Few aspects of your home make a greater first impression than your front door, and few front doors look better than a door made custom to fit all your needs and specifications. Custom doors are available many number of styles and materials, and are a perfect, and easy, solution if you’re looking to improve the curb appeal of your home.
Custom Door 101
Not only are there a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, but there’s a wide range of custom door manufacturers to choose from as well. If you’re on a budget, but still want a custom look, you can order a custom door from a major door supplier by choosing from a pre-determined series of door styles, window glass, door materials, and security levels. The resulting door will be one-of-a-kind, but it won’t break the bank.
Of course, if money isn’t an issue, you might want to seek out a higher end manufacturer of custom doors. These specialty suppliers aren’t beholden to pre-determined, factory set limitations. They will literally build any style of door you choose, made from any material you can imagine. If you’re looking for a door that has no equal, there isn’t any question that this is the route you want to go.
Custom Doors and Materials
If you’re choosing a custom door from a large door manufacturer such as Pella Doors, your choices when it comes to materials are going to be somewhat limited. Steel and fiberglass are the most common exterior door materials available, though there are exceptions. You can usually choose from a wide range of colors and veneers, so your door won’t look like all the rest on the block. Be it a storybook, red front door, or one with a faux mahogany veneer, these aesthetic additions to traditional steel and fiberglass doors can transform an average door into something with serious curb appeal. If you’re going with a high-end manufacturer of custom doors, then the sky is the limit. We’ve even heard of a door made from recycled pickle barrels. Sure it’s a bit unusual, but it’s also an excellent example of how “custom” your custom doors can be.
Common Shower Door Problems
Replacing sliding patio and shower glass doors is a home improvement project that comes up often, especially in older homes. Before energy efficiency became a priority, and before technology improved building materials, sliding glass doors were some of the most inefficient aspects of a home, bar none. In fact, an older sliding glass door that faced the wrong direction was almost like not having a barrier there at all. All that being said, replacing sliding glass doors can beautify your home and do wonders when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Most people think of curb appeal as roofing, siding, and landscape, but new window installation offers a great opportunity to upgrade your home in style and resale value. Not to mention, with nearly 40 percent of central heating lost through windows and doors, quality window replacement with proper insulation ensures substantial savings on utility bills.
Another reason to replace your windows is that today’s replacement windows also deliver large savings in maintenance costs and convenience, as newer windows don’t require the constant upkeep of scraping, replacing putty and new paint.
New Windows Can Save You Money on Utility Bills
Window salespeople make many claims about energy savings. How true are these claims? Good quality windows, installed properly, can yield substantial energy savings. How much you save depends on the type of window you choose and the type and condition of the windows you are replacing.
In the average home, 38 percent of the heat loss is through windows and doors. If your home has drafty single-pane windows or single-pane aluminum sliders, the heat loss from windows may be as much as 50 percent. The poorer the performance of your old windows, the more dramatic the savings and the sooner energy savings alone will cover the cost of your new window investment.
Buy a double-pane window with a low U-factor when:
- You don’t expect to live in the home long.
- You have less expensive gas or oil heat.
- You expect energy prices to remain stable or drop.
- You expect to have more income in 10-15 years.
Buy a triple-pane window with a very low U-factor when:
- You expect to live in the home for 10 years or more.
- You have more expensive electric heat.
- You expect energy prices to rise sharply.
- You expect to have less income in 10-15 years.
The NFRC ratings don’t address window durability directly. If the windows warp, leak or loosen over time, their U-factor ratings are likely to plummet. Your best resource for choosing a durable, problem-free window is to rely on the advice of a reputable installer. He or she will be interested in your long-term satisfaction and will quickly steer you clear of windows that don’t hold up well.
You can also inspect the window before buying. Look for a good fit between parts. A good test is to slip a business card between any slideable sashes and the frame. The card should slide, but there should be some resistance.Low U-factor ratings and durable construction are both determined by attention to details. In general, the better rated windows will be better made as well.
The level of security a lock set offers depends on its construction. Any type with only a key in the knob or handle is only marginally secure; a burglar can easily foil it. For more security, a deadbolt should be installed with at least a one-inch throw-which means it should extend a minimum of one inch beyond the door’s edge and be made of case-hardened steel.The key to getting the most out of your visit from a locksmith is understanding the different types of locks that you need to install or repair ahead of time.
Exterior entry locksets have a large, rectangular body that slides into a mortise (a cavity carved into the edge of the door made to receive the lock mechanism).Mortise locksets contain the workings for the knob, lever, or grip handle, latch, and deadbolt in a single unit. With a mortise set, the knob generally is interconnected with a security deadbolt. Mounting a mortise lockset calls for fairly tricky carpentry work.
Cylinder locksets have a rounded type body designed to fit into intersecting holes bored into the door. The deadbolt bar, which slides into a corresponding opening in the doorjamb, is the main source of your security.Rim locks, or surface deadbolts, are the deadbolts that are independent of the doorknob. Installed in the inside of the door, the bolt fits into a corresponding sleeve attached to the inside door frame.
The basic padlock, a familiar sight on gates, lock doors and even luggage zippers, is a portable key-operated lock built around a steel loop that clicks into the lock’s body.Double-cylinder deadbolts require the use of a key from both sides of the door. This is the safest type to use for doors with windows. For better security, a knob, lever or grip handle should be paired with a deadbolt lock.
Door Lock Repair
With time and temperature shifts, houses settle and move up and down. This can dramatically affect how a latch or deadbolt matches up with the hole on the doorframe. This can be a simple do-it-yourself project. Simply file the hole bigger.If your door knobs or handles were installed after 1960, they probably have standardized hardware, so replacing the damaged hardware is easier and less expensive. For doors installed before 1960, it may be worth it to try to repair the hardware, especially with old antique doors.
If your door will not lock, try a simple test before calling a locksmith. Open the door and turn the lock key while the door is open. If it works, then the hole in the door frame may be incorrectly aligned with the deadbolt. A simple fix is to file the hole opening wider. If the door still doesn’t lock with the door open, the problem may be more serious, and you may want to call a our locksmith specialist.