Posts Tagged ‘door


know who you are

There are really two sides to Wilson Lumber.  There’s the side that most people know, that is, that we sell building materials to pro’s who are building and remodeling homes (although as frustrating as it is, most people don’t know that we sell a whole lot more than just lumber).

But then there’s the significant side of our business where we sell to homeowners.  Now most of our interactions with homeowners (at least in dollar volume) is with what you might call larger ticket items.  Replacement doors, decks, cabinets, etc.  Hence, our tag line “way more than lumber”.

Trex_transcend-decking-tiki-torch-lava-rock-circular-outdoor-furniture-black   McClel After   newhomeoffice1

Anyway, recently we have discontinued all electrical, plumbing and paint products (well, almost all).  It’s not that we didn’t enjoy selling this stuff, or even that we didn’t make money at it.  The problem was that we were not excellent at it.  And we believe that if you cant be excellent at something, you just shouldn’t do it.  Also, we realized that people don’t need us for that kind of stuff.  And we are perfectly OK with that.  It gives us more resources, energy and space for the stuff we are excellent at.

As if that is not enough, I attended a conference recently where I saw this particular study by the Farnsworth Group that I’ve previously written about.

Major Categories

Basically, professionals depend on us for Lumber, Millwork and Building Materials.  (I must admit, I thought lumber and millwork were building materials.  I guess they meant stuff like siding, brick, gypsum, etc.)  So, as we are excellent at those things, that is where we focus our resources.

You might notice on the study that only 3% of pro’s made their last paint purchase at a place like Wilson’s.  And only 15% for electrical and 4% for paint.  I guess I’m now wondering why we kept that stuff around as long as we did.  O well, hindsight is 20/20.

If you need any lumber, millwork or building materials, give us a call (256-852-7411) or visit our website.  And if you need electrical, plumbing or paint, we can refer you to someone excellent:)


5 Steps to a New Iron Entryway

I think that replacing your front door with an iron entryway could sound a bit intimidating.  I’ve had plenty of people ask me if they could do it, as if they’re asking for permission.  And I can tell you that even though it’s not a traditional material that doors are made out of, any door can be replaced with an iron door.  Here’s how:

New awesome iron door

Step 1: Walk outside to your front yard, turn around and look at your door and think, ‘hm, I think an iron door would be better’.  Any questions there?  I didn’t think so, moving on to step 2.

Step 2: Give us a call (or I suppose you could come see us).  Why would you go anywhere else with something this important?  Seriously, the reason it’s important to start here is so that we can get the right information to move on to the next step.  I should add here, we have a few guys here that have sold a bunch of these and know just what to look out for.

Step 3: We come to your house and measure.  Here is the thing with iron doors; there are certainly things that can go wrong with them.  Iron doors can come in special sizes (most we sell are made to order), with special styles, patterns and so forth.  And it’s our goal to make sure that if anything goes wrong, its our fault and not yours.  Now this very rarely happens but with something this big, it’s just best if we do the measuring.

Step 4: Pick out a door and order it.  OK, so this is sort of two steps but 5 sounds so much better than 6.  Anyway, I already mentioned that they are made to order.  But don’t worry if you’re afraid of too many choices, its easier than you think.  And if you do have a particular pattern in mind, we can probably make it happen.

Step 5:  We come and install it.  The time it takes to get these doors in is a matter of a few weeks, not days.  But as they say, you cant rush perfection, right?  Again, I say, it’s important that we do the work here.  This is not like installing any other doors.  Our highly trained staff that has already installed many of them, who is also the same staff that measures for them, are the right people for the job.

McClelland Before

From This…

McClel After

To this!


The pics above aren’t great photos (we do doors, not photography:)) but it is an actual before and after we did recently.  And that’s it.  All we ask is that you give us a shot.  Call us at 256-852-7411 and press 1 for sales, or see us on the web.  Thanks for reading.


