Many Choice Openings

Can a door turn a demanding client into a satisfied customer? It can if the door fits their precise needs and wants. And since no two customers’ tastes are exactly alike, door manufacturers have broadened their offerings exponentially.

From traditional to modern and from practical to whimsical, the choices are numerous. While universal design and weather resistance continue to grow as top concerns, homeowners still crave luxury, individuality and customization.

Accessibility is Within Reach

“Universal design features are becoming more popular as homeowners are planning to stay in their houses as they get older,” says Elizabeth Souders, Jeld-Wen product marketing manager. “This means more requests for wider doorways to accommodate special needs and pocket doors for space saving and ease of operation.”

Jeld-Wen offers a multislide door system in IWP custom wood or fiberglass as well as premium aluminum. These door panels operate on a multiple track system so the doors disappear into a pocket in the wall, or stack in front of each other when open. The doors have weatherstripping on both the doors and their frames to add extra protection and energy efficiency.

“Univrsal design will become an important and more visible trend in 2008,” says Lance Premeau, product manager for Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Company. “Kolbe offers a universal design program that contains products and options for the customer to deal with accessibility issues in the home. The program groups items such as larger levers and handles for window operations and sills that are suitable for ADA-compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) applications.”

Top Options

“In the current market, fewer homes are being built, but many opt to do some remodeling and that has prompted some interesting options,” says Franco An, president of Plastpro. “For instance, adding an addition or remodeling a patio entrance is a popular trend. We actually find that full-lite glass doors with enclosed mini-blinds are popular when it comes to reinventing a drab patio entryway or the door to an outside deck.”

Plastpro recently introduced wrought-iron glass and wrought-iron-frame accents to its Rustic Door collection. The wrought-iron frames are customized by hand to complement the range of cutouts in the Rustic Series. In addition to resisting rust and corrosion, the wrought-iron frames come with a powder-coat finish. For the wrought-iron glass, which is available in Priscilla and Camelia designs, the decorative ironwork is placed between glass panes that have a textured appearance for maximum privacy. Priscilla is matched with bubble glass, while the Camelia accent is paired with waterfall glass.

“Expanded panel designs and design options on entry doors provide greater customization of fiberglass and steel doors,” says Jeff Kibler, Peachtree Windows and Doors brand manager. “Prefinished painted or stained panels in a variety of colors, rich hardware and intricate decorative glass patterns all provide choices for customizing an entry way.”

Peachtree offers eight decorative glass designs to accompany its new entry door systems line. These glass patterns are available in classic floral patterns and stained glass and can be combined with options like wrought-iron grilles. The decorative glass is available on Peachtree’s new Mahogany, Oak, Smooth and Steel collections of entry door systems and complementary sidelites, transoms and direct-set windows.

Milgard Windows and Doors’ fiberglass entry-door line features 40-plus door styles and 500 variations including 12 unique glass designs that can enhance a home’s curb appeal, while remaining energy-efficient and weathertight. Milgard’s fiberglass offerings include wood grain, smooth and flush glaze. The company added entry doors in response to customer demand for one-stop shopping for vinyl and fiberglass windows and doors.

Yours Truly

“Luxury building and remodeling is staying strong because homeowners want to express their high-style tastes,” says Souders. “JELD-WEN is seeing an increasing interest in entry doors with all the options — larger sizes, custom glass, grilles and hardware. High-end homeowners are looking for a ‘wow’ factor, and the front door is a great place to invest in making a statement and to significantly increase curb appeal.”

“Consumers are increasingly using their homes to express their personalities and their passions,” Jim McElroy, Therma-Tru general manager of product marketing. “Design choices are no longer simply for aesthetics — they are a reflection of the owner’s individuality.”

Therma-Tru’s new decorative accent hardware for its Classic-Craft Rustic Collection includes round and pyramid clavos and strap hinges. Designed for homes that reflect Southwestern- or Mediterranean-inspired architecture, the hardware accents bring an authentic hand-hewn look to the doors. Therma-Tru offers door styles to complement the most popular architectural home designs.

