Thursday, December 13, 2012

Door Envy

by Ann

First impressions are important.  The front door is an important component to the first impression of a home.  We moved into a house in a development that a single woman with teenage children had built, making design choices I would have never considered, including the door.   The original owner had installed an inexpensive black metal security door over the standard-issue wooden door that came with the houses in our neighborhood.  Not only was the metal door unattractive, it also couldn’t shut all the way, so was not serviceable.  When our handyman was asked about taking it down he explained that since it was a security door the entire frame would need to be removed, thus resulting in a larger project than we were up for just to get rid of the outer door.  So, we lived with the entry way that I initially deemed as a high priority project for over ten years because other things (like the emerald green carpeting, cheesy mini blinds, bathroom fixtures, counter tops, lighting, etc...   you get the idea) were higher on our home improvement project list.
See the picture below for our NEW and lovely door!  (I had originally had the "before" pictures posted as the first pics, but have since discovered that whatever the first pic posted is comes up as the header when looking at our blog with a smartphone, and wanted you to see this rather than the funky before pics!)
We were in the middle of this project at this time last year, before Sheila, Heather and I had the “let’s start a blog inspiration,” so the before pictures are a bit rigged up.  Below is our neighbor's entryway to illustrate how the window transom was situated above the door.
Below is a version of the same security door that was on our front door, but this one is on the side of our house going into the garage. 
This is the SIDE of our garage, so not the greatest comparison to our original front door, but the security screen is exactly the same as the one in front.  Not my idea of a good first impression.
Within the last year or so two of my friends had replaced their entryways with absolutely beautiful iron and glass doors, giving me tremendous “door envy,” causing the door to move to a higher place on the priority list.  My husband, Patrick and I went to a home show at the University of Phoenix stadium (where the Phoenix Cardinals play) to seek out companies that make custom doors like I had in mind.  There were two companies that had displays impressive enough to warrant having reps come to our home to do estimates.  Both companies had similar pricing, and great ideas to share, but we had to choose.  It came down to what to do with the small transom window above the door.  One company suggested making the entire doorway taller, including the area where the window had been, making the entryway seem grander.

Since both of the bids came in close, we signed on the dotted line, providing a down payment of half for the fabrication to begin with the smaller company; the one  with bigger ideas for our project.  Each door is custom built, yet buyers don’t have to start from scratch.  We poured through notebooks filled with pictures of previously done projects from which the scroll work and general designs could be duplicated.  Yet there were many more decisions to be made –  choosing the finish, the type of glass, the door handles, and probably many other things that I can’t remember at this point.
We signed the contract at the end of August with the promise that installation would take place prior to Thanksgiving (the holiday that we traditionally host) of last year.  A couple of months later we were given complimentary tickets to yet another home and garden show so we could see our door in progress being shown off.  The company wanted to people to see that a fabulous door could be created for a traditional sized entry way, since the more common type of home with these doors is “grander” than ours.  We visited our door at the show; encouraged that it was almost done, just waiting on the glass.  The glass took longer than predicted, Thanksgiving came and went with no new door, but soon thereafter it was installed.
 See below for how nice it looks now that it is done.

The glass door panel can open.  We chose not to include a screen in order to maintain consistency in the look of the glass and the depth of the panel. 
(We don't have many bugs in Arizona, nor do we open the panel often.)

I am happy to report that I am no longer suffering from door-envy, pleased with the results of this project.  Hmm.... what's the next undertaking?

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