shop the specialty CUSTOM DOORS
Versatile specializes in custom doors and entry systems. Click a category below for a summary of sample projects from our Shop the Look pages. Below those categories is a list of our blog articles to browse for more in-depth information.
Ava Gene’s Restaurant
- This project was a collaboration in the truest sense. An existing restaurant space on SE Division Street was transformed into one of the finest dining experiences in Portland through the vision and talent of Andee Hess of Osmose Design and Orange-PDX’s owner, Duane Sorenson. Versatile was happy to be chosen to create Ava Gene’s entry way and be part of such a talented team.
- The stain grade doors for Ava Gene’s needed to fit the aesthetic and vibe of the restaurant. At the same time they had to be able to withstand harsh weather exposure. The biggest challenge for all three projects was weather exposure, as they all face south.
- Versatile always tries to anticipate possible challenges before they turn into problems. By selecting such an experienced team we were able to avoid major issues. This team included Versatile shop carpenters and installers from Orange-PDX construction.
- Portland was incorporated in 1851, but hardly any of the buildings from that time are still standing, primarily because they were made of wood. However, the Harker Building, finished in 1880, is still here.
- The building was completed at a time of great economic growth for Portland. Unlike the city’s “first” buildings, the Harker was constructed out of durable materials such as cast iron.
- The Wickersham building is a fine example of work by Lazarus, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux architects. The Wickersham building was built in 1910, a booming time for Portland.
- The front entrance needed to be changed to accommodate modern life safety and ADA conveniences while still maintaining the historic character of the building.
- Versatile was able to pass stringent codes and address the concerns of the buildings condominium requirements by changing the two smaller doors into one larger door with a matching sidelight.
Full Sail Brewing Custom Entry System
- We were happy to recently complete a custom storefront system for Full Sail Brewing’s Hood River corporate offices. It was the perfect mix of Uniquely Versatile elements: unusual scale, specific climate and weather conditions. And a client with a very specific design aesthetic in mind. Here’s a look at the goals and challenges of the project:
- Use of Vertical Grain Douglas Fir was a central design theme throughout this project. The main entrance is meant to highlight that theme. With solid CVG Douglas fir transom, sidelites, and doors with a clear finished interior and exterior.
- TMencer Construction Company approached us with this opportunity along with other custom shops in the region. Tim Mencer valued our commitment to on-site consulting services. Mencer also valued our ability to provide complete AutoCAD drawings for review. And, our expertise in integrating very specialized hardware for custom projects like this one.
- The biggest challenge to the project was that the existing masonry opening was not at all square, plumb or level. Several framing options had to be explored to find a solution that would fit the doors and glass as designed while adjusting for the variances in the existing opening.
- The commercial hardware specified for the doors was very complex and challenging to integrate into an entry door of normal thickness.
- To address the hardware issue, we ultimately decided to make the doors thicker than originally specified (2_1/4” instead of 1_3/4”) in order to overcome some of the biggest hardware integration challenges and ensure greater long term durability.
- The final project’s simple lines and unadorned clear grain fir makes the entrance seem easy and approachable without hinting at the surprisingly complex design solutions required to integrate them into the space.
Hecata Head Lighthouse
- Built in 1894, the Heceta Head light shines a beam 21 miles into the Pacific. This makes it the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. The lighthouse is constructed of Clackamas River stones and Douglas fir doors, windows and flooring. The lighthouse withstands extreme winds, rain and salt spray.
- Versatile’s component of the restoration project was focused on the “work house.” An attached structure that housed generators and repair equipment for the light. After 119 years of service the Heceta Head lighthouse had developed several leaks throughout it’s masonry structure. We restored and matched the original wood exterior and interior doors, millwork, cabinetry and flooring while retaining as much of the original wood as possible.
- Not a single surface was plumb, square or level on any axis. Door frames had to fit extremely close tolerances against the original masonry opening. Extreme wind and weather conditions (including snow!) caused tarps and other temporary weather-proofing measures to blow away. This required constant management. A complex design for the exterior door specified a herringbone pattern on the interior and a four paneled exterior. This single door required over 187 wood pieces to construct!
White Stag Building
- The White Stag building comprises three historic buildings; the Bickel (1883), the Skidmore (1889) and the White Stag (1907). Rich in history and legend, the LEED Gold renovation saved these Old Town Portland architectural icons. They did this by combining them into one urban education and office center. The open-structure design honors the original building elements and highlights the sustainable craftsmanship of Bremik Construction and its subcontractors.
- Versatile restored over 200 windows. Including insulated glass sash, duplication of a few complete windows and restoration of doors over 100 years old. Detailed timelines, specification worksheets and close collaboration as a local supplier, kept this large volume project on time and on track.
- Built in the late 1930s, Timberline Lodge is a National Historic Landmark and one of the crowning achievements of the Works Progress Administration.
