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New doors!

April 1, 2022, 12:32 AM

On Friday, March 25, the largest part of a home improvement project got completed.  I got new exterior doors on the house.  This was a very long time in coming, with supply chain issues’ making it take many months longer than originally anticipated, but that’s what happens.  I went through American Remodel, and these new doors should pay for themselves over time in increased energy efficiency.  The old doors were in somewhat poor condition, and were drafty.  Elyse was getting drafts in her bedroom, the kitchen door was starting to fall apart, and the front door not only leaked air, but was oozing material from around the window, and had modifications made to it in the past that degraded its functionality.

Here’s what the front door looked like before the work, photographed about a year ago:

The old front door, photographed in 2021

Notice the dripping underneath the window.  I’m not entirely sure what it was, but it was coming from around the window.  I also discovered that it was an ongoing thing, as I cleaned it up one time, and then new liquid came out all over again in very short order.  Also, if you look around the area of the doorknob, you can see screw holes from a modification to the door hardware, as it was clear that the hardware that I knew was not original.  I don’t know what the original hardware was, but it was not what I was familiar with.  Additionally, the deadbolt on the door wasn’t exactly a super fit.  It was a high-security Mul-T-Lock deadbolt, which required a lot more effort than I wanted to deal with.  It was already on the house when I bought it, but I found out later that I didn’t technically own the lock, because the previous owner didn’t sign over the lock to me with the lock company, which meant that I could not get new keys made for it.  In order to get ownership of the lock and have keys made for it, I had to get someone to come out to rekey it, which I did.  When the lock guys came out, the poor fit of the deadbolt quickly became clear, as the lock company didn’t install it.  Rather, the previous owners did it themselves, and the result was not exactly professional-grade, as it was very difficult to lock and unlock the deadbolt, especially in colder weather.  A new door took care of all of that in any event.

Meanwhile, getting to the installation day was a lot longer than any of us had expected.  We got the details finalized, I put down my deposit, and the order was placed in the summer, and we expected 6-10 weeks for it to be manufactured, with installation coming soon thereafter.  Due to supply chain issues, the doors were in manufacturing for many months.  The hang-up came with the glass for the sliding doors.  The infamous supply chain problems that happened in 2021 impacted my project, and that was that.  You don’t know how delighted I was when I got the email telling me that my doors were in, and that I needed to call to schedule a date for installation.

On the day of installation, we got up early, and the contractors showed up at 8:15 AM.  As with any renovation project, the first thing to happen was demo, and that meant saying goodbye to that problematic front door:

Goodbye to the old front door.  Goodbye to the old front door.

Good riddance to that thing.  Then they made quick work out of the slider in the kitchen:

The kitchen door is gone!

The kitchen door is gone!

And then the one in Elyse’s room:

The basement door is gone!

The basement door is gone!

Then the new doors came out:

New front door!
New front door!

New kitchen door!
New kitchen door!

New basement door!
New basement door!

And then the doors got installed.  First, the front door:

The new front door is installed  The new front door is installed

I love that new window.  It looks so modern, though it took some time to get used to.

Then here’s the new kitchen slider in place:

The new kitchen slider, fully installed.

The new kitchen slider, fully installed.

And the new basement door:

New basement door, fully installed.

And then came the pièce de résistance: the storm door.

The storm door is ready to go in.
The storm door is ready to go in.

Putting the finishing touches on the storm door.
Putting the finishing touches on the storm door.

The final product.
The final product.

My only complaint about the process was this:

The thermostat, reading 63 degrees.

Yeah, it was a cold process, but that was nothing that anyone could help.  It’s part of the nature of the work: you take all of the doors off of the house, and you’re going to let all of the heat out.  Therefore, it’s going to get cold.  I turned off the HVAC system for the duration of the work, because there was no sense in running the heat just to have it go right out the door.  Elyse and I dressed warmly enough, but I was still cold.  Oh, well.  But once the job was complete, we fired up the HVAC, and the house was warm again in no time.

Meanwhile, with the doors done, the only thing left in this project is to replace the gutters and the number plate, but that will occur at a later date.  It also shows how much things can go down the “if you give a mouse a cookie” rathole, because with the freshly done door in the proper color, now the shutters don’t match.  So they need to be repainted in order to make things look all uniform.  I’ll do that later on.

But at least the doors are done.  I have other home improvement projects that I want to do, but for now, I’m happy that the exterior doors are completed, so I can start enjoying some savings due to reduced heat loss.

Categories: House