Monday, September 11, 2006

Debunked Urban Myth

This past weekend I went to our neighborhood picnic. After a few false starts, I now really enjoy visiting with the neighbors. I had to laugh because as I entered my neighbor's backyard across the street, there was a group of the neighborhood men already sitting in lawn chairs talking. One of those guys periodically stops over to kid me about my slow progress.

As I walked into the back yard, he says "Hey, StuccoHouse (well, he knows my real name) how's that project coming?!" He then laughed a little and waited for my witty response. He was referring to my front door overhang project and I had to laugh a little too, because it is plugging along at a rather slow rate. I responded "Didn't you see that I primed the whole thing this week just so my project wouldn't be the topic of conversation at the picnic?" It turns out a few more people on the block have been tracking my progress than I thought.....and I did prime it just for the picnic.

I had intended to now show photos of the progress I have made on my front door overhang. But.....

At the picnic I chatted with one of the women that lives in a bungalow across the street from me. We were talking about starting a little house project only to be standing in horror when you realize you opened a can of worms. I mentioned that I was trying to figure out what to do about my front storm door....and that I really wanted an old style wood one. (Long story short - the current door is yucky and pre-hung. As I strip the front door trim paint, I run into the frame of the pre-hung door. So, either I have to strip only part of the paint or I need to get a new storm door.) I have been shopping for them this summer and have bids ranging from $265 to $800 - not including hardware or installation. She pointed to the wood door on her house (exactly what I am looking for) and told me they had picked it up at a salvage place, The ReUse Center, that I frequent.

I couldn't believe it. I have been stopping by that place on a weekly basis all summer long with my little measurement card going through all of the old screen windows, storm windows and storm doors. I have never seen anything even close.

So today, armed with the new found faith that salvaged, wood storm doors were not just an urban legend, I stopped back at the ReUse Center during my lunch hour. I was joking with another customer in the door section about how we both knew the exact door we were looking for was in the piles, we just couldn't get at it because the place was so disorganized. I was still chuckling about this when I saw it.

My salvaged, wood storm door.

36" x 81" (my door is 35" x 80"). One coat of peeling paint. $25.

I can get this stripped down and repainted pretty quickly. I'll fill the old hardware hole with wood epoxy (my new best friend). Suggestions on how to cut this down? Or is this where I call a door installer to put the thing in correctly?


Greg said...

Boy, you have been on a roll lately with the salvage scores. First the storm windows and now the storm door. Congratulations.

As for cutting and hanging, I would bring in someone for this. It’s doable, and I’ve done it, but I’ve also screwed them up. I’ve trimmed more than a few salvage doors that wee little bit to get them to fit a new opening. Ninety Five percent of the time it goes well, but when they don’t……it’s heart breaking.

Unless you feel your skill level is excellent with a saw and straight edge I wouldn’t fool with it. Doors can be a very tricky things to get right, and a storm door needs to be done right.

StuccoHouse said...

Okay, I'm a little relieved to hear you say that. I've always had it in my mind that it is a tricky thing to get a storm door to fit, but when you look at the door it's easy to convince yourself in the moment that it couldn't be that hard. skill level with a saw and straight edge could be described as primitive.

No one wants to read a sniveling post from a girl who has just wrecked the salvaged door she worked so hard to find. I'll call a pro. Now to find one....

merideth said...

hey! congratulations!! there is just nothing like the high you get from a really great house-find!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Today I was going to scrub and paint the aluminum storm door for my side door, just to make it look less nasty when it goes back up. It's a tiny little door and I can't even think about affording custom. Why didn't I think of the Re-use center? I'll be adding those measurements to my little book of them and hitting the re-use tomorrow. Thanks for jostling my brain cells!

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