Our new front door… sort of

Renovations can be hard.   I’ve heard it all along, but until moving into this house, I’d only experienced it on a smaller scale (a MUCH smaller scale).  Since moving in, we’ve had a lot of work done and for every single project, we’ve experienced setbacks.

For example…

Carpet installation – Installer nicked a pipe and caused a flood

Insulation/Radiant barrierLowe’s kept measuring our attic incorrectly so installation was delayed a month

Leaky roof fix – Roofer showed up 5 days later than scheduled (without telling us… we had to track him down and stalk him via phone to figure out where he was… Aaaaaand there was torrential rain the night after he was *supposed* to come.)

Painting the exterior – Remember that time I ran off a paint crew? 

Pool resurfacing – The tile that we were attempting to keep was unsalvageable (hence, more expense) and we experienced 3 weeks of ice/snow midway through the project.

Vent/duct cleaning Mold.  ‘Nuff said.

Laminate flooring – I haven’t even told y’all about this yet….  Empire installed a faulty product that scratches like crazy, but they refuse to replace it (Tip: Don’t purchase laminate flooring from Empire Today.).  However, they did admit that it was installed incorrectly, so last week, we had to completely empty out our living/dining space so they could finally fix it (which they only partially did. Ugh.).   #shootme

Which brings us to our front door.  Remember when I told yall all the story about how it came to be in this post??

Well, it took over 2 months to get it installed.   After being rescheduled due to a snowstorm, the day finally came.  We were so excited that we could barely contain ourselves.  They were supposed to install it at noon, so as the slowly-moving clock hands finally struck the hour we waited.  And waited.   Then, we got the call that our installer was running late and would arrive between 2 and 3pm.  So, we waited some more.  At 3pm, Joey got a call that they were 30 minutes out.  Aaaaaand at 4:30 pm, they finally showed up.  It was a good thing that we didn’t already have plans being that it was Saturday Night, right??

Once they finally arrived, they showed me the door on the street…

For anyone curious, it’s the 4-lite straight B Door with hammered glass from the Metro Collection by Feather River.  We’d ordered it unpainted with just white primer (which saved us over $1K).  The door looked pretty good, though I remember feeling like something was off.    I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something…. The door was turned around so that the interior was facing the street, which made it harder for me to recognize.  Since everything seemed mostly fine, they moved forward with installation.

They removed our old door, then started installing the new door.  Which is when I walked through the foyer and  realized what it was bothering me…

The door opened in the wrong direction.

I told the installer this, and after a moment of thought, a panicked realization hit his face.  I was right.  Our previous door had opened the other way.   And he hadn’t caught it.  Crap.  He looked at all the paperwork and figured out that the initial installer who’d come out to measure had entered the door swing into the computer incorrectly when placing our order.


Two months and the order was wrong to begin with.

So, now we had a bit of a pickle.   Our old door was in pieces, and we needed a front door, obviously, so at this point our only choice was for the installers to continue installing the new/wrong door.

And it was painful to watch.

Not because the installers were unprofessional in any way (they were super friendly despite this huge disappointment and did a good job), but because installing a front door is a TON of work.  I had no idea until I saw it first-hand.  We figured out the mistake at around 6:30 pm, and they didn’t leave until after 10 pm.   And they didn’t even do the finishing touches on the inside (like caulking or installing our new door handle – they used the old one as it didn’t require drilling any more holes) since they knew that the door would be replaced soon.  And it STILL took them that long.

I considered leaving it the way it was. I walked in and out about 20 times to see how it felt, but I just couldn’t do it.  Door swing has a surprisingly big impact on the feeling of a space.   Having it in the opposite orientation completely changed the flow of the foyer.  Before, you opened the door to our beautiful lawyer’s cabinet and a view of our mid-century dresser-turned-tv-stand in the living room.  Now, you opened it to a closet.

Not quite the first impression I was aiming for.  I wanted our house to feel the way it was originally intended and it was definitely more open and welcoming in the other direction.   Plus, functionality-wise, our door bell and interior light switches were located on the other side (now behind the door).


It was clear that the door needed to be changed and installed the way it was supposed to be.

That Monday we spoke with the manager of Home Depot’s Door department, and got confirmation from the manufacturer that it was fine to replace the door and door jamb only rather than having to completely reinstall the entire unit with sidelights.  This was a benefit to both parties… for us, it was less wear and tear on our doorway and a shorter installation time, and for the installer it was less expensive and would take less work.  We were guaranteed that this would not compromise the strength or integrity of the door frame.   So, that’s what we decided to do.

So now, we have to wait again.

This shot was taken as I started painting the wood trim.   The trim is staying and is untreated wood, so I needed to paint it to shield it from the elements.  I refuse to paint the sidelights until the permanent door is installed since I know the paint job will most likely be ruined during install.   So, in the meantime, our door looks like this… 
It’ll eventually all be that charcoal grey color (Black Bean by Behr) and the door will model the super cool new hardware we purchased, which I cant WAIT to see on there.  It’s currently in the original box in our foyer.  Just sitting.  All lonely.  Just staring at the front door.  Waiting to fulfill its destiny.   Hopefully, it’ll get to sometime soon.  I hope.

At this point, it’s been almost 3 weeks since the door was installed and as of yesterday, the HD hadn’t received our door yet.  So, cross all fingers, toes, arms, legs and knock on wood for good measure that our door not only comes in soon (and is correct), but that the installers get us in pronto (as opposed to the month we had to wait for installation last time).

In any case, despite any of these setbacks that we’ve experienced throughout the various reno projects, all of them have been worth it in the end.  And this one will be, too.   I have no doubt about that.  And I know that they won’t deter us from taking on more projects in the future.  In fact, weirdly enough, we’re looking forward to those projects…  things like redoing our bathrooms and an eventual kitchen renovation.  There’s no feeling like making your house your home.  And that’s what these experiences are all about.

So, what kind of renovation stories do you have?  I’d love to here ’em!  🙂

TDC Before and After

2 thoughts on “Our new front door… sort of

    • Definitely! I’m really glad that we stuck to our guns. As annoying as the process is, it’ll be great to have it done right and I know we’ll love it in the end. 🙂

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