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Making A First Impression With Your Door

Making A First Impression With Your Door

By CATHY FRISINGER – McClatchy Newspapers

Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009

South Carolina



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A front door is a first opportunity to make a good impression. In addition to being highly functional — keep intruders out and warmly admit welcome visitors — a front door should make a statement, should say that this is a home of substance and style.

Recent trends toward bigger, heftier high-end doors contribute to that feeling of substance that you are looking for. Other trends such as multipoint locks make your door more secure, while still others are simply a matter of fashion — oak is out, for instance.

One of the strongest trends in high-end doors is multipoint locking systems, says Greg Wozniak, a door dealer in Bensenville, Ill. These are locking systems that bolt at the top, middle and bottom with one simple turn of the key.

Knotty alder is popular with homeowners who are looking to achieve a Tuscan look.
(Courtesy of Doors for Builders/MCT)
Knotty alder helps create a
Tuscany-style look.
(Courtesy of Doors for Builders/MCT)
Homeowners used to worry
about glass as a security risk, but leaded glass insets are an increasingly common
entryway choice.

In addition to the added security, multipoint locking systems help a door hang better, preventing sagging over a period of years. Particularly for homeowners who select taller, thicker doors, multipoint locks help your door stay looking good in the long run.

And doors are, definitely, getting taller and thicker. Ten years ago, Wozniak says, the standard for entryway doors was a height of 6 feet, 8 inches. Now many people are buying doors that are 8 feet or taller.

Doors are also getting thicker. In the past, the standard for door thickness was 1¾ inches, but the new trend for higher-end doors, especially those that are 8 feet tall and up, is 2¼ inches. In addition to simply feeling more solid, the thicker door has a higher “R” value, an important consideration these days when everyone is looking for ways to reduce energy consumption.

Another strong trend is the use of exotic woods.

“The economy has become much more global, and there’s been an influx of exotic woods,” Wozniak says. The percentage of doors constructed from oak, which was the most popular choice for years and years, is in the single digits today.

The three leading wood choices today are mahogany, knotty alder and cherry. Mahogany, which is typically imported from Central America, Africa or Indonesia, makes up about 70 percent of the market today. Knotty alder is popular with homeowners who are looking to achieve a Tuscan look.