Design, Inspiration

On Trend: Beam Door Headers….Salvaged Spirits

One of the most requested elements in new homes today can be seen in projects stretching as far back as Ancient Greece, it is the attention-getting Door Header. It is a quintessential design element that is versatile, welcoming and timeless. Natural and reclaimed wood continues to be the material of choice nationally with an organic appeal, limitless in terms of style, function and design aesthetics. Beam Door Headers are among our most popular handcrafted products, and this trend isn’t waning.

Door headers have been stylish for millennia, and for good reason. Any room is a plain box without architectural details like Door Headers and by extension Window Headers. From rustic farmhouse to beach cottage, to English or traditional homes harkening structurally sound, timeless styles, the extremely popular trend of choosing natural, reclaimed exposed wood Door Headers and beams are key ingredients to comfortable and easily maintainable, carefree homes for first time homeowners, young families and urban professionals.

Salvaged Spirit

Waste nothing, and you’ll want for little. Homeowners request the clean and fresh feeling in their design replicating simpler times when new materials were not always affordable or perhaps not readily available. Many homesteaders and working-class families save money as they remodel by recycling building materials and rethinking found objects. Eco-friendly and re-purposed materials like antique reclaimed woods re-engineered by ageless artisans skilled in preservation have deep roots among architects, homes builders, suburb and urban property owners.

A door header is one of these “salvaged spirits” used from adobes, to farmhouses, to urban lofts. The door header is one of those “old souls” that is timeless. They are essentially a short beam that goes above the door, window, between rooms and lifts the eye upward.

Several options are available to fit the desired design and budget of those who are engaged in minor or major renovation as well planning new residential or commercial construction.

Uplifting Options

Architectural, not structural Door Headers provide the positive reaction, decreased installation costs with tiniest details completed by a builder’s trim carpenter.

Flush With Opening 

Their light weight makes it possible to install the header flush with the frame, maintaining a clean line with the frame from floor to header. This is a beautiful option for entries where no door is needed. The addition of natural, stained or sealed wood beams become attractive architectural pieces above door spans in foyers, great rooms, breakfast areas, kitchens, wet bar areas, or above windows throughout a home or business.


Inset Beyond the Edges

Working outside the lines of the frame, the inset installation extends 3-6” beyond the cased opening appearing to float within the sheetrock or framed by brick, stone, stucco, shiplap, or other wall coverings and finishes. (show photos). Individually they can “rise and float” independently or have posts or door frames built and installed to match for a bolder statement. Windows can be dressed up by the same style and “frame” with or without curtains.


Providing a finished trimmed edge for the area at either end of an inset Door Header are “E  nd-caps.” The Olde Mill’s objective is to make each piece of architectural addition to foyers, doors, windows appear structural. However, structural beams for entry and door openings are expensive, difficult to install during the framing stage, prevent changes in plans with wall or opening placement and are more easily completed in the final trim stages. The Olde Mill End-caps are specifically designed using cross-cuts of wood grain to give the undeniable appearance of a solid timber. This is a key detail in the realistic and natural style of Door Headers, casings, and beams placed in other areas. 

Post & Frames – Wider or bolder entrances may feel incomplete without door casings or posts. Depending on the rough case opening of the walls, height and room’s purpose, simple planks, trim or more elaborately simple “posts” can be installed within the rough openings to appear they hold the door header structurally.

Photos: Both homes show a Door Header with Posts

Technical Benefits: The Olde Mill Door Headers

The Olde Mill’s door headers are made from 100+ year old Longleaf Pine beams. These beams are reclaimed from demolished barns, factories and sawmills, then milled into veneers and applied to planks known as substrates. This makes them lightweight and easy to install, perfect for adding during or after the building or remodeling process. They come in a range of stock sizes and can be customized to fit door openings of all sizes.
Add photos of interior/exterior of beam

Installation Tips 
The Olde Mill Door Headers have open interiors, usually 2” less in width/depth than the exterior measurements. They can be anchored to the above wall by first attaching a top plate such as a 2”x4” or other matched size. The door header is then cut to the width of the opening (or the desired width, for inset door headers) and anchored to the plywood piece. If you’re planning on hanging a door beneath the header, the door header will need to be wider than the door way, usually by a couple of inches. This will allow the header to carry the weight of the door, with the door frame acting as support.

The Olde Mill provides free expert advice on these an many other architectural products we manufacture.  For questions, click here for a free custom quote or free sample or call if you are ready to order or simply email us at

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