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Q: What wood species do you recommend?
A: This is a very complicated question. Your species choice depends on a lot of factors. What type of look are you going for? Did you want a lighter or a darker decor? Do you prefer a lot of grain character? Is this an interior or an exterior door? Are you going to be painting the door? All of these questions should be considered when choosing your wood species. Discuss these questions with one of our sales people, and they can help narrow down he choices. But, in the end, customer preference is the final deciding factor. Follow the link for detailed information and photos about our species options for wood doors.

Q: I want to buy an exterior door. What wood species do you recommend?
A: We have several options for exterior wood doors. African Mahogany, Spanish Cedar, Brazilian Cherry, Sapele Mahogany, and White Oak are all the best options for exterior applications. However, any wood species can be used for exterior if it is finished, maintained, and protected properly. Follow the link for detailed information and photos about our species options for wood doors.

Q: How To Measure Your Door?
A: There are 2 ways to measure for your door. The third is for prehung door units

Exact Door Size:
If your door opening is square and you are certain of the exact size of the door you need to accommodate your opening, you can simply supply us with the height and width measurements of the door size you want below. Keep in mind that your doors will be made exactly to this size with no subtractions from the height or width.

Finished Opening size:
If you have an older home in which the threshold or door opening may be out of square, you need to take the measurement of the finished opening. From the exact position where the door will be hung within the jamb take the following 4 measurements shown by the chart below. Your door will be made approximately 3/16" smaller on the width then ¼" smaller on the height of these measurements which will minimize the amount of trimming (if any) you or your builder will have to perform during installation.

the door opening of solid wood door

There are four simple measurements to be taken:
To determine the size of your door you will need to measure the opening into which the door will go from wood frame to wood frame by taking four simple measurements illustrated in the Door Chart.

                    A - B  ____
                    C - D  ____ 
                    E - F  ____ 
                    G - H  ____

Your door opening

Rough Opening Size:
For pre-hung doors and entire entrance units requiring a jambs or frames, we need the measurements of your rough opening. Rough opening measurements are taken from the inside of the framing lumber, both horizontally and vertically. It is easiest to do this when there is no door installed. If a pre-hung door or entrance unit occupies the current rough opening and is being replaced, the rough opening measurement can also be taken by removing any necessary moldings which may be preventing one from seeing the actual lumber frame surrounding the door.

Q: How to Measure for Your Arch or Round Top Door?
A: Measuring for arch and round top screen doors is more involved than with standard screen doors.

solid wood arch door

1. First take your standard width measurement.
2. Then you must measure your height from the bottom up to the beginning of the arch (Height A).
3. Then measure the height from the bottom to the peak of the arch in the very middle (Height B).
4. Radius: If you know the radius please tell us. If not don't worry, the radius can be derived from your measurements. Some situations may require you to send a pattern.

Q: What Size Should My Rough Opening be for an Interior and/or Exterior Door?
A: Typically, the rough opening for an interior door should exceed the door width by 2" and the door height by about 2-1/2". So, for a 2/6 x 6/8 door (30" x 80"), your rough opening should be at least 32" wide by 82-1/2" tall. For exterior doors, the rough opening should exceed the door width by 2" and the door high by 3-1/2".

Q: Will solid wood doors hold up?
A: The correct wood choice for your application is important. When properly finished and maintained, wood is extremely durable, and resistant to both time and the elements. In fact, wood is also a natural product and insulator that has been the number one choice for doors for centuries.

Q: How do I know which door style is right for my home?
A: The best place to start is with your own personal tastes and preferences. If historical or architectural accuracy are important to you, it can be fun and informative to research your home's architectural style. Of course, you can always speak with one of our reps for advice as well!

Q: My front door needs to be replaced. I can afford a nice, efficient door, so I want a natural wood one with decorative glass. What types of wood doors are available and how much maintenance should I plan on?
A: Natural solid wood is probably the most attractive material for a decorative front door. Depending upon the type of wood you select, it also can be one of the most expensive door materials. If you select large, decorative glass panels, their cost is sometimes more than the door itself.

Installing a new efficient front door should save energy and reduce your utility bills to help offset the cost of the door. Even though solid wood is not quite as good an insulator as steel or fiberglass doors with foam cores, the millions of tiny air cells in the wood block heat loss. A new door also will seal outdoor air leakage much better than your old one.

Wood doors that come with the topcoat finish from the factory require little regular maintenance. These new factory finishes are very durable, much more so than the paints used just a decade ago. If the door gets scratched and the finish is broken, touch it up and seal it as soon as possible.

If you buy an unfinished door for staining followed with a clear coat, or one primed for painting, the amount of maintenance depends upon the quality of the top coat you apply. It does not require a huge amount of paint to finish a door, so don’t buy cheap paint to save a few bucks.

Adding a good-quality storm/screen door over the new wood door also can reduce the maintenance. By blocking the rainwater and force of storms, the finish lasts longer. Also, if there is a tiny break in the surface over time, less moisture will penetrate the wood. It would be a good idea to install clear window film on the storm door glass to block the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

The highest-quality and most attractive (and expensive) wood doors often are made of solid hardwood. This includes the stiles (vertical pieces) and the rails (horizontal pieces). If the door surface is sealed well, solid hardwood doors hold up very well. Being a hardwood, the surface of the door resists dents and scratches well.

For areas with severe weather conditions, or if your budget is more limited, consider a door made with laminated veneer lumber. The surface looks like solid hardwood, but the inner material is made from smaller pieces that are laminated together. With small pieces bonded together with the grain in different directions, there is less chance the door will warp.

If you want a real wood appearance with more efficiency than an all wood door, select a wood door with a foam insulation core. Other models have aluminum cladding on the exterior for less maintenance.

The following companies offer efficient wood doors: Lamson-Taylor, Madawaska Doors, Marvin Windows, Peachtree and Weathershield Windows.

Q: My house is about 12 years old. I have started noticing some cracks in the drywall. I think the house might be settling in the center. Should I just jack it up and fix the cracks with spackling compound?
A: It is somewhat unusual for a house to start to settle after 12 years unless there are changes going on with the surrounding ground. These changes may be from nearby construction, drainage changes, etcetera.

Stretch a string tightly across the floor to see if the gap beneath it varies. This will indicate settling and the house can be leveled with jack supports. Also check for termites that may have damaged the supporting lumber.

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