Preparing for Winter

by steven 15. November 2014 03:27

As the winter rolls in, it is important to prepare your home for the cold temperatures.  This also includes your exterior doors.  

 

DOOR FINISH

If you have wood doors, it is important to make sure they are finished and sealed on all surface areas.  Over time some spots may wear down and the raw wood is exposed.  Sealing the door can prevent or lower the possibility of expanding and contracting along with warping during extreme temperature changes.  

 

DOOR SILL/ THRESHOLD

You may need to adjust your door sill / threshold, up or down, to ensure that the doors are setting on it at a proper distance with no gaps for any cold winds to blow through.

 

DOOR SWEEP / SHOE

If you have an aluminium door sweep, we recommend switching to a vinyl application for the months that carry freezing temperatures.  This can cut down the ice formations on the door and freezing the door in a closed position.

 

WEATHERSTRIP

Finally, if you feel cold air entering your home, replacing worn out weather stripping may be a great to cut your electricity bills along with keeping the heat inside.  In many cases the weatherstrip can be purchased at your local hardware store for a low cost and requires little to know glue for install.

 

Good luck, and stay warm!

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exterior doors | Fiberglass Doors | winterize | DIY

5 Reasons to Buy Fiberglass Doors

by steven 8. July 2014 03:01

There are a number of important factors to consider when buying a new door. One of the first and most important choices you need make is which type of material is the best option for your needs.

We've already covered some of the top benefits for choosing wood doors, but there are cases where homeowners would be better served considering fiberglass entry doors instead.  

Here are five of the main reasons that fiberglass doors could be your best bet.

1) Fiberglass exterior doors are the most weather-resilient option.

Fiberglass doors have a heightened resistance to the effects of extreme weather and direct sunlight. If you live in a place where big storms are the norm, or if your front door is facing the sun for most of the day, a wood door is more likely to start showing wear faster. 

Fiberglass entry doors can withstand all the elements for longer without showing wear and tear. They commonly come with long warranties to back up that claim.

2) Fiberglass doors can be made to resemble wood doors.

The technology to make fiberglass doors resemble wood doors has made tremendous strides in recent years. When fiberglass doors first came onto the market, they looked and felt more like plastic and didn't gain much popularity as a result.

Now fiberglass doors are virtually indistinguishable from their wood counterparts for most people. A fiberglass front door won't stand out on a block full of wood front doors, unless of course you buy one with an especially noticeable style.

3) Fiberglass entry doors require less maintenance.

With wood entry doors, you may potentially have to deal with rotting, warping, shrinking or swelling. As fiberglass doors are made with the same material used in high-pressure environments like airplanes and cars, they're not prone to any of that.

 Some occasional cleaning should be enough to keep your fiberglass entry door in good condition. 

4) Fiberglass doors are an environmentally friendly choice.

Fiberglass doors require very little energy to produce and are made out of a natural resource at no real risk of running out – sand. That makes them a good choice for anyone concerned about sustainability and the environmental impact of their door purchase.

Fiberglass doors also offer impressive energy efficiency benefits. They're typically Energy Star certified and filled with foam to increase the insulation they provide. As a result, fiberglass entry doors can be up to four times as energy efficient as wood options.

5) Fiberglass doors can save you money.

Fiberglass doors don't necessarily cost that much up front, but the real savings they offer come over time. The energy efficiency they provide brings down home energy costs, while the decreased need for maintenance costs you less in keeping up the door's appearance over time.

For a lot of people, there's no real substitute for the look and feel of a wood front door. But if you're able to think outside the usual and give fiberglass entry doors a try, you might find the choice pays off.

 

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Doors4Home.com | Fiberglass Doors

5 Closet Door Options That Really Stand Out

by steven 14. June 2014 00:31

It's easy to find closet doors that blend into the background of a bedroom. For many, that's the preferred choice as it keeps from drawing attention to the part of the house that stores your stinky socks or unorganized tie collection. For others, closet doors are a stylistic opportunity.  

