This project started with this picture of a front door found on Matt Risinger’s Green Building Blog. The modern style is clean and elegant, but its construction is much more complicated than it first appears.
Because my doors are solid wood and not fiberglass made to look like wood, they will move. The accommodation of expansion and reduction caused by changing temperatures and moistures is why doors need stiles (the vertical boards) and rails (the horizontal boards). This exterior door appears to defy those rules with its simple composition of long vertical boards, but if this door truly was made by gluing or screwing together vertical boards, it would only take a few really hot, wet, or cold days and gaps would begin to appear between the boards. “Wood moves; metal rusts.”
When the homeowners were surprised by the price her contractor found from an out-of-state company, they asked me for some advice. The truth is that this simple door is a bit more complicated to make because it isn’t a bunch of boards glued together, but a veneer of boards applied to an interior door frame. We choose to use sustainable North American native White Oak, and without extra shipping charges, were able to meet their budget.
As an exterior door on a coastal island, this door would need to accommodate a constant interior temperature on one side and seasonal coastal weather on the other, I varnished the interior side of the veneer and added a tongue and grove type of fitting between the veneer and the door frame. Knowing they may want to put a knocker on the door, I added a piece of hardwood where the screws or nails for the knocker would go (in the fourth rung of the door frame). The final door was 2.25″ thick and roughly 3’x8′.
Here is the door as it was delivered. I’ll post a finished image, if it is available when I deliver the interior doors I am making for them.