team offers several choices, from custom decorative glass inserts to a complete front door “makeover,” we can definitely help transform your vision into a reality. Contact our team today for a professional, on-site quote.

Can a Remodeled Front Door Help Sell Your Home?

Decorative Dream Door Remodel

Although the housing market has recovered some from the damage sustained during the recession, selling an existing home can still be a challenge. With numerous new constructions popping up in developments all around town, it can be difficult to convince today’s buyer to even consider an older home, even though it is older by only a handful of years. If you have unlimited funds, adding shaker cabinetry, subway tiles, frameless showers, farmhouse sinks, hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances is the rage, but expensive. Fortunately, there are many less expensive improvements that can help sell your home.

Each year the National Association of Realtors in cooperation with Remodeling magazine compiles a survey that compares remodeling costs to the expected increase in home value. Ever heard that “Less is More”? Well, the 2015 assessment concluded that smaller replacement projects, especially those that enhance a home’s curb appeal, remained the most cost effective way for sellers to add value. In fact, the least expensive home improvement project, remodeling or replacing the front door, had the highest average payback. After all, first impressions are always important whether the potential buyer views the house in person or online.

Many realtors say that buyers decide within the first ten to fifteen seconds of seeing a house whether they’ll be interested in buying it or not. That said, could anything make a better first impression than a beautiful front door? After all, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. A dated front door can make your house look cheap, and a front door with obvious signs of wear and tear can cause buyers to doubt that the home has been properly maintained. If you cannot afford to replace your front, Dream Doors has a great option to boost your property’s curb appeal. The company pioneered the concept of installing decorative glass into your existing wood, steel or fiberglass door, giving your home a new look without the expense of replacing the current door.

Remember, when it comes to boosting your resale value, not all home renovations are created equal and they don’t have to cost a lot to be effective.

Privacy Rating Numbers: Can people see right through this glass?

Stratford glass door

The manufacturers of decorative glass understand your concerns, and have addressed the issue. To help you in determining the obscurity level of each glass design, they have assigned a numbering system. It works like this:

Privacy ratings start at 1, and progress to 9.

A privacy rating of 1 means the glass is as clear as possible. This type glass is typically found in the back of a home, say in sliding glass doors or patio doors, where privacy is not as much a concern. Clear glass allows you to see out and enjoy nature, or watch the kids play.

Any materials or designs, such as grids or etchings, will raise that number accordingly. Typically, in the front of the house where aesthetics come in to play, decorative glass is used. This is where you want the most privacy from a glass.

Liquid Crystal glass, wrought iron glass and camed glass (which has the metal lines and various textures of glass such as glue chip, granite, baroque, etc.), will raise that privacy number considerably. The maximum privacy number is 9, which means that particular glass has the highest level of obscurity available. However, a 9-rated glass with maximum obscurity does not mean you cannot see anything at all.  It simply makes it difficult to see anything specific with clarity.

The rule of thumb used by manufacturers is that, if you stand 3 feet back from the door, nothing of determinable recognition will occur. This means that if you stand back 3 feet from the door, you will not be able to determine exactly what you are seeing. The sex of a person, the breed of the dog, the color of the hair or eyes, will not be discernible. You may or may not see a shadow, such as a person moving past the glass.

Dream Doors displays glass with mostly 7, 8 or 9 privacy ratings. We have a few that do go lower, for those folks who might want to show off a staircase or a grand foyer. Most people find privacy ratings of 7 and 8 still give all the privacy desired.

While there are varying degrees of obscurity, even the clearest glass reflects natural and artificial light and obscures the vision to some degree. The person walking down the sidewalk, or mowing the lawn usually cannot see through the glass with enough clarity to determine if anyone is even home.

One suggestion is to install a screw in motion detector on your outside porch light. This adds more light to reflect on the outside of the glass and thus increase the obscurity level. As people approach your front door, this will back light the outside, and make the glass even more difficult to see through, especially at night.

Come by our showroom and let us take you outside to see how difficult it really is to see through a Dream Doors decorative glass!


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