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(HIT) - With the growing number of home decorating and improvement shows on cable and network TV, as well as syndicated radio, newspaper columns, magazines and special Web sites devoted to the subject, do-it-yourself (DIY) has become today’s hottest home design trend.

From newlyweds and urban singles to second-home owners and empty nesters, home décor and remodeling isn’t just for the pros any more. As consumers of all ages take DIY home matters into their own hands – literally – one of the quickest, easiest and most affordable ways to add personality and brighten up any home is to install new raised-panel doors throughout the house.

While often overlooked in favor of new paint, flooring and wall coverings, interior doors can energize an otherwise bland, lifeless space. They can be the spark of personality that brings life to a room or the finishing touch that makes a drab look attractive again. Above all, they accentuate your personal style.


Doors With A Purpose
Serving as the entry to a room and conveying its initial impression, doors play an integral role in home décor and should be considered along with any home improvement or remodeling project. Spend a few minutes looking at your home’s interior doors – from the main floor to the bedrooms and even your closet’s bi-folds. Chances are the doors lack much in the way of style. Or, what style there is may not match your decorating tastes.

You can change all that this weekend. Just visit your local lumberyard, home center or visit with a professional remodeler and look for new doors with raised-panel designs that complement your interior décor. Installing new raised-panel doors throughout your home is inexpensive compared to many renovations or decorating projects.

For example, small chairs and bedside tables alone can cost up to $1,000 or even more. The average home has about 20 interior passage doors. Replacing every one with a new hollow core door, such as the line of doors available from CraftMaster® Interior Doors, costs less than a new chair and ottoman. Replacing each door with a new solid core door costs less than a new sofa and chair.

"With so much emphasis today on quick home makeovers, fast and easy room redesigns and the latest products to simplify our lives, raised-panel doors have become increasingly popular among homeowners who want the decorative appeal of sculpted doors without the cost and maintenance of solid wood," says Bob Merrill, President and CEO for interior door manufacturer CMI in Chicago.

CraftMaster Doors are manufactured by CMI from molded, high-density fiberboard to resist shrinking, cracking and joint separation, which may occur in wood doors. Designs range from two, three, four and six panels, and many are available in either a textured wood grain or smooth finish. For do-it-yourselfers, the most important feature is that they are easy to install and offer immediate design results.

Many homeowners often keep the existing frame and simply replace the doors, called slabs. For ease of installation, measure each door’s hinge and doorknob location and order the doors pre-drilled. For a fresh new look, you can purchase a pre-hung door and replace the frame. In this case, you should heed a few installation tips:

Ensure the pre-hung door is squarely in the frame, then lock it in position with a cross brace.
Use wood shims between the jambs and the studs, as necessary, to ensure a plumb, square and proper fit.
Keep the frame flush with proper positioning of the cross brace.
Add trim by cutting, gluing and nailing it in place after the door has been installed.
There are many styles, finishes and sizes available to showcase your home’s true character. For example, the CraftMaster Corvado™ is a two-panel, square-top, plank interior door. The smooth-surfaced design resembles the classic Shaker style door, which originated in the northeastern U.S., yet is versatile enough to complement a broad range of home décor from Southwestern and rustic to contemporary. It’s available for both standard 6 feet 8 inches and 7-foot-tall door heights.

Other designs include curved-, arched-and eyebrow-top panels, and a variety of configurations to complement today’s trim and cabinet packages or to add sophistication to any room. If you have high ceilings, 8-foot-tall doors are available in smooth and textured finishes and in a variety of raised-panel designs.

Beyond the added beauty, raised-panel doors are engineered to resist swelling, shrinking and splitting. In the case of painted doors, this prevents cracks in the paint film and avoids adding one more project to your to-do lists.

To learn more about transforming your home décor with new door designs call CraftMaster at 1-800-405-2233 or visit www.craftmasterdoors.com.

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center

For a Quick Home Makeover, Change Your Interior Doors
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