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Gateway to Luxury

Front Doors Making a Statement

A front door can define a home, and it's important for that door to fit the house in size, architecture, color, and style. Many people go into a store and choose a design they like, but once it's installed, they may be unhappy with its appearance. Or, they choose something so trendy that in five years, it will look out of date. 

"Our company wants customers to have a door that's going to stand the test of time," says Taylor Door Co. manager Brad Benigni. "We want to sell them a door that in 30 years still looks classic, so the home's architecture and style really matter to us. I'm very upfront with our customers and say while you might like this style or color of the door, it's not the right choice for your home." 
For example, in the early 2000s, he says everybody wanted a red door. While it may have looked great on a neighbor's house, it might not have looked right on someone else's because of the brick's color or the residence's style. 

The use of technology and the ability to show customers what the door will look like in their home after installation really help decision-making. "Many customers appreciate this guidance because they don't know what to choose, and there are so many options." 

Brad also always asks a lot of questions, such as "Are the lines of your homes straight, or do they have curves? What color are your shutters? What color is your siding?" He then shows customers various color palettes and other choices that go well with what they have.
"Front doors are not cheap, and homeowners want to invest the money and make a statement in their home knowing that it does help its value. Many people live in 30, 60, and 70-year-old houses. In the Grosse Pointe market, we have homes a hundred years old and more."
He says consumers, regardless of the home's age or style, consumers want low maintenance. However, that can only be found with fiberglass and wrought iron steel doors. Natural wood is not a low-maintenance product, which many customers need help understanding, but it can be made in any shape or size. 
On the other hand, fiberglass is maintenance-free but only comes in standard sizes. "That's where you run into a roadblock with fiberglass," he says. "If someone has a 40-inch wide door, they can only get that in wood and wrought iron. You can make it any style and size, which is important in older homes. And wood is still a more elegant product - you can paint it any color, stain it any color - it has almost every option available."
Unfortunately, the biggest downside again is the maintenance. "We live in Michigan, and it's a harsh exposure for any exterior wood product."
Another detail people like about wood and wrought iron is the weight. "People especially like wrought iron doors because those products are built like beasts. That's especially important to high-end clients."
Since fiberglass doors are inherently lighter than wood or iron doors, many manufacturers have added weight to higher-end products to give customers that same feel and experience. Fiberglass also comes with great warranties.
"Historically, wood and iron have been the cornerstones of luxury doors, and more modernly, fiberglass mimicking wood has other energy efficient options that make it a little bit more affordable with the same luxury feel," says marketing and creative developer Chelsea Dyer.
Not all fiberglass doors are made the same – there are different qualities, and homeowners need to ensure they are getting the best. "Therma-Tru is our main fiberglass door supplier, and they're the largest in America," says Brad. "We are their certified install dealer for Southeast Michigan."
Privacy is another factor when choosing a door. "We offer a ton of privacy glasses, which will look nice now and in the future," he says. "When rain glass came out, it was trendy, but today it looks more old school. We have to explain to our customers that they might like what they're picking out now, but they also need to like it in 10 years." 
So, what's a classic that will look good for many years to come? "Chinchilla and chord are probably our two most popular glass choices," says Brad. 
He also explains that the door is only the first part of the decision-making. There are so many options when it comes to the hinge color, the hardware, and the door knobs. "When people open a door, they're also grabbing that hardware and feeling that thickness and that lever action, which they equate with a higher-end feel." Everything needed can be found in the store's massive showroom. 
Brad and the entire Taylor Door Co. team look forward to educating returning and new customers. Brad's parents, Tom and Rosemary Benigni started the company over three decades ago, and Brad has been working with them for the last 25 years. He's expected to take over ownership soon and plans to continue to offer the same high-quality merchandise, experienced installers, and diverse product offerings, including windows, for which Taylor is known.


Doors can be made from fiberglass, wood and wrought iron, and each one has its various benefits, and in some cases, detriments. Fiberglass: Positives - Maintenance free, great warranties, holds up to harsh Michigan weather. Negatives - Can only be made in standard sizes. Wood: Positives: Beautiful and heavy, can be painted or stained any color, and made in any size. Negatives: Requires regular maintenance. Wrought Iron: Positives – Heavy-duty quality, can be made in any size and color. Negatives – Can be costly.

While something trendy may look good today, it’s important to choose designs and colors that will look great for years to come. It should also fit with the style and architecture of your home. Glass panels are still popular, but rain glass is out. Chinchilla and chord are classics that will stand the test of time. Red doors go in and out of style and don’t complement every house. When making decisions, take advantage of technology to be able to see exactly what your door will look like on your own house. Get experienced and knowledgeable input when choosing a front door so you’re happy with the end result today and in the future.

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