A new door

When Stephanie and I first started looking for our place, one of the more specific attributes on our nice-to-have list was “a door that opens to the outside.” Well, we checked that box, but said door, lovely as it was, was falling apart. There were cracks running down its entire length, the glass lites were very fragile, and the door jamb was in bad shape. I knew from day-one that the door needed to go, possibly the entire frame. But being entirely new to the home-improvement game, I didn’t know where to turn.

Front door before replacement
The front door, before

A few months after we moved in I asked our real estate agent for recommendations, and she suggested a handyman. The handyman suggested we go look at doors. So Stephanie and I went shopping, and the door guys strongly steered us in the direction of fiberglass (as opposed to wood), for its longevity, low-maintenance and lower-price. Life got busy towards the end of 2012, so I didn’t pick up the project again until February of this year. We started looking at fiberglass doors first, but discovered that the narrow width of our door frame (2’8″ instead of the standard 3′) limited the variety of pre-fab styles that were available to us. On top of that, their wood-imitation veneers turned us off.

So I started looking into custom-made, hardwood doors. At the beginning of April I met with a rep from Wooden Window, the local company who would eventually make and install our new door. In May we signed the contract. In June we got the blueprints, and I placed an order for the lockset and escutcheon. In July, they finished building the door. In August, the lockset and escutcheon finally arrived—can’t have a door without a doorknob! The earliest they could install the door was the middle of September, but we were in France then, so we had to wait until September 30, the Monday after we got back. Incredibly the time from estimate to installation was six months!

And then it was time to paint the door. We’d collected several other painting projects, so I had a few painters come by for estimates a month before the new door was to be installed (as I now realize how much lead time these types of projects require). The painters finished up just before Halloween last week, so I can finally say that our door project—which I first began to pursue in July 2012—is now complete!

Front door after replacement
The front door, after, on the outside
Front door after replacement
The front door, after, on the inside



It’s beautiful. I would love having a door like that to go through every day.

Looks lovely! Did we somehow miss it when we visited 2 weekends ago?


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