Especially in bedrooms where doors take up a good amount of real estate, choosing a more interesting, decorative closet door style can really change the feel of your room. If your primary concern in choosing a new closet door is functionality, there are lots of popular closet door styles <link to popular closet door styles post> to choose from. If you want something that stands out and looks a little different than all of your friends' closet doors, consider some of these more unique closet door options.

1) Barn Closet Doors 

The barn door style describes a type of sliding door where the hardware that makes it possible for the door to slide is visible. While that might not sound like an especially appealing aesthetic on paper, if you look at a few examples, you'll quickly see that it can really add to the look of the door. 

Barn Doors

This door type is most common with rustic-style doors, but can be used to complement a number of other styles. If you like the style, but feel the option looks a bit too expensive, you can always try doing it yourself for less. 

2) Blackboard Closet Door 

While closet doors that double as a blackboard could theoretically be useful in any room, as you probably guessed, they're mostly employed in kids' rooms. The standard knowledge is that kids aren't supposed to write on walls, but if you give them a small space they're allowed to draw on, your kids can indulge in the temptation without any consequences.

Chalkboard closet doors allow your kids to bring some personal creativity to the room and change it up as often as they'd like. You can also use them to leave them notes or reminders. Put your kids' list of chores for the day right on their closet, and they've got no excuse for not remembering to do them. 

Of course, if you're an adult excited by the idea of changing up your room's look regularly based on your own creative whims, these can work well for you too.

3) Wallpapered Closet Door 

This option can be pretty easily applied to any closet door, without having to spend much. Just find some wallpaper you like that would be a good fit for your bedroom style, and add it to your closet doors. 

Wallpapering closet doors is loads easier than re-doing a whole room, but can bring in a transfusion of color and style. Check out a few of the examples out there for inspiration.

4) Mirrored Closet Doors

Everyone wants a mirror around when getting ready in the morning. Turning those closet doors into mirrors gives them some extra functionality. In addition to being perfect for primping, mirrored closet doors provide the illusion of extra space and light in your room, making it feel more open.

You can also easily take typical mirrored closet doors, and add a little more unique style to them. A couple of DIY projects online take you through how to create a frosted glass design in the mirror or add some extra design elements with vinyl.

5) Full Glass Closet Doors

Glass is a tried and true door design ingredient. For closet doors, obscure glass is usually popular to keep the contents of the closet private, while still enjoying the aesthetic benefit of glass.

 

Glass closet doors can come in a wide range of designs. Some options have artwork on the door or use different varieties of decorative glass. Some have multiple lites. Others are attractively simple, like an elegant full glass door

The thing about closet doors is that any type of door can be used as a closet door. If you like a door and think it would look good in your room, it can become a closet door. That means you have as many options for unique, creative closet doors as your imagination can come up with. The only hard part is pinning down which one's right for you.

 

Shaker Doors

French Door Prices: What to Expect

by steven 3. June 2014 21:45

So you want some French doors for your home. You know they're beautiful, and that they bring extra light into your home. What you don't know yet is just what to expect the price tag to be.

French doors, sometimes called double doors, are one of the most popular door designs ever. People love them for a good reason. When used as patio doors, they give people a glimpse into the beauty of the nature outside their home. As interior doors, they provide a barrier between rooms that remains welcoming and lets light spread between the rooms of your house.

There's a lot of variety in the French doors available, and therefore French door prices span a pretty wide range. You can expect to spend anywhere between $300-$2000 on the French doors themselves. The door installation will set you back another few hundred dollars, unless you do it yourself. In either case the supplies to complete the project will be about $100 more.

The Factors That Affect French Door Prices

There are a number of different aspects of French doors that influence their pricing. 

1) The Quality of Materials

This is one of the most important factors in the way doors are priced generally. With French doors, it's the windows that make the biggest difference in how much the doors will cost. You can get single-pane glass for interior doors, but if you're buying exterior French doors you'll need to spend more for double-pane glass. 

