Several years ago we refurbished the front gate and driveway gates for a client. We also made some matching double side gates for the side of the house. The client was very happy with these past projects so recently we were contacted again to replace an ugly screen door with a new custom screen door with the same style as the previous work we did.
It was a straight forward design made from 16mm square steel with the aluminium insect screen secured by a 13mm steel framework attached to the main frame using 5mm countersunk stainless steel screws.
As is usual with older homes the doorway was not square. It was tilted ~8mm from the vertical which, although it seems a tiny amount, becomes glaringly obvious when fitted with a rectangular frame that is square. Building a crooked frame to compensate for this requires a lot of patience and care. It can be quite stressful once a door is made and being installed wondering if it will fit as planned. It is a great feeling when everything is bolted in position and all the gaps on both sides are uniform.
I received a call from a client who was renovating their home in an Art Deco style. They had installed a new front door with a porthole window along with small paneled windows flanking the side. The existing wrought iron scrolled security door just didn’t look right.
They asked if we could design a more appropriate security door. The existing security door was is very good condition so I suggested modifying its design to save the expense of having to make a new door.
The first job was to have the old security door sandblasted to remove the decades of accumulated paint layers and surface rust. Next, the old wrought iron scroll work was cut from the frame leaving the central area open. The new design mirrored the porthole window in the door and also aligned with the window frames either side.
The picture on the left shows the new design laid out in the existing door frame. Care had to be taken so as not to distort the frame when welding in the new section as this could cause difficulties when reinstalling the security door back onto its original hinges.
After the new design was welded into place the whole door was given two coats of zinc rich cold gal paint. After the cold gal had dried a metal primer coat was applied in preparation for the top coat. The final two top coats were allowed a week to dry completely before installing the door back on the clients house.
The picture below shows the before and after views of the front security door. The new design is a vast improvement on the original design and integrates very well with the new front door and side windows.
ODEON style Art Deco security doors on an Inner city semi.
These ODEON style Art Deco security doors make an attractive additional to this turn of the century Sydney Semi.
The double doors stand three metres tall and mirror the arched entry to the verandah. The high centre opening doors create an impressive and expansive entrance to the house.
The top and bottom drop bolts used to secure the left hand side door have been fitted inside the door frame and operate in a similar manner to a rifle bolt with the operate knobs fitted near the centre of the door. With the right hand side door locked the drop bolts are also locked as they can only operate with the right hand door open.
The all steel framework is painted a metallic grey and fitted with plain dead lock. The ODEON is one of several designs unique to DecoWorks.
Another view of the ODEON style Art Deco security doors
The silhouette of the ODEON from the hallway of the house
The Regal Art Deco security door is a new design from DecoWorks. It is based on an Art Deco style leadlight window in the clients house which I thought would work really well as a security door. After seeing the design (based on the leadlight window) the client decided to go ahead and have it built.
The door is totally unique and is a great addition to the look of the house. The radiating fan and chevron motifs seem to express a burst of energy upwards from the bottom pyramid motif giving the design an exciting and uplifting feel.
Although the Regal is a complicated design the extra effort involved in its realisation is more than offset by its striking appearance. The door has an integral insect screen to keep out insects on a hot day when the front door is left open allowing a breeze to flow through the house.
Starting assembly of the Regal security door
Fitting door side support and hinges
Undercoated Regal Art Deco security door in its test frame
Silhouette of the Regal Art Deco security door looking out from the hallway
The picture on the right shows the restored Art Deco security door on a Potts Point Inter-war apartment building.
Over the years several coats of paint had been applied to hide the corrosion that was occurring on the door and grille and additional security mesh and drop bar locks had been unsympathetically attached with pop rivets to ad-hock frames welded to the original Art Deco security door frame.
The door and frame were removed and all extraneous additions removed. The paint was cut back to bare metal and several severely corroded sections (#1 bottom) were removed with a grinder (#2) and welded (#3) before being ground back into shape (#4). To restrict access to the back of the door a perforated steel panel with 11mm square holes was welded to the back of the door bars. The Art Deco security door was then treated with rust converter before having an anti-corrosion etch primer applied. Finally two coats of epoxy enamel were applied to finish the job.
Comparison of the old security door and the restored version
A commercially available custom hinge can usually be found to suit almost any application. However, sometimes a situation arises when a purpose built custom hinge needs to be made. Such a situation arose when a set of Art Deco security doors had to be installed on the inside of some outward opening courtyard doors. The security doors also needed to be able to open out as well or be left locked while the outer doors remained open.
To enable the inner and outer doors to be totally independent of each other they needed their own hinge but they also needed a common pivot so that they would not foul on each other when opened and closed. This was achieved by making a combination butt/parliament hinge where one flap was longer than the other but they both shared a common pivot flap.
The first step was to find hinges that allowed themselves to be modified into a custom hinge. Eventually a quantity of 90mm butt hinges were found that used 3mm thick steel flaps and had removable finial ended pivot pins. Additional parts to make the extended parliament flap were laser cut in 3mm steel. Once the extension pieces were assembled they could be welded to the required hinge flap. Photos of the installed hinges can be found on the completed installation link.
The pictures below show the steps involved in making the hinges.
Parts used to make the custom hinge
Two hinges were first disassembled
Two pivot pins are joined together to make a longer pin to fit the wider hinge
Two hinges are welded together on one side leaving two independent flaps held in place by the longer pivot pin.
Here are some photos of a recent Princess arch theme security bars installation. These arch themed security bars were inspired by the arched windows and door on the front facade of the Sydney terrace house pictured below. Other windows in the house also have arched sections which have been mirrored in their respective security bars.
Double bedroom doors closed
View of the double arch balcony doors
View of the double arched dining room window bars
Front view of terrace with bars fitted
The Princess arch theme in these DecoWorks designs is uncommon due to the extra work involved in making several concentric curves of various diameters. Usually there is a single arch within a rectangular door frame. In our designs the arch theme is emphasised by using an arched door frame instead of a rectangular one.
Here is the completed Strand Art Deco security door installed on the clients house. A loungeroom door also opened onto this verandah and another Strand was installed there as well.
The all steel construction of the Strand ensures sturdy and reliable security which will endure for many years.
A feature of the Strand Art Deco security door in this installation is its relationship with the leadlight glass infill on the front door. With the front door open the Strand provides a pleasant silhouette looking out onto the street. This mirrors the leadlight design in the door. Regular vertical security bars can give the impression of living in a cage and look unpleasant.
The addition of this custom Art Deco security door adds a stylish touch to the look of the front door.