At last, the doors went in yesterday. Dad and Mom showed up bright and early (too early for my Friday-national holiday taste, but I understood their rationale for a 9 AM arrival), bearing tools and birthday cake. After we had our breakfast cake, we settled into work.
Demolition went pretty quickly. The old door popped out easily, though we discovered that much of the jamb was held in place with approximately 27 coast of paint. Dad commented how heavy the old wood door, especially compared to its steel replacement. We also discovered quite the nest of ants, burrowed into the door frame, so we sprayed heavily. We parked the old doors in the garage, since my sister may want to repurpose them for a house she’s fixing up. As she said, an old crappy door is better than no door at all. And the price is right.
Then the fun began. Dad and Don kept setting the new door into place to see where it fit and where it was too tight. After lots of back and forth (literally), we were close, but it still wasn’t fitting quite level. So Mom, Dad and I took off for Home Depot while Don stayed behind to guard the house (since there was a gaping hole in the side of it) and sand through the 27 layers of paint that were impeding the fit process.
While we were at the Depot, Don called with a realization – the door wasn’t fitting because the hinge screws in the pre-hung door weren’t screwed down. Since they were protruding, of course the door wasn’t fitting quite right. We got the rest of the supplies we needed – caulk, screws, tar paper, and other stuff – and headed home.
The rest of the installation was slow and steady, but other than a quick trip to Ace to pick up a hacksaw (new tool acquired! Who knew that storm doors are sold with stock size bars that have to be cut to fit the opening?), we made good progress. Late in the process, we were all tired and hungry and hot in the sun, so we pulled out the patio chairs, but the end result is divine.
We ran out of caulk – the gaps between the house and the door frame are pretty significant – and the trim still has to be ripped out and replaced, but the door opens perfectly level, closes firmly but easily and the storm door actually fits the gap. Perfection. With just a bit more work , I’ll have a door that will last for years – and hopefully prove much more energy efficient than the old one.