Make A Lasting Impression With A New Door


Many people may not be able to buy a dream home or do a complete home remodel in the current slow economy, but one affordable way to spruce up a house is to replace the front door. It is one of the first objects a person sees when coming to a house and the last when leaving.

New and refurbished doors not only add character, but can add value to a home. Whether it is mahogany, knotty alder, red or white oak or rustic hardwood, homeowners have a variety of options to choose from.

Eric Miner, owner of Lassen Ridge Doors in Chico, has been in the door business for 20 years. Miner used to work consistently on doors for new homes, but with the economic hit to the home construction industry over the last few years, he now focuses more time on remodels.

Many people deciding to stay in their current home opt to switch out the front door, which not only updates the house, but adds curb appeal. Miner has built beautiful custom front doors for mid-range to high-end homes. “I want people to be thrilled with what they are looking at,” he says. “It is a statement piece that can be as beautiful as furniture.”

Chico resident Peter Berkow recently had an appraisal done on his home and wanted to make a good first impression on the appraiser. The front door was drab, so Miner helped him figure out a way to make it attractive in a cost-effective way by etching a design in the double-paned class. “His work was quick and artistic,” Berkow says. “When the appraiser came, he immediately commented on the warmth of the house and friendly door.”

Traditional solid hardwood mahogany and rustic older front doors are popular right now. They come prehung and prefinished with a lot of different options. Stained wood doors with frosted glass is another top choice. “I do a lot of art glass where I etch the glass,” Miner says.

art-0313-door2Pantry doors can be replaced with etched glass designs such as grains or other foods, or words such as “pantry” or “bon appetite.” A new trend Miner sees is custom wine cellar doors. People are turning pantries and closets into wine cellars, and are having doors with grape vines etched on the glass made for these; a wood frame door with full-length glass is another example of a small addition that can add value to a home.

Some doors Miner builds in his shop, others are bought and assembled, and all can be shipped nationwide. If a customer wants a stock door with custom glass it usually takes three weeks, depending on the complexity of the design.

For more information visit or or call (530) 897-0665.

Rick Guthrie, owner of Guthrie Door Inc. in Durham, is another craftsman who takes pride in making quality doors. Although the shop has been open for the last 12 years, Guthrie has been making doors for nearly all his life. He has a long list of designers and contractors he works with, and a lot of customers come to him through word of mouth.

Guthrie Door is a small company that focuses on high-end custom handcrafted entry doors. “It’s surprising how much it changes the look of a home,” Guthrie says. He starts by talking to a client to find out what he or she wants, and then shows what he has done for other clients. After getting the dimensions, wood type and glass preferences, Guthrie makes a small sample of the door. “I have ideas and then start creating,” he explains. “I finish, sand, style and design.”

Out of the huge variety of hardwoods available, knotty pine and rustic styles are the most popular at Guthrie Door. After applying an epoxy fill on the knots, the doors are sanded smooth. Guthrie says mahogany is also popular and is consistent with its grain as well as color. Superior alder is another popular choice that resembles a cherry finish.

Guthrie builds doors similar to ones built 100 years ago, and features turnkey entry systems offered in many architectural styles, made of solid wood with glass (beveled, leaded art, cast, etched, or textured patterns).

Hand-rubbed finishes, texturing and antiquing take time, but according to Guthrie, people can see and feel the difference between a door that is mass-produced and one that is custom made. The El Dorado and Del Norte designs are a couple of his personal favorites, and he shares that one of the most interesting doors he’s created is a 12-inch look-alike door hung next to an entry for “fairies” to access.

Although the shop is located in the Chico area, Guthrie will deliver anywhere. The custom finishing is time-consuming, and he needs an 8- to 12-week lead time to finish a door. See examples of Guthrie’s work at or call (530) 342-7442 for more information.

A new door is a relatively fast, easy and inexpensive way to upgrade a home, and with so many to choose from, the hardest part of the decision will be picking which one.

Kimberly Horg
About Kimberly Horg

Kimberly Horg has written articles on a variety of subjects.


  1. I’m really glad you included what kinds of woods are most popular for exterior doors! We’ve been wanting to get new doors for our home, and I think we may fall into the rustic style category you mentioned. Exterior doors add a lot to the appearance of a home in my opinion, and we want something that will help our home be unique! Thanks for the information!

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