Thursday, December 26 2019
This past year has been one full of productivity, prosperity, and growth here at AG Millworks. In 2019, we completed our Title 24 Compliant patio door line, we were recognized for our superior customer service and awarded a Best of Houzz award, we welcomed three new sales representatives to our team, and most importantly, we helped hundreds of homeowners create the indoor/outdoor lifestyle of their dreams. As we reflect on this past year, we can’t help but look at all the incredible projects our handcrafted doors were featured in.
1 | Modern Folding Door Paired with Folding Kitchen Passthrough Window
This project in Encinitas, California features an AG Millworks folding door and window. The home was purchased as a fixer upper and underwent a complete remodel.
Architect Jan Solomon from Solomon Interior Design Inc. and Elysian Contractors Inc. teamed up to design and build a brand-new space with a modern feel. The all-white kitchen and large openings to the outdoors make the medium-sized kitchen feel spacious, airy, and bright.
The folding kitchen passthrough window creates extra bar seating and makes serving food on the patio a breeze. The young homeowners’ dream of having an indoor/outdoor living space where they can relax, prepare food, and entertain guests is now a reality.
2 | Huge Sliding Glass Doors Create Extraordinary Views
This project in Westlake Village, California features an AG Millworks sliding glass door and a matching transom. The homeowner moved here from Canada and wanted to create a more modern space that is connected to nature.
With a residential design background, the homeowner took it upon himself to re-design the kitchen and living areas and create the space of his dreams. The kitchen features a large, spacious island with bar seating, and a beautiful counter-to-ceiling backsplash.
Though the entire space radiates a unique and modern design, the showstopper is the huge 10-foot tall AG Millworks sliding glass door paired with a matching transom above it. This door creates massive views of the surrounding mountains and brings the outside in.
3 | Elegant Sliding Doors Create Open-Air Dining
This project in Solvang, California features an AG Millworks multi-slide door. The homeowners decided it was time for a home upgrade and underwent a full-home remodel.
The dining room was a special spot where the homeowners entertained, enjoyed family dinners, and hosted game night. The homeowners wanted to connect the dining room to the outdoors and create an al fresco dining and entertaining experience. They also wanted to embrace the surrounding nature and mountain views, and showcase the beauty of their brand-new infinity pool
A simple and elegant AG Millworks multi-slide door that meets in the middle created this indoor/outdoor connection that they were looking for. The door system includes a retractable accordion screen to protect the home from insects and other unwanted debris.
4 | Two Folding Doors Create Indoor/Outdoor Media Room
This project in Yorba Linda, California features two AG Millworks folding doors. The homeowners wanted to upgrade their design and create a home built for entertaining.
The media room is on the west side of the house and overlooks the surrounding hills and mountains, making it the perfect space to install large glass bi-fold doors. Two adjacent AG Millworks folding doors make walls disappear and completely open the room to the outside.
In addition to the media room, the homeowners updated their outdoor entertainment area and built a custom outdoor kitchen with bar and barbecue area. Their new indoor/outdoor spaces are perfect for entertaining, hosting pool parties, and enjoying time together as a family.
5 | Folding Doors and Windows Completely Transform Home into Indoor/Outdoor Paradise
This project in Bellevue, Washington features two AG Millworks folding doors and one folding kitchen passthrough window. This was a special project by Gallagher Construction Inc., who took the home down to the foundation and rebuilt it to incorporate 10-foot walls and vaulted ceilings.
The homeowners dreamed of having a bright and open floorplan with high ceilings and a seamless connection to the outdoors. The home is adjacent to Bridle Trails State Park and is surrounded by a lush forest full of towering trees.
The bi-fold doors and window create 180-degree views and expand the living space to the outdoors and make entertaining on the expansive wrap-around deck luxurious and effortless. To learn more about this project, click here.
6 | Sliding Glass Doors Blur the Line Between Inside and Outside
This project in Irvine, California features two AG Millworks multi-slide doors with retractable accordion screens. Contractor TZ Remodeling remodeled the entire home to create a Mediterranean aesthetic inside and out.
What the homeowners really wanted was a cohesive indoor/outdoor space where they could entertain. Todd at TZ Remodeling trusted AG Millworks to handcraft two multi-slide door systems that would make the space feel larger and more connected to the beautiful outdoor patio and pool area.
When doors slide open, walls disappear and a smooth connection from indoor living space to outdoor entertainment area appears. The retractable accordion screens can open and screen the large openings and protect the home from unwanted insects.