If you want the added aesthetic touch of beveled glass, that will cost you a bit more as well.  Dual-glazed windows or windows made of low-E glass usually cost more upfront, but will help you save money over time on energy costs.

While glass makes up the majority of a French door, the frame around the windows will still play a slight role. Whether you choose fiberglass, mahogany, or a more expensive wood like oak will have an effect on the French doors' price tag as well.

2) The Installation Situation

Are you replacing doors, buying them to put in a new house that's being built, or will you need to create a space in the wall as part of the installation? Obviously filling in a spot that's already there will be cheaper than creating one anew, or having to change the size of one. 

You may have more room to splurge on the cost of the French doors themselves if you're careful to make sure you buy doors that fit perfectly into the space you already have. Otherwise, you should expect to spend more in the installation stage.

3) Number, Size and Type

Many people refer to French doors as double doors, but French doors don't always come in pairs. One French door will obviously cost less than buying double doors. The cost goes up further if you buy sidelites as well. 

You'll also find you have a choice between true divided lites and simulated divided lites for many styles of French door. This determines whether or not a door with multiple lites has many distinct windows, or one large window with a grill on top of it to make the windows seem divided.  Simulated divided lites (SDL) usually cost less, and are better for energy efficiency. True divided lites provide a more authentic look though.

If French door prices have you reeling, just keep in mind the many people before you who have purchased them and loved them. The style is tried and true, and they bring more natural light into your life. Good, quality French doors can last you a long time and add some extra beauty and style to your life each day.

 

What Are Energy Star Doors?

by steven 24. May 2014 01:06

Energy has a cost. Both financially and environmentally, the amount of energy you use has consequences. Part of being a conscious consumer means looking at the big picture when purchasing something that affects your energy use, like a door.

The good news is that there are a lot of simple things you can do to bring your energy usage down. One of the easiest ways is choosing Energy Star products. Energy Star doors are easy to find and bring some extra environmental and savings benefits to the homes that use them. They're especially common amongst fiberglass door options.

The Energy Star Ratings System

Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that works as a sort of third-party appraiser of products' value from an energy-use perspective. It's a voluntary program designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving businesses extra incentive to design more energy-efficient products, and making it easier for consumers to identify which products will provide the best long-term value in energy savings.

All Energy Star-certified products are measured with a few key guidelines in mind, including:

They have to still deliver the features and functionality consumers need, while also providing increased energy efficiency.

They have to help make up for any extra upfront cost with savings in the long-term.

The product's energy use must be able to be measured and verified with testing.

Typically, Energy Star-certified products use 20-30% less energy than required by federal standards. On one month's bill that might not seem like a huge difference, but over the years it adds up.

Energy Star Doors

Energy Star doors don't just help consumers save money on their utility bills; they can also make it easier for you to keep your home comfortable. Without the cold drafts and heat leaking in from the outside, you have more control over your home's regular temperature. Things like air leakage, heat gain and loss, and sunlight transmittance can be measured to help determine a door's rating. 

Homes that use Energy Star certified doors, windows and skylights can lower their carbon footprint by around 7-15% and potentially save hundreds of dollars a month in energy bills. 

For consumers concerned about the environment and making the most morally and environmentally conscious purchases, keeping an eye out for the Energy Star rating can make your exterior door shopping experience easier. 

 

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5 Door Features That Add Some Extra Style To An Exterior Door

by steven 7. May 2014 19:35

Exterior doors come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles. While there are certain practical concerns to keep in mind when buying a new exterior door, the fun part is picking the door features that make it more interesting and stylish.

While basic features like the type of wood a door is made from or the overall style of the door can make a big difference to its character, there are a few extra features that bring a little extra boost in personality to an exterior door. 

Five of the main exterior door features that can really set a door apart stylistically are:

1) Decorative Glass

Decorative glass brings some extra art and beauty to any exterior door it's included in. Particular designs can vary, which makes it easy to find a door that fits any stylistic preference. If you're not a fan of designs that are especially ornate, you can easily find doors with glass windows that have simplistic, modern designs. You can browse exterior doors with decorative glass designs in the style of art nouveau, those with floral features, and others with a more traditional feel to them.

