Tag Archives: Custom Design Doors

Front Door Maintenance Tips

Front Door Maintenance Tips

Regardless of the material with which they are constructed, the lifespan of front doors is usually dependent on a large combination of criteria including frequency of use and even the weather. The proper maintenance of a front door is one element of responsible housekeeping – which not only sustains the aesthetic appeal of the main entrance of your home, but also sustains the security of your family and property.


Types of Front Doors

Wood Doors

Often considered a more aesthetically pleasing option compared to steel or fiberglass, wood doors give consumers the possibility to accent their house with a custom, handcrafted design. However, wood requires a great deal of maintenance, but if this work is completed properly on a regular schedule, the doors can maintain their quality for countless years. If you happen to own a door made of a luxe wood like mahogany, make sure to repaint and refinish them once every one to two years to prevent any splitting or warping, common issues that affect all doors. Increasing heat in Summer months can also cause doors to stick as their wood starts to expand – it’s never a good idea to shave down the area of the door that’s sticking out, but if this happens a quick repair can be completed in which the door is taken off it’s hinges and any dirt or particulates is cleaned off it’s border, making it easier to close.


Steel Doors

This durable, strong, and tough material is reliable for indoor use, but can quickly degrade when exposed to rain, snow, or salt air. However, if the area in which the door would be installed is free from these environmental concerns, steel doors would be a fantastic choice due to their relative low price and easy method of installation. Maintenance of steel doors usually requires the use of a sander and then auto filler to repair minor dents.


Fiberglass Doors

These doors can provide the illusion of looking like wood, and requires very little maintenance as it isn’t affected by weather conditions. The only maintenance fiberglass doors usually need is a coat of paint every 10 to 15  years. Regardless of the kind of material your door is made of, it’s important to replace any gaskets or weather stripping every 5 years. Weather stripping and gaskets are installed along the edges of the doorframe and the door’s bottom, preventing gaps and keeping any sort of moisture (from leaks, air, or rain) from coming inside the door – this also helps your home be more energy efficient!

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Children and Door Locks

If you have children, you’re sure to want to make sure that both them and your home are as safe as possible. In the world we live in, it’s common for both parents to let their children arrive at home by themselves, with their own set of keys. This has potential problems that could arise for these reasons:

Common Risks with Children and Door Locks

Children can leave their keys in a conspicuous place on their person, or on their desk. Usually they aren’t aware of the specific danger in advertising your keys to strangers. Any key that’s visible could potentially be photographed with a smartphone, and then decoded using an app – allowing copies of the key to be made. This is a risk even when your child is among people that you know – many home robberies are performed by people who have already been in your home, aware of what you have, who have perhaps spotted your child’s keys somewhere easy to swipe. Children also commonly lose keys, misplace them without realizing.

Here’s some tips on re enforcing the security of your home against the common mistakes that children often make regarding their keys.  Try to allow your children entrance access to only a single door, or install an electronic keypad deadbolt. Your child can be given a code to access the door, which is a lot more secure of an option than giving them a physical key. If you wish, you can install an entry camera, which allows you to monitor the door to make sure your children aren’t bringing in any unwanted guests. You can use double keyed deadbolts on all the other doors, allowing you a safety barrier to monitor who’s coming into your home. As a matter of safety, have all your children call or text you when they enter the house, or if they have forgotten the code. This security method is also fantastic for letting anyone in, from maid, to cleaners, to dog or house sitters – the codes can be programmed for individual people and can be changed or deleted at any point in time.

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Top Reasons for Lock Change

Residential locks find the need to be replaced from time to time – for varying reasons. Here’s a list of the most common reasons that door locks are changed.

Worn Out Locks

As time passes, many locks can deteriorate exponentially. Rust and metal degradation can render previously working locks completely ineffective. Make sure to inspect locks to find evidence of wearing or damage that would call for replacement locks – this includes any rusty metal, or if you have any difficulty putting your key inside the lock. Not only do worn out locks pose a security risk to your household, but they can also lock you outside your home.


Phantom Spare Keys

It’s important to always remember exactly who has spare keys to your home – whether you gave it to them or not. Keep track of anyone who has them, and whether they still do. If you find that keys you’ve given to friends to hold on to, or to repair people when you’re not home are missing, choose to change your locks – just to be safe. You can’t put a price on the safety of your household.