3 Points About 3 Point Locks

As technology improves, doors are getting better.  For example, for years, maybe forever, the locking mechanism on a door looked something like this Callan lock.

_sdead15Now I’m not saying Adam and Eve had one of these.  If they did, I guess they could have hidden behind it and not had to wear those awful fig leaves.  But I’d wager that from the beginning of doors, there was something on the door, be it a metal stick or whatever, that connected to the wall somehow and kept the door closed.

The basic deadbolt pictured above is simple and genius.  It only opens if you have a key, its not easy to reach the strike to pry it open (without a good deal of trouble).  And it doesn’t really get in the way of anything.  So, most doors have one of these or something very similar.

Now meet the technological advancement:

trilennium2I really am a poor photographer, sorry.  This is a three point locking system.  There are different manufacturers but this one you can get here at Wilson Lumber is from Endura, its called Trilennium.  Don’t google it, its not in the dictionary, but it probably means super fancy snazy secure locking system.

There are three reasons why this is a good idea (they’re sales pitch is more than three but in my opinion some are redundnant):

1. Strength – Both the Trilennium locks and the locks on the Andersen doors we carry are made of a one piece I-beam that runs along the edge of the door.  This is not only stronger to prevent break-ins, but actually helps maintain the stability of the door slab itself over time.  (Boy I hope my Andersen rep doesn’t read this and see me comparing the two, he’ll spend a day in my office telling me why his is better, and it may be.)

2. User Friendly – A single quarter turn of the knob locks all three deadbolts simultaneously.  And its just as smooth and easy to unlock… IF, you’re inside the home.

3. Its great looking – For a couple of reasons.  The back plate and sleek design make for a beautiful appearance, but its also a deterrent to a would be criminal.  It will take quite a bit more than a credit card or a pocket knife to get into one of these, and you can tell it by looking at it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the single deadbolt, we sell a ton of them.  But if security is just a little more important to you, I’d recommend checking these out.  We have them on display.  Come by or visit us on the web.


Top 5 things you need to know about door replacement

I’d love to say we never make mistakes…  What I can say is we’re committed to making things right when we do.  I recently went to a customer’s home where we made a boo boo when building their door.  While there, it occurred to me that replacing a door is a much more complicated process than most people realize.  I guess since we do it every day its grown familiar to us.

So I thought I’d throw a few things out that one should know when thinking of replacing a door.  Here is my top 5 list gathered over 30 years in the business.  Others may have a different list but this is what I’ve seen.

1. Handing – Oh me.  We draw pictures, we show, we explain, we’d use smoke signals if it would help.  Still, on occasion, we’ll deliver someone’s door and they’ll say “it swings the wrong way”.  Now this is a real bummer, and I’m not blaming the customer really.  When you don’t live it, it’s an honest mistake.  Simply put, here’s how doors are “handed”.


Click on the following for a more complete chart Door Handing Chart-HR

2. Size – I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve asked someone what size their door is and they’ve said, “Oh, it’s just a standard size door”.  The thing is, there’s no such thing.  A 3′ wide door has changed over the years in actual width and changes from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Same with height.  Now don’t fret, because we can handle just about any size you can throw at us, sometimes it just takes a little more time.

For the record, our sizes in stock now are nominal.  That is, a 3′ wide by 6’8″ tall door slab will actually be 35-3/4″ wide and 79-1/4″ tall.

3. What’s not included – The great majority of anyone’s doors do not come finished (painted or stained).  The biggest reason is shipping.  It’s too easy to scratch or scuff it.  This is actually a good thing.  Once you’ve installed the door and are ready to finish it, you’ll know you’ve got the color you want.  If it’s purchased already finished, too late.

Paint Display

Hardware (door knob) is also not included.  Two reasons.  First, there are so many different kinds it’s easiest simply to make sure we know what kind you’re getting, and then make sure the door will accept it.  Second, shipping a door with the hardware on it is a bad idea.  You’ll be too tempted to use the knob to pick the door up, and knobs were not made for that.  I guess there’s one more reason, that is that you might not need it at all.  In many cases, people simply remove the hardware from the old door and install it on the new door.


