The Doors They Are A-Changin’

Before I say anything else, Bob Dylan–I’m sorry. It was just out there, and I’m powerless against a good allusion (or a corny one, really). I couldn’t help myself.

Anyhoo, seeing the lovely pictures of our TV room last week reminded me of a long-intended post not yet written, so in a TBT to a time when the world was a little greener and a pre-Thanksgiving tribute to the guy who does all the behind-the-scenes hard work I take credit for on this blog, I present to you a story of some doors, and the couple who hated them.

When we bought the house, the doors were cheap, ugly, had different finishes and, in some cases, had unknown things stuck to them.

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They were so objectively bad that even the previous occupants, who condoned things like orange painted lattice on lime green walls, planned to replace them. We know this because the correct number of new doors was already in the house waiting to be hung, and we made sure they were included in the contract when we bought the place. This was good! But they were blanks, so they had no mortices for hinges or holes for a knob or lock, and the floors in our older home meant fitting the new doors could be tricky. This was bad. But, we were able to get several recommendations for contractors with experience in older homes from our neighborhood Facebook group. This was good! But, both contractors who came out gave us an estimate of $800-900 for the four doors. This was bad.

That is how it came to pass that the ugly doors hung in our home until late this summer. There are not too many instances in which watching television is productive to your life, but most of them involve one program: This Old House. In one episode, our dream-uncles Tom Silva and Roger Cook demonstrated how to fit and hang new doors in an older home. Like reality TV often does, this gave us the confidence to attempt something we had no other real reason to believe we could do. Well–that’s not entirely true. Justin is gifted in the realm of “figuring things out” and “making it work,” so I tend feel pretty at-peace when he tells me he’s going to DIY a certain project. I helped by painting the doors and otherwise staying out of the way.

The multiple step process included:

  1. Measuring the new door against the old door.
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    Green grass, sun, fighting chihuahuas. Those were the days. (Sure, the chihuahuas still fight all the time, but it’s not as cute when you’re confined indoors with them.)
  2. Fine trimming the new door to size with a planer (after the rough cut).
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  3. Patching the spots that had been chiseled out for old lock plates and/or hinges.
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  4. Chiseling new mortices for hinges and lock plates.
  5. Making an inevitable mess along the way.
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  6. Drilling holes for the knobs and locks.
  7. Priming and painting the doors. I even got a sunburn while doing it. Those were the days.
  8. Hanging the doors. 

Result: Success! The new doors look great, and even after buying a few needed tools, we managed to keep about $700 in our pockets.

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VINE & LACE

3 comments

  1. Brilliant!! You know you are inspiring. You do these tasks by yourself (though this one was by your husband) so cheerfully, making it seen that this is not tedious work. I am sure this was all worth it you saved 700$ plus lovely white new doors as compared to the old. It is amazing how TV can change lives by making us to something production, it’s not a idiot box for sure. Someday if your having expertise you can make videos on interior decor, flooring, painting but your blogs are interesting to read. Its all about your home and you got so much to share and say. Nice.

    1. Thank you SO much for your kind words, Maria! I really appreciate it! I’m lucky that my husband is as interested in taking on these tasks as I am. He’s great at teaching himself how to tackle new projects. The doors never would have gotten done without him for sure! Good experience, too, because now we need to replace the doors in our new home. 🙂

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