Evaluating Hardware for Our Red Front Door

Yeah, the red front door hardware selection decision is taking too long.  Way too long.  Our cousin, Dean Grant, chided us for failing to make decisions. 

We need to order the hardware for our red front door.  This hardware includes the interior and exterior handles, the escutcheon plates (interior and exterior), the interior and exterior handles/levers, and the finish material (e.g., brushed stainless steel).

Our red front door is the entrance to our house, so we need to get it ‘right’.  Right?

Getting it wrong is not acceptable.

Insulating Our Red Front Door

We bought 598 sq ft of Aerogel’s SpaceLoft insulation.  It was delivered in a large roll and placed in our Garage.

Nathan Merrill, from American Ornamental Iron, needs the SpaceLoft insulation when he fabricates our red front door.  Nathan came to our job site this morning to pick up the Spaceloft insulation.  It was easy to load the entire roll in his truck, which he then took back to his shop.

Having the SpaceLoft insulation will allow Nathan to fabricate the door unimpeded.  He needs the shop drawings for the door hardware, which we need to select and order.

Selecting Door Hardware

Our choices for the door hardware include FSB and Valli&Valli.  While we like Valli&Valli, it has a long lead time.  The cost of the door hardware for either Valli&Valli or FSB is similar although Valli&Valli is higher.  Nathan warned us that there is a long lead time for door hardware and he explained that, once we selected the door hardware then we must obtain the shop drawings for that hardware so he can fabricate the door so the door hardware will fit.

The swinging glass door in the Kitchen has FSB hardware so we’d like the front door to match.  Today, we learned the difference between stainless steel and coated brass hardware.

Stainless Steel vs. Coated Brass

Most of the ‘smooth’ and rounded door hardware is made of brass, which is then coated with chrome and then brushed.  The finish of this hardware looks very similar to stainless steel. 

Stainless steel hardware is very angular and not as ‘soft’ as the brass hardware.  This is because stainless steel stock is cut and welded together, and then filed, brushed and polished.  Making round edges cannot be done easily with stainless steel.

Since we want stainless steel hardware, many of the alternatives that we like are not feasible.  If we want the rounded door hardware then it will be made of brass and have a brushed chrome finish.

Our roll of SpaceLoft insulation is loaded into the back of Nathan's truck.

Our roll of SpaceLoft insulation is loaded into the back of Nathan's truck.

We decided to move the entire roll of insulation to Nathan's shop so it would be easier and faster for Nathan to use when insulating the door and the door frame.

We decided to move the entire roll of insulation to Nathan's shop so it would be easier and faster for Nathan to insulate the door and the door frame.

The roll of SpaceLoft insulation next to the door, which is being fabricated by American Ornamental Iron.

The roll of SpaceLoft insulation next to the door, which is being fabricated by American Ornamental Iron.

Side view of the door, showing the four Soss hinges that will support the 260 lb door.

Side view of the door, showing the four Soss hinges that will support the 260 lb door.

Close up of the Soss hinge, in the open position.  Nathan made a pocket around each hinge so the SpaceLoft Insulation will not impede the hinge at all.  Note the additional bracing (gusset) to support the hinge.

Close up of the Soss hinge, in the open position. Nathan made a pocket around each hinge so the SpaceLoft Insulation will not impede the hinge at all. Note the additional bracing (gusset) to support the hinge.

Soss hinge in the closed position.  These hinges are invisible and will not be seen from the interior or exterior, providing a very clean and simple look for our red front door.

Soss hinge in the closed position. These hinges are invisible and will not be seen from the interior or exterior, providing a very clean and simple look for our red front door.

We ordered Maze nails from White Cap Construction Supply.  They arrived at the job site this morning.

We ordered Maze nails from White Cap Construction Supply. The nails were delivered to our job site this morning.

These nails will be used on our shake roof.  The fire treatment in the wood shakes is very corrossive so we decided to use stainless steel nails.

These nails will be used on our shake roof. The fire treatment in the wood shakes is very corrossive so we decided to use stainless steel nails.

FSB hardware on our swinging door in the Kitchen.

FSB hardware on our swinging door in the Kitchen.

Profile of the door handle, which we would like to match with the front door.

Profile of the door handle, which we would like to match with the front door.

This is the door handle in the FSB store display.

This is the door handle in the FSB store display.

Similar door handle offered by Valli&Valli (except with a polished chrome finish).

Similar door handle offered by Valli&Valli (except with a polished chrome finish).

Valli&Valli display rack.  Maybe we like Valli&Valli because of the bright red display, which matches our red front door?

Valli&Valli display rack. Maybe we like Valli&Valli because of the bright red display, which matches our red front door?

This is the interior door handle that we selected, as it is made with stainless steel.

This is the interior door handle that we selected, as it is made with stainless steel.

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