Wood Beams: The Ultimate Facelift for Your Home

If you’re looking for ideas to make your home stand out, decorative beams are a great way to add dimension and give your home a unique touch. And if you’re building from the ground up, you can plan for beams. Beams are long, exposed slabs of wood, usually attached to the ceiling of a room and are commonly found in farmhouses as well as hygge, lodge and cottage style homes. 

Beams are also great for homes with high or vaulted ceilings, homes with dark trim and flooring and rustic homes. And as usual, your options for wooden beams are nearly endless with Johnson Brothers; from styles, species of wood, colors and even accessories, you have some decisions to make. Whether it’s a remodel or a new build, we’ll help you every step of the way. 

Incorporating beams into your home not only gives your home an amazing facelift, but can also provide a level of structural support and other benefits that you can’t get by other means.

There are a number of different species to choose from, with a wide range in cost, strength and (today more than ever) availability. The most common species of wood for beams are white pine, red and white oak, Douglas fir, cypress, and cedar. Oak, although strong, tends to twist and crack over time, while Douglas fir is popular for its strength and durability. White pine, cypress, and cedar do not quite have the load capacity as Douglas fir, but tend to be more affordable. Once you have a species of wood selected for your project, you can narrow down what style best suits your needs. 

There’s an endless variety of timber and beam designs for both the inside and outside of your home. Whether you want to mimic an existing design or go fully custom, the choice is yours. A few different styles of timber and beams include solid, boxed-in, hollow-core and faux beams. Solid wood delivers authenticity but can be extremely heavy. Salvaged wood, often recycled from old barns and homes can bring in a historic feel. Boxed wood, fashioned from three pieces of lumber can reduce weight and cost. Faux wood is a great choice for those with a lower budget who want a real wood look.

Decorative ceiling beams can be stained, left natural, or painted, all depending on the homeowners preference. You’ll want to choose a finish that complements current wood trim or flooring. The goal is a dramatic, cohesive look.

One last touch you can add to your wooden beams are accessories. You can skip this step, or you can take things to the next level. Accessories you might consider include brackets, plates, straps, light fixtures, or wooden shelves. Decorative brackets come in different sizes and styles and can further create a classic, elegant or contemporary look. Plates, straps and end caps add finishing touches. Hard-wired light fixtures can add complexity, but with proper planning almost anything is achievable. Or there are plenty of wireless options that can be incorporated. Lastly, pairing beams with natural wood shelves is another way to tie in your beams to the rest of your décor.

At Johnson Brothers, we sell everything from solid wood beams to wrapped beams, box beams, and faux beams in smooth or resawn textures; there’s truly an option for every budget. Thanks to our suppliers like Disdero and Fypon, we can proudly say all of our beams are made using sustainable foresting practices.

If you’re in the market for decorative wood beams, Johnson Brothers in Boise or Idaho Falls is the place to go. With an on-site mill, we are able to custom create any design you can imagine. Give us a call or visit one of our showrooms for information on beams for your next home improvement project.

Add Some Sparkle With Decorative Glass

Decorative glass may seem like a self-explanatory topic, but there is more to it than you may think. From style, color, material and so much more, the uses of decorative glass are endless. If you’re looking to incorporate decorative glass into your home, we guarantee Johnson Brothers will be able to find something to suit your needs, and with custom options you can really make your home stand out.

Not to mention, decorative glass is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal, and the better the appeal, the higher the value of your home. Of all of the features you could add to your entry door and windows, decorative glass has the potential to make the biggest impact. So, let’s take a look at what decorative glass is.

Simply put, decorative glass is a type of glass that has been textured, patterned, frosted, carved, colored, or stained. If you’re a fan of color, then stained glass might be for you. Maybe you want an intricate design without a pop of color? Carved glass is your solution. Are you looking for privacy? Easy: privacy glass can do the job. Whatever your cup of tea, any type of glass can be customized to fit your needs. 

Along with the style of decorative glass you choose, each type of glass works in its own way to provide a unique touch or purpose, varying from design to privacy. Although different types of decorative glass provide a range of aesthetic options and placements, they all provide similar benefits in terms of safety and beauty. 

