When building a home for a client, or renovating their existing living space to breathe new life into it, there are a lot of things to consider. Lighting, flooring, overall space usage, and more are primary areas to focus on.
However, the interior doors within that space are just as important, and it’s not as simple as grabbing whatever is within budget and installing them.
Interior doors add a lot to the atmosphere and overall appearance of a home, and they deserve to receive the same amount of care and attention that you’d give to any other feature you’re implementing.
Today, we’re going to help you better understand how to choose interior doors. We’re going to provide several tips to help you settle on an interior door style, choose options that meet the functional needs of your client, and keep you within the project’s budget effectively.
Let’s get started.
Determining the Right Overall Style for Your Client’s Interior Doors
First and foremost, the style of the door is crucial. Every home is going to have a general design theme, and if the doors don’t match that theme, it throws off the overall atmosphere and visual quality of every room in the house.
If your team has a designer on it, they’ll be of great help with this step. They understand design trends, what matches certain décor, and how everything comes together to create a coherent room design. If not, consulting with a designer or your supplier is a great idea.
In general, it’s a fairly straightforward process. You don’t want modern contemporary doors in a rustic home, barn doors in a standard cookie-cutter house, or other obviously mismatched design styles. The details of how a door’s visual appearance enhances or clashes with the rest of the home are a little more nuanced, though.
It’s also crucial to understand exactly what each room needs. Even with an overarching theme for the entire home, it might not be appropriate to use the same model of door for every interior space. Depending on other design aspects, you might need to choose different door models for different rooms.
For example, if you’re using an elaborate rustic door model for all the bedrooms, it might be out of place for a hall closet or the entrance to a washroom. Likewise, if you have a room such as an adult gaming room, you might want to accent that room’s more luxurious nature with a more elaborate door even if rather simplistic options are used everywhere else.
Covering the Functional Needs of Your Clients
It doesn’t matter how nice a door looks in an area if it doesn’t functionally meet the client’s needs. So, that has to be taken into consideration when choosing interior doors.
Durability and various resistances are going to be key focuses here.
In general, it’s always best to go with a high-quality door and not cut corners. You’ll get the best performance possible, the door will last a long time, and your client will appreciate it. However, since budgets are major considerations in these types of projects, it’s sometimes necessary to prioritize certain things.
If a door is likely to see a lot of traffic, there are several factors to consider.
First, the door needs to be robust. A hollow plywood door might be cheap, but it’s not going to last long when it’s the entrance to a kitchen, the den, or something else that is highly trafficked.
In that case, you want to focus more of the doorway budget on a quality door option that can handle normal daily abuse, such as custom wood doors.
That doesn’t mean every door needs to be built to withstand constant opening and closing or the bumps of daily life. A washroom, hall storage area, and other entryways that typically aren’t used constantly can be outfitted with more cost-effective doors reliably. Whether or not they meet the visual needs of the project is another topic, though.
Does the Room Need to Remain Open?
In some cases, it might be necessary to implement a double-door system that closes off the room partially. Usually, the kitchen is a great example of this. If the kitchen is walled off, something like a Dutch door with independently opening top and bottom halves can be a useful addition. It allows the homeowner to close off the bottom half and keep pets, children, and others out of the kitchen, but they can still open the top half to communicate, hand out plates, etc.
This can also be a consideration in rooms that attach to areas children will be in. We’ll use a child’s bedroom for example.
Parents with young children might want their children in their rooms for different periods, but being able to keep an eye on them is still important. If you’re building the home from scratch without an end-user in mind, it’s difficult to know if that’s appropriate. However, when building a home for the end user, or when renovating a home for someone, that might be a door option to run by them.
Is Water a Problem?
If you’re adding a door to a laundry room, bathroom, water heater appliance room, kitchen or anything that’s going to produce water, taking that into consideration is crucial.
Wood is the most common material for interior doors, but it’s also the most susceptible to water damage.
It’s important that you choose doors for these areas that are made from species resistant to water damage, and the finish of the door should also add to its water resistance.
If not, the beautiful home you built can start causing problems for the client in a short period of time when excess moisture warps their doors.
Obviously, this isn’t a concern with living rooms, bedrooms, and other rooms that aren’t exposed to extremely heightened moisture levels regularly.
It’s also not a situation where if you choose the wrong door, it just disintegrates or anything like that. However, if you want to provide the highest quality results possible for your client, then considering this factor is necessary.
