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Barbra installs mid century style front doors from Therma-Tru’s new line

mid-century-door-before-and-afterWhen reader Barbra bought her 1959 ranch home in 2010, she was in love with all of its original features — except one. The main entry doors were glass sliders that could not be unlocked from the outside — forcing her to use the side entry to come and go. The sliding glass doors were not only inconvenient, but also did little to keep the Florida heat at bay. Barbra knew the doors needed to be replaced, but couldn’t bring herself to install doors that didn’t fit the style of her home, so she diligently searched for a pair of vintage doors at local salvage yards. After years of searching without result, Barbra was thrilled to see our story about the new Pulse line of mid century modern doors from Therma-Tru — at last providing her with a solution to her front door dilemma.

mid-century-glass-sliderBarbra writes:

In 2010, I fell in love with a 1959 ranch style house and I’ve been working on it since.  It still has the original pink bathroom (and the original green and yellow one too), as well as all the original kitchen cabinets.

Unfortunately, it also still had the original sliding glass doors for the front entry way. Not only were they not energy efficient, but they also had NO locking mechanism on them. The original pinch pleat drapes in the living room hid them on the inside, and a side door was being used as the main entrance.

I needed to replace the sliders, but I did not want to just put new generic double doors in their place. I wanted something that would look like it belonged.

Thank goodness for your post on Therm-Tru’s new line of doors! It was the answer to my prayers! I’m not joking in that I was becoming obsessive bordering on compulsive in looking on Craigslist and visiting Habitat for Humanity to try to find a vintage replacement. I also considered Crestview, but I was concerned in that I would need to find my own contractor for the install, and the price was at the top end of my range, not including the install. Since I live in Florida, Therma-Tru doors had another plus — they are fiberglass — which makes them more energy efficient and not subject to swelling or mildew issues from the humidity.

Rather than working with a big box retailer, I found a local company that carries the Therma-Tru brand (listed on the Therma-Tru website). They use their own installers, and had favorable reviews from several of my favorite online review sites.

Mid-century-double-doorsI’d like to relate some horror story to show the pain and suffering I endured to justify that I waited THREE years to do this, but it was embarrassingly easy.  I went to the business, set-up an appointment for a measurement. The representative came to my house and measured the entryway. They ordered the door, made an appointment for the install, and when the day for installation arrived, in about 5 hours they had removed the old sliders and installed the new doors. They even handled the permits with the county for the door replacement.

As far as cost, the double doors were right around $1,000.00 and installation cost $600.00.

Now I have money left over for paint, house numbers and lighting fixtures!

Barbra — thanks so much for sharing your experience with the retro tribe. Your new doors look great. It is good to know that the door buying and installation process went smoothly. With the big expense of new doors taken care of, I’m sure you’ll be able to save up for some new paint and house numbers soon — the hardest part will be picking a color for your new front doors.

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  1. Cynthia says:

    Barbra, great job, perfect practical solution AND perfect mid-century look. I’m in Florida too (South Florida, east coast)…would you mind giving at least the general area (such as county?) where you found this great house? In my area there is virtually nothing left with the beloved mid-century features…everything has been “updated” (i.e., stripped of character)…thank you and I hope you see this reply and that you feel comfortable giving me a hint on where to look!

  2. Cynthia says:

    Douglas, actually, in Florida it’s very unusual for the front entry to be a slider (a/k/a patio door). I’ve lived here for decades and been all over the state…first time I’ve seen such a thing on a house. Sometimes they were used on hotel efficiency apartments. My guess is that it was a “custom” feature requested by an original or prior buyer, or maybe even the builder, a northern transplant going overboard on what was once a novelty to the northerners building or buying homes in Florida…the sliding glass door. Those awning windows and the slider look like aluminum-framed originals from the late 50s or 60s, or possibly 70s replacements of 50s-60s jalousies.

  3. pam kueber says:

    Someone on the Facebook page suggested the original door may have been one door with two door-height sidelights. That sounded like it might be right…

  4. Awesome!! I put in an order for a singe version of the exact same door a few weeks (but with the handles on the door lites side) for our back door.

    I also looked into getting a Crestview but as we live in Canada the DIY requirement, cost, and hassle of shipping to Canada was a put the nail in the coffin for me.

  5. Doug says:

    Come north, Cynthia. There are still lots of wonderful midcentury modest homes everywhere from Melbourne to Jacksonville.

  6. Lisa says:

    Nice job on the doors, but Barbra, I want to see more pictures from a bit farther away! Pretty please?

  7. Barbra says:

    Cynthia – I’m in Hillsborough county – look in Brandon area and east county as a lot of that area was built up in the 1950s.

  8. Anastasia says:

    Also the fact that the doors are under a porch and were lock less point to them being original as well. The porch for cooling the house and such during the time. They also used trees for shade as well (probably long since cut or removed) Both lower the temp around the house by at LEAST 10 degrees and allow breezes through further cooling the space. Typical of the south. The glass doors was probably a “new fad” for the builder at the time. And the update (we no longer live in a time where we know EVERYONE in our neighbor and their extended families) is EXCELLENT! Well Done! This follow Pam’s Ideology of Getting the Expensive done right the first time, even if it means waiting a bit.

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