Doors make a dramatic difference
Ruth Tinley hated the interior doors in her Libertyville home. The painted, flat, hollow wood doors were utilitarian and totally unimpressive and they had been that way since the home was built in 1973.
When Tinley heard a neighbor with the same model of home had replaced all of her upstairs doors, she was intrigued. She had always thought replacing the doors would be too expensive and odious because it would have involved pulling out the door frames and ripping up drywall. So the Tinleys just lived with their doors.
But after the neighbor explained the new process offered by HomeStory Chicago, based in Elk Grove Village, Tinley called for an estimate and discovered her neighbor was correct. The company has a unique way of replacing interior doors without all of the mess and expense.
Today, the Tinleys have new white, solid core two-panel doors with brushed nickel hardware throughout their home.
They replaced a total of 15 interior doors on rooms and closets and are thrilled with the transformation of their home. Every door fits perfectly, thanks to the precision-measuring technology HomeStory offers, and the Tinley home has gotten a facelift.
"We've had the new doors since August and they have made a huge difference. The whole house just feels more elegant and clean. Doors really affect the look of a home -- just like pretty woodwork does. I wish we had done it earlier," Tinley said.
"It was especially great because they were only here a couple of hours to do the installation, didn't replace the door frames and even hauled away the old doors," she added.
Dan Teuscher, HomeStory Chicago's owner, admits he is a door snob.
"I always notice people's doors and really feel that they make a big difference to the look of a home. Many of the homes built in the 1960s and 1970s have very boring, uninteresting doors," Teuscher said. "Changing them out makes such a big difference and now you can do it easily and affordably with prices for an installed hollow core door starting as low as $199. Solid core doors start at $259. Hardware is not included in the prices, however."
HomeStory's door-measuring technology generates custom replacement doors by taking precise digital measurements and capturing the geometry of the existing door frame. Using those measurements, new doors are custom made on an automated door machine and then painted, all in the factory rather than in a customer's house. Installed in minutes, the custom fitting doors close properly, preventing any drafts, making the home much more energy efficient.
Doors can shift over time as a house settles and fixing the ill-fitting doors that result once involved planing down the existing door and then repainting it on-site, Teuscher said. People also ran into problems when they replaced carpeting with hardwood floors, leaving them with large gaps at the bottoms of their doors. HomeStory can also painlessly correct these issues.
"No one else is doing this. We are taking a home renovation that used to take lots of time and involved hiring a contractor, and we are transforming it into something that only takes a couple of hours or days, depending on the number of doors involved," Teuscher explained. "And since the doors are painted in the factory, you won't see any brush or roller marks and installation is seamless.
"And now we are seeing the power of word-of-mouth. Just like in the case of the Tinleys, one neighbor hears about us and replaces their old doors and before long, other neighbors are calling and doing the same thing. We are working our way through entire neighborhoods where everyone has the same doors," Teuscher said.
HomeStory doors for the Chicago market are made in Iowa. They are available in wood, solid core and hollow core versions, Teuscher said.
"While we offer a variety of paint colors and stain finishes, most people today seem to want white doors and white trim. Mirrored doors in which the mirrors are inlaid into the door, not just attached to it, are also very popular, especially for closets. Our doors can also be installed as sliders, not just on hinges," he said.
"We have been doing a lot of closets lately, replacing doors -- even the odd-sized bi-fold ones. People are replacing the doors at the same time that they are installing closet organizers for a total closet makeover," Teuscher said.
A former Chicago Board Options Exchange trader, Teuscher is the son of a downstate contractor. So he has always been intrigued by hands-on work. That is what convinced him to invest in a franchise of the California-based company. HomeStory Chicago, Teuscher's franchise, began offering the service in the North and Northwest suburbs in 2013, hiring experienced local carpenters to do the installation work.
All HomeStory franchises are locally owned and operated. For more information, visit www.HomeStoryChicago.com or call (847) 258-3417.