Monday, May 27, 2013

Screened In Sleeping Porches: A Unique Feature of Old Homes Worth Restoring

This spring has been unusually mild in Kansas City this year which has allowed me to go without air conditioning so far.  I enjoy sleeping with the windows open during the spring and fall.  I owe this appreciation for this simple pleasure to my upbringing.  My parents, who were raised on farms, resorted to turning on the air conditioning only when the heat became unbearable which was usually at least a month after it became unbearable to me.  I would complain about the heat only to hear stories of how they had no air-conditioning growing up and slept on the porch on hot summer nights. 
Screen Door Hinges & Latch Kit

Many homes built during the early 1900’s included a porch separate from the front porch that was designed specifically as a sleeping porch.  Sleeping porches are more private, often located a home’s second story rather than the ground floor.  They are also open, yet screened-in, on multiple sides to allow the breeze to blow through the porch.  Unfortunately, that since the introduction of air conditioning many sleeping porches have been enclosed or removed during the remodeling of these old homes.

As with many other attributes of old homes, screened-in porches are once again becoming more popular addition to home renovation projects as well as new house construction.  Modern screened-in porches are not intended for sleeping although creating a relaxing environment remains a key element of their design.  Ceiling fans, stereos, and even televisions can be found in today’s screened-in porch.

Whether you are restoring your old home’s sleeping porch or adding a more modern screened-in porch to your home, Shop 4 Classics has the specialty screen door hardware that you are looking for.   Screen door latches, screen door hinges, and complete screen door hardware kits can be found in Storm Door Hardware section within Shop 4 Classics’ Entry Door Hardware product category.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Loose Pin Door Hinges: Butt Hinges with Removable Pins

A loose pin butt hinge is a door hinge that has a center pin that can be easily removed from the barrel to separate the hinge.  Naturally, they are also sometimes called removable pin door hinges.  Opposed to loose pin door hinges, butt hinges are also available with a fixed pin.  Fixed pin door hinges are sometimes also called tight pin door hinges or rigid pin door hinges.  Fixed pin butt door hinges have a permanent pin that cannot be removed from the hinge.

IDH Loose Pin Butt Door Hinge

The advantage of having a loose pin door hinge is that the door can be uninstalled without having to uninstall the hinge from either the door or the door jamb.  The hinge pin can be tapped out of the loose pin door hinge to allow the door to be lifted away with little effort.  Removing a door isn't an everyday event but it can be helpful to remove a door to refinish it or to paint the door frame.  Removing doors can also be beneficial when moving furniture or appliances through doorways.  Anyone that has done much of this is sure to have encountered a situation where one extra inch is needed to fit through a doorway.  Tapping out two or three hinge pins and lifting the door out of the way can be the difference between a clawfoot tub installed in the bathroom and one resting in the hallway.

Removable pin door hinges are commonly used on interior residential doors.  They can be used on exterior doors as well but should not be used on outward swinging exterior doors.  If the pin is exposed, as it would be for an outward swinging exterior door, the pin can be removed by a burglar to easily gain entry to your home.  Choose a fixed pin door hinge for outward swinging exterior doors.

Shop 4 Classics offers loose pin butt door hinges from IDH by St. Simons (IDH).  The IDH loose pin door hinges are available in the most typical sizes and most popular finishes.  They feature classic ball-tipped finials.  Ball tipped door hinges are common in old homes of most any architectural era but are especially ubiquitous in Arts & Crafts period homes.  IDH loose pin door hinges are beveled at the barrel to provide a tight fit in both the open and closed position.  The knuckles are precision aligned to ensure smooth operation.

We have one final caution about choosing loose pin door hinges.  In some cases, it can be important to know whether a door is a right hand door or a left hand door before choosing removable pin door hinges.  Choosing the wrong handing could result in a hinge that is upside down.  While it may not look any different, the pin will eventually work its way loose if it is inserted from the bottom of the barrel rather than the top.  This is not an issue with IDH loose pin butt door hinges.  The knuckles on IDH loose pin butt door hinges are threaded at both ends.  This allows the ball-tipped finial to be threaded into either end of the hinge so the pin can always be installed through the top of the barrel.  Handing is unimportant for IDH loose pin door hinges because there is no strict top or bottom.

Shop 4 Classics offers loose pin butt door hinges, fixed pin butt door hinges, and door hinges of all types, sizes, and finishes from IDH by St. Simons, Nostalgic Warehouse, and others.  Visit Shop 4 Classics for tremendous selection and great prices on door hinges.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Resin Grille Air Return and Heat Register Vent Covers: Decorative Options for Wall and Ceiling Vents

Distinguished Design Retro Resin Air Return Grille

Decorative vent covers featuring resin grilles are fast becoming a popular option for wall and ceiling air return as well as heating vent applications.  There are many advantages to resin vent covers over traditional iron, aluminum, brass and even wood vent cover grilles that have led to their popularity.  One of their greatest advantages is that resin grille vent covers are very light in weight making them easier to install on ceilings and walls.  Resin grille vent covers are also generally less expensive and typically available in a wide range of sizes.  Although resin grilles are not designed to support weight and therefore are not to be used on floors, quality resin grilles also have durability advantages as they will not rust and are resistant to warping, insect damage, corrosion, and moisture.
Shop 4 Classics has just added high quality resin grille heat registers and resin air return grilles from Distinguished Design.  Distinguish Design’s collection of resin vent covers are currently available in twelve designs with grille patterns that range from classic to contemporary.  Each Distinguish Design pattern is available as a heat register with pre-attached dampers for air control and as a simple air return vent cover.  Their resin grilles are available in a paintable option as well as black, brown, and

Distinguished Design Caspian Cross Resin Air Return Grille

Resin grille vent covers install in much the same way as other types of wall and ceiling vent covers.  In fact, the guidelines discussed in the recent blog entry, "Professional Installation of Wall and Ceiling Heat Registers And Air Intake Covers" applies to installing resin grille heat registers and air return vent covers.