Please note: this page contains reviews and opinions sent in by
Berkeley Parents Network subscribers. Your
own experience may be different. Please always check references first!
Berkeley Parents Network >
House & Garden >
We've been working with Frameworks in Oakland to make a
Craftsman style front door which better fits the style of
our house than our current door. The door itself is wider
than usual (also making it heavier than usual), and is of
We want it to be stained to match our interior Doug Fir
doors. We're just having a hard time finding someone to do
the staining. (The person recommend by Frameworks would
charge almost as much as the door itself costs. Yipes.)
If you can recommend someone who does a good job, without
costing a fortune, and who can also (hopefully) stain the
door while it's on the hinges, we'd love to hear about
Thanks in advance.
I'd highly recommend Ken White at (415) 533-0999 - he
painted our interior, exterior, lacquered our cabinets and
is about to paint our front door. He also epoxied our
garage floor (which is way cooler to do than it sounds -
Anyway, he'll come in low on the bid because he's been doing
it for 30 years and he works for himself. He quick,
professional and just a nice guy.
We had a new door (and windows) made by Frameworks (isn't
Ralph the best?) and we loved the painters we used (we had
entire exterior of the house painted at the same time).
Antonio Chavarria of De Colores Painting was great to work
with and did a fabulous job staining our door. Check out
his yelp review
picture #7 of 7 is our house and we are the review from
Alameda. His price was competitive and the door looks
*great*--we are always getting compliments on it. Anon
I think you should ask Hans Stahlschmidt for a bid.
www.stahlschmidt- painting.com His guys did the most amazing
job staining and refinishing the wood panels in our dining
room, a 100 year old Craftsman. He is licensed and mid-range
in cost, but well worth it. You would be very happy if he
did your front door. Ginger
(Also see reviews for Window replacement/repair)
We have a beautiful old leaded glass front door that needs some
repair. We have installed a new lock but it looks like there
needs to be some veneer work done. The glass is all intact and in
very good shape so I believe we are only in need of wood repair.
I wonder if anyone can recommend a good carpenter for such a
I can highly recommend Carl Gaard for this and any finished
carpentry work- He has over 35 years of experience and has an
incredible design sense- He is also a color expert-
He is a great problem solver- he not only does carpentry, he
He has completely redone my house- and it looks stunning- it is
transformed- the colors he advised on and mixed (custom) look
incredible- as well as the moldings- and general changing around.
He is a one in a million!
His number is 510-410-6812
(editor: phone number corrected 7/5/2009)
Hi everyone. I just bought a condo and I need to change three
windows and a sliding door. For the sliding door I would love
to put a wooden French door. I know those are expensive and
I'm on a VERY low budget (I'm a single mom). But a French door
has always been my dream! Do you have any recommendations for
someone who wouldn't charge too much (the less the better) and
a place where I could find good, nice wooden French doors for
the least possible. Also, I should point out my door is about
10 feet long. I appreciate any help.
I would suggest going to door stores and pick out the brand and
style number of the doors you want. Phone many of the door
companies and check to get their pricing for the same door. I
found a large difference between companies on the pricing for
the same manufacturer. The cheapest I found and ordered was
from Dolan in Pinole, even cheaper than the other Dolan
stores. Checking around can save a bunch of money.
happy Dolan shopper
Re: Window replacemnet
I recently had a door installed by Ecore Contract (Bob Hodgson,
510-499-9234). They did great work, were very tidy and were very
considerate and polite.
I bought the door from V & W Patio Door, but I would NOT
recommend them. After they gave me a door that was not the one I
ordered, they told me basically that the fault was all mine and
that I had agreed to this other door, which was of course not
true. All rendered in a really offensive manner over the phone.
Then they refused to take back the door, so I'm stuck with it.
Awful customer service, complete lack of communication--don't buy
windows or doors from them!
We are interested in adding a second back door to our house.
Can someone tell me what this would entail? Do we need to get
permits? What kind of person would do this work - just a
general contractor? Any and all input welcome since we don't
know where to start. Thanks!
You should use a general contractor, and I am pretty sure that
when you create a new opening on any wall of your house, you need
a permit. You'll most certainly need an engineer to approve your
plans. We just completed a large-ish remodel. Part of it entailed
adding a door out of our dining room and adding small windows on
either side of our fireplace in the living room. That part of the
project was a bigger deal than I expected it to be. A few
inspections we required before we could close up the walls. My
contractor said that any time you open a hole in a wall, you
compromise the structural integrity of that wall and the county
building depts are picky about it being done right.
I have a square doorway that I want to make an arch. I am not
sure if it is even possible due to where the support beam may or
may not be placed. There is maple wood paneling on one side and
plaster on the other. Who do I call for a job like this? Do I
need a contractor or just a handyman? Any recommendations?
Needs a contractor?
Generally speaking, since you are not changing the width of the
doorway, duplicating the existing header framing but moving it
higher should do the trick. Sometimes it is wise to put up
temporary bracing to support the opening until the framing is
finished (not a big deal). There are various ways on how the
actual arch is created. You can get a prefabricated archway, such
as Easy Arch:
Which can be ordered through either Piedmont Lumber or Ashby
Lumber. The framing part has a difficulty rating of say, 6 or 7
on a scale of 10. The finishing part however, requires both
patience and experience, I'd say an 8 or 9 on the difficulty
scale. A building permit is probably required and you'll
definitely want someone experienced to do this. A licensed
contractor may be more expensive, but they are insured and you
have redress in case of a dispute. People who specialize in
remodeling are preferable because it requires patience to blend
the old with the new. Have them show you an example of having
had done this before and ask whether it was remodeled work or new
construction. A picture is worth a thousand words. Good luck!
I posed your question to my husband, a licensed
General Contractor. He said that if you want the top of your
arch to be above the level of your current doorway-top, it's
likely that you would need a General Contractor to do the work,
make a seamless transition to your existing walls, etc. If, on the other hand
you want the top of your arch to be level with your current
doorway-top, it's possible you could do the frame-removal,
build and patching yourself because it would likely be a
simpler project. Good luck with your project!
this page was last updated: Apr 24, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network