Problems with ThermaTru entry door

anthonyg_maJuly 11, 2006

Has anyone run into problems or issues with ThermaTru/Benchmark fiberglass front entry doors? We had one installed from Lowes back in April. Long story short, one of the side lites was leaking from under the threshold. The factory finally sent out a contractor to examine it, agreed it was defective, and attempted to fix it. It still leaks. The factory is now blaming the installer and does not want to come back out to fix the problem properly, and Lowes of course is blaming the factory. The carpet and subfloor are damaged from the water leak and I'm still getting yanked around. ThermaTru has washed their hands of any responsibility at this point and does not want to stand behind their 'lifetime warranty'. Lowes tells me they will arrange to get it fixed. Given the hassle I've been put through so far however, I would never purchase another ThermaTru product, nor could I ever recommend their products. As for Lowes and the installer, the jury is still out on them. If they fix the problem as they promised, I will be satisfied.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well Oh well, are we in for trouble as Lowes is installing our door tomorrow. With the price it cost it had better work and look good.My concern was the stain, but it was hard finding a good looking door out there, we looked a lot and it seemed the best one. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Daisybritt, good luck with your install and I hope all goes well for you! We had a ton of rain in my area again last night (North Eastern MA) and I noticed the other sidelite is leaking now as well. It's a shame because it really is a beautiful door. My wife loves it. I'll just be happy when it's finally fixed!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 1:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My Therma Tru sidelite leaked too (condensation in between the window panels). After digging into paperwork I found out that it was still under the 10 year warranty. I got another sidelite at no cost, but we had to pay for changing it out (didn't come to much).

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

The door was installed improperly. That is why it's leaking under the threshold. 5 out of 10 installers will install a door that leaks (around the installation) this year. Why? They don't know how to install them!


1 Like    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Michael, unfortunately you are probably right about the improper installation. I wanted to give the installer the benefit of the doubt because he did a great job re-installing the interior trim, etc. and the job appeared to be done right upon first glance. The sidelite was initially defective - there was a section of caulking missing and the factory did not deny that. I was promised by the installer that he would fix the leak however, and he has blown me off since. It's a shame and a disgrace that pride in a job such as this no longer seems to exist.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We also Purchased 2 sets of the Therma Tru Benchmark Patio Doors from Lowes. That purchase took place in April of 2006. It's now, February of 2007 and we're still not done. They were originally installed in July of 06 when they finally got the order right. In September, of O6, a moderate rainstorm came from the east, which is the direction, our doors face. Shortly after the rain started, I noticed that water was coming into the house from under the trim around the glass. Lowes came to inspect them and agreed that the doors were defective. They ordered two more sets of french doors. To save time and energy, we attempted to swap out the panels rather than the entire frame. After installing the replacement doors, I sprayed them with the Gentle Rain setting on our hose to find the new doors leaked worse than the original doors. When speaking with Lowes, conferenced with a Therma Tru Rep, The rep informed me that all doors leak a little. Unreal. At that point, I told Lowes that I was finished with Therma Tru and I wanted another brand. They agreed and ordered us two new Pella doors. Since a mistake was made in placing that order, only one set has been installed as of yet but I have to say that it feels like a much better door. I admit that it's still winter now so I'll have to wait until the rains come to determine the final outcome but so far, I'm delighted, and the price was about the same for the Pella Doors when you include the factory Paint and Low E Glass upgrades for Therma Tru.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Fadaway - it's unfortunate to hear you also shared a similar experience. I wish you all the best and hope your ordeal is over!
We just had Lowes install our Pella entryway this past week, to replace the 'defective' ThermaTru unit. It took 10 months, several letters to the BBB, as well as finally contacting the Lowes VP of Operations directly before this matter was resolved. They absorbed the excess cost of the new unit plus the re-install (approx $1200 total), so that was a bit of a relief. I am in a similar situation as you however, until it rains in the Spring, I cannot say with any degree of confidence that the problem has been completely resolved.
If I performed my job as poorly as these individuals, I would have been fired without a second thought long ago!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have not had any problems with a ThermaTru door. I installed one in our old house 25 years ago and not a leak at all.

I had one installed in our new house two years ago. No leaks at all.

I hate to say this, but Lowes and Home Depot do not necesarily have the most competent installers in their employ. It maybe easy and convient, but not wise.

My uncle was a contractor for 40 years and would never use Lowes or HD's people.

You need to call several licensed contractors in your area and get quotes on an installation job. You ask the contractor for references and you call them. Ask the hard questions such as time to do the job, costs, clean up, guarentee of workmanship. Check with the BBB in your area to see if there are any complaints against a contractor.

