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

A sad story about a sad door

So, uhhhh, we’re getting a new front door.

I know, I know… but we JUST painted our front door, right??!

Well, allow me to explain…

Ya see, when we moved in we realized right away that the front door was a little… wrong.   See this gap above the door??


That sucker took THREE layers of the largest weather stripping I could find to seal it up to where I couldn’t see daylight.   Not only was it a huge gap vertically (as you can see in the picture), there was also quite a bit of space horizontally as the door came nowhere near the upper jamb.   As I applied the weather-stripping, I got a much more personal look at the door…  It was clearly not original.  It actually had “Feb 2004” stamped onto the top.  The door frame and sidelights were original to the home, but the door had been replaced.  And it was the cheapest, most generic front door ever.  Plus, instead of replacing the entire doorway as they should’ve (or hiring a pro to install the actual door), someone had haphazardly retro-fitted this cheapo door into the frame.  And had done SUPER crummy job of fitting it properly.   Hence, the wonkiness.

At the time of the weather-stripping, we simply decided to shrug and move on.   We figured we’d just weather-strip it, paint it, and make do until we had it replaced (hopefully) a few years down the line.   I mean, we had so many other things to think of first.

Then, came November.  Joey went out of town.   And I went out front to get the mail.   When I came back inside and attempted to close the front door, it wouldn’t shut.  Why, you ask??  Well…


The screws had literally FALLEN OUT of the bottom hinge and were just sitting in the holes all crazy-like.  Turns out, the wood on the door frame had become all warped and weak, thus, would no longer hold the screws in their current location.  So, I carefully removed the screws, shut the door, and hoped for the best.

The next day, my dad came over and not realizing that our door was dying, walked in through the front door.  And when he went to close the storm door behind him, well….


The handle broke off in his hand.  He sheepishly handed the sad remains to me and stated “Um, you might need this.”.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  Of COURSE this stuff would happen when Joey was out of town.  Of COURSE it would.  Luckily, the front door would still close, as would the storm door as there was still a small tab of metal with which to operate the handle.

For a while, we just used the front door as it was.  I mean, it was working right??  That third hinge must just be a precaution, right??


One evening while Joey was at work, I came home, grabbed a package off the front porch and went to close the door.  But it wouldn’t close.   I guess the stress of only having two hinges was just too much for it and the door went completely crooked in the door frame.  Try as I might, my meager five foot frame was unable to right the door to its correct position.  Since Joey was at work, I called my dad.   He came by and re-screwed the door back into the frame.  Good as new.

So, at this point, I figured, “Hey!  He fixed it!  We can make do for a while longer!!  YAY!!”  So, I happily grabbed my brush and painted the front door.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to denial at its finest.

This denial was short-lived, however.  Shortly after painting the door, it happened again.  The door went offline, so to speak.  And AGAIN, I couldn’t get it closed.

And that was when Joey stopped listening to me and my ridiculous “We can make do!” claims as they were becoming reminiscent of an “I can stop whenever I want to” type of denial.   He put his foot down and stated that he didn’t want to have to worry about the house not being secure when I was alone with Lucas.  WE NEED A NEW FRONT DOOR.  And I agreed.  He was right.  Totally right.  We needed a front door that closed whenever we wanted it to.   Novel idea, right?

So, we got a few estimates.  In the end, we went with Home Depot.  Their labor was the cheapest and they had a 15% off sale for entry doors at the time.  The door we ordered is from a new line by Feather River.  In fact, it’s so new that they don’t even have actual pictures of it online.

Here’s a shot of it from the brochure…


We chose a simple, mid-century inspired door with four square windows and full length sidelights (we’re just getting a single door, not a double as shown in the picture).  We didn’t have the option for clear glass, so we chose the “hammered” version after visiting a few stores to see the glass in person.  I found a DoorWays app via another company called ThermaTru that carries a door almost identical to the one we purchased, so to give you a better idea of what it’ll look like, I did a few mock-ups…



I feel like the style of the door is going to go swimmingly with the funky 70’s vibe that our house has going on.  I just.can’t.wait!

The app didn’t give me the option to change the door’s color, so picture the door pictured above in the same Black Bean color I painted our old door (A nice, charcoal grey with green undertones).  The new door’ll come unpainted (with white primer) since the company wanted to charge us an additional $1068 for paint (!!!). So, yeah.  I’ll be painting it myself.  Hopefully, our new door will be installed in about a month’s time (fingers crossed).  Until then, I’ll be keeping both the front and storm doors locked, security system on, and instructing all visitors to text me upon arrival so I can let them in the garage.   So very, very sad.

So, anyways, that’s the story of our soon-to-be new door!  Wish us luck!!  🙂

Have you guys ever been in “replacement denial”?? What was the final straw that changed your mind??

TDC Before and After