Monday, August 8, 2011

Interior Door Trim and Door Frames

This weekend the interior door trim and door frame project got underway in earnest.  I was so excited to begin that I could hardly relax and have morning coffee with Red. I traded vehicles with him for the day, and headed out to Home Depot.  To those of you who gave me Home Depot gift cards for my birthday -- thank you!  This is what they purchased....

As an aside, Home Depot only had half of their overhead lights on -- I presume to conserve energy since it's so hot and the electric grid is continually threatened -- but it lent itself to a very different shopping atmosphere... sort of nice...

I finished removing the door trim off the outside of the bedroom door, and was left with the door frame -- entirely freestanding.  All that had been holding it in place and plumb was the trim!  I cannot conceive how it was still plumb, but it was. I guess that is a testament to the sturdiness of my house despite many boards appearing to have been cut with a hatchet...

I carefully removed the door frame intact and stabilized the corners and legs for transport.  At this point I hoped to use it as a pattern for my new frame; size, height, door hardware placement, etc.

Here is the "before" photo of the outside of the bedroom door.  I know -- and I agree -- it doesn't look bad enough here that replacement is required.  But what the photo doesn't show is the just ghastly amount of crusty old paint and painted caulk that is making the whole structure a lumpy, formless goo. 

And here is what it looks like now:

The doorway is positively huge!  It's larger than the door I took down by a good 6 inches in width.  Red and I spent quite a bit of time Saturday afternoon discussing building the opening up to fit the smaller door.  Eventually the obvious occured to him (it never did to me...) and he asked,

"When are you going to build the new door?" 

Me:  Um, sometime when it isn't 110 degrees outside when I'm teaching myself a new project?

Red:  Why don't you just build a larger door, to fit this opening, rather than make the opening smaller?

Me:  Silent stare.  Oh.  Yes, why don't I?

We had both remarked earlier how nice the larger door frame looks -- how spacious it feels.  So why would I enclose that again?  Hmmm.  I'll have to think about that.  And with that, we were off to dinner.

Sunday morning over coffee I thought about what Red said about making a custom door to fit. I also thought about how spacious the room feels without a door. And then the lightbulb came on: a pocket door! My walls are certainly thick enough (hollow enough) accomodate the hardware and door.  I turned this idea over in my mind during most of the day while I worked...

Immediately adjacent to the door (but not visible in the photograph above) is a little* closet that I use for my vacuum and cleaning supplies.  The trim from both of the doors was compromised in the corner...

It became readily apparent that in working on the bedroom door, I'd need to remove the trim (and about 3 tubes of caulk) from the adjoining cleaning closet door.

Closet door trim removed
That helped me see things more clearly, but I continued and took the door off in anticipation of removing the frame.  This door frame, like the first one, also was not secured by anything other than the door trim.  It did however have a couple of "shims" wedged in.  Not actually attached, mind you, but in place.

Again, utter amazement that the door frame is still plumb.

Where I removed the frame from the bedroom door, there was some goopy white paint on the flooring as well as quite a build up of floor wax and polyeurathane, forming a pretty high ridge. I got my sander and gave it an initial clean up -- it will need more...


Right side "after"

Left side "after"

Sunday evening I did some online research on pocket doors -- pros and cons and what quality issues to watch for, and watched a couple of installation videos.  I'm fairly certain it's the route I want to go.  Installation would require me to remove a few feet of sheetrock, but I am okay with that.  I looked at pocket doors at Home Depot, but am going to look elsewhere; I wasn't pleased with what they offered.  I was going to do some online searches today (Monday) but since I neglected to take measurements this morning it will have to wait.

The bummer is, until I think this part through, I'm sort of at a standstill on this project unless I want to demo more door frames before this one is resolved... and I do not.  I am already sleeping with a compressor in my bedroom (who else do you know who does that?), and lots of construction tools etc. are in my guest room.  Probably best not to not go completely crazy before I finish the first one...

More updates to come!

*Mostly it's "little" because there is an old furnace chimney coming up from the crawlspace that hogs most of the closet space.  Word on the street is that every house in the area has one, and it has asbestos in it.  Consequently they have been left alone for the most part.  Mine is wallpapered!  Makes me laugh.  It also makes me want to rip it out. 

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