Your dream home is coming together. After agonizing over choices about windows and stucco and driveway paving stones, you're starting to see the results each day when you visit the building site. Soon workers will install the carpet, tile, crown moldings and lighting fixtures you spent hours selecting. You're sure that not a single detail has been overlooked.
What about doors? "Of course," you're thinking. It took weeks to find just the right lead-glass sidelights for the front entry, and you couldn't be happier with the sliding French doors leading from the breakfast nook to the back patio. What about interior doors? "Interior doors?" you ask. "Well, doors are doors. How many choices can there be?" The answer may surprise you.
First, why should you care about interior doors? They don't contribute to a house's curb appeal. True, the outside world may never get a look at your doors, but you will, day in and day out for however long you own your home. With an average of 16 doors in every home, there's plenty to look at. Changing doors because you've grown tired of them isn't as easy as changing the color of the walls or even the carpet, so it's important to make the right choice from the start.
Where do you begin? The first rule when choosing doors is to make decisions early and be sure your builder knows your preferences. The designer of your home may already have made certain choices regarding types of interior doors. Blueprints for your house may designate pocket doors in some locations and double doors in others. Entrances to some rooms may be left completely open. However, such decisions are not set in stone. Most builders will be able to accommodate your personal tastes if you let them know early enough in the building process. The installation of pocket doors or double doors especially requires early notification so that wall framing can be adjusted accordingly.
Second, choose the door that's most appropriate for the room entrance. French doors lend a classic touch to any home, but you probably don't want them leading into your bedroom. However, French doors are the perfect choice for the entrance to a sun room, between formal living spaces or even between a master suite's sleeping chamber and private bath.
An elegant pocket door can effectively seal off a formal dining room from the sights and sounds of a busy kitchen. A pocket door is doubly effective in this case: it takes up no space in rooms where space is traditionally at a premium, and it eliminates the chance of swinging a hinged door into the person carrying the 20-pound holiday turkey!
Finally, don't be afraid to use your imagination. Stop thinking of doors from a strictly utilitarian point of view and start thinking of them as accessories that dress up a room, or what door manufacturer Jeld-Wen calls "furniture for the wall." Doors with raised panels add depth and interest. A French door offers a tantalizing glimpse at life beyond its threshold. A beautiful set of double doors can create a grand entrance, making you feel as though you're being ushered into the space beyond, be it a formal living room or a romantic master suite. Manufacturers are doing amazing things with colors and textures, too, so that no matter what style of home you build, you're sure to find the door that's a perfect complement.
So you see, there is a lot to consider when choosing interior doors. Remember to start early in the building process, to choose the door that's right for the room and to be creative. In doing so, you open up a world of possibilities for adding value to your home and a touch of the extraordinary to your everyday life.