Nov

06

How to Select a Front Door

How to Select a Front DoorEntry doors must be tough enough to withstand wind, rain, cold temperatures, sweltering sun and potential intruders, yet attractive enough to make a good first impression. Whether your front door is old and warped, or you just want to trade your solid door in for one with glass panels that offers more light, you will find plenty of options available.

With the advent of materials that look like real wood, resist the elements better than earlier wood versions, and provide greater security, replacing your entry doors is a low cost project that can also yield high returns on investment and update the front entry. So, here are a few items to consider when it comes to choosing a front entry door for your home.

The first thing to look at when it comes to installing a new entry door is how much of the elements your door will be exposed to. It’s important to look very closely at the durability of the material and the quality of the weatherstripping system to make sure the door will hold up and keep air and water out.

After examining exposure to the elements, it’s time to consider the three different types of materials entry doors are typically made of – steel, fiberglass, or wood. Made of an inner frame of wood or steel with a 24-gauge steel skin (or thicker on premium doors), the cavities of most steel doors are filled with high-density foam insulation. Finishes are usually a baked-on polyester, with premium doors having a vinyl coating for improved weather resistance or sometimes even a textured finish that can be factory stained.

Steel doors require little maintenance. These highly durable doors are resistant to rust, cracking, and bowing, which means they last longer and save you money in the long run. Since steel doors offer insulating properties, they are energy-efficient and can even lower your heating and cooling costs.

Fiberglass entry doors are also tough and virtually maintenance-free. With manufacturers offering products that resemble the look of Mahogany, Cherry, Knotty Alder, Fir, and Oak, these doors provide the look and feel of a solid wood door without the required maintenance. Typically made of molded skins of fiberglass on a framework of wooden stiles and rails, these doors also contain high-density foam insulation that ensures the best protection against energy loss inside the house.

Steel or fiberglass doors typically carry the longest warranties of any of the three material options, and can range anywhere from a basic unit without any glazing to a complete entry system with decorative glass, sidelights, and upscale hardware.

While still a popular choice for homeowners that want a period-correct appearance, wood doors come in a wide variety of styles and can accept nearly any stain or paint color. Most wood doors now are actually veneer skins over an engineered wood core that helps them resist shrinking, swelling, and warping that is common with solid wood doors.

Wood doors work best when installed in a dry, protected area. Unless they’re under an overhang or located in a shaded area, homeowners will have to perform some routine maintenance, such as periodic resealing, while keeping an eye out for warping and weather damage.

With the potential to increase the value of the home 7-10%, a front door is a major aesthetic of any house. It’s typically the first thing people see when they look at your house. So, be sure to take the time and explore each of these three materials and their various styles when deciding on the type of front entry door is right for your home.

Nov

16

Create a Welcoming Entrance With Your Front Door

Callen Blog Photo - Create a Welcoming Entrance with Your Front Door 111615No other door of your home gets as much exposure or attention as the front door. It serves as a place to greet your friends and family, plus it commands attention from the street. Your front door can make a statement about who you are and what people can expect when they walk into your home. Replacing a front door can also add value to your home. Here are some ideas for creating an inviting entryway as well as choosing a door that fits your personal style and your home’s design.

When choosing a new front door, there are different materials to consider: wood, fiberglass, and steel.

Wood is a common choice for a front door. It offers a traditional look and provides a sense of warmth and richness. Homeowners can choose from a variety of styles and types of wood, and doors can also be custom made. A wood door should be carefully finished with stain or paint according to manufacturer specifications. When purchasing, look for a door with durable stains and high-gloss finishes – these are best for protecting the wood. While wood doors add a beautiful element to the outside of your home, they require a fair amount of upkeep. Wood is sensitive to moisture, and wetness can cause the door to crack and warp.

Fiberglass doors are perfect for harsh and humid climates we have here in Wisconsin because they can go several years without needing any paint or stain touchups. They come with an environmentally friendly polyurethane core that provides insulation properties that are at least four times greater than wood doors, and they also have a high-impact compression molded skin that will not splinter, warp, or rot. Wood grains that replicate the look of cherry, fir, mahogany, and oak are available.

Steel doors provide performance, safety, and beauty. They come pre-painted or pre-stained in a smooth or textured finish. Premium steel doors have a vinyl coating for improved weather resistance or sometimes even a wood veneer that can take a stain. Steel doors are durable and resist splintering and cracking; however, they are somewhat less energy efficient than wood or fiberglass. Heat or cold can be conducted to the inside surface unless a thermal break is incorporated into the door’s construction.

Next, consider the look of your door. Doors can be flat panel or have high definition panel profiles. Glass options include clear, double-insulated glass or a variety of triple-glazed designer glass styles. Homeowners have the option of choosing privacy ratings as well as choosing options in any size, shape, texture, pattern, or designer glass. The glass can be etched, patterned, textured, beveled, and designed with simulated divided lite and grilles between the glass. Homeowners can also choose from brass or lead caning. These decorative glass designs are sealed between two panes of tempered “safety” glass, providing the energy efficiency of triple glazing.