As a homeowner, you need to do your research and homework to protect yourself.

For those with problems with the door, it was improper installation.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We, too, had a Therma Tru door installed by a true craftsman who has done lots of work on our house. He has installed in excess of 100 of these doors and is highly recommended by the store I purchased the door from. The door leaks like mad during any rain storm, down one side and under the threshold. Thankfully there is a tile floor on the other side so no mold; however, after 7 attempts at fixing the issue my contractor told me he recommends a storm door to stop the issue (oh, this is after Therma Tru sent two new sets of gasket which has only made it worse). So, I called the local hardware store I purchased from (probably the better choice than the big box hardware stores b/c they stand behind what they sell). They called the distributor who sent out a technician who said the door is defective and should never leak. He said it is bowing a little at the top, allowing rain to leak down the gasket and inside the house. I am impressed with the distributor's technician because after only four days he called and is coming today to install a new panel, which he claims will solve the issue. I have to say that I replaced a 100 year old door that even with its disintegrating wood didn't leak. Although Therma-Tru is standing behind their product and replacing the panel for me, this goes to show that things are simply not built the way they used to be. It shouldn't be so difficult to have something so simple installed in a house.

I feel your pain. I almost bought a Pella Door and went with Therma-Tru to save money. I've pretty much doubled the cost of the door with all the time I've spent resolving this. Never again. They've lost me as a customer.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 7:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I purchased a Therma Tru fiberglass front door with side panels from Lowes. I ordered the door with the optional rot proof bottom.
I gave the door the once over after it arrived. I noticed that the door side panel and header are not seated correctly. The weather seal had been damaged by the factory inserting screws.The interior molding around the side panels were short, and cracked, not to mention I purchased the door as a "solid fiberglass" door only to find it's a laminate front and back with wood filler.I have never seen such poor workmanship in one product. I had two reps look at the door only to tell me they have to take it apart to repair it. I am contacting my credit card company tomorrow and disputing the charge of $2700.00 and Lowes can come and pick it up. The builders grade door is a better quality. I strongly recommend you not to purchase a Therma Tru door unless you want continual aggravation.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As an installer I can tell you this sounds like an installer issue. When installing a door an installer needs to use alot of caulk under the door (under the threshold) If they do not do this this will cause leaks under the door. Your installer either did not caulk or did not use enough caulk. I usually use 1/2 - 1 tube per door. If your windows leaked I'd say it was a manufacture issue this is an inexperienced installer. I have installed thermatru doors several times. They are a good quality door.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 9:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I own an independent door company and sell dozens of Therma Tru doors a month. Therma Tru has always stepped up and replaced any faulty product that they sell. They can not however be expected to replace units that were installed or stained improperly.

I would never recommend anyone buying a pre-hung unit from Lowes or Home Depot, much less using their recommended installers. If you are going to pay that much money for a sidelight entry unit, spend a little more time and money on a reputable carpenter to do the install.

People should not degrade a solid manufacturer for issues they brought on themselves.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a customer that installed 3 S262-3068 Fiberclassic Therma Tru doors. Two of the 3 doors leak around the plastic window trim. There is no condensation on the glass, just water leaking around the glass trim. Any ideas on what would cause this?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have installed Therma Tru doors for over 25 years and have never had a problem, I also have 2 in my house and 2 in my mom's house. I agree with the guys here that are saying it is an install issue.I have a few warrenty issues and they were delt with in a timely fashion. Also like most all window & door manufactures that make the "big box" line of cheap, like the Andersen Series 200, Pella Pro Series, Therma Tru Benchmark Series etc. But it seems people are always going for the cheapest possible instead of quality. When it comes to windows & doors it should be quality product and quality installs. Not all, but most of the installers that do big box stuff all the time are normally not good enough to do it on their own. "Cheap isn't Good & Good isn't Cheap" or Pay Me now or Pay Me Later. Rings true

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 2:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a new door installed. The problem is there was some stain scratches on the frame of the glass. The installer saw it and told me to call Lowe's. I did. They are getting some kind of marker to cover the scratches with. Lowe's said it isn't scratches, but just where stain has possibly peeled away or was like that from the factory. Would you insist on a new door? If it chips or peels that easily, I am sure it will continue to do this over the years to come.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Therma tru and other companies like them who sell to many distributors sell different lines of quality, depending on the volume of the distributor etc. The benchmark series is the cheapest in both price and quality and is sold through Lowes and Home Depot, but they also sell these cheaper lines to others as well.

