July 11, 2014

Back door troubles

Between swimming and softball, packing for vacation next week and just plain having fun with the kids, I haven't felt the need or desire to post for a while. But I haven't forgotten about projects! There is always one cookin' at my place! This one finally got started a few weeks ago, I just couldn't find time to  get ti up on the blog but here it is today!

My sweet neighbor Dee found a back door for me when she knew how much I hated my current one.
Let's take a look at pure loveliness…..
This has always bothered me but other projects have been more pressing. As you can see, one project that I should probably get to is cleaning the actual back porch as well as cleaning the brick…another time.

I am at a loss on this one….but it too will get done this summer I hope. I can't stand looking at that ugly thing.

Gotta love poor DIY. When I removed the casing of the aluminum door this is what I found…."Yes, let's stuff some old strips of cotton to stabilize the frame!"

 OK, enough grousing about the previous owners… Here's the wooden loveliness that I wanted to use.  All my other doors are wooden so I had been on the hunt for one for a while. Thank god for neighbors with eagle eyes!
The door was about 1/2" too wide for the opening so I needed to take off a bit on the hinge side. Now my house is 100+ years old so that also meant that I had to measure at several different points on the door opening because nothing is square. I took those measurements, transferred them to the door and then used my circular saw to cut off the excess. Ever heard the adage measure twice, cut once? We will get back to that…..
I was hanging this door by myself because I am too impatient and my husband was at a golf outing. But  these surface mount hinges did make it ridiculously easy to hang. Attach the fully assembled hinges to your door first.

Place your door in your opening and use shims to get it off of the bottom a bit, otherwise it will scrape.

Come to the inside of the door and mark  your hole with a pencil.

Take out the hinge pin….
Take off the hinge and screw it into the frame where it is marked. Then you just slide the two hinge pieces together and replace the pin! Admire your handiwork from the outside, open and close your new door several times because you can not believe you did this yourself and then go inside to have a look...
And see how wrong you were. There should not be this much light all around the edge of your door!
Since it was 4 o'clock by now, I had to calmly put my tools down and start dinner and go to a swim meet. Stew on this the entire meet….and wake up the next day to start all over again….
Again I did not wait for my husband but I can't remember why he was not available at this point….nor can I remember why I thought I should continue to do this by myself. 
Some might say I can be a bit stubborn but he was not around to say it.

Okay, so to fix this debacle, I removed the door, built up the frame on the hinge side with two layers of lattice because a 1x2 would have been too thick and one layer of lattice was not enough. If I had taken off any more of the door from the hinge side, the window/screen would have looked off center.
So I measured, cut, glued and screwed the lattice strips into place.
and re-hung the door using the exact same procedure as the day before….Now the door was too big again! I might have pitched a fit at this point. Looking at it from the outside, it just looked a bit too big so I started sanding the handle side of the door……and sanded….and sanded…….and saaaaaannnnnnded. Hmmmmm, maybe I should look from the inside? Oh bigger than I thought.

Yep, off the door came and a smidge was removed using the circular saw.
I was so happy when i hung it the THIRD freakin' time and it fit, it closed, and the only light that was showing through was from the worn away stone from the bottom step. That I am not touching!

Lessons learned?
1. Have a helper. That way you can see what you need to see
2. Look at the door from the inside. That way you can see the light. If I had down this I would have not taken off so much and I would not have created twice, actually three times the work for myself.
3. MEASURE three times, cut once.
4. Keep your inside door closed while you work……pain in the neck to keep opening and closing while you work but MUCH less flies.

Now all I need to do is build a screen…..my track record says that will take me double the time of the door.
I think I will wait until after vacation to start that one!

Always being renewed,

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  1. This all sounds so familiar, it could all have been happening at our house! I admire your tenacity, and your door looks great!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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