The two types of hemlock are eastern and western hemlock, both of which sport a light reddish-brown tint. Both species have closely spaced growth rings, although eastern hemlock generally has wider rings than western hemlock. While both types of hemlock are useful, western hemlock’s timber wood is used more for exterior doors due to its additional workability. Read on to decide if exterior hemlock doors are right for your home.
Costs Of Hemlock Doors
Hemlock doors generally cost $300 to $1000 and up. The material is readily available in the Western and Midwestern U.S., where it is most abundantly harvested.
Although hemlock is available throughout most of the country, many homeowners prefer their wood is harvested and grown sustainably. Those with concerns can purchase a door certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), who make sure that the material was grown and harvested sustainably.
Durability of Hemlock
Like many softwoods, hemlock lacks the durability of other exterior door materials such as mahogany or oak. While it is easy to work with, the material trades off its workability for lowered strength. Hemlock does glue and accept screws well, but it also has a tendency to splinter when worked. In addition, the material tends to be vulnerable to decay and insect attack.
How to Treat Hemlock Doors
Because hemlock is a less durable wood, it must be treated for external use. Treating the material will help protect it from the elements and highlight its woodgrain. Homeowners must be careful when sanding, as the various hard and soft parts of the wood result in an uneven surface. As hemlock is a softwood, it is preferable to use a finer sandpaper. After applying the preferred stain, allow time to dry and enhance darker shades where needed.
Repairs and Maintenance
It is essential to examine the material annually to see if refinishing is needed. During the staining process, many homeowners apply a coat of shellac after sanding for additional protection. After the first coat is applied, the shellac can be simply touched up over time.
Energy Efficiency and Tax Credits
Exterior hemlock doors are less energy efficient than other materials utilized for entry doors, such as fiberglass or steel. The average hemlock entry door will have an R-value between R-1 and R-2, depending on its insulation and thickness. To increase this efficiency, manufacturers can add additional insulation to their hemlock doors to raise the R-value to R-5 and higher.
Summary: A Simple, Appealing Choice For Homeowners
While hemlock lacks the durability of other exterior door materials, it is easy to work with and finish. In addition, the material exhibits a beautiful grain after staining. To find a hemlock entry door for your home, use HomeAdvancement’s easy links to find a residential contractor in your area.