Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Doors, best laid planes, and stuff.

When I purchased my house in early 2010, I knew that the doors and windows needed to be updated for the sake of heating/cooling efficiency as well as security.  The windows were all re-done in 2011 (I think?), and the doors have been in holding pattern, but I realized earlier this summer I needed to address the door issue. I mentioned here a couple months ago that I was arranging for new doors at Home Depot. I knew at that point that receiving them before the July 4 holiday would be unlikely, but after all the care, planning and expense, I didn't expect it to take until August 4. This house is 1930s era, and the portals are not a standard size, so custom-measure doors would have to be built.

Yesterday, the door installer came, and a thought flashed into my head at one point that I should go out and eyeball the doors, but I pushed this thought aside with some other pressing detail. I had reviewed every detail with the salesman who set up the order, including the direction each door would swing, inside and outside colors, etc.  Both doors swing the same way, and the front door is a dark green while the back door is a custard sort of color.  [I know this probably sounds odd, but I didn't want the light color for the front door, and I didn't want a dark door in the broad expanse of pale siding on the back. You are free to think me a ninny for that, but I think concessions to slavish uniformity on this point (having both doors the same color) would be aesthetically jarring. After all, you can only look at two planes of my house at one time, and at no time would you be able to do a side-by-side comparison of the two doors, so don't trouble me about this!]


The doors they sent were both green on the exterior  *sigh*  AND the back door was the wrong measure, and the installer figured this out after the dilapidated old door was already removed. AND the front door swings the wrong way.  SO, the installer improvised and put one door on the back space, left off the storm door for now, and both doors are having to be re-ordered.  *sigh*
He said he'd press them to put a rush on the order, since it was a factory goof, but now I'm wondering if it will be October before all my doors are squared away. *sigh*

The good thing is that my house is appreciably cooler since late in the afternoon for having the sieve-like old back door removed. I think it was original from 1935, and I could see daylight at certain points around the frame.  During big snows, a stiletto of snow/ice would form on the floor in the laundry area extending from the corner of the door about a foot into the house, so, yeah, far from airtight. I suspect the back door, followed closely by the front, was where my house loses most heating/cooling efficiency since new windows and a mountain of attic insulation.

The redneck fix is up for now and will have to do, but it's far from complete. The crablike/sidewise movement toward completion of the task is, I suppose, better than nothing, but it's a nuisance, to say the least. I'm actually not furious or even angry- we all make mistakes- but I'm disappointed.  That said, this new, wrong door is better than the door I woke up to at that portal yesterday. 

Often have I joked that by the time you're all done with doing the needful to maintain a house, it's like you built a whole new one. Intellectually, I have to deal with the fact that what I spend on windows and doors and one day on a new roof is money I will never see back out of the place. But there is inherent value in keeping me and my pups dry and secure, and preferably in a comfortable environment which insulates us from the harsh temperatures of the arid baked plain on which we reside. Baby steps, eh?

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

It's those little steps that mount up to miles eventually...