More Door Stories!

I know, just what you wanted…more boring stories about our interior doors. Unfortunately, this is the extent of our home renovations at the moment. Replacing all of the interior doors is a really long and drawn out process.

First you have to paint one side, wait for it to dry, then paint the other. Then you have to cut the door knob, chisel the hinges and hang the thing. It doesn’t seem like much, but it took us 1 full day to hang 1 full door (as you read in our 2-part door saga last week).

Office Before

That’s our office the way its been for a few weeks now. As Megan mentioned in our first post about the doors, we ordered the bathroom door and 2 bi-fold doors for our office closets. The bathroom door arrived first, so we tackled that right away. Last week, the bi-fold doors came in. Between work and our busy schedules, this become a week-long process. I painted the doors during the week; one side one night, the other side the next night, followed by the sides of the doors (the side you’ll see when the doors fold in) on a 3rd night. The key is allowing enough time to dry between sides, so you really do need to take your time. We rushed the bathroom door and did it in one day. We ended up having to repaint a few spots after it was hung.

Painting Bi Fold Door

Once the painting was done, we could get right to hanging. Unlike the regular doors, the bi-fold doors didn’t require a door knob installation, so that was a bonus. They did, however require us to install a track for them to run on.

Bi Fold Track Installation

The track is a fairly easy concept to grasp, and I enjoyed how quickly the doors went up. The track system is fairly simple and combines a track installed above the door, and a bracket on floor screwed into the jamb.

Once the doors were hung, they needed some adjustment. Then as soon as they closed properly and we’d stepped back we noticed there was a lot of extra space above the door. Also, the exposed hardware doesn’t look great. I cut some of the 1/2″ wood I’d used above the bathroom door, and painted it white. It fit like a charm!

Bi-fold Door Shim

That’s it. For now! The office has come a long way but that concludes this segment of our door project. This is certainly not the last. I have a feeling the segments will get more boring as the project rolls along, but who knows. I couldn’t have predicted half the stuff that has happened with us and this house thus far.

Office Before & After

Doorbusters, Pt 2

When we last posted about our “doorbusting” project, the bathroom door was painted and had its knob installed. Next we needed to prep the door frame to install the hinges on the door.

Removing Old Hinges

As you can see, the old hinges were rusty and looked as if they were installed when the house was built. On top of that when we went to replace them we couldn’t find an exact match. Instead we went with something a little more basic.

Wood Door Hinge Chisel Marker

OK, so that’s not our photo. I stole it from Irwin’s website. With a chisel and the stensil attached, the cutout for the hinge can be chipped away easily. And it was easy. And fun. There is some weird satisfaction that I got from chiseling, and it only got more enjoyable as the project went on. More on that later.

Chisel Door for Hinges

OK, so you’ll probably notice a few things right away when looking at that photo. First, yes, that is a Toy Story blanket that we’re using to cover the floor. Second, yes, the hinge is a little smaller than the cut out. They didn’t exactly match the stencil, but then again nothing ever seems to exactly match with us and this house.

Door Hanging

That’s the door being hung. We ordered a custom cut from Lowe’s, and as it turns out, it fits. Not perfect, and not without some adjustments, but it does in fact fit into our door frame. Woo hoo!

Door Shim

The door is about a half inch too short and we had some major light leakage coming through the top of the doorway. I cut this half inch piece of wood down to size and shoved it up there. Worked like a charm. It needs to be painted and the trim needs to be painted and adjusted, but that’s a project for another day. The trim was installed when the bathroom was redone and we’ve been waiting for some time to do a major trim overhaul of the whole house. So stay tuned for that.

Chisel Door Frame

So with the door in place, and the two of us about to celebrate, we noticed the door wasn’t quite shutting properly. The problem seemed to be caused by the hinge cutout on the door frame. Underneath the old hinges was a layer of paint, and then a layer of stain and then the wood. This all needed to be chiseled about to make room for our evidently larger hinge. Then the door closed. Better, but not perfect. I chiseled away a little bit of the frame at the bottom and at the top around the hinge cutouts.

No biggie, just a lot of chiseling. I was a little intimidated by the idea of hanging a door at first, but its really not all that complicated. The most important things are your measurements. Measure everything a million times if you need to, and measure before you cut anything. It saves the headaches. Our new bi-fold doors for the office are in, so watch out for that coming soon. And then our bedroom doors after that. And then the basement door. And then who knows?! The doorbusting never ends! Stay tuned for it.

Doorbusters, Part 1

If there’s something strange, in your neighborhood…who ya gonna call? Doorbusters?? You read that right; Doorbusters. Let’s face it. The doors in our home are super strange “and they don’t look good” (I swear I’ll stop with the Ghostbusters references now). So we decided a simple upgrade would go a long way. Of course, nothing we ever do is simple because this house was built from scratch by the previous owner and it was a 1-owner home. Until now, no one has come in and done a major overhaul on the place.

We currently have what are called Luan doors.

Luan door

They are flat-panel and plain, plain, plain. Not to mention, they’re all painted/stained with this ugly brown color and you know our mantra; “down with brown.” Obviously we needed to eliminate these awful doors, but challenges presented themselves almost immediately. No two doors or doorways in our home are alike! The office and our bedroom are identical in size, yet the doors and doorways are off by a quarter inch or so.

Since we knew this wouldn’t be easy, we decided to start off with ordering just one door – the bathroom. It’s the smaller of the 3 doors and would ultimately present the biggest challenge, so we figured if we could get this one right, we could definitely do the other 2 no problem.

We ordered our door from our trusty friends in Millwork over at our local Lowes. The same person who sold us our Pergo flooring for our kitchen helped us with our door. While we were at it, we ordered two bi-fold doors for the closets in the office, shown below with the old dingy doors removed.

Office closets without doors

The bi-fold doors will also be 6 panel, giving us that clean-cut, new home look we’ve been craving.

Of course, nothing in our house is a standard size, including the doors. Thus, we had to special order. This upped the price a bit from about $30 per door to $50 or so, but no matter what we did, the door was going to have to be custom. The bathroom door arrived about 2 weeks after we ordered it (the bi-folds are still M.I.A.) so we picked it up and blocked out an entire Sunday to tame the beast. We started by laying the door down on a drop cloth so we could paint the 1st side. We went about our business and once the paint dried on side 1, we flipped the sucker over and painted side 2.

While waiting for side 2 to dry, we ran out to Lowes and got all the supplies we needed; new hinges, new wood screws and a new door knob. Then it was time for the hard part…cutting the hole for the door knob. Andrew has gotten really good at using the jigsaw and other cutting tools. We do a lot of cutting in our house, not sure why. Anyway…this handy door lock install kit was really easy to use.

Door lock kit

Door lock kit

The pictures don’t show the door “before” but we started with a solid door. We measured the height and attached the Irwin Door Lock Template. The template came with a saw that attaches and is powered by a regular drill. The saw cuts the hole for the door knob as well as the side, without moving or removing the template. It’s not like cutting through solid hard wood or anything so the whole process is relatively quick and easy.

In retrospect, maybe we should have cut the hole for the door knob/lock first and then painted because we ended up having to touch up some marks that were made in the cutting process. I think that’s what we’ll have to do when we tackle the rest of the doors.

Once the holes were cut, we installed the lock and door knob.

Cutting out a door knob

Installing a door knob

Then it was onto the hinges. And that, my friends, is a story for another day. Cutting for hinges requires chiseling and we just don’t have the time or the space to continue this saga right now. You’ll have to check back for our next update to see how it all turned out!