When you’re moving somewhere new.

Even if your real estate agent, landlord, or the home’s previous owner gives you their personal keys themselves, it’s pretty smart to have the locks changed anyway. Burglars can be craftier than you think – they can sneak into known landlord or realtor homes or offices to steal their property keys for easy entry.

Brand new Housemates

Even if you were in a good place with your roommates/housemates when they moved out, it’s always wise to change your locks when they move out. There’s no way of knowing if they gave their spare key to a friend, or if any unauthorized copies were made. Trust us, we’ve heard of nightmare situations where former roommates used old homes as mid-afternoon shower pads when they’ve had access to it. Nobody wants that.


If you or your child misplaced your keys.

This is good for peace of mind. You don’t know where your keys went; it just makes it easier to know you’re safe if you’ve changed your locks. Even if you end up finding whatever keys you lost, there’s no way of knowing whether they were clandestinely copied by somebody without your permission or knowledge.


In the event of a Breakup

These situations involve disagreements over ownership of domestic possessions, or access to the home. While it might seem like a drastic move to changeover locks, it can absolutely provide some closure or peace if one cannot peacefully remain in a home with their partner.


After Burglaries

This might be surprising but it’s not uncommon for burglars to return to the scene of the crime to steal from the very same property. Think of it this way – they’re already familiar with the home’s layout, and perhaps they laid their eyes on some valuables that they didn’t have the chance to scoop up the first time. Don’t let this possibility come to fruition.

Even if none of these situations are the case, if you don’t remember when you last got your locks switched, it’s wise to update them anyway. This can be incredibly beneficial – especially if you have old locks, as more modern mechanisms are much better suited for the break-in technology that’s proliferated around today.

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Top Three High Security Locks

Best Business Access ControlsEveryone wants their business or home to be as secure as possible. Making sure that your existing locks are functioning properly can keep your property secure. However, in some situations, you might need a higher level of security. If this is the situation, you might want to expand your lock search beyond the traditional knob and deadbolt locks that are commonly on the market. Although these locks work well at keeping the average individual out of your property, professional lock pickers can disable these locks quite quickly. If you are keeping valuables on your property, it’s a practical choice to use a high security lock for protection. Here’s the three most popular high security locks on the market.


Schlage Deadbolt

This lock is somewhat more expensive than other comparable locks, however it is constructed with higher quality. This deadbolt resists drill tests, and is made out of an incredibly strong material that prevents the screws from being drilled out. It’s equipped with 4 security pins (spool pins) that make it much harder to compromise than any other comparable lock. It’s dense, heavy construction prevents it from being bumped, raked, or picked  – especially by the typical burglar. If you live in a house, this one-time expense is certainly worth the hefty price tag.

Mul-T Lock

One of the most popular manufacturers of high security locks, Mul-T-Lock’s offerings are very popular among businesses. Their MT-5 lock is particularly popular; it boasts bump, pick, and drill resistance, making it very difficult for even the most experienced burglar to disassemble. The Mul-T-Lock restricted keyway design also makes their locks an attractive choice for businesses, since the keyway copies can only be duplicated at authorized Mul-T-Lock dealer, and only with an included magnetic strip key. This helps business owners keep close watch over the control of their keys, making sure no criminal gets their hands on them. However, this added security comes with some extra charge – it’s more expensive, usually, to copy a Mul-T-Lock key than a standard one.


Medeco Options

Medeco is another leading maker of high security deadbolts that can be used for both homes and businesses. Particularly of note is their Maxum deadbolt type, which contains rotating pins inside the cylinder that resist any drills or picks. They additionally offer a vast variety of high security lock options at varying security grades and prices – allowing consumers to find the absolute best lock for their home or business.

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Door Types and Exit Device Regulations


Man is opening the emergency door.

There’s official legal codes that dictate what kind of exit devices should be included in buildings – these are called compliance codes. Just as there are many variations in the design, appearance, and function of doors, there’s wide variation in types of exit devices. Depending on what kind of door you have, different models of exit devices, and installation methods are warranted. In this short blog post, I’ll provide some detail about the most common kinds of door / exit devices combinations, and how they function.