For custom replacement doors without the custom price, HighMark Digital’s revolutionary new One-Cut system provides a simplified three-step door fit system within existing jambs. With One-Cut, interior and exterior doors are precisely measured, cut and fit within minutes. The system uses proprietary tools and software for precision measuring, cutting and fitting of doors, accounting for any variances in the door jamb, hinges and hardware by digitally capturing the structural components of the existing frame. One-Cut includes a door imaging system, custom door machining center and software that ensures the final fit is accurate within 1/64 of an inch. With this process, HighMark Digital claims that it can reduce door installation time to as little as five minutes per door for any skill level.

Tempering the Forces of Nature

“Door performance is becoming more prominent due to the stringent codes in many parts of the United States,” adds Kolbe’s Lance Premeau. “Manufacturers will continue to introduce higher-performing doors to meet these codes.”

“Manufacturers are realizing just how crucial controlling thermal energy is and take into account how energy-efficient their products are now more than ever,” says Plastpro’s An. “For what it costs to heat and cool homes, people don’t want any unnecessary airflow.”

“We are seeing trends toward getting a wood door to perform better in situations like historical applications,” says Brad Loveless, marketing manager for Simpson Door Company. “We’ve taken a look at our product lines and made them usable in a patio where there’s no overhang.”

Simpson Door Company offers WaterBarrier technology on its Simpson Performance Series, a collection of upgrades designed to allow wood doors to perform in the harshest of environments. WaterBarrier technology promises superior durability and resistance to moisture absorption. WaterBarrier technology combines a one-piece Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and PVC sticking on the outside of the door. Simpson Peformance Series doors are backed by a five-year warranty.

PGT Architectural Systems’ commercial window and door line is engineered with high design pressures to exceed industry standards. Custom-made to exact specifications, the line promises unrivaled aesthetics, strength and breadth of sizes. PGT Architectural Systems’ line is designed for replacement and new construction in condos, hotels, retail, office buildings, and healthcare and educational facilities. Products include sliding glass doors and curtain walls. Large and small missile glass options are available for all styles.

Andersen’s 400 Series Frenchwood patio door line includes two new hinged patio door styles. Archtop and Springline door designs complement the already large selection of Andersen patio doors, and address the growing demand for distinctive door and window statements in their homes. Andersen 400 Series Frenchwood arch top and Springline patio doors are available in White, Sandtone, Terratone or Forest Green exterior colors. Interior choices include prefinished white or pine, oak or maple.

The revolutionary NanaWall folding glass wall is available exclusively from NanaWall Systems. The NanaWall resembles a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass panels featuring engineered panels that glide and stack to the side when desired. For protection during harsh weather, the NanaWall is independently tested for weather-tightness, and the SL72 model is certified to withstand the requirements of Miami/Dade County, Florida’s rigorous standards for hurricane strength. The NanaWall utilizes overhead and floor tracks, as well as two sets of /weather-strips for superior weather-tightness.

Ulterior Interiors

JELD-WEN has recently added a number of style choices to its Custom Carved interior doors. With more than 100 designs, several panel choices, and the option for raised moulding, the combinations are nearly endless. JELD-WEN Custom Carved interior doors are made of medium density fiberboard (MDF) with a core that provides exceptional sound reduction benefits. The doors have an STC rating of up to 30, providing up to 50 percent more sound reduction when compared to a flush, hollow core door. JELD-WEN Custom Carved interior doors are available in a variety of styles, including passage, pocket and bifold.

Simpson’s media room door features a glass design depicting a classic movie camera and director’s chair sculpted on a dark gray frosted glass background. Simpson media room doors are available in Douglas fir, Western hemlock, American red oak, maple, cherry and a variety of additional species through Simpson’s custom door manufacturing facility. Simpson media room doors are available in 1 3/8-in. and 1 3/4-in. thicknesses and can be specified in widths ranging from 2 ft. 0 in. to 3 ft. 6 in. and in heights of 6 ft. 8 in., 7 ft. and 8ft.

CMI’s CraftMaster Corvado two-panel, square-top plank interior door is available in 6-ft. 8-in., 7-ft. and 8-ft. heights and in passage widths from 1 ft. 6 in. to 3 ft. These doors are made from molded, high-density fiberboard to resist shrinking, cracking and joint separation. The Corvado interior door features a distinctive groove and modified sticking profile for the feel of a traditional plank door with added detail.