7 | Two Folding Doors Create Large Openings in Main House and Detached Guest House/Studio
This project in Napa County features two AG Millworks folding doors. Old and outdated, the home underwent a complete upgrade and remodel by Vine Homes Napa. The new home boasts clean lines, fine finishes, and a modern farmhouse style design.
A folding door was installed in the main house to connect the great room to the backyard deck and pool. An identical folding door was used in the detached guest house/studio to extend the space to the outdoor living area.
The door systems make these cozy spaces feel bigger by extending them to the outside and letting in more natural light.
8 | Zero Corner Folding Doors Make Walls Disappear
This project in Lafayette, California features two AG Millworks folding doors. The homeowners decided their home was in need of a facelift and wanted a dramatic change. The new home is modern, bright, and made for outdoor living.
What was once dark, boxy, and closed off, is now open and bright. Walls were knocked down to create one large great room connecting the living, dining, and kitchen spaces. Two folding doors were used to make the rear walls disappear and completely open the home to the outdoors.
This complete elimination of two walls is possible with a reinforced and specially engineered header that can support the load. The two doors unfold and lock together when not in use.
9 | Folding Doors Create Fresh Air and City Views on the Balcony
This project in San Francisco, California features an AG Millworks folding door. Architect Shervin Tajbaksh and contractors Sage Building Company Inc. teamed up to update this traditional San Francisco dwelling. They created a modern and contemporary space with an open floor plan and plenty of city views.
The folding door opens the third level to the open-air. This main level features the kitchen, dining, and living spaces, and the balcony, which is the best spot to scope the city views. The far-reaching views and abundance of natural light can be enjoyed even when doors are closed.
10 | Two Folding Doors Create an Indoor/Outdoor Kitchen and Living Space
This project in Los Angeles, California features two AG Millworks folding door systems. The homeowner wanted to create a mid-century modern space with light colors, natural finishes, and exposed wood beams.
The all-white kitchen with concrete counters creates a very modern, industrial vibe. The natural wood finishes on the ceiling and folding doors add warmth and texture to the space.
The folding doors create a smooth extension to the outdoors and make the surrounding nature more accessible. The fresh air, natural light, and connection to nature makes the space feel relaxing and spa-like.
Creating an indoor/outdoor living room in your home is easy—learn more about how you can achieve the indoor/outdoor living space of your dreams here. To read about other AG Millworks folding and sliding door case studies, click here.
Thursday, December 12 2019
If you are planning your upcoming home design project and are considering a large folding or sliding door system, you probably want to know what your options are. Though there are many different brands of folding and sliding doors, one name might come to your mind: NanaWall. If you have reviewed their product offerings, explored their website, and read their testimonials, you might have decided that NanaWall isn’t for you. If this is the case, or you just want to do your due diligence and compare products and pricing, there are many alternatives to NanaWall.
1 | AG Millworks
AG Millworks handcrafts folding, sliding, and French swing doors for luxury outdoor living. It is a premium brand that offers high quality products and superior customer service. It is a small, family owned company based in Ventura, California. Because of its size, AG Millworks fulfills special requests and pays extra attention to detail to guarantee a custom door system with a beautiful fit and finish. With over 30 years specializing in luxury door systems, AG Millworks is an industry expert. Click here to learn more about AG Millworks.
2 | Western Window Systems
Western Window Systems offers multiple lines of folding, sliding, and hinged doors. It is focused on helping people live better through remarkably beautiful moving glass walls and windows that blend the indoors with the outside. Click here to learn more about Western Window Systems.
3 | Fleetwood Windows and Doors
Fleetwood Windows and Doors is a family owned manufacturer that offers many different styles of folding, sliding, and hinged door systems. They have been in the luxury home market since 1961 and pride themselves on modern designs. Click here to learn more about Fleetwood Windows and Doors.
4 | Loewen Windows
Loewen crafts luxurious windows and doors that are the statement pieces of custom residential architecture—it offers a line of windows and folding, sliding, and swing doors. Loewen’s spectrum of products are built with precision to match the sophisticated vision of the most creative and exacting architectural designs. Click here to learn more about Loewen.
5 | Panda Windows and Doors
Panda Windows and Doors focuses on engineering state-of-the-art, innovative folding, sliding, swing, and pivot door systems that unite the inside with the outside. Based in Las Vegas, Neveda, Panda is a small company that prides itself on its’ passion for design and expert customer service. Click here to learn more about Panda Windows and Doors.
