front door renovation
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gmac



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:42 pm    Post subject: front door renovation Reply with quote

I'm considering renovating my front door

Currentyl it is a six panel painted door. I'd like to put some glass in place of wood to let light in and to reveal a enclosed glass entryway.

My thought is to remove the top four panels, remove center 2/3 stile and the middle rail.

Then strip the door back to natural and stain it.

Any comments are appreciated.



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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2972
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of your plans sound "do-able," but I think you should reconsider on a stylistic basis. If I'm understanding your description you would then have a single light of glass about 25" x 40". This would dramatically alter the visual character of the door. It looks like your home may be of the colonial revival style. Part of the interesting character of that style and your door, and of the enclosure for the glass entry is all of the smaller sized lights. It was common in the colonial days, and in the colonial revival style to have glass lights instead of the top two panels. Extending that detail to the next two lower panels might still look like it fits the style, but pulling out the upper stile and rail and replacing it all with one big light would look modernistic, in stark contrast to the other smaller lights around the entry. I suggest taking out only the two top panels and replacing them with glass. If your house is colonial revival sytle, for a very rich looking effect you might use hand-blown "bullseye" glass with the pontel marks showing.

In any case, definitely do not remove the "latch rail" at the level of the door's handle, which would weaken the door's basic framework.

For paint removal methods see:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=133

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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gmac



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:43 am    Post subject: 2nd Reply with quote

House is 1930s Dutch Colonial. Vy practical floor plan yet ---> beautiful

2 more ideas here :

1) Purchase a new door and store the original. (any colonial revival ideas other than the bullseye panels ?)

2) Take the 25" x 40" opening and convert it to a nine light w/ a custom grille. ( attempt to match outer glass room)

Thoughts on these mods ? Or, big mistake ?

The hallway needs more light and the view to the glass enclosure would be amazing.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

#1. Put original door in storage: Excellent preservation strategy. Then you or a future owner can easily restore the original by simply rehanging it.

>>The hallway needs more light <<

Exactly why the colonials put glass in the top two panels, to let in a little light.

Part of the psycological effect of your entryway and this door, is that the lightly framed outer (mostly glass) encloser feels open and inviting to an outsider, yet the solid thick and sturdily built paneled door is a signal that this is the barrier to your private space inside your home. This contrast is what make the space so interesting and "vital." When a visitor comes in through your front entry, they are barred from entry by this massive door. Your opening this protective barrier is a not-so-subtle act that demonstrates that you trust them to enter your private space. It's like a little ceremony or ritual with which you honor your friend. If the door is mostly glass, then a visitor at the door already feels inside, or gets the feeling that they can just barge right in to your private space (at least visually), maybe even when you're not there.

On the practical side, you do want to think about security (although I must say that the glimpse of your neighborhood out the front entry make it look rather idillic), and that your solid wood door is more secure against an intruder breaking in, and will be much less secure with glass in it.

Dutch Colonial makes me think of a "Dutch Door," which can be opened top half or top and bottom. Maybe this is your solution, although I think these Dutch doors were more often at side or rear entrances (not sure about that, would require some research on this point, my sense about it may be influence by the fact that I grew up in a house with a Dutch door at the rear.)

By the way, I really like the photo with the view from the hall, out through the entry and beyond into the neighborhood. Could you take one just like it, that shows the flag a little more, perhaps with the flag framed in the outer window panes?

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gmac



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:03 pm    Post subject: pics Reply with quote

The entry pics. Correct name for this design ? Portico ?


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Iowagal



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I hate to say this, but I don't think that your door needs alterations. I think that John is right about the psychological effects of doors. It seems to me that you've got a great set-up which is in keeping with the home's character and style.
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gmac



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:01 pm    Post subject: input Reply with quote

Thanks for the input.

I won't wreck the door. But, I might get a new one at some point. Maybe a good reclaimed item at the salvage. We'll see. I personally love light in the house. And the entry whatever it is called is going to make a great view coming down the stairs in the AM. Another reason to keep working :)

I appreciate the input. Glad you liked the pics. It is a great house. I actually didn't know how nice it was when I bought it. Just lucky really.
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Iowagal



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The nice thing about doors is that compared to many house parts, they are pretty much plug-n-play. Unlike, say, putting in or removing a wall, you can hang a new door in place of an old one without a whole lot of muss and fuss.

The idea of getting the door you really want while keeping the current one does fulfull everything that you want and that would allow changes in the future.

I would kill for the return of the removed doors from my home. My heart sinks to think that the PO probably sold them for a dollar at a garage sale. Or just put them in the trash. I search salvage yards for replacements, but so far, no luck. It could be a long search.
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