Therma tru's top of the line products will cost you more through a distributor like Window World etc., but it will be the highest quality you can get. You sometimes do get what you pay for and the only way to get a high quality product is to pay more for it unless you can deal with a company who can negotiate a lower price with the mfg. on your behalf.

In the case of Lowes and Home depot, they answer to stock holders, so quality takes a back seat to the bottom line profit of the stock holders and the company.

A large privately held company can instead put the high volume savings that they can negotiate, back into higher quality and lower prices which translates into higher customer satisfaction.

So try and do business with a company who has higher customer satisfaction and quality than only going for the lowest price only.

If you are going to do business with the 'big box' companies like Home Depot or Lowes, then at least make sure to buy their higher priced products and not their lowest. If you buy the cheapest stuff they offer, then don't expect much in the way of product longevity.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 1:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the Smoothstar fiberglass door as my front entrance door. It was bought and installed eight years ago. The bottom of the hinge side rotted through. I called Therma Tru and they sent a rep from Reeb, their Distributor. His job was to find any reason why they couldn't honor their warranty. He gave an obscure reason for why Therma Tru would not cover the warranty. A call to the customer service dep't of Therma Tru was unsuccessful. Here I am with a thousand dollar door that rotted. The door edges were painted every two years and yet it rotted. their twenty year warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on. The door is now sold at Lowes. Don't waste your money.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What rotted the door or the frame?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I purchased a double door Benchmark entry doors through Lowes about 1-1/2 years ago they have the center arch glass a few weeks ago we had a bad Nor-easter storm with heavy rain i came home to find a puddle inside i first thought it was coming from between the seals of the two doors but i was able to trace it to the arch bezel insert(not the glass itself)called BM cust serv they said it was the seal and would need to be resealed, gave me a claim # and said someone from there office would call to set up an appt for one of there repair techs to come out(they are independent from the BM Co. Also said they would send a replace bezel just in case the tech damaged the original, all sounded good but at two weeks waiting now i havn't received the bezel or a appointment for the repair, so will be calling them tomm to see whats up.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i ordered a therma tru door and 2 sidelites from Lowes on 2-25-13.
They came in on 4-16-13. I figured they were going to be in just really awesome condition for the amount of time it took to make them. Lowes then told me that they could not be installed until 4-31-13 because the installer was too busy. Long story short..the doors came to the house and the stain on the doors look like a third grader did it. The door would not close. There were defects of every kind. The handles didn't even show up. Said it would be two weeks to a month to get them. Installer left us with no emergency exit. The door was jerried closed. We did not go cheap and want something for nothing. $6,310.13. The rep for Therma Tru and rep for Lowes have both been here. They are an hour late to get here again today. They want to fight over this while we are the one's that worked our butts off to pay cash for this door. Can't they just fix this for us the customer and fight over who pays what later? Both are responsible in my eyes.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I put in a ThermaTru entry door several years ago. I stained it myself, installed the latch hardware myself, and had a reputable contractor (who is also a friend) do the install. I live in North Dakota, and have not had any leaking issues. I love my new door! Not only was it a vast improvement over the cheap cheap steel door that came with the house, it is a beautiful door in its own right.

I would buy ThermaTru again in a minute.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Unfortunately that's is what happens sometimes when you buy millwork at a box store. Don't know what to tell you other than it sounds more like the distributor than T.T as they do not sell directly to the home centers and I was also not aware Lowe's sold T.T.?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok..The rep from Therma Tru and Lowes and the Installer showed up to look at the door. After the Installer and Therma Tru rep got done being nasty with each other and the rep from Lowes took them outside our house to argue for a half hour, the rep from Lowes came back in and let us know that our door is completely being replaced! I do understand that "things" happen and we are all human. Lets see what happens with the new door. It should be here June 28th. Not sure what day it will be installed. Keeping my fingers crossed because I LOVE the door.It's beautiful!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

New door has finally been installed. (ordered it 2-25-13). It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! We had to get a building permit when we bought the door. It's a Vacaville, CA requirement. The city came out to inspect. The door failed inspection due to the handle not having a single action lock handle. Therma tru do not make single action handles. We now have to replace the whole darn thing again! (the whole door!) Can anyone out there help me find a way to fix this without having to start all over? I love the security that the 3 way locking system gives me..I love my door...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was wondering if your Special order a Therma Tru doors via Home Depot or Lowes, Versus ordering from a door company who orders from Therma Tru, are the quality the same? I was under the impression that if you buy the Benchmark (Therma Tru) doors that are in stock at the box stores, that's where most of the problems came from because I was told HD or Lowes buy more of the lower end quality doors. I am not sure if this is correct though.

