As we wait for the windows, we thought it would be great to take Ed Gullickson, owner of Doors of Distinction, up on his offer to walk us through his shop and see the process of making our doors. Friday we took a scenic road trip to Amery, Wisconsin and spent some time learning about the process. Their craftsmanship is desired by many across the country; at the time of our visit we saw a few doors destined for HI, MN, and CA, to name a few.
We have a total of three doors, a front and two rear glass doors. For the level of performance needed, we saw the high precision tools used to achieve the desired measurements and seal.
Let me start with the rear doors; the performance goals are to reach an R-12 insulation value. This controls the energy moving in and out of the home, the second part of the design will control the air-tightness of the door and how it functions as part of the overall house coat we are in the process of putting together. Each of the doors will have triple-pane windows, be 2 3/4 inches thick, and will weigh appropriately 200 pounds total. The process of gluing all the parts together requires 40 hours and that is followed by a total of 9 coats of epoxy sealer (same sealer used for building wood boats). Once that is completed, the primer and three coats of paint will be applied for the final finish. As for the front door, it will follow the same steps listed above but since there is more wood and glue, it could reach 250+ pounds. Despite the weight, the craftsmen assured us the doors will be easy for our kids to open, thanks to the ball bearings in the hinges. There is approximately 70 hours of work put into a typical front door after the design is finalized. We worked with Dan on ideas we had for what the front door should look like, and after a few days we saw the final CAD drawing that we moved forward with.
Over the next few weeks as the house gets prepared for the window and door arrival, Ed will come out and make final measurements for the sill, threshold and jamb design. We are truly excited to see the final product make its way home!