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Day 192 – Searching for that dream door

December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010 – For whatever reason, our builder never included a door in the bid for the addition. I recall saying we’d just pick one up from someplace-or-other, but as to why we got windows but no door, I’m not sure. Nevertheless, the void where a door would go has been secured with a well-anchored sheet of plywood, and covered by Tyvek for few months. It looks great as-is – you’d never know there was supposed to be a door there – but we are thinking about tackling the siding of the house. What this really means is we’ve run out of the Hardi Shingles for the dormers and so are thinking of all the other fun labor we can do.

Dream door, rear profile

But as siding will butt up to the trim, and trim goes around the windows and doors, we need our door to be in.

Shopping for a door is like shopping for any other element of a house that is really way more expensive than it needs to be. A door is a door, right? Apparently not.

We did the Street of Dreams this year, and on it saw a great door that we liked in a house we also liked too. The windows in the house were Jeld-Wen, exactly what we were putting in, so that was exciting to see, and so was the door. It was simple, with clean lines, not one of those gaudy oval glass-stained-brass monstrosities that seem to be popular. We took a picture of it. Two, actually.

On a whim, I looked up one of the local Jeld-Wen dealers and asked if they could help me match up the door we saw with a real product and give us some idea of the price. They said they could and so I emailed the picture of the door to them with our specifications of 34” x 83”, right hand hinge, inward swing. Within a few days, a quote was sent back to me. How much could it be, really? When I saw the price, my jaw dropped. $1572 for a door? Really? We could put HVAC in our new addition for about that price. I emailed back asking if there was anything 10% of  the cost of that door that was similar. I never heard back.

We searched the local salvage stores and found plenty of doors, to be sure, but nothing that was really a great fit (figuratively and literally). We are all for using salvage when we can, and we likely will for many of the interior doors so we can match the period style, but the outside door is a different animal. (That reminds me we need to get back to look some more.)

Home Depot is another spot we’ve looked, and there may be a possible candidate there. It too is a Jeld-Wen door, but what’s drawn at least one of us to it, is that its got a window and has the interior mini-blinds sandwiched between the glass. I think it’s rather ugly and doesn’t match the style of the house, but I’m not sure if I’m being too principled about how the door should look, and am setting unrealistic expectations on what we should be able to find in our budget.

The “green tag” clearance isle at Home Depot is another great spot to look. It’s usually in the window/door aisles, and has all their slow moving or special order doors that they are trying to clear out. Most of the time you can find some great doors that are just a little off what you’re looking for, but other times, you get something that meets your needs exactly. We got a door for our basement this way. In fact, there are three nice exterior doors this week at one of their local stores that are $500+ doors, special orders, that they are selling for cheap. Unfortunately, they hinge the wrong direction.

Another thing driving us is the rebate you can get – through the end of today, and to a lesser extent in 2011 – for the installation of a door/window that have a specific U-factor (heat loss) and solar heat gain coefficient. I doubt we’ll meet this deadline, but hey, it’s nice to have goals, right?

Still searching for that perfect door!

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From → Siding

One Comment
  1. christopher permalink

    So the door you looking for is 1/2 light two panel exterior door. Not sure if you knew the technical name but now you do. Too bad you don;t have “This Old House” doing the remodel, Norm could whip up that door in his shop in a day or so and make a “New Yankee Workshop” episode at the same time.

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