6 | Euroline Steel Windows and Doors
Euroline has been manufacturing steel doors and windows for decades and has been fine tuning their line of doors and windows to present timeless products with endless applications of style and beauty. Their entire line of folding, sliding, swing, and pivot doors achieve amazing style and elegance. Click here to learn more about Euroline Steel Windows and Doors.
7 | Andersen Windows
Andersen offers a full line of windows and large door systems and strives to empower people to transform their home with windows and doors. With a variety of collections and customization options, Andersen has reliable products that will meet most design styles. Click here to learn more about Andersen Windows.
8 | Kolbe Windows and Doors
Kolbe is a family owned company based in Wausau, Wisconsin. It manufactures windows and folding, sliding, and French swing patio doors. The company is proud to build windows and doors that are found in some of the most visionary residences and commercial projects in North America. Click here to learn more about Kolbe Windows and Doors.
9 | Windsor Windows and Doors
Windsor is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa and has a second manufacturing plant in Monroe, North Carolina. This manufacturer offers bifold, multislide, and French swing patio doors, and builds value into each product to provide the best windows and doors your budget. It offers 4 distinct product lines to help architects and homebuilders tackle an array of applications. Click here to learn more about Windsor Windows and Doors.
10 | Milgard Windows and Doors
Milgard specializes in windows but also offers a full patio door line featuring bifolds, multislides, and French swing doors. Click here to learn more about Milgard Windows and Doors.
11 | Marvin
Like Milgard, Marvin also specializes in windows but has a line of folding, sliding, and swing doors. Marvin is committed to design that is as functional as it is beautiful. The products deliver quality you can see, touch, and feel. Click here to learn more about Marvin.
12 | 2Fold Custom Steel Doors
2Fold offers custom steel folding and swinging patio doors. This manufacturer touts bespoke quality at the price of upper-end, mass-produced products. Headed by window and door designer and engineer Ed Page, the company has developed the next generation of folding doors. Click here to learn more about 2Fold Custom Steel Doors.
13 | Lanai Doors
Lanai Doors offers high quality custom exterior and interior bifold door and window systems. It is a California corporation with its' manufacturing facility and corporate offices located in Orange, California. Click here to learn more about Lanai Doors.
14 | La Cantina Doors
LaCantina is a pioneer in designing and manufacturing large opening door systems. Dedicated to creating products that open spaces, our focus in developing and refining these products has resulted in the most innovative and comprehensive range of doors and windows available. Click here to learn more about La Cantina Doors.
15 | Pella Windows
Pella manufacturers windows and patio doors and is based in Pella, Iowa. This company focuses on residential windows but also offers specialty doors including bifolds, multislides, and hinged doors. Click here to learn more about Pella.
16 | Origin Bifolds
Origin offers bifold doors and windows. It is a British company that recently opened a manufacturing plant in Florida. Origin combines high quality components with precision engineering to offer a huge variety of opening configurations, colors, handles, and finishes on all Origin products. Click here to learn more about Origin Bifolds.
17 | Weathershield Windows and Doors
Weather Shield is committed to making windows and doors the best way it knows how—by putting customers first. They offer bifolds, multislides, and hinged doors, along with a full line of windows. Click here to learn more about Weather Shield Windows and Doors.
Tuesday, December 10 2019
If you recently installed a handcrafted bi-fold door into your home, it is important that you follow a regular maintenance schedule to preserve your door system’s quality, beauty, and functionality. See below for a complete cleaning and maintenance guide that will keep your bi-fold doors looking and operating at their best.
How Often to Clean Bi-Fold Doors
Proper maintenance of your bi-fold doors is crucial to ensure they remain in good condition and appearance. You should be cleaning/maintaining your door system at least every three months.
Harsher, more corrosive environments, like coastal areas, require more frequent maintenance—in these environments, doors should be maintained monthly, or more often if necessary.
If your home is within 3 miles of any body of saltwater, you are considered a coastal environment and should follow the monthly maintenance schedule.
How to Clean the Wood Surfaces on Bi-Fold Doors
The wood surfaces on your bi-fold doors should be cleaned with care. You want to treat your door systems as you would a fine piece of furniture, and never use abrasive cleaners. Using a clean, damp cloth, wipe down all wood surfaces to remove any dust, dirt, debris, and other particles that have settled on your door system. Without regular cleaning, the dirt and dust can scratch the wood surface and create a dull/dirty appearance.
How to Clean the Clad Surfaces
Exterior clad surfaces require regular cleaning as well. To clean the clad exterior of your bi-folds, use non-abrasive, mild detergent soap and water to wash the panels, followed by rinsing with clear water, and drying with a soft cloth. Regular cleaning will help protect your doors from the elements and the buildup of dust and dirt.