2) Speakeasy

Speakeasies bring to memory movies and images from a different time. Speakeasies with grilles add some rustic style to an exterior door, and operable speakeasies let you peak out at or communicate with guests before letting them in. While their function may be less practical today than in the age of hidden bars and secret clubs, speakeasies still bring a hint of fun, history and design to an exterior door.

3) Clavos

Primarily found on rustic doors, clavos are like nails with personality. They come in a few key styles: round, square, and diamond shaped. An exterior door with decorative clavos can maintain a tough, simple look, while still showing a more unique character.

4) Doorknockers

Like speakeasies, doorknockers have a practical functionality in theory, but in practice are really more about the style they add to a door. Doorknockers can often give an exterior door a more classic look, or on the other extreme can bring some gothic character to your door. They're just one more opportunity to add some of your personality to your exterior door's appearance.

5) Door Handle

Door handles are another opportunity to make your exterior door better match your design preferences. You can stick with something basic, or consider alternative colors and styles that bring a little something extra to your exterior door. There are many options available. It's just a matter of finding the best fit for you and your home.

 

An exterior door with style brings some extra character to any home. Figure out which door styles and features best match your home's style and your own personality.

 

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Blog | decorative doors | decorative glass | door glass | Doors4Home.com | exterior doors | Wood doors

How to Be Prepared for a Door Delivery

by steven 7. May 2014 19:34

Even if it seems like you get packages delivered to your home all the time, a door delivery might not be what you expect. Doors are of a size and weight that require more attention. As a result, door deliveries require more preparation and planning than your typical delivery.

How to Prepare for Your Door Delivery

When you buy a door, the seller should provide you with the details for the shipping company that will be delivering the door to you. The delivery company will expect you to get in touch to set up an appointment time for the delivery. You don't have to worry about your door showing up when you don't expect it, but you also need to make a point of being prepared for the delivery at the agreed upon time. 

Make sure there's more than one person home to receive the door. Doors are heavy, so you'll have a hard time getting the door into your home on your own. Since the point is to have some help carrying the door, try to get someone relatively strong to help out. Having your 10-year old kid around probably won't cut it.

Be sure to keep your appointment with the delivery company.  If you're not available at the scheduled time, you'll likely be charged more. The time involved in making a second delivery and the cost of storing the door in between the deliveries will be your responsibility.

You'll also want to be sure you let the delivery company know in advance about any issues they might experience getting to your home. The delivery truck will be large, so if you live up in the mountains with only narrow, windy roads leading to your home, the delivery company may need to make special arrangements to get to you.

 

What to Do When Your Door Arrives

Finally receiving a new door is exciting, especially if you buy your doors online and so are seeing it for the first time. Don't get carried away though. Don't sign anything until you've had a chance to inspect the door. You want to be confident that the door has no damages before you sign for it. Now is the best time to catch and deal with any problems with your order. Once you've signed your name and the delivery's complete, the process of dealing with any problems gets more complicated.

For many door stores, the standard is to have you pay for shipping at the time of purchase (this is how Doors4Home does it). If you pay for shipping in advance through your door store, you should not be asked to pay anything extra to the driver or freight company.  As mentioned above, the exception would be if you miss your scheduled appointment. Otherwise, all charges should already be covered.

Don't expect the delivery person to help you carry the door in. This is not their job. They've brought the door to your home, getting it inside is your job (hence our recommendation above to make sure you have a strong friend around). If you do wish to ask for their assistance, be prepared to offer a tip. 

Whether you buy doors online or at a nearby door store, the shipping process is likely to be similar. Make sure you're prepared, so you don't incur any extra costs or risk offending the driver.  

 

 

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A Brief Introduction to the Decorative Glass in Doors

by adi 11. April 2014 19:19

Decorative doors can include a wide variety of features that add to the aesthetics and style of the door. While doors have a functional role to play first and foremost, a beautiful door adds a lot to the experience of a home. Of the many features that add some aesthetic qualities to doors, decorative glass is one of the most common and popular options.