4. Inswing/Outswing – Now it’s true that we don’t sell all that many outswing doors (the door swings open to the outside instead of to the inside) except in commercial applications.  But this has tripped some people up before.  This may seem like a softball, but if you grew up in a house that happened to have an outswing door, you might think that everyone has them.  But it’s not very common and if you get an inswing, you’re not happy.

A couple of things to consider here.  In my experience, you probably should not get an outswing if you don’t have much overhang above it.  On the other hand, if you need a little extra space in the room it leads in to, it might be a great option.

inout swing

5. Paint or Stain? – Yes, I did say that painting and staining is not included.  But we have to know which one you’re doing.  Why?  Because if you’re staining, you’ll need clear jambs and we’ll need to know what species.  If painting, you’re better off with paint-grade primed jambs.  And of course we have the best.  Our framesaver jambs come standard on any units we build.  The bottom few inches of the jamb are a composite that wont rot, rust or warp, definitely worth it.


Well, I should be quick to say that what I mean here generally is exterior doors that are wood, fiberglass, metal, etc.  But some of the above does NOT apply for others.  Sliding doors from most manufacturers do include hardware.  Some wood and fiberglass doors will come pre-finished.  And on and on the exceptions go.

It’s best you just come by and see us, but you can also visit us on the web or give us a call at 256-852-7411.


Building, Home and Remodeling Show Time

Well I cant just show you pictures of all the great stuff in our booth!  Then you wouldn’t have enough need to go see it.  And Huntsville’s Building Home and Remodeling Show is always worth going to see.


I’ll give you an overview.  Door specials on replacement steel unit’s INSTALLED, special pricing on Iron Doors, Window displays from Andersen Windows and Ply-gem, both with a wide breadth of product offering, decks, siding, Shower Doors, Cabinets and Closets.


And believe it or not, we did all this without cluttering the booth up, it’s pretty impressive.  Definitely one of my favorite booths ever.

So what are you waiting for?  The show’s open now.  Come on down!  Like I said, it’s always worth going to see.  Just do me one favor, don’t go see our competitors while you’re there:)


You have options when replacing doors

Door replacement is a funny animal.  One reason is because when people say “door”, they may mean a number of things and in many cases, they don’t know what they mean.  What do you mean when you say it?  You’re probably thinking, “well you dummy, its the thing that opens and you walk through it”.

DSA Pinehurst with Speakeasy

I agree with that, sort of.  Do you mean its the actual panel that swings (actually called a door slab)?  Or do you mean it to include the hinges and frame?  And if that’s the case, do you mean it to include the trim around the door as well?

So many options.  What kind of slab?  What color hinges?  Which way does it swing?  What style of trim?

Well, it’s really not terribly complicated… IF you do it everyday.

Now as for what you have to do, consider this option.  Did you know that you can replace just the door slab?  If the frame of the door is in good shape, there’s really no need to replace it.  And consequently, no need to spend extra money.  And the job becomes much easier.  The same goes for exterior and interior doors.  Oh, Did I mention that we have a lot of door slabs to choose from?

slabs1    slabs2

Here is the deal.  Simply pop the pins out of the hinges of the door slab you’d like to replace and bring it to us.

hinge1     hinge2

We can get all the measurements we need from that.  Now it may be best for you if you make an appointment to do this and then we can get your new door ready quickly, that way you only have to make one trip.  Otherwise, it is perfectly OK to bring it, let us measure, and then you can put it back in the frame while we get the new slab ready.

We’ll cut the new door slab to fit right into your current frame, all you’ll need to do is paint it and put the knob back on.  Simple, easy and economical.

All of this is why you shouldn’t trust your door replacements to just anyone.  Now I’m not willing to say that we are perfect but we have been at this a while.  We’d be honored to have your business.  To find out what you’re best option might be, give us a call at 256-852-7411 or see our website for more information.


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