Starting a DIY Home Improvement Project

home improvement Starting your own DIY home improvement project can be tricky, so here are our tips on getting started and getting it finished.

Have a game plan. This one’s a given. Whether you’re following instructions from a TV show, a book, or the Internet, make sure you’ve checked all of the facts about the process that you’re getting into. It’s important that you know and understand what you’re about to do. Don’t take on more than you can handle; some projects (such as those that involve major electrical work or replacing windows) are meant for professionals.

Have everything you need before getting started. Some DIY home improvement projects require some power tools that you might not own. If you’re looking to save some money, borrowing from a friend or renting tools are good options. When you venture to your local hardware store, have a checklist to guarantee that you’ll be ready to start when you get back home. The last thing you’ll want to do while you’re in the middle of your project is make another trip back to the store.

It’s easy to be cheap, but don’t be. You might want to try to save some money when buying materials, but we highly recommend that you don’t. Buying cheap materials can highly affect the outcome of your project, whether it be how they hold up while you work or the lifespan of the finished product. You get what you pay for, so it’s important that you pay for the good stuff.

It’s easy to be green, so do it! Many people think that going green means that you’ll be spending more, but that’s not necessarily true. Using recycled and/or sustainable materials can even help you save money during your renovations. By being environmentally friendly, you’ll be ahead of the current market, so it’s a great investment that will add value to your home.

Stay safe and smart. Make sure you have all of then necessary safety equipment for any project that you’re taking on. Safety goggles, earplugs, and gloves are usually the essentials for home renovations.  Wear the proper attire for working around nails and other sharp objects; think to yourself, “What would a construction worker wear?” Take breaks when you need to: stay hydrated, especially in the hot summer months. Most importantly, have a first-aid kit nearby.

DIY projects can be stressful and difficult, but with the right tools and an open mind, it can be a pretty enjoyable process that results in something great. Do your homework, be smart, and have fun with it!


Great Customers

Here at ETO Doors, we’re well aware that our customers are what makes our business successful.

Thank you for your positive reviews and valuable feedback at Your feedback helps us maintain and innovate our quality product lines, custom door department and customer service. Our lines of quality doors, conscientious customer service as well as your word-of-mouth has helped grow ETO Doors to the largest door reseller in the country in only a little over 10 years.

Our commitment to you in the coming years is to become even better at what we do. We value your repeat business and will go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied with your purchases from us.

  • We’ll keep a special eye on making sure our inventory is the best value and quality
  • Our delivery service will always protect your doors so they arrive at your site in perfect condition
  • Our customer service representatives will make every effort to communicate in a timely and thorough fashion and to anticipate your door questions – after all, we are the experts!
  • Our showrooms will be staffed with friendly and knowledgable people, be full of value, innovation and surprises and be open at times that fit your schedule
  • We will continue to serve our customers and our community and make our next decade of business as successful as the first.

Thank you, ETO Customers!

Being a Good Neighbor

My Mother plays bridge. At her bridge club there is a sign that says something like “The least you can do is be positive.” As I was learning to be terrible at bridge, I remembered that quote whenever I wanted to be sulky or drown myself in peanuts. My poor partner across the table from me had to witness whatever emotion or state of hygiene I presented. So. I tried to remember to brush my teeth, brush my hair, and smile gently even when my cards were trash.

Luckily for all of us, I’ve given up cards. But still I like that quote. I like to be reminded that our manners and appearance have an impact on those around us. In my work with ETO Doors as in my life, I’m always open to positive customer reviews! Ok, I’m open to all reviews, but the good ones let me know what I’m doing right.

If I could hand out positive reviews, I’d give one to my neighbor

We are not the very best neighbors.

We have braying donkeys and run power tools. The neighbors across the way have barking dogs. The guy up on the hill is always having close calls with his tractor, and the couple to the west are the fastidious form-over-function homeowners. (I say form-over-function because they make choices like electric stove over gas; mowed lawn over messy garden – that kind of thing. Once he even told me he would like to cut down his trees because they drop so many leaves!)

neighborBut, If I had to choose one of my neighbors to have in my constant view, it would be them. Their house is perfectly painted, their front door is perfect, they have sweet golden retrievers, the lawn is mowed, the leaves are raked, the custom garage door is closed but even when it isn’t their stuff is orderly. They are perfect.

Bob C. (Falls Church, VA) sends us a positive client review:
“My garage door looks great! I cannot believe how quickly it was done..It looks great and my neighbor across the road would like the same one for the house. I’ve told her where to get one.. ETO! Thank you Mei!” (May 17, 2012)

Listening to the design process

When designing a home- particularly your own, it is impossible not to be indecisive. From room size and layout to finishes and fixtures, the choices are literally endless. And the combinations impact and influence those choices causing the inevitable mid-stream mind change.

For example, my husband and I are designing a house with really great views. In fact, the views are the highlight of the property which is perched above a train track AND a two-lane highway. So not messing up our views is close to the top of our priorities. One day I was sitting on a chair in the middle of the framed but not walled-in house, and I realized that our kitchen wall blocks the view of the mountains from every room but the bedroom. So now what? Would it be okay to remove the wall between the kitchen and the bedroom? If you remove the wall, does the fridge just stand there showing its ugly stuff out the back? Is it okay to have your bed visible from the living room? A bunch of rearranging and researching ensued and now we have a curtain divider, a short fridge and a varied-height wall. Not right for everybody, but for us, it’s okay if our 1,100 sq ft house lives more like an efficiency apartment than a mansion with wings. If we need to get away we’ll just have to go outside.