Every homeowner knows the importance of safety, but did you know decorative glass can provide another layer of protection to your home? Not only does most decorative glass block the view from the outside of your home, but most entry doors have tempered glass which is substantially stronger than clear glass. 

One of the most obvious benefits of incorporating decorative glass is aesthetics. Like any decorative feature in or on the outside of your home, decorative glass is a great way to show off your sense of style and personality. When incorporated in your entry door, decorative glass adds visual interest and becomes the focal point of your entryway.

Here’s a closer look at the most common types of decorative glass: 

Carved Glass

It’s pretty simple, carved glass is glass that has a design carved into it. This is one of our favorite ways to utilize decorative glass in a home. Carved glass is available in an abundance of variety. From  simple to intricate, the options are limitless! We are certain you will find something to fit your home’s style when you choose carved glass. 

Stained Glass

You may know it as art glass and you may have seen it in churches … but don’t let that intimidate you. The popularity of stain glass has surged as a design element both inside and outside of the home. Stained glass can add elegance and a pop of color to a room or can be used as an accent piece on your entry door. 

Privacy Glass

This is most commonly used for protection purposes. Also called frosted or opaque glass, the purpose of privacy glass is to blur the inside and outside of an entry door or a shower door. Frosted and opaque glass gives homeowners the protection they desire while still allowing light to pass through.

If you’re ready to replace your current entry door, windows or interior accent pieces, Johnson Brothers is here to help. Reach out today for a free consultation and to learn more about our decorative glass options.

Step Up Your Interior Design Game

On our last blog we discussed different ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. Although a great way to stand out and make a first impression from the outside, upgrades and enhancements to your home’s interior really allow you to express your style and make your house feel like a home. 

Johnson Brothers has the knowledge and expertise to help you get started on your next project, whether it’s new construction or renovation. From custom wood moulding and millwork to interior doors, hardware and countertops, we can do it all and more. So, if you’re ready to start on that next (or first) interior design project, here’s some ideas to get you started.

Incorporate Custom Wood Moulding

You’d be surprised by the wonders even the tiniest amount of moulding can do for your interiors. Decorative moulding is especially a great way to create a style that is unique to you, plus we can fully customize any piece to your liking. We’re happy to produce door casings, handrails, baseboards, window casings, crown moulding, plus we offer a varied assortment of plywood panels, slatwall and accessories. Moulding not only adds charm and aesthetic value, but also formalizes a room, creating the illusion of additional space while adding detail and value to your home.

Replace or Install Interior Doors

If you find your interior doors are dated, chipping, broken or simply not your style, let’s get you hooked up with something you’ll love. Doors are our specialty, and when it comes to buying local, we are your best source for commercial and residential in the area. Whether you’re looking for wood, metal, fiberglass or custom, Johnson Brothers has it all. Interior doors are not only great for privacy within your home, but they also play a huge role in the energy efficiency of your home, plus they can easily add a pop of color to your space. 

Upgrade Your Hardware

Upgrading your current hardware is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to add some style to the inside of your home. If you’re looking for door knobs, locks, latches, pulls or literally anything in the hardware realm, we are your people. Our selection of architectural hardware and specialties is one of the best in the region, not just for residential but for commercial and industrial. As the final decorative touch of a door, cabinet or a drawer, hardware really pulls everything together and enhances the overall appearance of your interiors. 

Remodel Your Kitchen Countertop

Although in some cases a larger project, installing a new countertop can completely transform your current kitchen into your dream kitchen. Keep it simple and go with a plastic laminate countertop, take it up a notch and select one of our solid surface countertops, or if you really want a cut above the rest, a butcher block countertop might just be for you. Whether you’re looking for style or functionality, we can give you a countertop that checks both boxes. 

Even the smallest interior updates can make a huge difference in your home & no matter the size of the project, we’re your one-stop-shop to turn your visions into reality. Reach out to Johnson Brothers in Idaho Falls or Boise for your free consultation today.

