Doors

Doors are very important.  Entry doors are a particularly big deal for a home.  Yesterday, new exterior doors were installed on my “under renovation” home.  I could say that I installed them, but I would be lying.  I was there, but Larry was kind enough to show up, and he did all the heavy lifting.  He even brought me a housewarming gift to boot.  As rare as reloading components are these days, I was very grateful. Almost as grateful as I was not to have to fight the doors by myself. My level of gratitude for his help was about to go way the hell up.

We started with the seldom-used front door.  The house is on a corner lot, and the driveway is off the side street, leading to the back door.  A little measuring revealed that the pre-installed brick molding was about a quarter of an inch too wide to slide into the opening.  While I ran off to buy more #2 Phillips bits, after breaking the tip off of the last one I had within the first ten minutes, Larry removed the old door and frame.  After I got back with more bits and a set of cheap sawhorses, Larry trimmed the appropriate amount off of each side.  We then worked the door into place, only to see daylight showing through around the door itself in a couple places, despite the door frame being level and plumb, and the door being completely closed.

Further investigation uncovered a very poorly assembled door frame that looked like it had also been sprung after assembly.  Since I bought the door months ago, special order, and we had already sliced off some of the trim, we were stuck trying to fix what was there.  Much swearing later, along with vows to never, ever buy another fucking thing from Lowe’s, and we had it as good as it was going to get.  It is very evident if you know there is a problem, but if one isn’t a carpenter and doesn’t look too closely, it is somewhat less obvious.  Once painted and otherwise finished, it should be tolerable.  The door opens and closes normally, and the daylight showing through is slight – mostly in one corner.  Some extra weatherstripping will take care of that, and since it will be used very infrequently, I decided it wasn’t that big of a deal.

It is a steel, six panel door in a standard (mediocre, at best) wood frame.  This frame, however, is secured to the internal framing of the house by four inch long #10 screws every six inches or so.  Said framing is behind a sturdy brick veneer.  It is an outswing door, and we installed an ANSI grade 1 deadbolt and a reinforced strike plate.  Let’s say that, theoretically, it could be forcibly removed or opened.  But, it’s not going to happen without a great deal of effort.  It can’t be kicked in.  Outswing, remember?  Jerked open with a ten-pound slide hammer style dent puller screwed into the lock?  Perhaps.  Eventually. Yanked out by a truck with a chain wrapped around the door knob?  Probably, if it got a running start. Assuming that the doorknob stayed intact.

We took a break for lunch, and then commenced work on the primary entry door in the back of the house.  We had the same issue with the trim being an RCH too wide, plus a former resident had added a lot of extra screws and whatnot, presumably in an attempt to provide a little extra security.  Like it was going to make any fucking difference – the top half of the door was glass.  Also, there was a length of some sort of unknown adhesive that almost required chipping away part of the brick to remove.

Eventually, we got it in place.  It, too, had some assembly imperfections, but less than the front door, and minor enough that I chose to live with them instead of disassembling the frame like we did on the front door.  I decided that one screw every six inches might have been overkill, so I went with one every eight inches.  The door needs to be pushed slightly to latch completely, but rather than adjusting the strike plate, I left it as is, since it is doesn’t require that much more effort to close.  Plus, the additional effort does provide a tighter seal. There is no daylight visible when the door is closed.

Instead of sticking around, cleaning up, finishing the minor details, and then continuing work on the many additional things that need to be done, I sent Larry on his way and hauled ass back to my “regular” home to fuck off, write blog posts, and do anything but think about all the shit that still needs to be done.

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