Accessible Route Doors

These doors are regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed by congress. The law stipulates that the locks on these doors must be able to be operated by applying under five pounds of force – this ensures that anyone can open these doors regardless of their physical condition. Additionally, the law requires that any lock devices on these doors can be operated without any sort of wrist rotation, tight grasping, or pinching. There’s a bunch of specific laws – as well as exceptions – for these accessible route doors; in order to make sure that your locks are up to code, it’s wise to consult a professional locksmith.


Fire Doors

These doors are installed in buildings to make sure that anybody in the building can quickly, and safely, leave the building – while additionally making sure that the fire doesn’t spread to any other areas of the building before it can be extinguished. Because of this, it’s necessary to get official approval before making any changes to the locking hardware on fire doors. These changes, if they skirt regulations, should be checked with the manufacturer of the door before being enacted. A possibility is to have an inspector sent to the physical location to make sure that any changes will be safely enacted – however, this can be costly.


Egress Doors

These doors have regulations that vary based on the amount of occupants inside buildings as well as the use-purpose of the building. These doors can be unlatched with a single “operation” – meaning a single physical interaction with a mechanism, but some exclusions to exist. Sometimes double-sided deadbolts can be used in commercial locations, religious locations, and places of assembly which hold less than 300 people. The regulations insist that if a double cylinder deadbolt is being utilized, there has to be a sign next to the door that states that the door has to stay unlocked when any individuals are in the room. The law also stipulates that there is apparent obvious distinguishment between unlocked and locked states of the door – it’s recommended that if you’re installing Egress doors on your property that you should discuss it with a certified locksmith familiar with the local regulations.


Since there’s a massive amount of complex regulations that stipulate how the above doors and their exit devices should be installed and maintained, it’s of primary importance to discuss your plans with a certified and experienced locksmith who can educate you about the legal codes in your area. Improper or illegal installation of these doors is not only a legal liability that can cost you a great deal of money, but it actually compromises the safety of anybody that’s in the building. Make sure to be proactive to ensure the safety of all the building’s occupants.

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Unpickable Locks for Doors

unlock door

Lock picking takes a lot of well honed finesse and skill. That being said, there are many expert lock pickers out that have the skills and experience to break many commercially available door locks. The trick to finding a lock that can’t be picked is to find a lock that’s somewhat unique and rare. Usually normal keyways with tumblers and pins are easily picked. Locks with security pins provide somewhat more resistance, but they’re still not ideal. The structure of the keyway or key has to be able to completely throw off the person attempting to pick your lock. Here’s a list of four fantastic locks that easily resist even the most advanced lock pickers.


Shi-He Chi-Me U-lock

Featuring an obstructed keyway with sharp turns and curves, this unique lock is impervious to picks because of it’s internal turns and tension. The key itself is a semi circular metal disc with extended protuberances. It’s made and sold in China, but isn’t even that widely used there. This lock is truly unique looking – and any criminal, of any skill level, would have an incredibly difficult time even guessing how it works, no less breaking the code.

HYT Chain Key

This unique lock and key blend is called a chain key because the key is a loose chain that’s placed into the lock. This allows for a unique curved keyway that resists the insertion of any tools. Without the key itself, and not being able to see the inside of the keyway, it’s impossible to guess the unique pattern hidden after the keyways curve. The chained key is somewhat delicate, however it’s truly unpickable.


August Smart Lock

This lock is exclusively opened via smartphone. It works on battery power, and won’t open automatically even if the power cuts out. It’s pick-proof, and can only be opened via a direct code inside your phone.



This magnetic lock, similar to the magnetic MIWA lock, albeit more complex, involves a key with circular cuts as well as an integrated unique magnetic pattern. Without access to the one-of-a-kind personal key, any aspiring lock-breaker will find that it’s impossible to pick the lock.