How to Clean the Glass on Bi-Fold Doors
You should only use gentle cleaning solutions when cleaning the glass on your doors. It is important to wipe away any excess cleaning solution that collects on gaskets, sealants, frames, and finishes as this could cause damage. It is also recommended to avoid cleaning glass while it is exposed to direct sunlight. Never use scrapers or razor blades to clean your glass as scratching is very likely to occur.
How to Clean Bi-Fold Door Handle Sets
To clean standard hardware finishes and surfaces, use water and a soft cloth. Do now use abrasive cleansers, household cleaners, or steel wool.
Oil rubbed brass/Oil rubbed bronze should only be cleaned if necessary, and can be cleaned by rinsing the handle set with water; extra care should be taken as oil rubbed brass and bronze are intended to change color and rigorous cleaning or use of a cloth may alter the surface appearance.
Stainless steel handle sets should be washed with clean water and mild detergent and rinsed with more water. If any surface staining does occur, use only a stainless steel cleaner to remove the staining.
How to Clean and Maintain Retractable Accordion Screens
Dust and debris can collect in the guide channels over time. Keep screen channels at head and sill free of pet hair, fur, dust, sand and other debris at all times. Removal of such build-up is important to the screen’s continued smooth movement.
While the screen is retracted, remove any debris from the channel with a soft cloth, or low suction vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment, being careful not to disturb any tensioning cords. Dusty or coastal environments will require frequent cleaning.
The screen mesh should be lightly dusted to maintain an unobstructed view and airflow. While the screen is extended, remove any build-up with a light suction vacuum cleaner with a very soft brush attachment; exceptional care should be taken not to tear or rip the mesh or disturb the horizontal tensioning cords.
How to Maintain the Wood Surfaces
Immediately wipe dry any water that contacts wood surfaces, including the top and bottom edges of doors or sashes, where water absorption is most likely to occur. Wood surfaces are NOT designed to be exposed directly to water.
Every six months check the wood surfaces, and especially look at the top and bottom edges of doors and window sashes. It is imperative that these critical edges be fully protected with topcoats that are free from cracks or scrapes in the surface of the clear finish.
Any void in the topcoats on any surface will allow moisture to get into the wood and may cause cracks, splits and warping. The same is true of painted surfaces. If needed, sand lightly with 280-grit sandpaper, wipe clean and recoat with exterior grade topcoat/paint.
How to Clean the Bi-Fold Track
Keeping the track clean and free of dirt, debris, and pet hair is important for smooth operation of your bi-fold door. To clean the track of your bi-fold, use a damp cloth with mild detergent, then wipe dry.
How to Clean the Weep System in Raised Sills
Keeping the drainage holes (weep system) in the raised sill free of dirt and debris is important because it allows water to easily exit the channels to keep water from building up and entering the house in heavy rain.
A pipe cleaner or small bottle brush works well for this purpose, or you can use a can of compressed air with a narrow tube attachment to force dirt and debris through the tubes and out of the holes at the front of the sill. See this video guide “How to Free Debris from Weep Holes.”
Don't Neglect the Hardware in Your Bi-Fold Maintenance Routine
Hardware is subject to deterioration from everyday use and from its environment. It is important that routine maintenance be carried out in all environments, and with greater frequency in harsh coastal environments and commercial and/or industrial applications.
Inspect all screws for tightness every six months. Using a low torque setting, tighten screws if necessary, taking care not to strip screw heads. Routinely check parts for wear and if excessively worn, replace the part.
To help prevent surface corrosion, we recommend washing regularly; Stainless steel finishes in coastal environments may show signs of surface corrosion, even if washed regularly. Wash with soap or mild detergent and warm water followed by rinsing with clean cold water and wipe dry.
As a guide, if a window or door requires washing then wash the hardware, however AG Millworks recommends for seacoast/saltwater and industrial environments washing hardware a minimum of every month, and for less corrosive environments washing every three months.
In seacoast/saltwater environments (three miles or less from the coast) we recommend applying a light application of corrosion preventative such as Boeshield T-9, CRC Marine 66, or Inox® for Marine to all hardware surfaces and using a dry cloth to remove excess. When using lubricant or corrosion protection compounds, be careful to avoid the adjacent surfaces and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. DO NOT allow Boeshield or other corrosion preventatives to contact wood surfaces or other surfaces that tend to absorb oils, as staining may occur.
