There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a custom door to a home, storefront, or garage. Purchasers can source doors from a variety of companies, checking against pricing, style capabilities, wood species, stains, and hardware. But, when researching custom door builders, it’s a bit harder to compare apples to apples. That’s because there are a lot of factors that can’t be communicated on a price sheet or door profile list.

Some factors can only be discovered through experience. Asking the right questions can help you narrow your search and ensure you select the right builder for your custom door project. Here are the top things builders, contractors, and architects should consider when selecting a building partner:

1. A Turnkey Process

Is the same team that selects your material, also drafting your design and milling your door? Having one team involved improves accountability and limits the occurrence of miscommunications regarding design specifications. With Vintage Homes & Millwork, you can be sure the design you approved is ultimately what you’ll see delivered to your home or build site.

If you buy a stock door from a big box store, you know exactly what you’re going to get. But adding customizations or changes to make the door fit your structure’s design can get tricky. Working with a builder that has in-house millwork capabilities can be a big benefit, providing you with turnkey services and complete customization. Look for a custom door builder that offers in-house trim work, grid options, detailing, finishing and paints, hardware installation, and more.

2. A Reputation for Quality and Durability

Look for a builder who has a proven reputation of building doors similar to what you need. Ask questions about how the wood is sourced and the process used to prepare the material prior to building. For example, when working with natural lumber, Vintage Homes & Millwork doors are designed with kiln dried, quarter-sawn wood and use engineered side stiles for durability and strength. We layer quarter-inch pieces of wood, strategically positioned with the grains running in different directions, to form the core of each door. When compared to traditional solid wood construction, our technique minimizes points of weakness, reduces warping, and provides better thermal insulation. If your project calls for reclaimed wood, it’s import to understand if the builder has the right experience in sourcing and preparing the wood before starting your project.

3. Appropriate Technology

While doors have been around for millennia, the tools it takes to make them have certainly changed. Vintage Millwork and Restoration uses some of the best of today’s technology, coupled with old-world craftsmanship and attention to detail, to create beautiful custom doors. For example, our Nylon Brush Machine is able to clean and remove raised fibers of reclaimed wood so the resulting door keeps the rugged, reclaimed wood look but with a clean feel. This same machine can also distress natural wood to give it a reclaimed wood appearance.

Bottom line, look for a custom door manufacturer that has earned a reputation as a “go-to” resource for architects and custom builders. Ask about communication, quality control, attention to detail and a good response rate. When you call Vintage Millwork and Restoration ask us about our people, custom craftsmanship, technology, and our proven record of delivering a professional experience and unmatched end product.