Hinges Matter

The poor lowly hinge... It gets no respect really. Often overlooked or undersized for the job, the hinge that holds your door up is a key component of the door unit, and in every way as important as the door knob or the door. I often see door units that were either built inadequately or not the right quality level for the job. Sometimes it's a small item in the context of an entire job, but it can make a huge difference in how things work.

cheap-hinge-thumbRecently, I got back from a job site that had some beautiful custom made Walnut doors installed in a few key rooms of a very expensive (think $3-4 million) home and was shocked to see these beautiful doors were hung in a cheaply made jamb that hung on two pairs of Chinese made Pennrod hinges that cost less than $0.79 ea. Wow, somebody screwed up! Proper quality hinges for an expensive door like this, should cost $7.50 each. Turns out, that's the way the millwork company that supplied the doors normally does it. Take it or leave it.
good-hinge-thumbWhile there is a place for economy grade hardware, this is not it I thought. When we build door units of this type - usually higher end jobs - we always use thicker one-piece jambs and commercial grade hinges known as "full mortise hinges".
hinges-comp-thumbSo whats the difference you ask? Well for starters, cheap Chinese hinges squeak after only a few months whereas high quality commercial grade will never squeak or bind, ever.
Jambs-drawing-thumbA quality heavy duty jamb will withstand a "good slamming" without breaking or getting distorted. It holds screws much better for the hinges and door knob so they will remain trouble free and will not come loose over time.
Alder-door-thumbThen there is the door. This was the best part of the entire unit. We had here a very well-made, solid Walnut door that would close with a solid feel. But such a heavy door could break the jamb or the hinges when it was slammed or closed forcefully.
Homebuilders often paint hinges on doors. Hinges were not designed to be painted really. The better ones come with beautiful finishes that are made to last, but cheap imports are usually finished with a cheap "plating" that is so ugly it really needs to be painted over.

And don't overlook the hardware that can make the exterior shutters on your home look stylish, not cheap. We use hardware forged here in the USA and the difference in quality really makes the shutters stand out. It's extra money well spent to hold your shutters up for a very long time. One homeowner that used our shutter hardware actually referred to the hardware as "jewelry" for her shutters.

Yes its that pretty... a look that's made to last.

 

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