Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Materials of Door


As much as a front door can invite people in, it also can also act as a barrier between you and outside intrusions. Much more than just a slab of wood or sheet of vinyl, your front door is an integral part of your home’s aesthetic and structure, so you should give careful thought to how it looks and functions.

In choosing a new door, start with materials before you think about custom details. The three most popular door materials are:






  1. Steel doors

Steel is a cost-efficient and durable choice for a door. Steel usually features insulation and weather stripping that can help you conserve energy, and thus save money on heating and cooling bills. Steel doors are also fire-resistant and able to stand up to even the most severe weather conditions. Leading manufacturers like Pella and Masonite offer steel doors in a variety of styles and colors. Steel doors can range in cost from $135 to $1,550.

2. Wood doors

Wooden front doors are usually made from either laminated plywood or solid wood. While laminated plywood is a popular choice for contemporary homes, solid wood doors are often associated with historic homes, and may come adorned with intricate carving or stained glass panels. The elegance of a solid wood door comes with a hefty price tag; this is generally the most expensive type of front door. Wood doors need regular maintenance and treatment to protect them from weather-related deterioration. Wood doors can range in price from $500 to $2,500. Expect to pay significantly more if you choose a solid wood door that’s hand-carved, or has intricate glass inserts.

3. Fiberglass doors

Fiberglass may be the happy medium of door materials. It’s equally energy-efficient and as cost-effective as steel, but available in a synthetic wood grain that gives the appearance of solid wood. One of the leading manufacturers of fiberglass doors, Therma-Tru offers fiberglass doors that are made with a patented technology that mimics the beautiful, often complex appearance of wood. Fiberglass is a low-maintenance material that is rust, warp and dent resistant. Fiberglass doors can range from $300 to $1,750.

From the front to the back, the way that you and others gain entry to your home says a lot about who you are. Choose a front portal that speaks to your personality, and stands up to the climate in your region

Repair a Door

A broken door can be anything from just a nuisance to a serious problem. Not sure how to repair a door? Some jobs are best left to the professionals, but these three fixes are easy and require only a few tools:

1. Your door squeaks

Haunted house sound effects are not part of your home security system–there’s no reason to live with a squeaky door. Use a hammer and a nail set to pop the hinge pins up one at a time, starting with the bottom hinge. Once you have the first pin partially removed, use white lithium grease or a silicone spray to lube the pins. Keep a rag handy for drips.

2. Your door sticks or doesn’t close properly

Heat and humidity causes wood to expand, and the movement of a door over time can cause a door to bind. The first step is to find out where the door is sticking. You can use carbon paper between the door and the sill or jamb to help you figure this out if you can’t easily tell.

If it’s rubbing along the top edge or along the top, outer edge of the door, you may just need to adjust the top hinge. To check, close the door and apply pressure to this hinge to see if the problem is corrected. If so, you can tighten the hinge’s screws using a screwdriver. If the screws are stripped and you need to replace them, or if the screws are spinning, you might need to use a hammer to pack the screw holes with toothpicks, golf tees or slivers of scrap wood so the new screws fit tightly.

If adjusting the hinge doesn’t fix your problem, it could be a matter of adjusting the door’s sill, or planing or sanding your door. Before making a change to your door that you cannot undo, however, you should consult a professional.

3. Your door won’t stay open

If your door keeps closing on you, remove one of the hinge pins and bend it just a bit by placing it against a hard surface and striking it with a hammer. When you put the pin back in place, the increased friction should keep your door from shutting on its own.

Not every door problem requires professional intervention, but if you are not able to diagnose the problem or might risk injury trying to make repairs, do not hesitate to call in a specialist.

Home Projects to do With The Kids

When school’s out for the summer, suddenly there’s a lot of time on everybody’s hands. Take advantage of the extra labor at your house and tackle some home improvement projects together with your kids. It’s a way to encourage kids of all ages to take ownership of your family space. They’ll learn valuable DIY skills and grow in their relationships with you. Have some fun together, and improve the enjoyment of your home at the same time. Here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly home improvement projects to schedule for your summer staycation.

  1. Whether you need to create a pathway, or you just want something pretty to decorate your landscape with, a stepping stone project is always a hit with kids. You can purchase kits at craft stores, or you can pretty easily — and cheaply — accomplish this project with a recycled pizza box and a bag of concrete. Set their creativity free, and let them add embellishments like collected pebbles and shells, or pieces of sea glass, etc.. To make a memento, help them put a hand or footprint in it, or write their name. These stepping stones also make great gifts, and you might all get hooked on making them!
  2. Plants beautify any space, both indoors and out. Let your kids put their own colorful stamp on some outdoor planters by painting clay or plastic pots. Purchase some if you like, or use what you already have lying around. Start by thoroughly cleaning them with soap and water, and then allow them to dry completely. For clay pots, spray them with polyurethane to seal them first. For plastic pots, give them a coat of spray primer. Then, for either material, use water-based acrylics to create your design. Once it’s dry, spray each pot with a top coat of polyurethane to seal and protect it from the sun and weather. Plant them with your favorite flowers or herbs, and enjoy them on your porch or patio all season long.
  3. A vegetable garden can be both beautiful and practical — and a whole lot of fun to watch grow. Give your kids a sense of how the food they eat gets to the table by building a raised veggie bed. It’s a simple DIY project, requiring only basic lumber and skills. You essentially want to build an open box for your space’s specifications. Three inch galvanized screws will suffice to join the boards at right angles. Lay down landscaping fabric before you set your box in place and fill it with dirt. Then, it’s time to put some seeds and starter plants in. With regular watering and weeding, you’ll soon harvest the fruits of your labor. There’s nothing that tastes quite so good as a home grown tomato. You may even find your kids trying vegetables they never would touch before. A summer staycation can be fun and productive with some well-planned family projects on the calendar. With any luck, these home improvements will help you make some lasting memories with your kids, and be things you’ll enjoy for years to come.