Woodland Windows and Doors Blog

This is where we will post relevant articles, information, and how-to's related to all things windows and doors. Check back often for updates and new information!

Condominium Doors - First Impressions Matter

First impressions and Curb appeal

Whether you’re a homeowner or the property manager for a homeowner’s association (HOA) you know that your building’s curb appeal directly impacts property values, so old beat-up entry doors don’t bode well for what’s inside. Let’s face it, first impressions matter and an entry door is one of the first things guests will see. In HOAs, exterior doors are usually “limited common elements”, which when replaced benefit everyone.

Manor chatham in buffalo grove ilE copy 2

                 Manor Homes of Chatham

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Entry Doors - The Traditional Classic

Colonial - Homeguides.sfgate.com
What’s the right entry door for a traditional style house? It depends on which traditional style house you live in or plan to build. Traditional style means long established or customary and is the most common style in our area. Traditional is a broad term compromising many styles including Federal, Gothic Revival or Queen Anne.
When we describe a home as traditional we’re often referring to either a common style historically prevalent in our region, such as Colonial, Georgian or Cape Cod, or likewise, we may be referring to the specific classic features such as symmetrical windows, Greek shapes or a portico. What’s common to this type of home is that it has a timeless design with historical roots.
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Entry Doors - Victorian Era

What makes a house Victorian style? It’s describing Victorian era architecture in the period of Queen Victoria’s reign. The Victorian styles include Queen Anne, dominate from 1880-1910, Gothic Revival 1840-1880, Second Empire 1855-1885 and Italianate 1840-1885. You’re guaranteed to win a round of Trivia with this question.
It was common for American home styles to follow style trends from England, but what also accounts for an abundance of Victorian style homes in America was the building boom during the later nineteenth century. Victorian homes were the first product of our Industrial Age after the Civil War when munitions factories were converted to make house parts. The factories mass-produced wood trim for the decorative trim, porches, gables, towers and dormers.
Although Victorians are largely made of wood, this was not always the case. In fact a large number of old Victorians around the Midwest are built with patterned brick and stone, which was the preference in urban neighborhoods.
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Entry Doors - The Contemporary Look

Marvin Website
You say modern, I say contemporary and some say industrial to describe today’s contemporary home style. Contemporary means todays style and todays style is indeed a cross of modern and industrial, so we’re all right.
If you’re building a contemporary style home or remodeling your existing home and want an up to date look, remember the entry door is a key element of the design. The right contemporary door screams, look at me, I stand out from the crowd.
The contemporary look strives to connect the indoor and outdoor spaces, so it’s common to use glass, tall or wider openings for the entry door design. Modern and industrial style eliminates ornamentation or excessive detailing, so that doors without panels and are likely to be flush with plain facings on both the inside and outside door frames. This bold simplicity can be achieved in multiple ways by following some simple principles of contemporary door design.
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Entry Doors - The Craftsman

Pinterest Craftsman Home
Chicagoans claim the craftsman style home as a part of our heritage – after all, Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the fathers of the architectural movement. The style, circa 1890’s, popular into 1930, is enjoying a revival today.


Whether you’re fortunate enough to own an old original craftsman style home or are building a new home, the craftsman entry door is a key architectural element to focus on.
The craftsman door is almost always reached by way of a porch, which accentuates the door’s uniqueness. Craftsman doors are interesting contrasts of simple lines, warm woods, understated flat casings, decorative glass panes and a classically ornamental dentil shelf.

Simpson Doors Warm Wood
Warm Woods
Homeowners can select less expensive painted fiberglass or steel doors to compliment a craftsman style home, yet an all wood door creates an unmatched striking focal point. Good design always creates focal points that allow the eye to naturally absorb the view. Without a focal point, the eyes wander and the brain struggles.
The craftsman home is perfect for a wood door because of the protected porch entrance. Although wood is a great insulator and can withstand harsh weather, it needs an enduring finish and a building overhang for protection. Wood doors by Simpson can be used in tough exposures as long as they are made of especially weather-resistant woods such as: Douglasfir, Sapele Mahogany and Nootka Cypress.

he beauty of wood is that no two pieces look exactly the same. The grain patterns, color variations and textures create a work of art.  Frankly, it’s a stark contrast from a painted fiberglass or steel door, which can appear flat and lifeless in comparison. There are places for the less costly door; a wood craftsman entry door is the place to splurge.
Glass Panes
Therma Tru Doors with Sidelites
It’s not uncommon for entry doors to be placeholders in an architect’s design. Meaning its definition will be provided later. In the craftsman style this is often so the architect or designer can line up the views from the entry to a focal point inside the house.  This might be an interior wall or an exterior back yard.


The craftsman style entry door typically has glass in the upper door, sidelites or in a transom above the door. Well positioned, glass can bring natural day light to a dark foyer or let the moon and street light glow, flood the entry at night. If security is a concern consider glass transoms.
Simplicity and Originality
Jeld Wen Dutch Door
The American craftsman style was a response to the ornate Victorian style homes that were common at the time. It stood in stark contrast to the highly decorated eclectic Victorian. Adopting an arts and crafts artistic sensibility, the style typically uses local handcrafted glass, wood and metal work. The colors are usually a natural palette so that the homes blend with nature. You might find the Dutch door an original interpretation of the traditional craftsman door.
If an all-wood door is outside the limits of your budget, don’t despair. Check out doors by Therma-Tru for fiberglass doors that mimic wood. Or if you love painted doors, check out the options for wood, fiberglass or steel painted doors by Jeld Wen in a variety of colors. Or if space allows you can create a double door entrance. Beauty lies in variation, so use your imagination to get the craftsman look on any budget.
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