July 2014
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Surviving the Storm

Designer Doors Wood doors are intact while steel are destroyed

Designer Doors wood doors stand up to the forces of nature

Surviving the Storm

–by Mary Ayala

When Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast coast of the United States last fall, the area was devastated.  The surge drove sand several miles inland and our thoughts went out to the customers we have on the Jersey Shore as well as the entire New Jersey, New York and New England area.  One of our salespeople, Dennis Shell, was able to go into the area after the devastation to check on the customers we’ve worked with through the years.  As he was viewing the damage on some of the newer construction he stumbled across the scene in the picture.  You can see the devastation that occurred to the garage on the left as the storm surge hit and drove sand against the steel doors.  The buckled and folded up against surge.

The Designer Doors on the right installed seven years ago, were able to withstand the forces.  Why?  Because we use high quality craftsmanship that has withstood numerous tests from nature.  We were the first wood garage door to be certified by Miami-Dade county for both Pressure and Impact.  We are uncompromising in our hardware requirements and in the way we build our doors.  We don’t cut corners to produce the cheapest door, because when you invest in a product you want it to perform, even against the toughest forces nature can throw at it.

Mummy Mountain Home

The owner of this home in Mummy Mountain, AZ hand drew the designs for his garage doors. When he and his garage door dealer went looking for a company to make the doors, they had no takers until they found Designer Doors.

We produced 6 single-wide doors out of Genuine Mahogany for the home. The owner had them finished and distressed to match other material on the property. They are works of beauty!

Wood is Good

Builders and homeowners looking for both quality and value for their homes should look no further than wood garage and entry doors. Why does wood offer a great value?

  • Nothing can replace the true beauty of wood, thus increasing the value of a home
  • Steel doors dent easily and are difficult and/or expensive to repair. Wood doors are easily repaired without affecting appearance and insulating properties
  • Temperature fluctuations can cause vinyl and fiberglass to buckle and crack. Natural wood doors from Designer Doors expand and contract with temperature variations while built-in moisture control features help keep them looking and performing their best
  • Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can break down other materials, causing them to fade or turn chalky. Properly maintained, high quality wood garage doors maintain their natural beauty for 50 years or more.

Enhance the beauty and richness of your home by choosing a wood door from Designer Doors. See more photos of wood doors in our Gallery.

A Very Unique Project

by Jeff Van Horne

The owner’s goal was to create the look of casement windows in her garage doors.  We were tasked  with matching the muntin bars profiles from her existing windows and replicating her shutters.  The doors included 3 dimensional trim, a faux astragal, brickmould, a window sill and shutter dogs.

It was an interesting and fun project with a client who knew what she wanted, was detailed oriented and willing to invest in her vision.

Historic Lites Garage Doors

By Joe Carlson

historic lites 1
Garage doors are typically the most overlooked and under appreciated element of all homes today. They are often thought of as nothing more than an operable wall behind which to conceal our belongings. Yet in some cases, the garage door represents thirty to forty percent of the home’s front elevation.

So wouldn’t it be nice to harmonize the home, showcasing how different parts of the house tie into other elements to help preserve the architectural style, historic value and beauty of the home?  If this is the case for your home, Historic Lites may be the right choice for you.

Ask yourself:

- Do you have a particular design element throughout the home?

- Is the designer tying to characterize the house with a unique pattern in the window detail?

Historic Lites will provide you with the option to create unique beauty with a greatly expanded glass area.  Our customized door and hardware designs will allow a top section of up to 50 inches tall, giving unlimited glass feature design flexibility.

Historic Lites can enhance the Architectural Harmony of your home’s facade by matching lite patterns with windows and doors that already exist on your home. Finally, Historic Lites add character to the home with a decorative glass options, including leaded, beveled, and a variety of other decorative glasses. If you are interested in learning more about Historic Lites, or any of our product lines, contact us today! You can also view more examples in our online Gallery.

Yes, This is a Garage Door

By Jeff Van Horne

At Designer Doors, we see unique architectural challenges nearly every day. The ‘bookend’ design of this home in Oak Park, IL required a garage door that emulated the bedroom wall on the opposing end of the home.  We were able to use a custom milled clap board siding, a faux double hung window and the original shutters to create a sectional garage door that met local building codes while retaining the aesthetics and charm of the original design.
Our custom products allow us to collaborate with our customers to come up with creative solutions to some of the most unusual design challenges.