Boost Your Curb Appeal this Spring

With Spring in the air, there’s no better time to get a jump start on your home improvement projects and prepare for warmer days. Whether you’re looking for a simple refresh or getting ready to sell, updating your home’s exterior creates an inviting setting while increasing your property’s value. Here are four ways Johnson Brothers can help you boost your curb appeal:

Update Your Front Door

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, your front door sets the tone of your entire home. Replacing your old door with a newer one not only boosts your curb appeal but also increases your overall security. And, if you don’t feel like upgrading your entire front door, small changes to your current door can make a big difference. Without spending an arm and a leg, you can paint your front door; but be sure to choose a shade that complements other elements of your exterior. 

Install New Windows

New windows come with both aesthetic and practical value and offer a handful of benefits like increasing your home’s value, decreasing your energy bills and of course, boosting your curb appeal. On average, residential windows last 15-20 years, so if you find your windows are much older than you, replacement may be the best option. If you’re simply sick of looking at your current windows, you can always take a lower cost route like replacing or painting the frame to add a pop of color/texture. 

Add Accent Lighting

A great way to boost the entire atmosphere of your home is to add lighting fixtures or to replace current fixtures and bulbs. You’d be surprised by the difference carefully positioned lights make, not just as a style factor, but by being able to see at night too. Plus, extra lighting will make your home feel much more welcoming during those darker hours. Quality accent lights should withstand harsh elements and accentuate the appearance of your home both during the day and at night. 

Upgrade Your Hardware

Although not always the first thing people notice when approaching your home, elements such as door handles, locks and knobs are the pieces that highlight your front door. Hardware is like the cherry on top of your home’s exterior decor and can be a quick and inexpensive way to enhance the appearance of your exterior. Another very simple way to add some style to your home is by updating your house numbers. A lot of homeowners don’t realize the impact this small change can have on the overall appearance of their home. 

There are plenty other ways to boost your curb appeal beyond these four ideas such as transforming your landscape or adding some exterior decor. You might incorporate a stone or brick path surrounded by shrubbery, or if you want to keep it simple, front door decor can do the job on a budget. Whip out your favorite spring wreath, add some outdoor furniture or set up a few flower pots. 

Whatever the size of your next home renovation project, Johnson Brothers can provide the parts and expertise to help boost your curb appeal this spring and beyond. Visit our Idaho Falls or Boise showroom for more information or a free consultation.

Door Anatomy 101

A door is not always just a door; it can be a first impression, or a statement about who you are. Front doors are a great way to boost your curb appeal and really make your home stand out. A front door is also the mouthway of your home and Johnson Brothers can help make it smile. 

Additionally, knowing the anatomy of a door can be helpful when shopping for a new door, upgrading door parts and simplifying the buying process. Before selecting all the different parts and pieces of your new door, you’ll want to decide on a style.

Door Anatomy illustration

Types of Doors

When it comes to styles, there are a plethora of different designs to choose from. Some common door styles include Dutch doors, French doors, bifold doors, sliding doors, pocket doors, barn doors and pivot doors. Once you have style nailed down, you can start shopping for materials, accessories and add-ons. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the basic anatomy of a door.


Simply put, the slab is the door – the giant piece of wood that swings around the door unit. As the main component of a door, the slab is commonly made of fiberglass, steel or wood but can also be made from aluminum or glass. The slab can really set the tone of your home, so make sure you pick the right look.

The door slab itself generally consists of three elements including the stiles, rails and lock block. The stiles are the vertical pieces of the slab, while the rails are the horizontal pieces. Paneled wood doors have obvious stiles and rails, while other materials like flush wood doors may not have either. Lastly, the lock block is one of the most important aspects of the slab as it is where the door lock is attached.

Now, let’s venture outside of the door slab and talk about the basics of a door unit. Without the unit, a door cannot function as intended. The unit most commonly consists of the sill, the jamb/frame and moulding, but can vary considerably based on style.


The sill is the piece of aluminum that sits on the ground underneath the door and connects the frame from both sides. A good sill is like a gateway which helps protect your interiors from unwanted dirt, debris, bugs and more. The main parts of a sill typically include the deck, cap and substrate.


