The History of Doors and Windows for all of Mankind; Part 1

By Joël Schiavone / January 30, 2018 / 2 Comments

This past weekend, my wife and I made an interesting excursion. We live in one of the most interesting places on earth for archeology. Our home in southwestern Colorado was formerly inhabited by an ancient Indian people. Numerous generations known as the Anasazi, lived here from between 700 years and 3000 years ago. Our trip took us to see the country’s oldest protected archeology area; the ruins of an ancient walled village with hundreds of rooms. Dozens of these were ceremonial kivas. The kivas are circular, subterranean rooms that were accessed with ladders through openings in their roofs. They were used as places of worship and ceremony, and it is unclear who was able to use them. I am making a disclaimer for this article: I will be writing from my perspectives, and may therefore deviate from historical accuracy. But having been in the business of making doors and windows for so long, and having poked around these parts for much of these past 35 years, I think I can tell an interesting tale! Anyway, back to the Anasazi. The term has a couple of divergent meanings. One meaning, purportedly emanating from the Navajo people is that Anasazi means ancient enemies. I don’t know that this is really what the Navajos think, but supposedly Anasazi spirits were not considered benevolent to the Dine people. The Anasazi have a history of death by violence, and even indications of cannibalism, so it can be understood if the memory of them is tainted. The second definition is that Anasazi […]

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The Future for Windows and Doors

By Joël Schiavone / January 22, 2018 / Comments Off on The Future for Windows and Doors

In our last blog, I discussed the financial validity for choosing high-quality doors and windows. Briefly, the upshot of that discussion was that, yes, you would be spending more money, but only 3% more of an over-all construction cost, and the benefits are many. Among the benefits are much warmer and more air-tight fenestration, much longer lasting, and much more satisfying to own than conventional doors and windows. Our Tilt and Turn windows with the stand-off aluminum cladding, the overlay entry door with the double seal, the Lift and Slide door with the threshold and other parts designed for best thermal performance, and finally the Slide and Fold door, also with the best thermal performance for that kind of door, are state of the art European systems, that really work in every kind of climate, and every kind of weather. This week, I want to discuss why I feel these door and window systems are also the systems of the future. I began cabinet making 30 years ago, and while the European 32 mm cabinet system had been introduced in the United States, it was not yet common. The 32 mm cabinet system is a system developed in Europe, for maximizing efficiency in cabinet construction. It uses machines that are designed to line-bore a series of holes, a specific distance from the edge of the cabinet box, and specific distances apart. So while the cabinet box is still in pieces, a machine that has multiple boring bits is used to drill a line of holes close […]

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The Argument for Great Windows and Doors

By Joël Schiavone / January 17, 2018 / Comments Off on The Argument for Great Windows and Doors

People often ask me “Why good windows and doors?” They go on to say, “I can get windows and doors at much less expense, and energy costs being what they are, it isn’t costing us that much to heat or cool our home per year. The additional cost of good windows and doors does not justify the expense, as it would take years for us to make up the difference.” Aha! Well let’s look at a typical scenario: Let’s say a person is building a 2200 square foot home here in Durango, Colorado. An average building cost in our area, given site work, foundation, building and materials is at least $250 per square foot. That comes to $550,000. Let’s say the home called for 25 windows, 3 entry doors, and one sliding patio door. Let’s say the windows were good windows, wood with aluminum cladding, and the doors and sliders were similar. A typical high-quality window package would cost the home owner $700 per window, $2000 per entry door, and $2200 for a pair of sliding doors. The total window and door package would be $25,700. What would the same window package cost made by Schiavone Woodworking? An average window cost for our Tilt and Turn window would be around $1000 per window. Our average sized door price varies between $2800 for a full light door, to $3600 for a fully custom artisan door, so we will call the average $3000. Our sliders are quite a bit more expensive, because they are Lift and Slide Doors, […]

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Multi-layered Door

By Joël Schiavone / January 15, 2018 / Comments Off on Multi-layered Door

Here is an example of a beautifully made, multi-layered, or multi faceted door we recently completed. Each of the pieces is hand-crafted, with interlocking edges, so that each piece not only serves to create the texture in the surface of the door, but also holds the neighboring piece secure in the network of pieces.

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