FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I get pricing?
Please call, fax, or email us with approximate sizes and a description of your needs. If you want doors or intricate windows, a rough sketch is VERY helpful!
Can’t I just go to your price list?
We make so many different products, with almost limitless variations. Literally, pricing is done by adding in all of the different components along with a labor cost.
I call and I always get voice mail, why don’t you answer the phone?
As the message indicates, we are busy in the shop. If we are close to the phone , we DO answer. Please, leave your name and number – speak slowly and clearly. Your call will be returned.
How long is the lead time?
This depends – on what you need, and what our existing backlog is when you are ready to order. Please remember, we are a small shop, and our products require much labor. Our normal backlog is 4-6 weeks, but that grows to 8-10 weeks in the fall. Also, very large jobs can monopolize our shop. So please take this into account when planning your project – we would love to work with you!
Can you restore our existing doors or windows?
We fabricate and duplicate new products to duplicate your existing We use solid, decay resistant wood and modern weather strips, thresholds, and glazing. Or we can use historic glazing, weather stripping, thresholds, and solid, decay resistant wood. Please notice the emphasis on solid wood. We can stand behind our products while restoration can be unpredictable. In Western Pennsylvania our plentiful moisture enables wood fungi to weaken and break down wood. Even using the best restoration epoxies, you are bonding to aged, weakened wood – which will be the weak link. The paints and glazing putties on old sash and doors are hazardous and must be dealt with if repairs are attempted. Factor in the expense of labor, materials, reglazing, and keep in mind you have compromised wood strength – it makes sense to reproduce your windows and doors.
Will you come out to measure?
Once we have given you a quote on your order, yes we will measure. It is always best to have the installing carpenter at this meeting, so their input can be accommodated.
What are your payment terms?
Our standard terms are 1/2 deposit to begin production, with the balance due upon final delivery. We accept checks, however we do not accept credit cards – our volume with these is very low, so our costs are very high – around 25% !
So you deliver?
Yes, within western PA. Delivery means that we will come to your site with your goods on our truck, and we will get as close to your building as possible. You must provide the manpower to take your goods from our truck to wherever you would like them placed.
Do you install?
The majority of our business is done with companies that have their own carpenters, and we do not compete with them. We can supply you with the names of several reputable and experienced finish carpenters, who will be happy to handle your installation needs. Remember, unlike, vinyl products (for example), there are many different ways that wood windows and doors can be installed and trimmed.
Can I get my doors/windows clad on the exterior?
We do not believe it is a good idea to clad wood products – if the cladding opens at a joint (which frequently happens), the unfinished wood underneath decomposes quickly. Even if we did think that it was useful, with the choices of shapes, profiles, and differing stile and rail dimensions that we offer – claddings would be very costly to produce.
But isn’t maintenance free a great idea?
Maintenance free also means non-maintainable. There is nothing that you can do to prolong the life of the product – when it fails, you must replace it. If you maintain the goods that we fabricate for you, you can expect a lifetime of service.
Will you design a door – window – whatever for my house?
Design is purely subjective. If we told you our favorite flavor ice cream – but you don’t like, for example – butter pecan – no one is right or wrong. We will work with you to focus on design elements that you prefer, and the design usually follows quickly. If there is a longevity or operational problem with your design, we will of course let you know, and probably decline to manufacture the product with that design aspect. Your involvement in designing a product for your property will be fulfilling and a source of pride for you. Of course, you can hire an architect or designer to make the selection for you. Historically though, entry doors can be quite different than all other architectural details of a structure – even quite different from adjacent sidelites!
Will you finish these doors with ______ color paint on the outside and_______ color stain on the inside?
We can supply our products either unfinished or primer painted both sides. Finished goods will usually require much touching up after transport and installation, and stains are VERY difficult to match off site, under different lighting condition. Therefore it is in the customer’s best interest to finish the doors and windows on site.
What is the proper finishing method?
3 coats is mandatory – for paint, that means one coat of primer, and two of finish paint. For clear finishes, the first coat is usually a thinned sealer coat, again with two coats of finish. Clear finishes, while showing the beauty of the wood, are usually not as durable as paint, and therefore will need to be maintained more frequently. Click HERE for more detailed finishing information.
You mean finishing does more than just look pretty?
A brief overview of wood stability and decay is in order. The woods that we use are all kiln dried, to a very specific range of moisture content (usually 6 -10%). This content has been determined (over centuries!) to allow the best stability and strength for a particular wood. Changes in moisture cause woods to move (warp, twist, expand and contract).
Wood decay is a series of fungi that are airborne, and omnipresent. These fungi require three things to begin growing: food (the wood), air (or oxygen), and at least 25% moisture content. Wood that never gets wet, will not decay – there is no such thing as “dry rot” of wood. The fungus simply cannot grow in kiln or air dried wood that remains under 25% moisture content.
PROPER FINISHING ACCOMPLISHES TWO THINGS: FIRST, THAT YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS WILL NOT WARP OR TWIST, AND SECONDLY- THAT YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS CAN NOT BEGIN TO DECAY!
Our shop has provided goods destined for historic projects in Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Maryland, New York and throughout Pennsylvania. We have been involved in new structures as far away as Westport, Connecticut and Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.
We have the ability to produce a variety of door designs: Single doors, French style doors, Dutch doors, textfolding doors, storm doors, screen doors, combination storm/screen doors, and even garage doors – all with various shapes and muntin patterns are all within our capabilities.
Unusual window designs such as very large double hung, inswinging casement, hopper style, large awning style, central pivot, various shapes and muntin patterns, historic storm sash, and bent glass are all within our capabilities.