Just like glass packages, door hardware comes in many colors and shapes. Handles and hinges can be ornate or simple and finishes run the gamut, including nickel, satin nickel, bright brass, antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and satin stainless steel.

Other door options to take into consideration are whether you want to have a kick panel, peep hole, mail slot, and depending on the size of your opening, sidelights and transoms.

With all the customization options available, homeowners may become overwhelmed. That is where a trained product specialist from Callen with an eye for design can help by explaining and offering ideas of what will look and work best with the architecture and performance standards required. Call Callen today at 414-529-5509.

Sep

21

Pick the Perfect Patio Door

Callen Blog - Pick the Perfect Patio Door 092115The perfect patio door can be an asset to your home. However, choosing a patio door that complements your home’s architectural design and helps to define your outdoor living space isn’t always the easiest decision. Today, there are a selection of sliding, swinging, French, and bi-fold patio doors available. When choosing a new patio door, you should first consider your home’s design, your lifestyle, and convenience.

Contemporary sliding patio doors have narrow stiles (vertical sash members) and narrow rails (horizontal sash members). With large glass areas, the doors present a clean, sleek look and allow for natural light to enter the house.

French sliding patio doors have a more classic design with taller top and bottom rails and wider stiles. This is not to be confused with a swinging French door, which features one or both panels opening from the center.

Bi-fold patio doors are perfect when there is more space surrounding the doors. The doors open more widely and fold smoothly to one side.

There are also options in choosing screens. Most manufacturers have bottom-hung screens in which the bottom track carries all the weight from the wheels. This option requires cleaning and maintenance because the wheel may pop off if dirt or stones get stuck in the track. Top hung screens resemble bi-fold doors in a closet. Since the weight is at the top, you don’t have to worry about it popping the track.

Screens also can come in Standard or Hi-Transparency – a screen with a finer mesh that is more tightly weaved, which gives you a clearer, brighter view.

Other options for your sliding patio door include multiple grid styles and patterns, including between the glass grids or simulated divided lite. Hardware colors come in an array of finishes.

Another thing to keep in mind when replacing your door as a Wisconsin homeowner is the difference in door size for Wisconsin patio doors. Wisconsin has a unique size of patio door that was commonly installed beginning in the 1970s called a Wisconsin-style door.

A Wisconsin sliding patio door comes in either a 6 ft., 3-in. width or a 6 ft., 6-in.” width, compared to a standard size sliding patio door, which are 5-, 6-, 8-’, 9-, and 12 ft. widths. Replacement of a Wisconsin-sized sliding patio door can be accomplished two ways: a custom-size door can be ordered in all materials, or a standard-size patio door can be installed with wider trim on both the inside and outside of the home.

Callen can help you select the style of patio door that will work best for your home. Call Callen at 414-765-2585 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Nov

04

When a Door is More Than a Door

When a Door is More Than a Door

Entry doors are often the focal point of your home, plus they offer an excellent return on investment.  When visitors approach, it’s typically what draws their eye, and you want the first impression to be distinctive.  As a homeowner, you want it to say your home is welcoming and well cared for.

There are many design elements that allow your front door to make a personal statement. For example, there are many different glass packages and door styles, plus multiple staining options and paint colors, all of which can be mixed and matched.

There are the three types of entry door materials to consider: wood, fiberglass, and steel.

Wood doors offer a very traditional look and provide a sense of warmth and richness.  Homeowners can choose from a variety of styles and most wood species you can imagine.  Wood doors, which can be custom made, need to be carefully finished (stained or painted) according to manufacturer specifications and periodic maintenance is required.

Fiberglass doors come with an environmentally friendly polyurethane core that provides insulation properties that are at least four times greater than wood doors.  Low maintenance fiberglass doors come factory painted or stained for years of lasting beauty.  Fiberglass entry doors come with a high-impact compression molded skin that will not splinter, warp, or rot.  Wood grains that replicate the look of cherry, fir, mahogany, and oak are available.

Steel doors provide performance, safety, and beauty.  They come prepainted or prestained in a smooth or textured finish.  Steel doors also are durable, resist splitting and cracking, and are energy efficient.

Doors can be flat panel or have high definition panel profiles.  Glass options include clear double insulated glass or a variety of triple glazed designer glass styles.  Homeowners have the option of choosing privacy ratings as well as choosing options in any size, shape, texture, pattern, or designer glass.  The glass can be etched, patterned, textured, beveled, and designed with simulated divided lite and grilles between the glass.  Homeowners can also choose from brass or lead caning.  These decorative glass designs are sealed between two panes of tempered “safety” glass, providing the energy efficiency of triple glazing.

Just like glass packages, door hardware comes in many colors and shapes.  Handles and hinges can be ornate or simple and finishes run the gamut: nickel, satin nickel, bright brass, antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and satin stainless steel.

Other door options to take into consideration are whether you want to have a kick panel, peep hole, mail slot, and depending on the size of your opening, sidelights and transoms.

With all the customization options available, homeowners may become overwhelmed.  That is where a trained product specialist from Callen with an eye for design can help by explaining and offering ideas of what will look and work best with the architecture and performance standards required.