The jamb or door frame are the three pieces that frame the door, consisting of the two vertical side jambs and the single horizontal piece at the top of the door called the head jamb. Depending on your preference, the jamb can be made of veneered wood, solid wood or composite material, which determines the strength of the frame. 


The moulding is installed around the door frame and can be positioned to conceal unwanted gaps and accentuate the style of your door. While moulding can increase your front door curb appeal, it can also offer protection to the entryway by preventing moisture into the door unit. 

Keep in mind, all doors are designed differently. Your door may include different parts and components all depending on material, style and personal preference. If you’re simply shopping for add ons you may want to brush up on door handles and knobs, hinges, weatherstrips and deadbolt locks.

Door knobs range from privacy and passage knobs to interior mortise knobs/handles. You can also choose from many different types of hinges including butt hinges, overlay hinges, spring-loaded hinges and more. Whether you are shopping for interior or exterior door parts will determine your need for weatherstrips. For information on deadbolts and other locks, check out our blog on door locks.

Again, this is all just basic door anatomy – BUT, much like shopping for anything, being knowledgeable about what you’re looking for makes the hunt easier on both ends. With that being said, make sure to visit Johnson Brothers in Idaho Falls or Boise for all your interior and exterior door needs.

Only the Best. Always

If you know who we are, then you know that we’re a family-run business that’s provided the highest quality construction and renovation materials for over 100 years. If you don’t, then let us introduce ourselves: For five generations, we’ve helped build dreams. 

We’ve had the privilege of working on thousands of different projects across Idaho and beyond. Whether it’s commercial or residential, big or small, no job is beyond our expertise. So, what’s the difference between Johnson Brothers and a big box store?

It’s our three-step approach. First, we only provide products from the most trusted brands in the industry. Next, we offer every customer a unique experience by learning everything we can about their project needs and wants. Finally, we go out of our way to ensure that your project runs as smoothly as possible, from start to finish. We’re still with you after the sale is final. 

With Johnson Brothers, you get the convenience of having one supplier for all of your architectural needs. Whatever your next project is, we’re here to help you find the right windows, doors, hardware, hardwoods, custom moulding and other architectural specialties for new construction or renovation.

“Quality makes us the best choice. Over a century of experience makes us the right choice.”

We know we’re not the only option for specialty building materials, but we do know that your experience with us will be unforgettable. We provide the quality and selection of the big guys with the attention of a niche business. Our consultations are always free, and we’re happy to help you get the ball rolling on your next project. Give us a call, or visit our showroom in Idaho Falls or Boise.

Owner Chris Sargis said it best: “Our products and processes will continue to change with the times, but our commitment to quality never will.” In fact, quality is written right in our slogan. “Quality makes us the best choice. Over a century of experience makes us the right choice.”

Here are some of our specialties:


Interior or exterior doors, specialty or commercial, and materials from wood to fiberglass. We can hook you up with standard or custom windows and are proud to carry Marvin, Andersen and other top-notch dealers. Along with materials, styles, and custom fitting, we’ll help you find the right hardware to suit your needs. 


Our hardware selection is one of the best in the region. From windows and exterior doors to kitchen cabinets we can guarantee you’ll find something you love. We carry some of the best suppliers on the market and even take special orders. Custom work and design is one of our favorite ways of turning concepts into reality, which is where our woodworking skills really come into play. 


We’ve got the materials and expertise to produce one-of-a-kind custom wood moldings, casework and cabinets. We can confidently say we offer nearly every species of hardwood you can think of, along with MDF and paint-grade materials. Feel free to download our moulding catalog or Kenny’s Special Catalog if you want to learn more. 


We only carry the best, of course. We carry plastic laminate, butcher block and solid surface countertops and offer brands like Wilsonart, Formica, John Boos, LG, Samsung and more.

Anyway, you get the jist; we can do a LOT of things. That’s the payoff of being in the business for over 115 years.

