Monday, July 12, 2010

The Real Front Door

What a long process this has been.  We finally have the actual front door - although it's not really the front door, per my post from February 21.  It's painted a dark marine blue so it's hard to make out the window, especially in this light.  The shadow puts the glass in full shade.
Long ago we installed the birch temporary door, thinking we'd replace it once the major construction was done.  I was looking for a mahogany Arts and Crafts style door, but because we are participating in LEED for Homes, any tropical wood in the house has to be FSC certified.  Few manufacturers make FSC mahogany doors, and the ones I could find were quite expensive.  And most of the stock Arts and Crafts style doors are made of mahogany.  I finally found a door similar to what I was looking for at wooddoors4less.com.  Their AC901 was very close to what I was looking for, although I really only wanted three panes rather than six.  I like natural light at the front door, but it's nice if people don't see directly in as they're standing at the door.

The door was delived promptly but did not come with the FSC certification.  The supplier was supposed to get it from the manufacturer but wasn't able to.  Even if the wood was sustainably harvested, without an FSC certificate we could be disqualified from the LEED program.  They'll take the door back and refund all of our money, but it doesn't seem very green to ship a door from Chicago to Massachusetts and back.

I had to start looking all over again.  There are some fiberglass Arts and Crafts doors available which have a pretty realistic mahogany wood grain, but fiberglass doors can't be trimmed down to fit the existing jamb.  Some of the other doors I found were quite pricey.

I ran into a local woodworker who makes beautiful furniture and he enthusiastically said he could make a door for us.  I called him several times but never received a call back.  I stopped by his shop, dropped off a drawing, and he said he'd get back to me with a price.  I called several more times but never received a call back.  I called again and finally caught him.  He said he was laying up some woodwork and would call right back - but that didn't happen.  After a few more calls I caught him again - but he was laying up some woodwork again and would get right back to me.  I never heard back so it was time to start looking all over again.

I found that by modifying a stock door pattern, Rogue Valley Door could make the door I was looking for at a reasonable price.  Unfortunately it would take a couple of months to get it.

Then someone recommended Cape Cod Carriage Door.  The price was relatively reasonable and Chris Jones, the owner, was able to make it quickly and have it installed within two weeks.
It's painted wood, in part, because of Gromit and is made exactly to my drawing.  Gromit doesn't necessarily understand that you don't just scratch a door if you'd like to go out.  It's a simple door but really fits the house.  It has the Arts and Crafts style shelf and corbels.  I'm not sure who first thought of putting a shelf on a door.  It has no function but just looks right.

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