Luxury homes are all unique. In fact, we’re willing to bet that no two are the same. Even if the floorplans are similar, once the homeowners move in and put their personal touches on the home, it will be its own animal.
We may be biased (but only a little bit) when we say that the doors and windows you choose for your luxury home can dramatically change the way it looks and feels. That may sound overly dramatic, but hear us out.
Custom Front Doors
If you own a luxury home, there’s really nothing stopping you from ordering a custom front door. Candidly, anything short of thoughtfully planned front entryway would do a disservice to the architect and the interior designer. The front entrance to your luxury home needs to be worthy of the rest of your home, but more importantly, it needs to set the tone. This is the first impression you’ll make on your visitors. Truly, you won’t use your front entrance very often. Chances are, you’ll enter through the fire door in your garage the vast majority of the time. But your guests will use it almost exclusively — and isn’t the first impression everything?
What Your Front Door Says About You
Since the beginning of recorded history, the front door of any structure has been a symbol for how important its inhabitants are. Oftentimes, the front door is designed to represent wealth and power, letting people know before they even enter that the people who live there, or the work that is done within those walls is extremely important. This is easiest to spot on government buildings and churches across the world. If you were to look up photos of courthouses, justice centers, police stations, city halls, even the White House and the Capitol building, you’d see a set of large double doors. In some cases, they’ll be more understated — perhaps wood stained or painted a color that coincides with the rest of the façade. Others might be made of glass so security personnel inside can be better aware of what’s happening outside.Regardless of the design, these doors are typically oversized. Centuries ago, this was almost entirely an assertion of power and dominance, but now there is also a safety component. Fire codes would indicate that main entryways should be large to allow more people to get out in the event of a fire or other life-threatening emergency. However, the significance of the front door holds true. Even today, architects will tell you that the front door of your luxury home says a lot about you, your values, and your personality. It’s because of this that front doors are among our favorite pieces to make.
If you’re looking to make a statement with your front door, or you want something different from your standard hinge door, it’s a pivot door you want. The downside to hinge doors is that they have a size limitation (90 inches tall, 37 inches wide) because the hinge needs to be able to support the weight of the door. In order to make a doorway bigger (up to 74 inches wide), people often choose to put double doors on a front entry — again, this is very common on important public buildings, and one of the reasons is safety concerns.The best part about pivot doors is that they don’t have the limitation of a hinge. You can make a pivot door basically any size you want — really. We once made a massive pivot door that literally served as a car garage door. Pivot doors aren’t just a functional item in your home — pivot doors are a statement in and of themselves. They’re impressive simply because they don’t open in the same way that anyone expects them to. They don’t have a hinge at all, but instead literally pivot on a designated point. This can be anywhere from 25 to 50% of the way across the door. No matter where the pivot point is, they’re perfectly balanced. One of our customers was extremely excited about the fact that she could literally push her custom pivot door open with her pinky finger. And while that’s a fun little thing to try, it’s really more impressive when it’s motorized. Our motorized pivot doors can be paired with our facial recognition devices and software, allowing for an entirely hands-free experience. Quite literally, you (or anyone you’ve pre-programmed) can walk up to your door and gain entry through a scan that only takes a couple of seconds, all without putting anything down to find your keys or type in a code.
In order to personalize your doors — whether they’re internal or external — we have four different categories of coverings: essential, enhanced, elegant, and extravagant. One classification is not necessarily “better” than the other, it’s just a matter of where your door is being installed, the design aesthetic you’re going for, and what you’d like to see every single day.Essential coverings are the simplest option available. If you’re looking for wood veneer or multilayer laminate in any color you’d like, this is your best option. This is often where we start with interior doors because these materials aren’t made to withstand harsh environments or weather conditions.Enhanced coverings can be used on exterior doors, provided that they’re covered by some kind of awning or portico. These coverings include wood composite in multiple shades and anodized aluminum, which is an impervious metal, thanks to its manufacturing process. Additionally, the aluminum can be painted in any color you wish.Our elegant coverings are a step up in terms of both luxury and weather resistance. Elegant coverings can be used on interior or exterior surfaces. These materials include Italian gres, solid wood, or decorative glass. Italian gres is one of our favorite materials because it’s incredibly low maintenance and can stand up to harsh weather conditions. The decorative glass will be security glass by default (discussed further below), but can also be tinted or frosted, or engraved with a design of your choosing. Extravagant coverings are the upper echelon of door covering upgrades. Options include hand-stitched Italian leather, precious stones, Swarovski® crystal, and even backlights. Because of moisture and humidity, leather cannot be used on exterior surfaces, nor on bathroom doors. Otherwise, the location these materials can be used can vary.
