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.


  1. Lisa says:

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

  2. 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.

  3. Jen8 says:

    Exact same door that is original to my 1940s ranch! Is the glass fancy? Mine is vertical ribbed.

  4. What a difference! Those new doors look great! (and like it would be very easy now to bring enormous pieces of furniture in if one wanted…always a plus! : ) )

    1. Robin, NV says:

      One of the best things about my house is that it has an enormous sliding glass door to the back patio, which leads to the rear gate (a big one), which leads to the alley. When we moved in, we backed the moving truck right up to the back step, lowered the ramp into the dining room and simply walked stuff right into the house. No step to worry about and everything fit throught the door, no problem. It was bliss.

  5. Brian T says:

    If I were Barbara, I’d be calling my insurance company to see whether I could get a rate reduction. Those new doors would be way harder to bust down if a burglar wanted to get in.

  6. pam kueber says:

    Hey, everyone, can we keep the comments regarding Crestview… civil. Based on what I’ve read, and from what I know about the market, I can understand what I *think* is the rationale for their decision: Considering the evolution of mid mod, including now that mass marketers are coming in to the market, Crestview needs to redefine where and how they can compete. Case in point: These Therma-Tru doors: I can’t imagine how a small firm can compete against the marketing muscle and distribution network of a mass marketer like this.

    Crestview has always been a very hands-on, labor-intensive-sounding enterprise … focused on fine craftsmanship. To make a business and survive, you must be able to make money. Moving “up market” to handle high end customers who can afford what it costs for this kind of service — is totally understandable.

    So, I understand.

    They gotta do what they gotta do.

    Let’s all wish them well. They were pioneers. Kinda like this blog, I like to think! I think we started right about the same time.

    So let’s be kind. Okay?

    1. 52PostNBeam says:

      I would be interested in seeing an interview with them, maybe 6 months from now, regarding their company story, decisions and more importantly the results. I bet a lot of people would like to know more about the mid mod market. For instance – did Viking’s line of St. Charles cabinets, clearly tailored for upscale success, actually pay off? (they are discontinued now, but we don’t know any of the reasons why)… ditto for Formica’s retro reissues, etc. Some case studies of the business side of “mid mod mad” would be good content. The business model is a tough nut to crack when the vast majority of goods bought and sold in this niche are from the “secondary market.”

      1. Allen says:

        Good Thought! I would like to have research on this information as well just to see where companies are coming from.

      2. pam kueber says:

        Great thoughts, 52. I would think there is a distinct difference vis a vis St. Charles: St. Charles depended on a distribution network. Crestview sells direct-to-customer. And, St. Charles’ product — a whole set of kitchen cabinets — was way more of a headache to produce for a demanding high-end customer than it woudl be for Crestview to produce its produce — a single door.

        My guess is that the complexity of cabinet-making and -selling, combined with the complexity of working through a distribution network, killed the latest iteration of St. Charles.

        Interestingly, the European market, maybe especially Italy, seems to still have steel cabinets. I think you still get them, but they are very very high end.

  7. June Cahill says:

    Ooohhhh, YES! That’s the ticket! And FL – where you need to get a permit to change your door? Unreal!:(

    Love the look and the choice – the gov’t interference I could do without!

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