Monthly Archives: October 2014

Fine-front-door-design-with-wooden-door-and-pumpkin-decor-also-good-wall-lamps

Shopping for a New Front Door? Know Your Options

When it comes to first impressions, the front door of your house plays a huge role since it signifies the transition between the outside world and your home’s representation of who you are.  Aesthetically, a beautiful front door will add value to your property through curb appeal; however, greater value can actually be found through the installation of energy-efficient models that may not only help you save as much as 10% on energy bills, but also qualify you for several tax credits.

Still, like selecting a particular flooring material or wall color, there are a myriad of door options to choose from, so it’s all about determining which one fits your needs.  In general, front doors need to be tough so they can withstand the elements, but that doesn’t mean that visual appeal has to go by the wayside.

Generally, most doors come in three popular materials—wood, steel, and fiberglass composite—but all three materials have a variety of pros and cons which may or may not fit into your life.

WOOD

Luxurious and beautiful, wood doors are still an incredibly popular option, especially if you’re looking to add a classic touch to your home.  In an effort to minimize the chances of warping, today’s models tend to consist of a wood veneer skin over a wood core, but that doesn’t mean that upkeep isn’t important.  When looking for pre-finished wood doors, selecting something with a high-gloss finish will help preserve the integrity of the wood, but it’s also a good idea to perform a yearly examination of the door to catch signs of wear and tear in advance.

In particular, take note of things like dullness, a dry touch or white shading to the finish, or dark streaks along the bottom of the door (which may be indicative of moisture being pulled into the wood).  If you notice any of these signs, simply sand, clean, and re-prime each spot.

STEEL

Steel doors tend to be the most popular choice when it comes to replacement doors because, along with the fact that they’re the least expensive option, they also tend to be the most durable.  While wood doors may warp, twist, or crack, steel doors tend to handle rough living a bit better and are filled with an energy-efficient insulating foam that helps with heating and air costs.

Still, while the upfront price may be lower, steel doors tend to have a shorter lifespan than wood or fiberglass, which means you may have to spend a bit more money if rust or general wear-and-tear make a future replacement necessary.

FIBERGLASS COMPOSITE

Frequently chosen for their affordable nature and virtually maintenance-free durability, fiberglass composite doors can last an extremely long time and, like steel doors, are also filled with an energy-efficient insulating foam.  Furthermore, since they’re also resistant to an array of issues that ail wood and steel doors—i.e. denting, warping, rot, and rust—they tend to work well with homes that are in extreme climates.

When it comes to visual appeal, fiberglass composite doors can be painted or stained any way you choose; however, they generally need to be painted every five years or so, which actually makes them a bit higher maintenance than steel doors.

CONCLUSION

It’s amazing the difference that a front door can make in regards to a home’s overall appearance.  Don’t be afraid to play around with different designs and colors, and rest assured that if you’re considering making a few changes to your exterior, upgrading your front door can be a fantastic venture since your return on investment will almost always be positive.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders, Corp | www.CresBuilders.com | 770-983-4698

Love the Look of Hardwoods? Know Your Options

hardwood-floor

As fully carpeted homes have begun to lose their popularity, the shift towards hardwood has become a smart option for homeowners who are looking for flooring that is not only long-lasting, but easily maintained as well.

Still, standard hardwoods can pack a hefty price, so engineered flooring has become an extremely popular alternative, but it’s important to know what you’re buying.

If you’re considering hardwoods, take a look at your options below.

1.) SOLID HARDWOOD FLOOING: Most hardwood flooring is manufactured from the American hardwoods—red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory, or pecan trees—although more exotic woods, such as Brazilian Cherry, Tigerwood, and African Teak, have seen an increase in popularity as well.

Generally considered the standard in wood flooring, traditional solid hardwood floors are comprised of a single piece of wood with tongue and groove sides.  Since this type of wood flooring tends to be sensitive to moisture, it’s typically nailed onto a wood sub-floor instead of a solid slab of concrete.

While somewhat pricey, especially when produced using unblemished clear oak, solid wood floors are great because they can be refinished and recoated multiple times throughout their lifespan—which may span several decades to 100+ years.  Still, it’s important to remember that solid wood floors are a natural product which expand and contract in response to moisture—meaning gaps may actually appear between the boards during the winter months.

2.) ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING: Since solid hardwoods are not always recommended in many areas of the home, engineered flooring has become a wonderful option because it tends to be much more versatile.

Instead of being made from solid strips, engineered planks are constructed from three or more thin sheets of wood that have been laminated together to form a single plank.  Since each layer is generally laid in an opposite direction during the manufacturing process, the completed floor tends to be dimensionally stable and not affected by temperature variations like traditional solid wood floors.

Furthermore, engineered floors can be installed on top of any surface—to include wood sub-floors and concrete slabs—and can be nailed down, stapled, or glued.

3.) LONGSTRIP HARDWOOD FLOORING: Still considered an engineered floor, Longstrip hardwoods have a finish layer that is comprised of several thinner wood piles that are glued together to make a single plank.  The top layer can be made from virtually any hardwood species, while the center core usually consists of a softer wood material that is used to make the tongue and groove.

Generally designed for floating installation, Longstrip planks typically have between 17 and 35 shorter pieces that make up the top layer of each board and can be glued or stapled onto any subfloor or grade level.

4.) BAMBOO FLOORING: Engineered by gluing strands of bamboo to make a material that can be milled into hardwood-like boards, this option is about as hard as most domestic hardwoods and actually lasts just as long.

Its installation is generally the same as standard hardwood boards; however, since it’s less prone to warpage, it tends to be easier to nail together.

4.) LAMINATE: Developed as a response to the increasing cost of hardwood, laminate boards have a plastic surface that is simply stamped to look like wood and can actually be milled in the same way.

It tends to be incredibly easy to install, needing technicians with less expertise and fewer tools; however, since its thin veneer can only be sanded and refinished once, laminate tends to wear out much quicker than its real wood counterparts.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders | www.cresbuilders.com | 770-983-4698