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Choosing the right Door Finish

door pick

Although it might sound straightforward, there’s about a billion ways of finishing your wood door. Wide options such as lacquers, sealers, oils, varnishes, urethanes, and stains exist – some can be sprayed or lightly applied, others are painted or brushed on. Any finish can look different based on a multitude of criteria including wood type, room temperature, air-flow, age of the finish, or how thick you can apply it. It’s always best to experiment with a small piece of a similar wood, to make sure you like the way the finish looks – if you don’t, try changing your application method or the conditions of the area you are applying finish in – and if that still doesn’t work, you can try a different type of finish. In this blog post, I’ll describe some of the different finishes available, just so the process of selection can be more clear for you.


Lacquer is a very quickly drying finish – it usually comes in a tinted color, and is very commonly applied on commercial furniture or cabinetry. It’s applied in thin coats, and can be sprayed on with a High Volume Low Pressure sprayer to avoid the streaks that might happen with brushes. It looks the best with multiple coats on door – which is easy to apply due to how fast it dries.


Oil Finishes

These finishes blend different combinations of resins, solvents, and oils to give them heightened drying or protective qualities. Examples are Tung Oil, Teak Oil, Antique Oil, or Boiled Linseed Oil. These finishes dry slowly, and penetrate deep into the wood over the course of applications every few days. It strengthens the wood from the inside out – but leaves the surface feeling unmarked and like actual wood – unless you choose to apply a elegant sheen by rubbing it with sandpaper. It’s best to apply oil finishes with a wiping cloth, allowing it to dry between coats for several days.



This is a wood finish with an ancient history – it’s made by dissolving a resin naturally produced by the lac bug. Shellac is great for quick repairs or touch ups, because new applications because old coats to turn back into liquid and re-dry to blend perfectly with the older coats. Additional coats should be applied at half-hour to hour-long intervals with a brush, pad, or cloth.



This extremely tough and hard coating can handle lots of environmental stress – making it a perfect finish for any interior office doors. It creates a thick layer of coating above wood that feels almost plastic-like – making it not a great candidate for soft furniture, but perfect for areas that sustain lots of pressure of contact. Multiple coats should be applied after sanding on half-day – full day intervals.

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Choosing the Best Door for your Business

work doors

It’s practical and smart to make sure that your business has the best possible doors installed to serve the needs of the location. Many businesses put far too little time into choosing doors that can provide total solutions to their service needs. They simply work with the door already in place or choose the cheapest possible option. However, by choosing the best possible service door, you’re being provided with much more than a simple entrance way – you’re upgrading the convenience, aesthetic appeal, and efficiency of your business. Here are a number of considerations to think about when deciding the door for your business.

Technical Operation

You may choose to preserve the same door system currently in place at your business if it’s operating fine; Still, it helps to understand the many options that you may choose from. The most popular choice is a classic push/pull style door – this option works great with many industries. However, by upgrading to a mechanical or automatic sliding system, you may speed up the work efficiency of your office, as well as reducing the risk of injury when employees are transporting heavy objects or boxes in and out of the office. It’s important to study all the functionality and efficiency needs of your office, and search for the door that perfectly works for those needs. Are you constantly transporting large objects that need to be disassembled before passing through? Consider upgrading to a series of double doors that open wide, so you can push objects out on a roller rather than having to struggle with disassembly.

Long-Lasting Durability

Investing in a strong and durable door helps boost the security of your business exponentially. Many systems that offer heavy duty security can make a huge difference in the integrity of businesses located in rough or high crime neighborhoods. Thick doors or doors with installed insulation can help minimize energy costs in situations where you are using air conditioning or heating.


Security isn’t simply an issue of preventing forced entry, but a matter of ensuring the overall safety of your business. You need to be considering all manners of risks, including the unfortunate possibility of fire or water damage. It’s important to assess the structural integrity of your existing doors, noting how strong it would operate in case of one of these security issues; if you feel like the existing door doesn’t measure up to your standard of safety, it might be best to upgrade it.


It’s important to consider the visual aspect of your commercial door – it is, of course, the first thing most customers will see in your business. You want to choose a door that really stands for your business – that represents its visual toning, color, mood, aesthetic. A common choice in doors is wood – it has a huge variety of finishes that can be matched with a building’s interior and exterior to pass on a mood of rusticness, homeyness, or high-end luxury. Aluminum doors are great for businesses looking for a modern look – and are available in a huge variety of styles, not to mention being incredibly durable, sleek, and inexpensive. Steel doors provide the highest security – but is still available in custom designs at an inexpensive price.