- Versatile has worked with the proprietors of the lodge for over a decade to provide historically accurate reproduction windows, doors and millwork that respectfully match the style and construction techniques of the original WPA architecture and are built to withstand the weather extremes of Mt. Hood.
- Timberline Lodge needed a code compliant ADA accessible entry that would meet historic review requirements and match the materials and architectural style of the rest of the property.
- We designed a large Cascadian arch fitted door out of laminated Douglas fir which reproduced the thickness of the original old-growth fir while increasing durability and preventing warping under the harsh weather conditions. ADA compliant electro-mechanical components were integrated into the historic design.
A Tale of Two (Historic) Doors
- Versatile recently had the pleasure of working with Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and his partner Phillip Iosca to repair and restore the two 135-year-old doors on the front of the historic building that once housed a picture frame factory.
- Versatile was called to the case following a very unfortunate break in at the building. After 135 years of faithful service, it was time to return these doors to a better state of repair.
- At 115″ tall (9 1/2 feet), these doors provided a unique challenge simply because of their height. They had also survived the flood of 1894, so almost every measurement of the doors and the jamb was slightly warped or out of square. For example, there was a 7/16″ difference in width from the door’s top to its bottom.
- Another unusual feature of the doors was the use of a”gunstock” stile. Typical of the Victorian era, these stiles were designed to maximize the width of the glass in the upper portion of the window while still allowing for maximum strength and stability in the lower portion of the door.
- The doors needed to be completely stripped and refinished. The glass needed to be replaced. And the handles and hardware also needed to be replaced with hardware that would increase security while being consistent with the period and style of the doors.
- It would have been simpler to replace many elements of the door with new reproduction elements. Instead, Versatile respected the history of the door’s original materials, retaining and restoring as much of the original wood and detail as possible.
- Modern design emphasizes strong lines and a lack of ornamentation.
- To complement the simple architecture of Irvington Corner and the goals of a storefront, we designed doors with large glass windows using a beautiful honey maple. This added warmth to the design and complements the building colors.
- The doors were designed and installed in an efficient 3 weeks to meet the client’s timeline.
- This pool pavilion designed by Michael McCulloch and built by Patrick O’Neill is an extension of a home designed by Pietro Belluschi. Its purpose is for meditation and yoga.
- We are proud to have designed and installed the custom floor to ceiling glass windows and doors. These are a great way to bring the peaceful surroundings inside and also let the beauty of the space shine outward.
- The intention of the modern design was to create a space that would blur the lines between indoors and out.
- Large, sliding full-lite doors can have challenges related to weight, stability and smooth operability. An additional challenge was to figure out how to allow the doors to meet at a corner. With only a narrow post to camouflage and complete the seal when closed, some ingenuity was required.
- Very tight tolerances were needed to ensure a weather-tight fit when the panels were closed.
- Bringing multiple tracks together in the corners presented alignment challenges for both the upper and lower panel tracks.
- Metal tracks were inlaid into solid wood sills to create an elegantly integrated system.
- The Salishan Spa is a newer building built in the 1990s with a contemporary feel. Versatile built 3 large mahogany balanced-pivot doors that were each 4 to 5 feet wide to provide an architectural focal point for the design.
- Screens of architectural millwork provide artful coverings for the aluminum windows.
- Balance-pivot operation allows for very wide doors to operate with great ease because the majority of the weight is transferred down to pivots in the floor.
- The age of the Witherspoon building combined with the amount of steel that was required to bring the building up to current seismic standards made our job very difficult.
- Another challenge was incorporating electronics for a security system into a solid wood door.
- We had to keep very close vertical and horizontal alignment throughout our storefront system. We built the rough openings around the steel beams.
- To incorporate the electronics, we ran wiring through the lock rail of the door to get them from a special hinge to an electrified latch. This was then linked to a card reader. This was an extremely difficult and laborious task that our shop pulled off.
- The vertical mullions at the lower and upper storefront windows align perfectly, as do all of the casings.
- As for the door, the result was an end product that looks beautifully simple and historic. But upon closer inspection, actually houses a tremendous amount of hardware and technology.
Read more about Custom Doors from our Versatile Wood Products blog, linked below.
- Entry System — Postcard from the Field
- A Refreshed Welcome
- Evergreen Chapel — Postcard from the Field
- A Tale of Two (Historic) Doors
- A Revealing Restoration
- Stairwell Lift Door — Custom Case Study
- Full Sail Brewing Custom Entry System — Custom Case Study
- Evergreen Chapel — Custom Case Study
- Doors In High Exposure Areas — Best Practices
- Witherspoon Building: Case Study Update
- Walnut Doors –Versatile Showroom
- Roman Candle, Ava Gene’s, Woodsman Tavern — Custom Case Study
- Modern Outdoor Oasis — Custom Case Study