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Edwardian front door? Where to find besides salvage?(4 responses)
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Front Door Stainer/Painter Needed

Nov 2011

We've been working with Frameworks in Oakland to make a Craftsman style front door which better fits the style of our house than our current door. The door itself is wider than usual (also making it heavier than usual), and is of Douglas Fir. We want it to be stained to match our interior Doug Fir doors. We're just having a hard time finding someone to do the staining. (The person recommend by Frameworks would charge almost as much as the door itself costs. Yipes.) If you can recommend someone who does a good job, without costing a fortune, and who can also (hopefully) stain the door while it's on the hinges, we'd love to hear about him/her. Thanks in advance.

I'd highly recommend Ken White at (415) 533-0999 - he painted our interior, exterior, lacquered our cabinets and is about to paint our front door. He also epoxied our garage floor (which is way cooler to do than it sounds - LOL) Anyway, he'll come in low on the bid because he's been doing it for 30 years and he works for himself. He quick, professional and just a nice guy. Good luck! fresh paint
We had a new door (and windows) made by Frameworks (isn't Ralph the best?) and we loved the painters we used (we had entire exterior of the house painted at the same time). Antonio Chavarria of De Colores Painting was great to work with and did a fabulous job staining our door. Check out his yelp review (; picture #7 of 7 is our house and we are the review from Alameda. His price was competitive and the door looks *great*--we are always getting compliments on it. Anon
I think you should ask Hans Stahlschmidt for a bid. www.stahlschmidt- His guys did the most amazing job staining and refinishing the wood panels in our dining room, a 100 year old Craftsman. He is licensed and mid-range in cost, but well worth it. You would be very happy if he did your front door. Ginger

Door repair & replacement

(Also see reviews for Window replacement/repair )
Jan 2008

We have a beautiful old leaded glass front door that needs some repair. We have installed a new lock but it looks like there needs to be some veneer work done. The glass is all intact and in very good shape so I believe we are only in need of wood repair. I wonder if anyone can recommend a good carpenter for such a project? carrie

I can highly recommend Carl Gaard for this and any finished carpentry work- He has over 35 years of experience and has an incredible design sense- He is also a color expert- He is a great problem solver- he not only does carpentry, he designs too- He has completely redone my house- and it looks stunning- it is transformed- the colors he advised on and mixed (custom) look incredible- as well as the moldings- and general changing around. He is a one in a million! His number is 510-410-6812
(editor: phone number corrected 7/5/2009)
Oct 2007

Hi everyone. I just bought a condo and I need to change three windows and a sliding door. For the sliding door I would love to put a wooden French door. I know those are expensive and I'm on a VERY low budget (I'm a single mom). But a French door has always been my dream! Do you have any recommendations for someone who wouldn't charge too much (the less the better) and a place where I could find good, nice wooden French doors for the least possible. Also, I should point out my door is about 10 feet long. I appreciate any help. French-door lover

I would suggest going to door stores and pick out the brand and style number of the doors you want. Phone many of the door companies and check to get their pricing for the same door. I found a large difference between companies on the pricing for the same manufacturer. The cheapest I found and ordered was from Dolan in Pinole, even cheaper than the other Dolan stores. Checking around can save a bunch of money. happy Dolan shopper
August 2006

Re: Window replacemnet
I recently had a door installed by Ecore Contract (Bob Hodgson, 510-499-9234). They did great work, were very tidy and were very considerate and polite. I bought the door from V & W Patio Door, but I would NOT recommend them. After they gave me a door that was not the one I ordered, they told me basically that the fault was all mine and that I had agreed to this other door, which was of course not true. All rendered in a really offensive manner over the phone. Then they refused to take back the door, so I'm stuck with it. Awful customer service, complete lack of communication--don't buy windows or doors from them! Oakland

Adding another back door to the house

June 2008

We are interested in adding a second back door to our house. Can someone tell me what this would entail? Do we need to get permits? What kind of person would do this work - just a general contractor? Any and all input welcome since we don't know where to start. Thanks! Valerie

You should use a general contractor, and I am pretty sure that when you create a new opening on any wall of your house, you need a permit. You'll most certainly need an engineer to approve your plans. We just completed a large-ish remodel. Part of it entailed adding a door out of our dining room and adding small windows on either side of our fireplace in the living room. That part of the project was a bigger deal than I expected it to be. A few inspections we required before we could close up the walls. My contractor said that any time you open a hole in a wall, you compromise the structural integrity of that wall and the county building depts are picky about it being done right.

Making an arched doorway out of a square one

May 2008

I have a square doorway that I want to make an arch. I am not sure if it is even possible due to where the support beam may or may not be placed. There is maple wood paneling on one side and plaster on the other. Who do I call for a job like this? Do I need a contractor or just a handyman? Any recommendations? Needs a contractor?

Generally speaking, since you are not changing the width of the doorway, duplicating the existing header framing but moving it higher should do the trick. Sometimes it is wise to put up temporary bracing to support the opening until the framing is finished (not a big deal). There are various ways on how the actual arch is created. You can get a prefabricated archway, such as Easy Arch: Which can be ordered through either Piedmont Lumber or Ashby Lumber. The framing part has a difficulty rating of say, 6 or 7 on a scale of 10. The finishing part however, requires both patience and experience, I'd say an 8 or 9 on the difficulty scale. A building permit is probably required and you'll definitely want someone experienced to do this. A licensed contractor may be more expensive, but they are insured and you have redress in case of a dispute. People who specialize in remodeling are preferable because it requires patience to blend the old with the new. Have them show you an example of having had done this before and ask whether it was remodeled work or new construction. A picture is worth a thousand words. Good luck! Erich
Hi, I posed your question to my husband, a licensed General Contractor. He said that if you want the top of your arch to be above the level of your current doorway-top, it's likely that you would need a General Contractor to do the work, make a seamless transition to your existing walls, etc. If, on the other hand you want the top of your arch to be level with your current doorway-top, it's possible you could do the frame-removal, build and patching yourself because it would likely be a simpler project. Good luck with your project! Abby