Finding a person who specializes in a specific trade can be daunting. Seven of our home projects I have turned to Craigslist, and with the exception of one, I have been really pleased with the results. My trade seeking developed after a major freak hail storm that hit our area hard about three years ago. Since then, I have discovered skilled workers to refinish the cool deck around our pool (that one is my exception...really wasn't the best job), an AlumaWood pergola, upholstery for two wingback chairs my mom gave us, wood window shutters, our massive built in book shelves and storage, our home security system and finally our new steel security door. I had to write a post about the security door, because I am so pleased at the results.
So, my method basically works like this: I get a really good idea of what I am looking for. "A good idea" entails pictures, colors, dimensions, materials, price range, etc.. For example, the cool deck repair, I had dozens of pictures taken from the Internet of what I was looking for and somewhat of an idea about cost. Next, I contact as many tradesmen that I think will be a good fit in terms of 1) price (for our budget), 2) quality (usually have a portfolio of previous work completed), and 3) service (generally this is fast response time, trust, and communication).
Specifically, for this door, I originally saw a special order door at Lowes. I've had my eye on it for about 2 years now as the purchase was not much of a priority. Well, our neighbors were just recently robbed (we live in a descent neighborhood--our last neighbor lived in the same house for 11 years by herself with no trouble at all!), so it seemed like a reasonable time to purchase a security door and beef up our home security alarm system. Back to the door. I knew from a bit of research that there are basically two frame types for security doors: Laser cut and the thicker steel bars. You can customize the interior covering of the frame to be glass, a lighter screen that is flexible or a hard steel mesh screen. The Lowes door was by a local company called Titan and their quote for a laser cut door with the hard steel mesh was a little over $1,800. Our budget needed to be under $800 for materials and install. The hunt began.
I started emailing 5 different people off of Craigslist. One email looked like this:
Hi There, If you are able, we are looking to get an approximate estimate for an standard (36" x 80") entry security door. I am looking for a style similar to this:
Please let me know when you can.
Then, the emails came. We went with a gentleman located near us that gave us an estimate in our budget and seemed eager to show us his quality at his own home. Obviously, you do not want to go to some stranger's house alone. My husband and I stopped by his house and were pleased with his work. He was ready immediately to come over and measure. He followed us home and we went over colors, placement and handle options. He said it would be ready in about a week! Shocking because Titan was going to take at least 6 weeks to be ready for install.
Anyways, let us get to the pictures!
Loooove the way the light shines in through the inside.
For paint color we went with Rust-Oleum Multicolor Texture in Rustic Umber.
Isn't it kinda art deco, kinda craftsman, kinda modern? Can you get a little sense of Frank Lloyd Wright?
One thing we noticed upon meeting Oliver, is that he is a perfectionist. Remember, I gave him a teeney picture from the internet. From there he formulated three CAD configurations of what the door would look like.
Not only is he a perfectionist, but this man works HARD. He arrived at our home for install around 10:00 am with his trailer and I am baffled as to how he was able to get this beast of a door to our front porch alone (I offered to help, but he refused). He left about 3:00 pm because the door had to be.....perfect. And, it really is. I can be a tad ;) critical when it comes to design and structural details and design wise it is beautiful. Structurally is closes BEAUTIFULLY. If you know how tricky doors can be to install, the "open" and "close" really determines the accuracy of measurements and levelness (if that's a word) of a structure.
I am including Oliver's contact information if you are in need of a metal tradesman. Note: Oliver did not ask for me to write this or is compensating me for writing it (though he did offer!). He is really just that good. Contact through Craigslist Here. Or through his website Here.
I wish the weather wasn't so hot. I am eager to keep the wood entry door open all the time so I can look at it from the inside.....but, that would be a wasted foolish expense! An Arizona November cannot come soon enough. I'll just keep walking outside to look at it from the street.
Thanks, Oliver! You are an artist!
Also, if you would like contact information in Arizona for wood window shutters or home security systems feel free to email me.