September 2019

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”

While Willis and Debby were on their anniversary trip, Abbey took the children to Hunting Island State Park. George and Will started building – it must be in their blood.


24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082

843 846 2500

September 2019

Number 67

From the desk

of Bill …

We are finishing one of the largest homes we have built so far. Now, Willis and Abbey are finishing the job. I am having four more skin cancer surgeries over a couple of weeks and that sort of incapacitates me for a few days.

Sometime in August Kandy and I will be headed to the Springfield, Missouri area. Our son and his wife are expecting their 11th child – our 34th grandchild. We plan to be there about a week. It is a 14 hour trip so we usually break it into 2 days each way. That makes it much more pleasant.

As you may have noticed, Abbey is taking over more and more responsibilities at Willis Sinclair. She is doing a very good job and works very hard. It is one of her goals to get her Residential Builder License before too long.

Mandy and Jessy are slowly building up business at Twig, their little shop in downtown Walterboro. They sell a wide variety of items including gifts for the home, lady’s clothing, soaps and even some items for men. They also sell online at If you are in Walterboro, stop in and see them. They would love to see you.

Kandy and I are starting to make plans for our next trip west with four more grandchildren. This will be our 3rd trip with grandchildren. I have reservations at Yellowstone (those typically have to be made a year in advance) and our route mapped out pretty well. We try to make each trip a little different so each group gets to see new places. This time, in addition to Yellowstone, we plan to drive through the Rocky Mountains from Durango, Colorado (after a ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad, of course) north west to the Rocky Mountain National Park.

I can remember planning a family trip to Yellowstone when I was in high school living in the St. Louis area. I spent hours pouring over maps, calculating routes and times (this was before computers or even electronic calculators). We did not take the trip in the end. Nearly fifty years later, our son and his wife (who had heard me tell the story of planing a trip to Yellowstone) sent Kandy and I on our first trip.

Shortly after that trip, we decided it would be an amazing trip for our grandchildren to make. We live in a beautiful and amazing country and it is a shame for them to not get to see it before they get involved with college and families. After our 2020 trip next summer, we will have taken twelve of the grandchildren.

As a reminder, we are now in Hurricane Season, 2019. Have you signed up to have your home closed if we have a named storm threaten? When a storm is headed our way, we will help as many people as possible, but our clients do come first. Email us ( and get on our list. There is no cost or obligation unless we do have to get your home ready for a storm.

Exterior doors

One of the categories that often gets over looked or selected at the last moment is the exterior doors. The doors are very important because they form a barrier between the interior of your home and the exterior world. The exterior side experiences radical temperature changes, humidity and even rain in some cases. All of these take a toll on the door and its finish.

Some exterior door decisions have been made for you. The exterior doors need to be impact rated (except the front door) so they will be heavy if they have glass in them. The impact rating is because of our hurricane zone area.

Exterior doors are also thicker than normal – either 1¾” or 2¼” thick. (Heavy interior doors are also 1¾” thick).

They have 3 point latches for security here in the lowcountry hurricane zone. A three point latch fastens the door to the frame not only on the opening side like a regular door, but it also fastens it at the top and the bottom to make the door extra secure.

This home has double mahogany doors with side lites. The mahogany has been lightly stained then clear finished.


When you consider exterior doors, you have a choice of finishes. Aluminum clad doors (with cladding to match clad windows) are a common choice. These doors are normally 1¾’ thick and are solidly built. An aluminum clad door is a wood door that is wrapped in aluminum on the exterior side. The finish is baked on, so the door typically needs little maintenance. A downside is that if the finish gets damaged or scratched, it is difficult to touch it up. The entire door can be painted, so it is not that serious.

These exterior doors are very open. This assembly had double opening doors with side lites and a transom. The frames are steel and the glass is impact. The doors are heavy.

Mahogany doors are also a choice for exterior doors. Typically, they are 2¼” thick and heavy. Unlike clad doors, these doors have to be finished. Usually they are stained or painted. Mahogany tends to weather well, so except for refinishing every few years, there is little maintenance.

Steel frame glass doors are yet another choice. The advantage of steel frame doors is the door frame is much more narrow than a wood door frame. This allows the glass area to be large. Steel doors need little maintenance and, if you are careful to select an easily patch-able finish (such as flat black), they can be touched up.

Exterior doors can be full glass, half glass or solid wood. Any glass has to be impact glass per code.

There are other options for materials including pine, fiberglass and even aluminum, but those are not quite as popular as clad, mahogany or steel.

Interior side

When you select the type of material you want on the door’s exterior, you will also need to decide what the inside material will be. If the interior is to be painted, it does not really matter, but if you decided to stain it, the material may matter.

This is a single front door with side lites and an arched transom. The door is painted (probably) pine. It is sheltered from the weather with a wide porch.

In the case of prefinished doors (such as steel) you can still paint them an interior color if you like.

Lites & Transoms

In addition to the door material, you can have windows on the sides (side lites) or a transom over the door (and side lites) or just a transom. There are many choices. The architect will likely call out a number of them. Be sure you are happy with them.

This is a solid double door with a transom. The doors are painted.

Transoms are a nice touch and can be used on any exterior door. Typically, they are rectangular on exterior doors, but on front doors, they may be rectangular or curved.

If you need suggestions or help selecting exterior doors or want to discuss options, don’t hesitate to contact us. No obligation and no charge. We want you to be very happy with your home and not regret any decisions related to your home construction.

Sometimes home owners are tempted to let the architect decide on the exterior doors (and windows) because there are so many materials, but since your exterior doors, particularly the front door is the entrance to your home, you may want to adjust the plans slightly.

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Professional Builder!

Call Us

Willis: 843 599 9056

Abbey: 843 599 2302

Bill: 843 846 2500

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