Offering an infinite range of design flexibility, Bolection Door company creates custom dimensional doors. The development of CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing) programs carried through the use of CNC machinery delivers accuracy regardless of style or design. Bolection doors feature solid MDF, full-raised panels and raised Bolection moulding.

Wood: Contemporarily Classic

The species may change, but wood remains a favorite. Pella’s new wood entry doors are made of the finest quality woods including mahogany, rustic walnut, American white oak and cherry, and the look and feel found in fine wood furniture. The new signature collection of doors combines exceptional design and construction with popular patterned and beveled insulated glass, and metal caming in shades from satin nickel to breathtaking black to classic copper tones. In addition, forged iron accents, and unique, decorative hardware in a variety of options help create a striking first impression.

“In many new homes or renovations, the entry door is really the focal point of the home, and a real wood entry doors makes a great first impression,” says Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella Windows and Doors corporate public relations manager. She explains that Pella added wood to their extensive product line because “it provides Pella the opportunity to suit nearly any design or budgetary need.”

“With wood, you see some peaks and valleys with some species,” says Simpson’s Brad Loveless. “The one that’s grown in the last couple years is knotty alder. In today’s new homes, you tend to see knotty alder because it has the rustic look, but a little creamier.”

Peachtree’s Rustic collection is available with a plank-style, alder-grain entry door in low-maintenance, energy-efficient fiberglass. Available in 6-ft. 8-in. and 8-ft. heights, the Rustic collection entry door systems are a fitting addition to craftsman, bungalow, Western or European-style homes. The Rustic collection is available in one panel with planks, two panel with planks, one and two panel with arch planks, and one- and two-panel curved top, in single and double door options.

Retractable screens can be added to in-swing doors so homeowners don’t have to cover their beautiful entry door. Rustic Collection panels can be pre-stained in one of several rich finishes: Moorish Teak, Rose Wood, Dark Mahogany, Natural Teak, Provincial and Golden Oak.

Weather Shield Windows & Doors has extended the product styles available in its Spanish Colonial Collection to include the Speak Easy and Dutch entrance doors, and center-hinged French doors with premium 21/4-in. -thick panels. Part of the Collections Distinctive Wood Windows and Doors line, the Spanish Colonial Collection beautifully accommodates any opening in a home with products reminiscent of the colonial Southwest. The Speak Easy door features a distressed, plank-style panel with a small hinged peep-site window (no glass) covered by an ornamental bronze grate on the exterior. To the interior, the peep-site opening has a hinged door that can be latched by a small bronze clasp.

“Consumers will continue to expect more options to choose from when picking an interior or exterior door,” predicts Souders. “They expect a vast array of species, finishes, colors, glass types, materials and designs to be available when purchasing a door.” In response to a resurgence interest in Dutch doors, Jeld-Wen is offering this historic door style in low-maintenance fiberglass. This door style is split in two so the top of the door can operate independently from the lower section.

Whether it’s weather-resistance, user-friendliness, aesthetics or nearly any other craving, the doors of customers’ dreams are on the market. And if they can’t be found, they can be created individually.

Use the reader service card for more information:

  • Andersen For more info, please indicate #9 in eInquiry form.
  • Bolection Door For more info, please indicate #10 in eInquiry form.
  • CMI For more info, please indicate #11 in eInquiry form.
  • HighMark Digital For more info, please indicate #12 in eInquiry form.
  • Jeld-Wen For more info, please indicate #13 in eInquiry form.
  • Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. For more info, please indicate #14 in eInquiry form.
  • Masonite For more info, please indicate #159 in eInquiry form.
  • Milgard Windows and Doors For more info, please indicate #15 in eInquiry form.
  • NanaWall For more info, please indicate #16 in eInquiry form.
  • Peachtree Windows and Doors For more info, please indicate #17 in eInquiry form.
  • Pella For more info, please indicate #18 in eInquiry form.
  • PGT Industries For more info, please indicate #19 in eInquiry form.
  • Plastpro For more info, please indicate #20 in eInquiry form.
  • Simpson Door Co. For more info, please indicate #21 in eInquiry form.
  • Therma-Tru For more info, please indicate #22 in eInquiry form.
  • Weather Shield Windows & Doors For more info, please indicate #23 in eInquiry form.