Working with Creative Home Engineering: Custom Door Process

Engineer managing a CNC machine for door being design

Working with Creative Home Engineering: Custom Door Process

Working with Creative Home Engineering gives you creative freedom over the custom door process. Whether installing a bookcase or mirror hidden door, you’ll have professionals by your side each step of the way. 

What does the customization process look like? Creative Home Engineering leaves no stone unturned to ensure the secret door construction and installation are to your satisfaction. Here’s what to expect when ordering your hidden door. 

Starting the Custom Hidden Door Process

The process starts with the client reaching out and inquiring about a secret door. First, you must provide your floor plan or photographs to Creative Home Engineering professionals. This information is essential to understand how much space we have to work with and what customization can occur with your hidden door. 

The room for your secret door matters due to size constraints. For example, the bookcase hidden door is discreet but may be too large for some rooms. The mirror hidden door might fit your bedroom better due to its smaller size and natural disguise. 

You can have consultations in person or over the phone. Email is not recommended because the details can be complicated. It’s better to speak live with a professional about your hidden door.  Creative Home Engineering professionals will outline what styles and locking combinations work best for your space. 

Digging Into the Secret Door Details

After the first round of discussions, you’ll receive a cost proposal detailing the line items discussed in the consultation. Once you know what will work in your secret door installation, the next phase lets you decide what you want in your hidden door. 

You’ll work with Creative Home Engineering to hash out the details of your door, and then you’ll get a revised cost proposal. If you’re satisfied with the estimate, you’ll make an initial 25% deposit to begin the designs. 

You’ll then receive drawings of how it should fit inside your home. This blueprint will include 3D and sectional views, giving you the exact size and shape necessary for the door opening. This will include depictions of how your door will look in both open and closed positions, all relevant measurements, framing requirements, power location and more. 

A second 25% deposit will start the door construction process. Creative Home Engineering will then begin assembling the door, taking 3-5 months on average depending on the complexity of the project. 

Making Room for Your Secret Door

While the door is under construction, you’ll have time to make any adjustments to the framing that may be needed for the perfect secret door. The drawing set provided by Creative Home Engineering provides detailed instructions for exactly what changes to the opening may be required.

This step is crucial to ensure your door fits when it arrives. When measuring your door, accuracy within a quarter-inch is necessary to get a snug fit and avoid costly mistakes. The rough opening (RO) should be your priority, as it’s the wall opening that receives your door. Here are a few points to remember when measuring your RO: 

  • Measure the width: Width should be your first measurement from stud to stud. You’ll need to measure how wide your door is at the opening’s top, bottom and middle and take the smallest measurement.
  • Measure the height: Next, you’ll measure the height. This measurement includes both sides and your RO’s center, so measure from the header down to your finished floor since most secret doors are designed to be installed over the finished floor. 
  • Don’t overestimate the size: You may feel tempted to overestimate your measurements to ensure your door fits. The manufacturers undersize by around a quarter-inch, so precision is necessary. If your measurements are oversized, you risk an incorrectly sized door when it arrives. 

Creative Home Engineering will ensure accuracy while the door is in the fabrication queue. This process includes building the door and a test jig and photographing the results for the client. Once construction has finished, the door will be carefully packaged and will ship in a crate to your location.

The Day of Secret Door Installation

Your custom door will be shipped by a common carrier like UPS or FedEx. The company will call to schedule a delivery window and ensure you’re available when the door arrives. In this situation, common carriers are preferable for delivery because they provide cost savings and give clients more control over the shipping process. 

Creative Home Engineering will help the delivery process by requesting a truck with a lift gate. The heavy-duty crate necessitates assistance when offloading due to its \weight. Some clients choose to use a forklift to unload the crate, making the process more efficient, as these machines move heavy objects safely and swiftly and can be rented for as little as $200/day. Additionally, having a few people there to help offload it from the truck can come in handy.

Your door will arrive ready for installation, with most of the work occurring in the factory. You’ll get an extra layer of protection with a cellophane wrap to safeguard it from outside elements. In some instances, your door will arrive in sections because it cannot be prehung. This situation may arise if the door needs to go upstairs or around tight areas. CHE will always package the door in the easiest way possible for the specific situation.

Installing the Hidden Door

When it’s time for installation, Creative Home Engineering offers extensive customer support and helps you every step of the way. While you can hire CHE professionals, travel costs will make your hidden door more expensive. Typically only unique circumstances — such as extremely challenging projects or multiple hidden doors — may benefit from CHE installing your door.  

Each secret door installation has custom instructions, so you’ll know the necessary steps. It’s important to note that likely any door you have, hidden or otherwise, was once created in a factory and shipped out to be installed by contractors. Installing a hidden door is not much different from a regular one, so most local contractors can perform the required services. 

Altogether, custom doors take about six months on average from first call to delivery, but the timeline varies significantly based on your specific project. 

Start the Custom Door Process With Creative Home Engineering

Installing a hidden door brings safety and peace of mind to your household. Start the installation process by calling our team today and learning more about these heavy-duty doors. Check out our selection of secret doors to find the best one for your home.