Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Visit to the Window and Door Store

I made a visit to the window and door store today to see some of the things I picked from catalogs with the architect as we were doing the design. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Marvin Ultimate windows. They are nicer than I had anticipated.
The coolest thing about them is the locking mechanism has an extra little button that unlocks the window to tip in for cleaning. It seems that most new windows have the latches at both sides of the lower sash to tip them in. This allows a much cleaner look.
This is the example of the oil-rubbed bronze that Marvin has on the internet. I wasn't sure I wanted this but, in person, the finish is really beautiful.

My only disappointment is that modern windows have mullions that are thicker than old windows. There's just no one that recreates the mullions on the same scale.

Here you can see these windows are original. If you go back up and look at the image of the new window, you'll see what I mean. Most people probably wouldn't notice it, but once you're aware of it, the difference really stands out.

I had a moment of panic when I was looking at all of the door samples at the store. How can I be sure that windows of the sidelights won't look all crazy when paired with a six-panel door?

When I got home, I went back to the Simpson website and pulled all the images of the options for doors and sidelights to my desktop. Then I opened up a new Word document and started pulling the pieces from my desktop into the Word document. They were scaled perfectly so it couldn't have been easier. It took only about 60 seconds to pull all of the combinations into the Word document so I could see exactly what they would look like. Now to pick one.
Option 1. This option is exactly like the last Greek Revival house I lived in. It offers the least amount of light but more privacy. Although the wood panels are consistent heights across the door and sidelights, the glass panels are a little off.
Option 2) This option would provide the most light but the least privacy. This is exactly how the architectural drawing was done for the variance so I may not have the license to vary from this design.
Option 3. This is the most traditional design with the full panel of glass and the six-panel door that is typical of the period.
Option 4. Although this one offers less light from the sidelights, in my opinion, this design feels like it's the most symmetrical and balanced. At the same time, I don't think it's my favorite.

I have it narrowed down to two. I think.

I saw a lot of door hardware at the store and this is the first time I realized I'm soon going to have to pick something. If it were the back door, it wouldn't be a big deal but what goes on the front door is a very important accessory. I'm sure I'll lose a few nights' sleep before making the final decision.

Here a few I've added to my "possibilities" file:
I think with all of the squares created by the panels of the door and sidelights, I would like something with curves to contrast that. I like the curve of this thumb latch AND I LOVE the glass interior knob!
Sometimes simpler is better and, if so, this would be a good choice. But I'm not in love.
I like the rope detail on this knob and I've always loved egg shaped door knobs. They just seem to fit the hand better than other shapes.
I pulled this image because the handle replicates the flutes that will be in the columns. It's an interesting idea but I don't think proportion of the fluted part is close enough to make that "column" connection.

And I thought I was avoiding having to make hard decisions.


  1. Hi Steve,
    Well, I've studied these options for so long you would think I was the one making the decisions!
    As always, I love how you research the topic thoroughly. :)
    OK...I only like option #4 for the door. It is the most symmetrical, traditional and just more comfortable to look at with the door panels being all wood and the sides being all glass. Of course, more glass means more light but I really prefer an all wood door.
    As for the hardware, I would go with pic #1 - I also love the curve of the handle. You have a lot of squares going on and it would definately stand out as a feature. It's also weighty enough to stand alone on that big wood door. And glass have to have them. They are elegant, classy and sophisticated, not to mention true to the house period.
    I think you're making some very smart decisions and will be very happy with the outcome.
    Do you have a timeframe for the architects to start on the inside?

  2. I'm with Sarah. (great minds think alike) I really love the glass knobs. Who would think something so simple could be so nerve wracking!

  3. Thanks, Sarah and Deb. I asked my architects and they picked different door arrangements. I guess there's no right or wrong answer.

  4. hi steve

    boy am i glad i'm not you. all these decisions!

    we renovated this place in 6 weeks. there was no time for ordering or changing my mind on anything. if it couldn't be delivered in 5 days i had to pass. for instance i had 1 day to find and pick the kitchen tile, that's how fast we were working.

    good luck on all your decisions. any of the choices you've narrowed it down to will be beautiful.


  5. Ummmm....

    Well, one thing I know for sure is that whatever you decide, it will look BEAUTIFUL!!!

    No doubt about it.

    ; ) Trina

  6. I think your cats would appreciate the sidelights with glass panels all the way to the bottom. I know my own cat likes to watch the world go by outside my front door when he can.

  7. Hi Steve,
    Ahhh, the 'head spinning details'!! Fun! I love option 3, as you said it is the most classic, but I know it will be wonderful whatever option you decide!

    About my shutters.... yes, that is my 'front' porch and the shutters were on the house. Apparently there are "Boston" and "New York" antique shutters per my painter- describes how they are made. I am looking for several more to go on the North wall of the main farmhouse, so I carry measurements with me where ever I go! I'd be happy to look out for you too if you want to send me your measurements, as sometimes I find them but they are the wrong sizes for me!
    Good luck with the door and hardware decisions!