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Double Doors



Choose the Right Entry Door for Your Home's Style

There are three basic door construction materials: wood, fiberglass, and steel. When it comes to selecting a door for your house, it’s best to stay true to the house’s established style. When it comes to door selection, architectural styles have four broad categories:

  • Colonial

  • Victorian

  • Bungalow

  • Modern

The drawings on the following pages show some examples of doors that are appropriate to each of these styles. All entry doors are not created equal, so do your research. The best entry doors are made with advanced materials and construction methods to look great for many years. Contact Arcadia Sash & Door Inc to get the right door for your home.

Front Door

A Variety of Materials and Styles

Most early colonials and capes (as well as Georgian- and Federal-style houses) had solid-wood doors without glass. To accommodate the wood movement, doors had four or six raised panels.


Sticking—the treatment of the rails and stiles at the points where they meet the panel—usually required a simple shape, such as an ogee, quarter-round, or quarter-bead, that could be cut with hand tools.

Colonial & Cape Doors

Colonials and Capes: 1700s-Present

Doors on colonial-style houses can be combined with a pair of sidelites arranged symmetrically on each side of the door. Above-the-door transoms and fanlights were stylistically appropriate ways to bring light to the entry hall.


They can be rectangular, semicircular, or semi-elliptical, and can be combined with sidelites. The size of the panes in the transom and sidelites should be proportionate to those of the windows in the rest of the house.


Traditional colonial styles can have a decorative surround consisting of pilasters with an entablature, pediment, or arch. The trim can be flat, vertical boards, with a thicker and/or taller head trim that might sport a cornice cap. Porticoes and similar porch-like additions were not introduced until colonial-revival periods.

Victorian: 1830s-1900s

The middle of the 19th century witnessed an explosion of industrialization and the advent of a “more is more” aesthetic. Beginning with the comparatively tame Greek revival, the era continued on through a series of romantic styles including Gothic, Italianate, Second Empire, stick, Queen Anne, and shingle.

Entry into the house was celebrated with a porch as a transition between public and private space, allowing for glass in the doors without feeling

Victorian Doors

overexposed to the outdoors. Also, ornaments appeared not just around the door but over the windows, under the eaves, along the rake boards, and even along the ridgeline of the home.


For houses that hark to this era, the focal point of the door is glass, often etched or stained. Instead of a single, solid door with sidelites, these styles favor a pair of doors with glass. The shape of the glass can be an oval or rectangle with an arched top, or it can mimic the windows.


Doors should still be rail-and-stile construction with raised panels, but the panel might have a more complicated profile. Period doors often have a projecting bolection molding with an elaborate profile at the juncture between frame and panel.

Craftsman - Bungalow: 1900s-1940s

This era, which includes the Craftsman and prairie style doors, celebrated unadulterated materials and made an aesthetic of simpler construction methods. Doors for houses of these styles have rails and stiles, often with flat panels and simple rectangular, quarter-round, or quarter-bead sticking. These may have fewer and/or wider panels than earlier eras.

As with the Victorian home, porches are an important component of this

Craftsman Bungalow Doors

style and make it comfortable to have generous amounts of glass in the doors. Muntin patterns should be simple and rectangular. A popular door introduced at this time had six panes of glass in the upper portion of the door and two large, vertical wood panels below.


The upper portion of the door allows the owner to see who is on the stoop, while the solid panels below provide privacy and security. This door takes up less width than a solid door with sidelites, making it particularly useful for small houses with narrow entry halls and in areas where security and privacy are a concern.

Modern: 1930s-Present

Modernism embraced mass production and manufacturing as an aesthetic with a “less is more” credo. The flush door exemplified the best of this new style. Visible rails and stiles disappeared, replaced by a slab made of durable but inexpensive materials.


The flush door is most successful on houses with many other modern elements, when it stretches floor to ceiling, or when it is combined with a transom to give the same impression. It is also attractive when combined with an asymmetrical sidelite.

Modern Door Styles

Split levels, raised ranches, and other contemporary suburban styles often straddle two different yet conflicting eras. Their attached garages place them clearly in the machine age, so a strong argument can be made for pushing these houses further in the modern direction with a flush door.


