Building a Dream: Door Dilemmas and Exterior Details

| November 29, 2011 | 3 Comments
The most obvious development on our new home in recent weeks has occurred on the roof. First, the roof of the back porch was the sheeted. Next, charcoal shingles crept across our home’s roof line throughout the month of November. It has been interesting to watch the newly laid shingles emerge with curly edges. As the sun warms the shingles, the seams smooth out and mold to the roof. When the shingling was complete, Jim was asked if he was happy the roofing was finished. One of the workers within earshot responded, “Not as happy as I am!” Our windows and brick should arrive on site in the next week. We (and the workers) hope our house will be closed in before the snow really starts to fly.

Next, we have found material selection to be never ending process. We recently struggled to select four exterior doors because of their proximity to other door and the sizing options available. Our windows and most of our doors come from two different companies. The only door option available in the existing door frame size was a door with a half window on the top and the option of white blinds within the glass.
The first door dilemma involved the front door that accesses my mudroom next to the garage. We preferred to have this door mirror the front door style of three rectangular windows on the top of the door, but that door style was not available in the existing door frame size. If we went with the door that fit the existing door frame, we would have the blinds in the door’s window for privacy and shade from the summer sunset. The problem with the interior look of this door was the white door blinds would not match the light gold blinds inside the window nearby. I decided to ask if the door frame could be enlarged. Fortunately, the adjustment was not a major deal, so I was able to order my door preference.

The next door dilemma involved two doors that exit on the North side from the laundry room and garage. These doors can be seen from the road and are the same frame size as the previous door dilemma. The blind matching problem still existed in this situation, but the windows in my laundry room are above my washer and dryer pedestals. Hopefully, the variation in blind color isn’t as obvious as the blinds are not right next to each other or located in as high of profile location. We selected the doors with the top third window and enclosed blinds in white for the exterior garage and laundry room doors.

My final door decision was whether to have a transom surround on our front door or a less expensive glass surround. Our builder suggested going with the transoms if we were going to stain our front door (for a wood look) verses the glass surround if we were painting the front door. We had toyed with painting our door black to match our roof. My salesperson simplified my decision because he remembered that our trim color is white, so in order for a dark door to look sharp, the trim needed to be black. The trim surround was not available in black so we selected transoms to surround the door.

Furthermore, we decided to add windows to our carriage style garage doors so we needed to select the window pane style. This selection was simple because the material was very clear and rectangular windows that mirror the windows on front doors were an option. As my conversation with the salesperson concluded, he asked, “So we aren’t looking back, right?” I replied that I must not look back for sanity purposes.

We have been amazed at the details our builder has followed on the original picture we gave him to inspire the outside look of our new home. There are parts of my garage overhang that he has included that I had never noticed before. Our builder pays attention to the details and he takes the time to ask as well as share his expert opinion when we need help making decisions. Our inspirational photo had two posts supporting an awning over my garage entrance as well as lattice work to camouflage the second front entrance. We are not lattice work people, so we opted for the one necessary post on the outside edge of the garage overhang. Structurally, only one post is required to hold up the exterior end of the garage awning. So we opted out of the second post as it was located between the garage doors and exists for aesthetic purposes only.

This week we were asked to drive a couple of hours to preview our brick selection. My understanding is that brick lots can vary in color similar to the way different cans of paint vary in color. Jim and I have found that we aren’t very inspired by brick unless it we see the brick on an actual structure. Jim talked to our bricklayer to find out if a trip to view the brick was necessary. The mason agreed that our brick selection could be based on the residences we have viewed. So he gave us a couple of other addresses that have our brick to tour. We looked at those homes and decided to go ahead with our brick selection.

n addition, we visited a showroom to select our fireplace. I made a general selection online in August, but cost was not available in that online process. Unfortunately, the salesperson was off-site and there was not an exact sample of my selection in the showroom. However, the company did stop by our construction site to collect the specs where the fireplace will be installed. I just hope I don’t have to start the whole selection process over when the fireplace quote arrives.

Finally, I’ve included several tree spading photos. It is interesting to see how the machine cuts the tree out of the ground and then plugs it into its new home. In the upcoming week we are planning another visit to a kitchen, bath and lighting showroom. I hope they have a good sized showroom with many product samples because their company carries a lot of the brands I have been researching. The company has a great commercial, so we hope our experience is as good as their advertisements.

Nora Ohrt

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