Can anyone confirm?


    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Pop a generic single action lock handle in the door, install blank covers over any other openings, and call for another inspection.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 5:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This thread was 6 months ago, I'm sure accord has already done something about the door. But, I agree with you Trebruchet. Give the inspector what he wants. I won't tell him if it happens to go back to the original later.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will make this simple - stay away from Therma-Tru Doors. I don't know what has happened to this company, but they all leak and Therma-Tru will find any and every way not to warranty the product. I have had them installed and reinstalled and they still leak and that was with 1 tube Geocell on each and every door. I had five doors installed and they truly SUCK, spent $2,000.00 +per door and I couldn't be more unhappy with them. After reinstalling only two leak, damaging the sheet rock on the floor below. Now on one door that doesn't leak the expensive three point lock guts are gone. What happened to quality and customer service anyway - oh that's right businesses don't consider customer service necessary anymore.

STAY AWAY FROM THERMA TRU, whether you purchase directly or from big box. TT needs to gets back to basics again and fix there many, many problems.

Now inside panels rotting after only few years.

Door look great but that doesn't help when they cause damage to the rest of the home - such as sheetrock, wood floors, wood framing, etc. Even with the sill pan can't stop the leaks - THEY JUST PLAIN SUCK..

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Therma-Tru doors fail and the Company does its best to get out of "doing the right thing".
I have a fiberglass door, with sidelights and a transom. All of the trim delaminated to the plywood core. totally ruined.

They closed the claim, why? I didn't have the original invoice. I bought the house from a builder. I don't have the bill, the builder does. Cased closed, No receipt in your name, sorry!
$9,000 door and bricked in. Therma-tru is a looser Company with a horrible Customer support.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2014 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What sort of trim? TT from my experience does not supply the trim other than possible exterior casing. Most of the time TT does even supply that as it is from the distributor who reps the TT product and buys it from whomever is the cheapest. How was the trim maintained? How was is finished originally? It is great to come on here slamming a product but you give us nothing to go by as far as reasons why it failed.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2014 at 7:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just had a Therma Tru Smooth Star installed, and I purchased it not from Lowes or HD, but from a door company who bought it from Huttig. I have my installer do the installation, and surprisingly it is very good, no leaks. The only problem I had was with the top lock mechanism, which was fixed immediately from a rep fro Huttig. I think it's better to buy from a door company, versus big box stores like HD or Lowes. The guy I bought it from is very very good, he handled every little problems for me. I don't have to be the one calling or pursuing them.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2014 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks to this forum, I saved some money and a lot of stress. I was a hair's breadth away from purchasing a "very pretty" ThermaTru fiberglass door - no sidelights.

After reading these posts, I cancelled the order and went back to an insulated steel door, in Mission style with a wood grain, stained finish, and "even prettier" stained glass. Of course, "pretty" is nice but waterproof is non-negotiable!

I do thank you!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2014 at 11:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why do you think the insulated steel door is better? Who is the manufacturer?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2014 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have a Therma-Tru door with sidelight windows that have leaked since the first winter it was installed which is over 10 years ago. These are expensive doors and we are disappointed with it; never purchase this brand again.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 3:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

TT does not assemble the doors, that is done by the supply house.....

    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 4:44PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Potential Contractor wants to have my SS Number ?
Good morning everyone! I'm in the process interviewing...
Marina Yashmanov
Having builder install base kitchen & then immediately remodeling?
I probably would've preferred to buy an old house to...
Melanie Campbell
Just on observation
Just observing these forums I see the word "cheap"...
Precision Carpentry
Stucco On French Door Installation
Hi, I am replacing a window with french doors in the...
question about getting a bid from contractors
We're getting ready to put an addition on our house...
Sponsored Products
Broan-Nutone 10-in. Wall/Ceiling Mount Side Discharge Fan - 502
$165.99 | Hayneedle
Everett Espresso Large Deluxe CD/ DVD Media Storage
Whitehaus Collection Single Door 19.5W x 27.5H in. Surface Mount Medicine Cabine
$535.39 | Hayneedle
Bungalow Flooring Door Mats Multi Color 18 in. x 27 in. Neoprene Zebra Door Mat
$24.97 | Home Depot
Carlton Cherry Russet Stained Wood Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
DreamLine Aqua Uno 34x 58-inch Single Panel Hinged Tub Door
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™