However, if these houses have multi-pane double-hung windows, shutters, and a pitched roof, a flush door is inappropriate. These traditional elements can be accommodated with a simple rail-and-stile door with just one or two flat panels. The rails and stiles provide a nod to traditional construction while the large, wide panels are more modern.


A door with three, four, or five horizontal flat panels can be appropriate as it acknowledges the horizontality of the building form. Avoid fancy raised panels, applied molding, ornate sticking, and overly decorative windows. Use trim that matches the windows.

Replacement Wood Doors

How to Store, Handle, Finish, Install, and Maintain Wood Doors

Why Do Architects and Homeowners Choose Wood Doors?

Beauty, style, performance, and adaptability are some of the reasons to choose wood doors. To preserve the fine qualities of these doors and a lifetime of superior service, proper storage, handling, finishing, and installation are important. The following guidelines will help to maintain the high-quality products supplied by wood door manufacturers.

Door Storage and Handling


Store doors flat on a level surface in a dry, well-ventilated building. Doors should not come in contact with water. Doors should be kept at least 3-1/2" off the floor and should have protective coverings under the bottom door and over the top. Covering should protect doors from dirt, water, and abuse but allow for air circulation under and around the stack.


Do not install doors in buildings that have wet plaster or cement unless they have been properly finished. Do not store doors in buildings with excessive moisture content - HVAC systems should be operating and balanced.


Avoid exposure of interior doors to direct sunlight. Certain species, such as cherry, mahogany, walnut, teak, in an unfinished state are more susceptible to discoloration if exposed to sunlight and some forms of artificial light. To protect doors from light damage after delivery, opaque wrapping of individual doors may be specified.


Doors should always be handled with clean hands or while wearing clean gloves.


Do not subject interior doors to extremes of heat or humidity. Do not allow doors to come in contact with water. Prolonged exposure may cause damage. Buildings in which humidity and temperature are controlled provide the best storage facilities. Recommended conditions are 25%-55% RH and 50°(F) to 90°(F).


Doors should be lifted and carried when being moved, not dragged across one another.

Door Finishing


Wood is hygroscopic and dimensionally influenced by changes in moisture content caused by changes within its surrounding environment. To assure uniform moisture exposure and dimensional control, all surfaces must be finished equally.


A thinned coat of sanding sealer may be applied prior to staining to promote a uniform finish and avoid sharp contrasts in color or a blotchy appearance. Door manufacturers are not responsible for the final appearance of field-finished doors. It is expected that the painting contractor will make adjustments as needed to achieve desired results.


Water-based coatings on unfinished wood may cause veneer splits, highlight joints, and raise wood grain. If used on exterior doors, the coating should be an exterior-grade product. When installed in exterior applications, doors must be properly sealed and adequately protected from the elements. Please follow the manufacturer's finish recommendations regarding the correct application and use of these products.


Doors should not be considered ready for finishing when initially received. Before finishing, remove all handling marks, raised grain, scuffs, burnishes, and other undesirable blemishes by block sanding all surfaces in a horizontal position with a 120, 150, or 180 grit sandpaper.

Solid core flush doors due to their weight naturally compress the face veneer grain while in the stack. Therefore, sanding of the overall surface will be required to open the veneer grain to receive a field-applied finish evenly. To avoid cross grain scratches, sand with the grain.


All exposed wood surfaces must be sealed including top and bottom rails. Cutouts for hardware in exterior doors must be sealed prior to installation of hardware and exposure to weather.


Be sure the door surface being finished is satisfactory in both smoothness and color after each coat. Allow adequate drying time between coats. Desired results are best achieved by following the finish manufacturer's recommendations. Do not finish doors until a sample of the finish has been approved.


Certain species of wood, particularly oak, may contain extractives that react unfavorably with foreign materials in the finishing system. Eliminate the use of steel wood on bare wood, rusty containers, or other contaminants in the finishing system.


Dark colored finishes should be avoided on all surfaces if the door is exposed to direct sunlight in order to reduce the chance of warping or veneer checking.


ertain wood-fire doors have fire retardant salts impregnated into various wood components that make the components more hygroscopic than normal wood. When exposed to high moisture conditions, these salts concentrate on exposed surfaces and interfere with the finish.