Businesses looking to repair or replace their front doors should assess exactly what door would be perfect for their location, and contact a door installation professional. Professionals can provide extensive knowledge of custom door designs, can complete installations quickly and efficiently, and lastly (if you find the perfect service) can provide materials at a steep discount you’d be unable to find working on your own.


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Benefits of energy efficient doors


Now that the weather is cooling down, it’s important to make sure that your doors are at peak energy efficiency. This has a wide variety of benefits – it can ensure that the temperature of your home is more comfortable, as well as making sure your energy bills are low. Here are some of the top reasons it worth upgrading to energy efficient doors for your home or office.

Enhanced Comfort

Non airtight doors allow cold drafts and wind inside your home. allowing air to leak in from outside, and warm heated air to leak outside. This can cause houses to be hotter during summer months and much colder during winter months. The pressure changes stress air conditioning and heating systems, causing them to work harder, wearing out faster, and generating a much larger energy bill. Energy efficient doors make sure that the heat or cold air stays in, to maximize the comfort of your home or office and vastly reduce your power bills.

Mold Reduction

Houses without energy efficient doors usually have much more mold in the areas near the doors – these spores come from leaking air from outside, and commonly grow on the inside of door frames. You avoid unhealthy mold by installing airtight energy efficient doors, protecting the vitality of the people in your space.

Tax Credits

Due to federal programs that reward energy efficiency, energy efficient doors are often Energy Star rated, meaning that by purchasing them you become eligible for tax credits for up to 30 percent of the door’s cost. The combination of a reduced energy bill and a returned tax credit makes the installation of energy efficient doors a financially rewarding step to take for your home or business.

Aesthetic Appearance

Most energy efficient doors are made in eye-pleasing contemporary or classic styles that suit whatever mood palette you want for your home or business. Updating old and potentially moldy-framed doors can add a burst of vitality to your home or business’s appearance, enhancing the beauty, safety, and financial viability of your home on the inside as well as the outside.

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10 Tips for Painting Doors

Painting doors can make a great improvement to the look of your home or business. Whether you’re repainting because of wear, damage or staining or to change the color, here are 10 tips to successfully paint doors that will last.

Choose Appropriate Paint

Interior and exterior paints have different properties to address wear, fading from the sun and material of the door. Select the appropriate paint for the location of your door and choose a color you will love to look at frequently.

Lay The Door Flat

After removing all hardware, lay the door flat across saw horses on its lag bolts (this will allow you to turn the door over) to paint without running or dripping.

Remove Chipped or Cracked Paint & Excess Layers

If the door has paint flakes or thick layers of paint, scrape them off as much as possible. If your house was built before 1979 you need to know whether lead-based paint was used before you start scraping.

Make Sure The Door Is Clean & Ready to Paint

Clean the door completely and fill in all holes or cracks. When you sand it will help remove blemishes and create a smooth surface, but you want to make sure to clean the dust from sanding thoroughly as well.

Sand Before The First Coat & In Between Coats

Gently sand the door down before the first coat of primer and between all coats. Be sure to clean all sanding dust before proceeding.

Use The Right Tools

Use a small foam roller to paint the panels then a larger foam roller to paint the rest of the door, center to frame. Rollers cover more area quicker and reduce drips and brush strokes.

Always Use Primer

Many people will say there are exceptions but be on the safe side and prime every time. It helps limit staining, covers darker colors and provides a sealant over any holes you filled for a smoother surface.

Use Thin Coats of Primer & Paint

Thinner coats will dry better and be smoother. Typically one layer of primer is good as a sealant, and three coats of paint is necessary. If you are priming over a dark color you may add a bit of black paint to the primer to make it gray to better cover the color underneath.

Let Coats Dry Sufficiently

Allow each coat to dry about one to two hours before working on the next. The key is do not try to rush the work or you will end up with streaks or the bottom layer rolling up as you paint.

Protect The Paint For Long Life

Make sure the door is thoroughly dry before replacing the hardware and hanging it up. This can take about two days, perhaps more in a humid climate. Remove or cover weather stripping so the door does not stick to it until the paint is completely cured.

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