All About Azek

–By Kyle Cegielski


Homeowners, builders and architects who love the look of wood garage, entry and service doors but require an alternative, weather-resistant solution can now rely on our Azek product to meet their needs. While wood products are often preferred simply for their natural appearance, Azek offers an excellent wood look without the maintenance and care that comes with a comparable wooden product. Many order Azek doors for their second homes.

It makes sense because homeowners are enjoying their home a couple of months a year and do not want to be worrying about maintenance.  ”While the demand is generally for traditional white color, all our standard paint colors are available,” said Keith Tate, Northeast Territory Manager.

Azek is resistant to weathering, rotting, cracking, warping and abrasion damage. It is a manmade replacement with the ability to be machined into the same appearance of any painted wooden garage door containing the same vintage tongue and groove look. Azek requires very little maintenance and is recyclable after its useful lifespan of over 25 years.

As specialized as the build can be with some of our products here at Designer Doors, Azek gives our customers the piece of mind, a low maintenance to their home, and longevity in the professional appearance of their doors.


Sliding and Folding Doors

By: Paul Goudreault

Whether you are trying to replicate a historical feature or just looking for a more unique solution, consider sliding or folding doors.  These doors are easy to operate and allow for the flexibility that a conventional garage or swing door does not.

Sliding doors are often used to secure and cover openings or windows which are normally open for longer periods of time.  In one customer’s application, sliding doors were used protect windows and door ways from harsh coastal storms and seasonal weather.  In other applications, our customers use sliding doors to replicate historic features. Sliding doors are often seen on rustic guest houses, storage buildings and barns.

Folding doors are a great solution for structures where interior overhead room is limited or where the structure prohibits the use of conventional overhead hardware.

A folding door can also complement the architectural design of many old or new homes.

A word about hardware: it is very important that the hardware solution be carefully considered and that the design of the structure allows for the proper installation of the doors and the hardware.  Hardware is generally mounted externally or recessed in the floor slab, so the material types must be stubborn to the elements.

A Differentiator: Wicket Doors

A Differentiator: Wicket Doors
by Kyle Cegielski

Functionality and Appearance

Many times homeowners are met with challenges of the architecture or build design of a property. The functionality of a service door in connection to a garage is a main stay in today’s build. If the set up of the property doesn’t allow a service door; the Wicket door brings an attractive answer to the problem. This is a traditional overhead garage door with an operational service door incorporated into the design. This allows you to enter the garage without opening the overhead door. Designer Doors uses the Wicket door system as a true differentiator in the market place with its unique look and function.

The Wicket door is truly hand crafted from its rawest state of frame assembly with customized ship laps and beveled edges as well as allinsets or rabbits are done with hand tooling. The assembly of this product is gauged for correct gapping on the service door portion to ensure correct functionality not only as a service door, but as a standard operating overhead door as well. The use of a continuous board or material across the length or height of the doors gives the Wicket, even though separated, a continuous look. This follows distinct grain patterns and color variances within the lumber. This product is offered in a wide range of options of look and appearance ranging from a raised panel to a flush face appearance.

With this kind of detail and variability there are endless options in matching the architecture of a property. Once the product is finished and installed, the skill and professionalism that has been put into this product can be fully appreciated.

Top Left: The wicket door on this door shown open, the functionality of this feature on garages that have no other opening then the overhead garage door is important.

Middle Right: The wicket part of the door blends with the overhead door, design is important in making this feature look perfect. 

Bottom Left:  The inside of the door with the overhead operational hinges and the handle and locking features of the wicket door.

Grand Entrances

By Peter Kleinschmidt

Our entrance door volume has increased, especially our highly customized doors which have increased to almost 50% of all entry door orders. People don’t want the cookie cutter, box store entrance door that most homes have. They know that often the first thing that their guests will see when they approach the house is the Entrance Door. That realization has led to a desire to create an entry way that acts as the centerpiece of the home’s exterior. The craftsmen here at Designer Doors specialize in meeting this need and the numbers show that it’s very appreciated by our customers. Each door is hand crafted and that helps set Designer Doors apart.

Designer Doors entry door style and rail systems are manufactured with solid wood cores, creating stability and allowing us to design doors that are unique and long lasting. Our ability to custom craft the door and the additional opening features like sidelights and transoms can take any entry way and turn it into a grand entrance. We use special woods and have no limit on the size of these features which helps create an opening that is unique to your house.