Why You Should Replace Your Windows

Replacing your windows can be a great opportunity to transform your home AND trim your monthly energy bills. Whether you want a new look, or your windows are worn out, quality windows can add light and fresh air, stabilize the temperature and enhance your home’s style from the inside out. Here are a few reasons why you should consider replacing your windows:

Boost your home’s curb appeal

As a design element of your home, windows say a lot about who you are. Replacing windows that are faded or don’t match the style of your home can enhance both the look and value of your property, especially if you upgrade to energy efficient windows. Upgrading your windows can increase the value of your home by 10% or more. So, if you have plans to sell in the future, good windows are a fantastic investment. 

Needlessly high utility bills

If you’ve recently found an increase in your energy bills, upgrading to energy efficient windows may be your solution. On average, around 40% of your annual heating and cooling costs can be attributed to old, drafty windows. Energy efficient windows are specifically designed to prevent your heating and cooling dollars from flying through them. 

Outdated windows

There are a few obvious giveaways that your windows are outdated, which can help you decide whether or not you should replace them. If you can see fog between the panes, if there’s a draft, or if they don’t open properly, you may want to consider replacement. Fog and air leakage usually means that your windows are not fully sealed which again, could be a reason for higher energy bills. Not only is it frustrating when our windows will barely budge, but windows that don’t function properly are a safety concern and may indicate broken or warped components.

Do it for you

You really don’t need any reason to justify replacing your windows, but new windows come with quite a few health benefits. Research shows that fresh air and natural light help people be more productive, happier, healthier and calmer. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not have access to good natural light, especially in older homes. With more and more people working from home, installing new windows or upgrading current windows is a great way to increase exposure to natural light, sunshine and fresh air. 

If you do decide to replace your windows, it’s never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the different parts and terminology before starting to shop. Some basic parts to study up on include stiles, sash, muntins, glazing, apron, stool, casings, jambs, rails operator, latch and arms. Knowing the lingo and functions of different window parts will allow you to communicate more effectively and help you find exactly what you want. 

Whatever the reason for deciding to upgrade, reach out to Johnson Brothers in Boise or Idaho Falls for more information on taking the next step.

Unlock Your Door’s True Potential

Pictured: Level Door Lock Set

Feeling secure in your home is one of the most important aspects of being a homeowner. Something as small as the lock on your door can increase the level of security in your home and put your mind at ease. As an essential part of your home, selecting the right locks for your doors has become more important than ever. From traditional locks to smart locks, the options for securing your interiors are vast.  

Exterior Door Locks for Techies

Convenient, durable and elegant, smart locks add a layer of protection to your home without compromising design. As the popularity of smart locks rapidly increase each year, more brands and options become available for homeowners. With producs like Level Lock, you can easily discover the perfect lock for your home. Although the smallest smart lock ever made, Level Lock’s hardware can be controlled by touch, voice, smartphones, watches, key cards or a key and can be accessed from anywhere.

Take into consideration that smart locks are not for everyone, as they are capable of numerous high tech features. Some smart locks can automatically lock and unlock once a bluetooth presence is detected, automatically lock when a door is shut, unlock doors for packages and can be programmed with custom unlock codes for guests. 

If the thought of tearing out your old lock and installing a new one terrifies you, there are even smart locks that can be directly assembled into your existing deadbolt set up. Along with the option of hassle-free installation, imagine a lock that has the ability to automatically turn on any of your interior lights as soon as you unlock your door…that’s pretty cool if you ask us. 

Exterior Door Locks For Traditionalists

There are also great options for manual locks such as mortise locks and deadbolt locks if you prefer more traditional security features. Mortise Locks are designed with powerful cylinders and are great for commercial buildings and apartment doors, while deadbolt locks are most widely used for residential properties. To up your security standard, select mortise locks with more levers or a hybrid deadbolt lock with a lockable thumb-turn.

Interior & Alternative Door Locks

Lastly, knob locks and padlocks are also very well known, but are commonly used outside the realm of exterior doors. As the most popular type of door lock for interiors, knob locks should be avoided for external use as they provide only a limited level of security if not paired with Deadbolt locks. Padlocks are one of the most simple lock designs and come in a variety of models with a choice between keyed padlocks or combination padlocks.

