Monday, October 8, 2012

When one door closes

Or in my case, when one door sorta closes. We are replacing 2 of the doors on our house. I simply could not go another winter with drafty doors. We have 4 doors total on the house. 1 is the weird carport door (which I talked about here), 1 is in the living room which is blocked off and EVENTUALLY will be replaced with a window (I mentioned it here), the other 2 are the dining room/ office (aka the main entry) and the kitchen. So these are the crappy, drafty, money sucking, ugly doors.

kitchen door

main entry door

Since my house is a 131 years old, there is nothing square, level or plum in the entire house. I can't repeat  what the hubbs said when I asked if he was going to install them himself. Needless to say we are going to pay to have the doors installed.  

I cannot believe the prices on exterior doors!  Especially when the previous owner installed weird sizes. Pretty sure everything is going to be special order because of the dimensions. Cha-ching!  I am a little overwhelmed with choosing the main entry door. This is the first impression to the interior of your home. Do I want fiberglass, wood or steel? Painted or stained? Glass or not? If I do get glass what kind of glass--texture, design or caning? What style is my house? What style direction do I want my house to go in?


My house is a folk Victorian farmhouse. Very plain and utilitarian. I don't want a super fancy, hoity-toity door. I do want a little dimension. I want a door that acknowledges the past but is a little more modern. Not to modern, not to traditional. I am pretty sure I want some glass to let light in but also want privacy. Something with a little character. Does such a door exist?

Here are my contenders for the main entry door.


Halflight 2 panel with Frosted image glass
Why I like it:  paintable or stainable surface, fiberglass construction. simple frosted glass design, allows light and privacy.
Concerns: Customized size?


Model 692, 1/2 view glass, smooth surface, Heirlooms glass, nickel caning
Why I like it: It has a paintable surface, fiberglass construction,  decorative glass--allows light but privacy, nickel or patina caning and I can install a cool door knocker between the glass panels.
Concerns: According to the website it is 2 $$ indicating mid price range. I need to go to Lowe's or Home Depot to find what the actual cost point will be. Not sure if this door can be customized to my dimensions.

Champion Fiberglass "The Charleston"

Why I like it: It has a paintable or stainable surface, fiberglass construction,  small window, decorative glass--allows light and  privacy, zinc caning, I can have a doorknocker and hang a wreath on this door.
Concerns: Cost

Next thing I need to decide in is will we install a storm door, screen door or retractable screen on the main entry. If we have a nice insulated door, there is shelter because of the porch so would I need a storm door? I am leaning more towards a screen door or retractable screen. I think my main objective would be light and ventilation.  I love the look of old Victorian or cottage screen doors. Again nothing to fancy, maybe something like this.

I feel like this works more with the 1st  and 2nd door. Is it to many vertical lines? The screen door moldings can be customized though, hmmmm
Cottage Charm
The next 2 screen doors-- I think-- works with any of the entry doors. I like the simplicity  of both.  The first of the two would withstand my 3 dogs...and my 2 cats. The second one acts as more of a "frame" for the entry door and has optimum ventilation.
Door # 7194
I am pretty sure we will install a storm door (with retractable screen) for the kitchen door entry. It is a due north exposure. There is shelter because of the carport but during the driving rain storms and craptastic Midwest winters the weather can reach this door.

As far as the kitchen door  replacement is concerned, ideally I would like both the entry and kitchen door to be comparable styles. I reeaaallly like this one from Therma-tru simply because the glass is an actual window (with screen). That is a pretty neat function for the kitchen.

All I know is I have much to think about and need to order the doors soon because the weather is getting colder. (I have had the furnace on for nearly 2 weeks now.)

So whatcha think? Ideals, suggestions, feedback? Help a  blogger out will ya?


  1. Really very attractive and too much informative blog this is, because with the help of this blog we can make our home attractive just by change the door and windows of our home, really thankful to you for this blog and to post this beautiful image also. Front doors

  2. It is hard choice! I have the same problem with custom sizes. I'm sure you'll find just the right one and it will be fantastic!

  3. Take my word for it. Let someone else I like the door with the half moon glass top.

    1. Definitely it is a very old house. I am kinda scared of what we would get ourselves into otherwise.

  4. Hey Tonya (It's Tricia)
    We have replaced an exterior door at our last house ourselves. It was a nightmare, but SO worth it!

    A few thoughts: The door with the half round on top can be a pain to get on tippy toe to see out of. When you go and look at doors in the store, try to look out of them. Conversely, try to look IN them. We chose a half-lite steel door with a starburst magnolia cane design. I liked it because it was low enough to let in tons of light, yet the majority was frosted, so it was hard to see IN - except for the four small, centered petals in the design - they were clear beveled glass. Perfect height for me to see out at who was at the door without having to open it. Conversely, more than two feet from the door, you couldn't see anything but the prism reflection of the beveling.

    We also chose a screen door based on some of the same principles. At that time, hubby was working a lot of night hours, so I was home alone a lot - privacy and security were the big concerns. We chose a full-view steel storm door, and upgraded the handle and locks for better security. The only downside to that pretty storm door was that I had to remove the whole glass panel and insert a full sized screen when I wanted fresh air. Turns out, it was easy to do, and I felt like a pro in the pitstop at Nascar changing that thing out. It was no more time consuming than fighting to raise my old window screens that were warped.

    Both doors (front and back) that we replaced SERIOUSLY impacted our energy bills. (in a good way) I will echo the hubbs about letting someone else do it. We did the first door ourselves, but paid someone else to do the other. When I say a nightmare, that isn't descriptive enough. We found rotted wood under the sill plate, we found all sorts of things we weren't prepared for - things that stopped us dead in our tracks while trying to install the door. You can't put a new door in on rotted wood... *sigh*

    And guess what? We HAD to finish the door THAT day. You can't exactly go to sleep with no front door on your house, can you? There were about four mad dashes back across town to Lowes for things to fix things we had NO IDEA were like that/missing/rotting, etc until we took the old door out.

    We finished around 2 am. I'm sure our neighbors hated us because of the noise, but they also had been over talking to us and trying to help. Not one of them said a word - thankfully!

    Sorry it's so long - just giving you our experience and things to think about besides just how pretty something is, or how it appeals to our sense of style! :)

    1. Hey Trish-LOVING the user name!! I didn't think about the looking out part--just the looking in. I am kinda short so that could be an issue. Pretty and functional do exist-right?

      LOL! I can only imagine what would happen if we did it ourselves. I can just picture the blue tarps over the doors flapping in the breeze, snow and sleet blowing in along random animals meandering in and out of the house, haha


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