Before finishing the treated wood, reduce moisture content below 11% and remove the salt crystals with a damp cloth followed by drying and light sanding. For further information on fire doors, see the NWWDA publication on installing, handling, and finishing fire doors.

Door Installation


The utility or structural strength of the doors must not be impaired when fitting to the opening, in applying hardware, in preparing for lights, louvers, plant-ons, or other detailing.


All hardware locations, preparations, and methods of attachment must be appropriate for the specific door construction. Templates for specific hardware preparation are available from hardware manufacturers or their distributors.


In fitting for height, do not trim top or bottom edge by more than 3/4 inches unless accommodated by additional blocking. Trimming of fire-rated doors must be in accordance with NFPA 80.


Use two hinges for solid core doors up to 60 inches in height, three hinges up to 90 inches in height, and an additional hinge for every additional 30 inches of height or portion thereof. Interior hollow core doors weighing less than 50 pounds and not over 7'6" in height may be hung on two hinges.

Use heavy weight hinges on doors over 175 lbs. Pivot hardware may be used in lieu of hinges. Consult hinge or pivot hardware manufacturer with regard to weight and size of hinges or pivots required.


When light or louver cutouts are made for exterior doors, they must be protected in order to prevent water from entering the door core.


Doors and door frames should be installed plumb, square, and level.


Clearances between top and hinge door edges and door frame should be a minimum of 1/8" (3.2 mm). For a single door latch edge, the clearance should be 1/8" (3.2 mm). For a pair of doors, the meeting edge clearance should be 1/16" (1.6 mm) per leaf. The bottom edge should be 3/4 (19 mm) maximum from the top of a non-combustible floor and 3/8" (10 mm) maximum from the top of a non-combustible sill.


Pilot holes must be drilled for all screws that act as hardware attachments. Threaded to the head screws are preferable for fastening hardware to non-rated doors and are required on fire-rated doors.

Cleaning and Touchup of Doors


Inspect all wood doors prior to hanging them on the job. Repair noticeable marks or defects that may have occurred from improper storage and handling.


Field repairs and touch-ups are the responsibility of the installing contractor upon completion of initial installation. Field touch-up shall include the filling of exposed nail or screw holes, re-finishing of raw surfaces resulting from job fitting, repair of job inflicted scratches and mars, and final cleaning of finished surfaces.


When cleaning door surfaces, use a non-abrasive commercial cleaner designed for cleaning wood door or paneling surfaces and won't leave a film residue that would build-up or affect the surface gloss of the door finish.

Adjustment and Door Maintenance


Ensure that all doors swing freely and do not bind in their frame. Adjust the finish hardware for proper alignment, smooth operation, and proper latching without unnecessary force or excessive clearance.


Finishes on exterior doors may deteriorate due to exposure to the environment. In order to protect the door, it is recommended that the condition of the exterior finish be inspected at least once a year and re-finished as needed.


Review with the owner/owner's representative how to periodically inspect all doors for wear, damage, and natural deterioration.


Review with the owner/owner's representative how to periodically inspect and adjust all hardware to ensure that it continues to function as it was originally intended.

Hallmark-Certified Wood Flush Doors

NWWDA certifies firms, which have demonstrated the ability to manufacture wood flush doors according to NWWDA Industry Standards for wood flush doors. Each NWWDA-certified manufacturer's plant is inspected by NWWDA to determine if their production facilities and procedures conform to the standard including all adhesives used to meet the requirements of a Type I (exterior) or Type II (interior) adhesive in accordance with the NWWDA Test Methods T.M.6. The Hallmark provides the door manufacturers, purchasers, and specifiers with an easily recognizable means of identification.


The NWWDA Hallmark identifies manufacturers who meet all the requirements of the NWWDA Hallmark program for wood doors according to the appropriate NWWDA Industry Standards.

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Thank you for considering Arcadia Sash and Door Inc. for your windows and doors needs. Please feel free to contact us anytime to learn more about our products and services, or to schedule a consultation with one of our experts.

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