How to Maintain and Adjust Hangers and Pivots
All hangers are fitted with lubricated ball bearings or plain bearings, requiring no greasing. If the doors ‘settle’ and door clearance is reduced causing friction, raise the door by the hanger adjustment nuts. View our “How to adjust” videos here to learn the steps to properly adjust your door.
How to Clean Bi-Fold Rollers
All sill guide tracks and header channels must be free from obstruction and excessive dirt and water. Clean visible surfaces using a damp cloth and mild detergent, then wipe dry. All rollers are fitted with sealed precision bearings requiring no maintenance, but clean exterior surfaces and protect as recommended above.
How to Clean Bi-Fold Hinges
Clean visible surfaces using a damp cloth and mild detergent, then wipe dry.
Surface Mounted Locking Mechanisms
It is recommended to spray WD40 to the sliding pin inside the drop bolt and to the lock cylinder (if applicable). There are access holes or slots on all drop bolts at the top and bottom of door panels so that this can be completed without removing the locks from the doors. Wipe away any excess lubricant. Clean visible surfaces using a damp cloth and mild detergent, then wipe dry.
At AG Millworks, we build high-quality, handcrafted Bi-Fold door systems for luxury outdoor living. Our precise and detailed craftsmanship is the reason our doors are easy to maintain and have less maintenance-related issues. Click here to learn more about creating a luxury outdoor lifestyle with Bi-Fold doors. You can also download and print a free complete Bi-Fold Door Maintenance Guide here.
Tuesday, December 03 2019
What exactly is a California room? A California room is an indoor/outdoor living room where you can relax and entertain. It is an extension of your indoor living space to the outside and it embodies a laid-back, calming atmosphere where you can enjoy the outdoors, spend time with family, dine, and entertain guests. The California room is a growing home design trend that is becoming increasingly popular each year—according to Zillow, more than 56% of new homebuyers desire an outdoor living space. If you are investing in home upgrades to improve your lifestyle, consider creating a California room which will be a timeless addition to your space and increase your quality of life.
Creating an Indoor/Outdoor California Room
Anyone can create a California room in their home, whether the outdoor space is expansive or cozy. A California room should have a seating area with comfortable outdoor chairs or couches where you can gather with friends and family and relax.
Another important element of this trend is the outdoor dining space—you can have a large dining table or, to save space, a more compact pub-style table where you can savor meals while enjoying the weather and surrounding nature.
A great addition to your California room is a fireplace or firepit. This will keep you warm on cooler nights and create ambiance in the space, making it feel extra cozy. A fire feature brings people together where they can roast marshmallows, listen to music, and tell stories, creating lasting memories with loved ones.
If you’re working with a more expansive outdoor area, you might consider including an outdoor kitchen in your California room design. This will create a convenient spot for barbecuing and serving outdoor meals on the patio.
Another popular feature of the California room is a TV/media area equipped with an outdoor television. This is great for hosting outdoor movie night or sports viewing parties.
Don’t forget to accessorize your outdoor space— you’ll want to have comfy seating with plush cushions, cozy throw blankets for cuddling up on cool evenings, outdoor rugs and throw pillows, coffee and side tables, and more. This space is essentially a second living room that will require the same design attention as your other living spaces.
Enhance Your California Room with Accordion Glass Doors
One way to really embrace the California room design is by using accordion glass doors to make walls disappear and create a large opening in your home. You can replace your old sliding glass door or French doors with an expansive accordion door and create a wall of moving glass.
With a large accordion glass door, you will blur the line between inside and out, and extend your indoor living space to your outdoor California room. This design is ideal for entertaining because it creates more room for guests to migrate between spaces.
It will still feel like an open-air, California-style space when your accordion glass doors are closed because of all the extra natural light and views you will have, created by this wall of glass.
Multi-Slide Doors for California Living
If you feel like accordion glass doors are a little too whimsical for your space, another option for opening your home to the outside are multi-slide doors. These doors are clean, modern, and contemporary and can create a seamless connection to your outdoor California room. You can choose to have your multi-slide doors pocketed into the wall, so when they are opened, they completely disappear.
Non-pocketed multi-slide doors will still leave you with a large open space, however door panels will stack on one or both sides of the opening.
Creating a California room in your home will be worth the time and money. You will have a space made for living and entertaining and you won’t know how you made it this long without one. A great place to find further design inspiration is Houzz.com—you can search for project inspiration and you can even find an outdoor and landscape architect in your area who can help you design your dream space.
To learn more about creating a California room in your home with accordion glass doors or multi-slide doors, click here. You can also talk to a patio door expert about your upcoming project by filling out this form.