The Likelihood for Damage to Occur
Certain doorways are going to be more prone to abnormal damage than others. Think of how often people change furniture, and when they’re bringing their new furniture into a room, they scrape the door, force the furniture through it, and cause damage just trying to get the furniture in.
That’s something the homeowner needs to think about when buying furniture, and they need to consider taking the door down to move large items in, in the first place.
However, you can make their home experience better by understanding which rooms are likely to cause the most problems and using doors that are resistant to gouging, scratches, and breaks in those doorways.
Primary spots are bedrooms, entertainment rooms, and dens. That’s where large bed frames, tables, couches, and more tend to be moved into, and those are the primary causes of such damage.
This can be a non-issue if you simply use robust doors for every entryway, but again, the budget is important. Prioritizing these doors that are more likely to see serious abuse can help you minimize your client’s problems later on while saving money for other parts of the project.
The Importance of Client Input in Door Choice
If you’re building a home for a housing development, and you don’t know who is going to end up in it, this is less of an issue. You’ll have a project plan, and you can simply follow that.
However, when you have a client who you’re renovating or building specifically for their use or needs, it’s sometimes better to forego choosing doors for the project entirely. Instead, it can be useful to get direct input from the client and figure out exactly what they want.
To do this, the client needs to be able to describe the door styles they want or provide references, and then you need a supplier who can craft doors to those exact specifications. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of the project, and you can trust that you’re providing a result the client will want.
If you fully want to comprehend how to choose interior doors for clients, you need to understand that there are some minor drawbacks to this, though.
First, it typically takes longer to get the product when it’s custom. It needs to be made from scratch instead of plucked off a shelf and shipped out. That can put you behind on project deadlines in some situations, and you’ll want to put in an order earlier in the project; not a week or two before the contracted deadline.
Then, there’s the increased cost. This varies by supplier, but in general, it costs more to make something specifically for you than it does to get a shelf-ready product. With some projects, there’s enough budget to not worry about this. Usually, it’s something you have to use for prioritized areas.
Finally, because the door is customized, you need to know that it’s exactly what your client truly wants, and you need to trust the supplier to get the job done right. There’s no room for shipping it back and getting a replacement.
Finding a Supplier When Choosing Doors for a Client
When you’re buying doors to put into a client’s project, you need to worry about the supplier a lot more than you do when you buy any sort of product for yourself.
You have a lot more on the line. You have to worry about deadlines, project costs, the client’s requirements, and the quality of the product.
Going through normal purchasing channels, such as a big box home store, puts you at a major disadvantage. You only get to choose what’s on the shelf, quality can be hit or miss, and you don’t get any benefits that align with your position as a professional.
Instead, you want to work with a supplier who is dedicated to specifically helping people in your line of work. Whether you’re an architect, designer, contractor, or anything similar.
Here are the traits you need to look for.
1: Specifically Aimed at Professionals
Your supplier shouldn’t be a “general public” supplier. They need to have experience working with professionals like you, because they’ll understand the various issues you have to worry about throughout your project, and they’ll help you navigate those problems.
They’re also typically better priced because they can sell you doors in larger numbers instead of one-off replacement doors like most general public customers need.
2: Comprehensive Service Capabilities
You likely build homes or take on projects over a large area, and you never know when something is going to pop up during a project.
As such, your door supplier should have a comprehensive support network that can quickly respond to last-minute orders, guide you through issues, and generally support their product in a way general public stores can’t.
3: In-House Shipping Network
Shipping is a lot more important for you than it is for normal consumers. You don’t just get irritated when a shipment is delayed. You miss project deadlines and goals.
Ensuring that your supplier has an in-house shipping network is key. That means that they operate the shipping side of the business instead of outsourcing it to shipping companies.
The supplier won’t have to wait for your order to get picked up or stop along thousands of stops for other customers, they can control the routes taken to ensure efficiency, and they can put in the extra effort to ensure that the product arrives flawlessly.
This cuts back on a lot of hassles, and it helps your project overall.
4: A Large Selection
We went over the basics of choosing a design style and other aspects of door buying, but a big part of achieving that is having a large selection to choose from in the first place.
Otherwise, you’re not going to find what you need, and you’ll have to make sacrifices that affect your project’s results.
Get The Right Interior Doors for Your Clients with Stately
If you’re choosing interior doors for a client’s project, Stately is your go-to source. Not only do we offer everything we listed above, but we also have in-house designers and team members who can look at your project and point you toward the perfect door model.
If you want the right doors, doors for builders, manufacturers, and suppliers, doors that will satisfy your clients and elevate your project execution process – contact us today. We have all the answers to all your problems!