Many doors wear much of their character and style on their glass panels. Whether the style comes from the texture of the glass itself, or window decorations with caming, decorative glass is often one of the main features that stands out in a beautiful door.

The Main Uses of Decorative Glass


1) Single-Pane Glass Panels
Single pane glass is used in interior doors. As the name suggests, any single pane glass panels used in doors are made up of one sheet of glass. This makes them the most affordable option, but not practical for exterior doors.

2) Dual and Triple-Pane Glass Panels
Dual-pane glass has two sheets of glass, with space between them filled with air or gas. Triple-pane glass takes the same idea, but uses three sheets of glass. These two types of glass panels are much better for energy efficiency than single pane, and will be found in most exterior doors that feature glass. They also provide the added benefit of not transmitting noise as easily.

3) Door Glass with Caming
Caming can be used with any of the glass types described above. It refers to the narrow pieces of metal used to hold glass panes together, usually in the service of an intricate design.

10 Common Types of Decorative Glass


1) Beveled Glass
A very common option, beveled glass can refer simply to the slant in the glass common to many window borders, or to intricate beveled designs created using the same slanting technique. Beveled glass designs add some extra beauty by working as prisms in the sunlight, bringing some extra color into the home.

2) Frosted Glass
Frosted glass is has a blurry appearance, like a permanently frosted over window. The decorative feature adds some extra privacy to any door glass it's used on, while still letting in some light.

3) Glue Chip Glass
Glue chip glass features a design that resembles ice cracking up, or snowflakes. Like frosted glass, it can add some privacy, but also brings a unique effect to decorative doors.

4) Silk Glass
Silk glass is fine spun into threads resembling those used in textiles. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, silk glass is also good for insulation, giving decorative doors that include it an extra boost in energy efficiency compared to doors with other types of decorative glass.

5) Stained Glass
Doors with stained glass include some extra color in their windows. Stained glass can take on any color to produce appealing designs in decorative door windows.

6) Waterfall Glass
Waterfall glass is a textured glass that looks just like it sounds: like a flowing waterfall. The decorative glass produces a stunning aesthetic effect, and also adds a little extra privacy while still letting ample light through.

7) Small Wave
Small wave glass has a textured design with flowing horizontal lines that resemble waves in the water.

8) Deco Bars
The Deco Bars glass design also includes horizontal lines, but straight ones with frosted glass stripes between them.

9) Laminated Glass
Laminated glass consists of two pieces of glass glued together with a piece of white film between them. This both provides a frosted aesthetic, and makes the decorative glass harder to break for an extra level of safety.

10) Glacier Glass
Another type of glass designed to resemble ice, glacier glass has the look of water that freezes while flowing - keeping some of the appearance of waves.

While this list doesn't cover every possible type of decorative glass available, it provides a good introduction to the most common types you're likely to encounter when searching decorative doors. For some bonus info on decorative door features, read up on the most common types of wood used for doors.

A Brief History of Craftsman Doors

by steven 2. April 2014 02:53

The variety of door styles available to homeowners today comes from a wealth of aesthetic backgrounds and movements. Craftsman doors have an especially interesting pedigree, as one enduring feature of a movement that was as artistic and ideological as it was architectural.

 History of the Arts and Crafts Movement

Starting in England in 1860, the Arts and Crafts movement grew out of a reaction to the art of the time, which adherents considered too manufactured and unnatural. Led by poet and designer William Morris, the movement sought to elevate the values of traditional craftsmanship over the newer, less personal styles that had become the norm.

For Morris and other advocates of the movement, their views on art were linked to a larger political understanding of the world. The mechanization of art, which sapped it of some of its personality, worked in parallel to the industrialization of work, which robbed laborers of any valuable relationship to the work performed. The solution (or one part of it) was to embrace handcrafted designs and a return to former styles, like the gothic and medieval.

Over the next several decades, the movement spread through Europe and the United States and persisted in popularity well through the 1930's.  Although the concepts behind the movement were already making their mark, the term that came to describe it "arts and crafts," was first applied in 1887.  