Things to Keep in Mind Regarding Design
Another aspect to consider is that each side of the door can be considered a standalone design. You don’t have to think at all about what the exterior side looks like when designing the interior. You could choose elegant coverings for the exterior, but stick with essential coverings inside the house.The most important thing to remember is that we can match any door that already exists in your home. Let’s say you want to create a custom bedroom security door, but you want it to look exactly like every other interior door in your home. This is a very common practice, since security measures work best when they’re kept under the radar (it means any intruders can’t plan ahead). Not only can we make a door that looks exactly like the door it’s replacing, it will also keep you completely safe while you’re sleeping at night. And isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
Custom Windows From the Inside Out
When we tell architects and homeowners that we make custom windows, it tends to go in one ear and out the other. At first mention, it would seem that every window manufacturer makes custom windows, right? Every single window is made to order. They have to measure the opening and then put skins on them that your design team deems appropriate for the decor — perhaps that means white vinyl, or perhaps it means real wood frames installed over vinyl.While we obviously need to measure and make windows to order, we approach glass composition from the same vantage point. Every window we make will be able to pass security tests. The entire purpose of our business is to keep determined intruders out of your luxury home.However, we can also create windows that pass hurricane and ballistic certifications. We really can create whatever you want — it’s just a matter of what you and your security team feel is necessary and what you’re willing to pay for. All of our windows start the same way: with a steel frame. After that, everything is tailored to your needs.
Hurricane windows are designed to withstand intense wind and water pressure for extended periods of time, as well as the occasional flying object. Not only does this change the physical composition of the glass itself (you want some flexibility in the glass), but it means specific standards must be met during installation to ensure that water cannot get in the home. The glazing in particular is a common failure point, which is why we check it at the annual inspections included in our Platinum Level Service Plan.Any home located in South Florida must have hurricane certified windows for obvious reasons. Residents of Miami-Dade County aren’t strangers to destructive wind and water. What many people don’t realize is that their hurricane windows aren’t the same as a security window.
The purpose of security windows is to keep determined intruders out of your luxury home. These aren’t people who will find your windows are locked and move onto another home. These are people who want to come after you — stalkers, ex-partners who won’t let go, people who have a grudge against you (or someone they hired), etc. While hurricane windows need to focus on gale force, security windows are focused on brute force.Hurricanes are relatively random and will not be targeting any specific thing. They’ll pick up anything in their path, drench everything within a few hundred miles, and move about their day without a care in the world. They’re not calculating their next move or getting frustrated because they aren’t getting through a city fast enough.By contrast, a person will be coming to your security window or door with an intelligent mind and one goal: getting into your home. If one thing doesn’t work, they’ll try another. If they manage to crack your window, they’ll keep hitting that same spot because now they know it’s weaker. Because the intent behind the force is different, the composition of the glass is different. The good news is that we can create windows that are both hurricane and security certified. Again, it’s really just about what you need for your luxury home.
Clients often inquire about our ballistic windows because it sounds awesome. Who doesn’t feel like James Bond when they’re talking about bulletproof glass? The thing is, most people don’t really need ballistic windows. And in many cases, people like the idea of having them until they hear how much they cost.We’re not saying that you don’t need them — we’re just saying that you might not. This is a discussion we can have with you and your security team so we can determine what types of threats have been made against you. If the determination is made that you need ballistic protection, we’ll create custom windows that will keep you safe, no matter what the concern is. If necessary, we can create ballistic windows that will withstand fire from an AK-47.
Finding the Perfect Doors and Windows for Your Luxury Home
In the end, the perfect luxury doors and windows for you are the ones that fulfill your requirements and address your concerns. Ask yourself questions like these:
- Is your luxury home in a hurricane zone?
- What kind of harsh weather conditions will your home face?
- Have you had threats made to your life?
- Are you concerned about violent criminals gaining access to you or your family?
- Have you had issues with security in the past?
- Are you having trouble sleeping at night?
- Are you scared at home when you should feel safe?
The answers to these questions will help you and your security team determine what kind of doors and windows should be installed in your luxury home. And once you figure that out, the fun part begins: designing. Our architectural design team will work with you, your architect, and your interior designer to design custom security doors and windows that look gorgeous without compromising your safety. Once the design has been finalized and approved, it gets sent off to the artisans in Italy, who will build your luxury doors and windows to flawless perfection. When all is said and done, your doors and windows will be shipped to the location of your luxury home — wherever that may be — where we will oversee the installation. For the first year, you’ll be covered by our Platinum Level Service Plan, which gives you access to 24/7 phone support for any issues you come across, and guarantees that if service is necessary, someone will be at your house (weather and travel permitting) within 48 hours. We’re confident that you’ll love your FBS luxury doors and windows. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, check out our doors and windows pages, read up on our process, peruse our frequently asked questions, check out client testimonials, or read through our articles. When you’re ready to chat, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our headquarters may be in Boca Raton, Florida, but we can (and frequently do) ship worldwide. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you create the luxury home of your dreams.