Ledged and braced doors have been common in British homes for hundreds of years due to their simple construction. A ledged and braced door can be made from a few vertical planks of equal length with horizontal ‘ledges’ across them to hold them together. In between these ledges are the ‘braces’ which run diagonally across. The front of ledged and braced doors shows only the vertical planks whereas the back has a characteristic ‘Z’ formation created by the ledges and braces.
They have been common for so long because this simple construction means they are easier to build than other doors and therefore easier to maintain, rotten parts could be simply removed without fuss. Ledged and braced doors are still commonly seen at the side entrances of terraced houses and on sheds for the very same reasons today even though terraced homes will most likely have more contemporary interior pine doors or hardwood internal doors inside.
Those interior designers with an eye for syntax as well as home decorating will recognise the term ‘contemporary classic’ as a bit of an oxymoron. However, due to their heritage then subsequent unpopularity during the 70′s and 80′s and now current resurgence, ledged and braced doors have truly earned the merit ‘contemporary classic’. Ledged and braced doors were only a stalwart over the last two decades in very rustic cottages but have become a favourite for more modern homes based near the country and even urban homes.
The main reason why ledged and braced doors were seen by many as draughty ‘farmers doors’ was because poor quality wood was often used to save money and so many ledged and braced doors could be seen on display in very poor condition. Nowadays it is possible to buy high quality ledged and braced doors made from solid oak that helps prevent warping. Because the wood used is of such a high grade and is perfect for a waxed natural finish, modern ledged and braced doors will sit happily within more contemporary homes than would ever have been considered twenty years ago. Couple this with classic ironmongery such as Suffolk latches or T Hinges to complete the look and even the most modern homes will comfortably succeed in feeling as rustic as warm ale on a summers day in front of the village cricket team. (Umbrella not supplied).