Features of Arts and Crafts Architecture

For several years around the turn of the century, Craftsman-style homes proliferated in many areas of the United States. As a result, many still exist and history buffs and contemporary fans of the style can find examples of the architecture.

Craftsman homes are characterized by an open, airy design. They're built with natural materials, and have many features built right into the home, like light fixtures and furniture. Fireplaces and porches are almost always included, and they often include exposed beams and low roofs for a more natural stylistic affect.

The arts and crafts style was applied differently to homes in different areas of the country. Bungalows were an extremely common version in the California area, while the Prairie style proliferated in the Midwest. The latter had an especially high-profile proponent in Frank Lloyd Wright, who defined the Prairie home style, which although usually two stories, made use of straight lines meant to reflect the flatness of the surrounding region.

Features of Craftsman Doors

Every home must have doors, which means that every distinctive home style lends itself to a matching or complementary door style. Craftsman doors are made in keeping with the primary concepts that defined the Arts and Crafts movement and are designed to fit in seamlessly with traditional Craftsman homes.

One of the most common characteristic features of Craftsman doors are dentil shelves, a shelf that protrudes from underneath the door's window, adding some extra character to the design. 

Craftsmen doors also usually have a simple style with clean lines and no ornate design elements. The panels are regularly square or rectangular, rather than rounded. Simple, while adhering to a distinct style, Craftsman doors provide a little extra touch of history and aesthetics to the homes they're used in.

Interested in seeing more examples of Craftsman doors? Doors4Home has an extensive collection of them you can browse. If you're interested in getting one for your own home, or have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.


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Blog | Wood doors

Details on the Mahogany Wood Shortage and What it Means for You

by steven 18. March 2014 21:31

As the internet makes it easier to buy almost anything you want from the comfort of your home and have it brought right to you, the realities of limited supply start to feel ever more distant. We see wood products all around us, clearly there's plenty of it to go around, right?

The answer to that question is complicated, as various factors have recently compounded to make one of the most popular woods out there more rare. 

Mahogany, particularly the types of it that come from South America, has experienced increasingly diminishing supply levels in the past two years. 

 

The Causes of the Mahogany Wood Shortage

There's not just one reason for the mahogany shortage. Several factors in combination have played a role.

1) Changes in the Weather

As global warming changes the length and severity of seasonal weather, the harvesting periods for many types of natural resources are affected. Mahogany can only be harvested when the weather conditions are just right, and that "just right" time of the year has been getting shorter.

2) Increase in Demand

Trends in housing styles have made mahogany especially popular in the last few years. As more homeowners and architects go for a clean, modern aesthetic, mahogany fits the look they're going for.   

3) Decrease in Open Mills

That increase in popularity came too late to the save the many wood mills that closed down due to the recent recession. The rise in mahogany interest hasn't yet coincided with a rise in the number of mills available to process the wood, so even where the supply of raw materials is plentiful, the ability to get the wood into a marketable state is lacking.

4) Challenges Due to Local Politics

Mahogany availability depends on access to the forests where the trees are most common. In South America, some of those forests are located in countries with political strife. If loggers fear violence or kidnapping at the hands of local rebels, then finding people willing to do the work of harvesting becomes challenging.

5) Less Access to Wood Due To Environmental Concerns

This is undoubtedly good news for the South American rainforests. Greater care given to sustainable harvesting techniques will hopefully give the rainforests a longer lifespan. While in the long-term that means more wood access over time, in the short term it means less wood making its way into the marketplace.

Why Should You Care?

As you can guess, this means those of you who like your mahogany doors, furniture, houses, desks and all the other many wood products you use on a regular basis, will have to pay more for it.

For now, mahogany still falls far behind other rare wood types, like cherry and walnut, in price. It does look likely that mahogany's rarity and pricing will only continue to rise in the next couple of years. If you're a fan of mahogany, buy those mahogany products now and you'll end up saving in the long run.



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