Having a basic understanding of the options available when it comes to selecting locks is important as exterior doors are your home’s main access points. Before you spend too much time contemplating budget, remember that it’s never a bad idea to increase the security features in your home. At Johnson Brothers we’ll help you select the right lockset for your home, plus you can reach out to our Boise or Idaho Falls offices for a free consultation.

Bad Weather Booster

Bad weather is right around the corner, which means it’s time to make sure your home is well prepared. One of the easiest ways for a nasty draft to get into your home is right through the front door. Investing in storm doors for all of your exterior doors is a surefire way of creating an extra layer of security for your home. 

A storm door is a secondary outer door used for protection from bad weather and ventilation in warmer weather. Like any other door, storm doors are available in many colors, sizes and materials, so you’ll have no problem finding something to match your home’s style. 

Storm doors are commonly available in vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. There are many extras you can add to your storm door to make it more functional and attractive. Be sure to select handles and hinges that match the color of the exterior door.  

Weatherization products are great for homeowners who live in harsh climates as they protect exterior doors from rain, ice and snow. With proper installation, storm doors add an extra layer of insulation that keeps warm air in and cold air out. 

With great insulation and quality storm doors, you can easily boost the energy efficiency of your home. Much like energy efficient windows, well designed storm doors are composed of three layers that are designed to block air and UV rays, which reduces the need for heating and cooling. 

Besides protection from the elements, storm doors also provide your home with increased security. You can choose storm doors that come equipped with protective grilles, heavy duty security glass and extra locking systems. All homeowners know that an additional layer of security is never a bad idea.

If you want to take an extra step in weather-proofing your home, you may even consider installing storm windows. Like storm doors, storm windows help save energy and provide extra protection and insulation to your home. 

Storm windows can be installed on the inside or outside of your home’s existing windows and can be manufactured out of glass, rigid plastic or flexible plastic sheets. They also come in different shapes, sizes and styles. 

Storm doors and windows are a great addition to your home, especially in cycling weather conditions, but are useless if not installed properly. Reach out to Johnson Brothers in Boise or Idaho Falls for a free consultation, or more information about storm-proof products and installation.

Benefits of Energy-efficient Windows

Did you know that 40% of your annual heating and cooling costs can be attributed to outdated, drafty windows? If you find your heating and cooling bills are through the roof, it may be time to upgrade to newer, energy efficient windows.

Energy efficient windows, or energy saving windows are specifically designed to prevent heat or cool air from escaping your home. Investing in these highly insulated windows warrants long term benefits for your home and your wallet. It’s basic math, your home + good insulation = lower bills.

The Department of Energy estimates that you can save $125 to $465 dollars a year, by simply installing energy efficient windows. If that doesn’t convince you, installing a set of new vinyl windows could potentially add as much as $12,000 to your home’s selling price. Although pricey, energy efficient windows pay off in the long run.

So, what exactly makes a window energy efficient? A window becomes energy efficient when it has multiple glass panes, windowpane spaders, low-e glass coatings, contains argon or krypton gas between the panes, and lastly, high quality window frames. The quickest way to break it down is by looking for windows with Energy Star Ratings.

On average, Energy Star products use 20 to 30 percent less energy than their counterparts, but do keep in mind that some Energy Star windows are more efficient than others. Whatever your needs, Johnson Brothers can help you select the best windows for your home, plus we have customizable options and a variety brands to choose from.

Aside from financial benefits, energy efficient windows also provide your home with noise reduction and protection for your interior. The thick panes and extra layers in these windows diminish noises of traffic (or your neighbor’s dog), plus block UV rays from the sun, in turn keeping your carpet, paint, and furniture protected from fading.

One last obvious benefit of investing in energy efficient windows is that you’re doing your part in helping protect the environment. The HVAC system is a known contributor to air and water pollution, so with energy-saving windows reliance on the system is reduced.

Johnson Brothers is proud to exclusively carry Energy Star brands such as Andersen Windows and Marvin Windows. Visit Johnson Brothers’ showroom in Idaho Falls or Boise today for your home improvement inquiries as well as information on energy efficient windows for your home.