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Posted at: Aug 13, 2016, 12:42 AM; last updated: Aug 13, 2016, 12:42 AM (IST)GROUND REALTY

Elegance at your door

Design of the main door

  • The main door of the house at the entry point should have special design that should look beautiful and different from other doors. The main door should be wider and preferably with a door frame of full wall thickness. It can be a double leaf door if the width of door is 5 feet or more. Double leaf main doors look elegant. Lots of carving and squares can be added to the main door panel design.

Design of a wooden door

  • The space confined by the stiles and rails is provided either with a combination of glass and wooden panels or with wooden panels only. The provision of glass is avoided in external doors, opening to the front and back courtyards of the house and in the bathroom doors. Thus, only a few internal doors are left in which provision of glass can be made. Even in internal doors having a combination of glass and wood, more percentage of area belongs to wooden panels. Provision of glass erodes the feeling of privacy even if the glass is opaque. Preference should, therefore, be given to fully paneled wooden doors. Design of the door panels should be kept similar for all the doors except the main door which may have a different design.
Elegance at your door

Jagvir Goyal

During the construction of his house, a house builder is so much engrossed in the procurement of materials, arranging finance, supervision of construction work etc that he is taken aback when the carpenter asks a simple but obvious question to him, “What design would you prefer for the doors of your house?”

In most cases, the house builder has not thought of that till the moment the question is asked by the carpenter. There are few instances where a house owner had been attracted by the design of the doors in some building or house he had once visited and taken a mental note of the design of the door for its provision in his own house whenever he builds it. However, at the time of requirement, he is hardly able to recollect the design. Therefore, his obvious reaction is either to ask the carpenter to suggest three or four options or ask his architect to finalise the design.   

Architects often come up with a book of door designs and ask the house owner to select one from there. The book contains hundreds of  designs, which confuse the person all the more. To make the job easy and to make the right choice, a few points detailed below should therefore always be kept in mind by the house owner while finalising the design of doors of his house.

Materials: The doors provided in a house can either be in wood or have a combination of glass and wood. Some architects prefer to add metallic parts also to the doors to give them a composite look. uPVC doors haven’t become popular with the people. The larger choice remains confined to wooden doors or wood and glass doors with glass occupying a much smaller area than wood. Metals get scratched easily, lose luster or finish with time. Doors having metallic parts begin to look boring very soon. One should, therefore, prefer wooden doors or a combination of wood and glass in doors.       

Get your basics right: Door shutters can be fully wood paneled or partly glazed partly paneled. Each door shutter has two vertical stiles and two rails, one at the top and second at the bottom. These four wooden pieces constitute the main structure of the door. The design and choice of wood or glass or metal is now to be made to fill the space confined by these two stiles and two rails. The stile and rail framework of door shutter provides the required stiffness to the door and enables installation of joinery fittings like tower bolts, mortise locks and handles on them. Earlier, a lock rail also used to be provided in the doors as provision of a sliding bolt was prevalent in those times. Now, the sliding bolts have been replaced with mortise locks. Therefore, the lock rail has also vanished. Provision of a lock rail, however, used to provide much more stiffness to the doors. The width of rails also used to vary. The top rail used to be 5 inch wide, lock rail 8 inch wide and bottom rail as 10 inch to 12 inch wide. These days, the top rail and both the vertical stiles are kept of the same width of about 5 inches while the bottom rail is kept wider, of 9 to 10 inch width. Only single-leaf doors are used these days. Double leaf doors, once prevalent and suitable for provision of sliding bolts are no more used. The main door of the house is however of bigger width and can be a double leaf door. 

Wood panel material: The door panels can either be in wood or decorative plywood. Wood panels are not only heavy but costly also as wood is costlier than the decorative plywood. No doubt, the provision of wood panels makes doors sturdy but these become quite heavy for the hinges and their cost also goes up. Decorative plywood panels look more elegant and classy than wood panels. Teak finish plywood should be chosen for the door panels as nothing else matches its elegance. In teak plywood, ornamental decorative veneer slices are used on its face to make the plywood look like teakwood. The teak wood finish can be on one face of the plywood or on both faces. Mostly, people choose plywood with one face of it having teakwood finish. Further, while choosing the teak finish plywood boards one should ensure that the teakwood grains shown in the finish are similar on all the boards. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to select all plywood boards having similar grain finish as some have straight grains while others have curved grains. One should, therefore, spend good time in selecting similar looking ply boards. 

Design basics: Many house owners love simple, plain, teak finish panels in the doors. This design,  though simple, always looks good and never goes out of fashion. Others want lots of design work in the door panels. Whenever wood is used in panels, multiple panels are created in the doors, each panel having all four edges tapered into stiles. This design has become old now. A common design is to divide the single panel between stiles and rails in two vertical parts and then providing one panel in glass and other in teak finish ply board. Many of the door designs have a central, thin, glass panel with carving in wood around it. 

Design features: While finalising the door design, floral designs should be avoided. Images of deities carved in wood should also be avoided. These are very costly and don’t look good. Any kind of alphabets should also be avoided. Emphasis should be on choosing geometrical designs created by grooves in the ply boards. Use of curves should be lesser than that of straight lines. Care should be taken that the grooves created in the panels are not too wide or too deep. Wide and deep grooves invite dust which is  difficult to remove. With the passage of time, dust filled in the grooves begins to give an ugly look. Prefer to choose one large panel between the stiles and rails with an attractive design created by providing grooves. 

Beading around the panels: The provision of tapered and designed wooden beading around the periphery of door panels increases the overall beauty of the doors extensively. Choose the beading design and size carefully. Same design of beading should be followed for all the doors in the house. 

The quality and variety of wood used in the beading should be the same as that for the doors. Go for a new design instead of the ones available in the market as these become common very soon. Once the design is finalised, the carpenters get the 'bit' prepared for the same and thereafter, the job of preparing required lengths of beading can be  done easily. Thin lengths of wood saved during fabrication of frames and shutters can be utilised for making the beading and carpenter can produce the required quantity of beading in one  or two days. It is preferable to get the beading fabricated from the carpenter instead of buying readymade from the market.

Choose the colour and finish: Howsoever beautiful design we may provide in the doors, these won't look beautiful unless special attention is paid to the finish of the surfaces and colour of the polish on the doors. Machines now available with the carpenters enable them to produce doors having high dimensional precision and finest finish. Doors are now protected with PU coatings which enhance beauty and protect the wood from stains, water, spills and chemicals. Choose a dark colour but ensure that it doesn't hide the natural grains of the wood and the panels. 

— The writer is HOD and Engineer-in-Chief, Civil Engineering Department in a Punjab PSU

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