Our exterior door project at Christ Church Deer Park is done, and we went by to take some final photographs after the first snow.
The front doors are brand new, designed to bring light into the the entrance hall and to present an inviting face to the street.
The new doors are functionally superior to the originals - they open further, with much less effort, and they are equipped with a power operator making them easier to navigate. Ease of use was a prime goal for the church throughout the process as the original doors were heavy and awkward, and consequently were often propped open during services - even in winter!
We installed another pair of new doors on the south side of the church, the main barrier-free entrance to the sanctuary. These doors are equipped with improved hardware - both leaves are now active and a there's a new power operator. Like the front doors these are glazed to let in the sunlight.
Five other original doors around the outside of the building were restored during the project. All the original doors were stave construction (a thick white oak veneer over an inner core glued up from separate pieces of solid wood), typical for 1922 or so when they were fabricated. Despite their appearance, all the doors were internally sound and restorable - although one proved to have been previously repaired with poor-quality plywood veneer which had to be completely removed and replaced.
The restoration work consisted of stripping the finish on the exterior side, patching damaged area of veneer with carefully matched inserts, re-gluing where required (mostly at the bottom edges), and applying a number of coats of a carefully selected premium varnish. On the interior, we elected to repair the original finish and top-coat it, a minimum-intervention strategy that helps preserve and protect the heritage fabric. The existing hardware was mostly cleaned and re-used, although there were a surprising number of bits missing that had to be replaced.