Modifications are just part of the game. Even the most experienced designer tweaks as he goes.

Doors are often the period at the end of the sentence when designing your house. Where the house is busy, the door quietly underlines the interest without competing. When a home is subtle, the door can carry its own punch. But sometimes, after the decision has been made, the actual doorway speaks up to say NOPE! You picked wrong, I need to be [mahogany, glass, iron-clad, modern. . . fill in the blank.] We have to listen to the doorway. It knows what it needs.

Steven of Samaniego, CA wrote to us about his experience purchasing over 20 doors for his remodel project. He and his sales representative Joseph Giordano navigated 5 or 6 invoice modifications, numerous phone calls and several meetings before they finally had all their questions answered and were ready to push the GO button on the door order. Steven thanked Joe for getting him what he wanted for the best price and for sticking with them patiently until the end, despite Steven’s indecisiveness.

Anyone working in or for the homebuilding industry just knows that changing one’s mind is part of the process. We don’t actually call it indecisiveness. We call it listening to the house speak!

Proud to Deliver!

ETO Doors – Proud to deliver!

When we started selling doors, we had no idea that one day we would be the largest private door country in North America. We just kept putting one door in front of the other, expanding to catalog then to internet, then to New York. Our buyers really do love what they do, and after so long, they know what to look for in quality and design of doors we sell. They search out customer reviews of manufacturers, visit factories and workshops, talk to salespeople and satisfied customers. They know what is already available in the large ETO Doors inventory; they know what sells; and they hear customer requests for new styles and materials and find just the doors to make a fun and diverse inventory.

Here’s a recent positive client review from Cassie in Louisiana:

ETO positive customer review

ETO values your positive feedback

“Tara, it is our pleasure to refer anyone we know building a home to you! Hands down, the experience with you and your company is the best out of any experience we have had in home building. I told Jennifer that we were so pleased from the level of assistance you gave us as well as the quality of the doors and how well they were packaged. Not a single bit of damage. I could be your spokesperson!”

Thanks for the great feedback. We need to hear from you when we do a good job or when we can do better. Thank you for doing business with ETO Doors.

We value your feedback

Here at ETO Doors, we value your feedback.

Did you know that we are the largest private door company in the country? With our size, there is no doubt we experience normal challenges delivering a product we are proud to put our seal on. But we do! Our warranty and guarantee program ensures that our customers keep coming back. Positive customer reviews of ETO Doors are the gold stars we work for. Keep them coming! Thank you!

We welcome your feedback on our website, plus your positive reviews on sites like,, or show us that not only have we done a good job, but that you were impressed enough to spread the word.

Bill Downard of Los Angeles wrote to tell us that his doors arrived on time in perfect condition. He even included photos – we LOVE to see your before/after photos! We know that when you are in the middle of a construction project, you deal with so many different businesses, details and schedules. We really want to stand out as one of the more pleasant and satisfying interactions you have during your project, so let us know what we can do for you!

Thank you for your positive reviews – that’s what keeps us coming to work!

Thank you, ETO Doors

The SpeakEasy Story

ETODOOR_035One of the most popular ETO Doors products is the Speakeasy window; it’s a beautiful combination of security and whimsy.

The speakeasy name is derived from the 1920s and 1930s Prohibition-era clubs that operated in cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Because these bars served bootlegged or homemade alcohol, and frequently acted as a respite for organized crime families, they needed to be covert, entries guarded, and full of multiple escape routes in the event of a police bust. The term ‘speakeasy’ reflects the need for patrons to “speak easy” or quietly about the activities that happened at the venue to avoid attracting attention when in public. To assist with security, small, solid hinged openings were installed in the front doors of the speakeasies, these openings allowed those standing guard to view and approve potential patrons without having to open the actual door, buying the imbibers inside time to evacuate if the police arrived.

So while Prohibition is dead and gone, and you probably aren’t on the lookout forETODOOR_035 the law, the ETO Doors speakeasy option can be an interesting accompaniment to your new entryway. Speakeasy’s are great for the bars, restaurants, and homes that want privacy, individuality, and a little piece of history. Through the ETO Doors Custom Center, speakeasy’s can be made to your preferred dimensions and always include an interior iron locking system. For a vintage finish on your sophisticated peephole, we recommend that you include the optional exterior wrought-iron grill and oil-rubbed bronze clavos.

Depending upon size and wood selection (e.g. Brazilian Mahogany and Knotty Alder), your door can weigh between 100 and 300lbs; suffice to say that these doors are built to last, but probably not through a police bust, so keep it legal folks.

ETODOOR_035To see more speakeasy options, or other ETO Doors products, stumble your way to our website at or call 1-800-ETO DOORS to speak with a member of our sales team.  If you’re in the Los Angeles area, please stop by our showroom, located at 1340 E. 6th Street in Downtown LA.  We’re open M-F 8a-5p and Sundays 10a-2p.  A special thanks to Wikipedia for a history lesson on speakeasies.