Friday, August 5, 2011

Mildly Amusing

Today I did more online reading about building your own door frames, and for fun, installing pre-hung doors.  I also watched a handful of videos of installations.  The first thing they all said to do?  Put a level on your header, and make sure that it is, indeed, level before you attach your new door frame to it.

Header?  Yeah.  I don't have one of those.

I can see clear through to the other side, no obstruction .  Guess I'll be doing a bit of retro-fitting... Probably not the last time.

Stepping Up to the Edge

Two days after proclaiming that I am taking the door frame plunge, I've still just put my big toe in the water.  My suit is dry.  But I've done more research, more questions have been asked and answered, more decisions made, and now I'm firmly committed to a plan.  I am not sheetrocking the entire wall and I am building my own door frames. 

Yesterday I got out my big Do It Yourself hardcover book my very handy sister (she even does her own plumbing!) gave me for my housewarming and read about hanging doors.  Picked up a few good tips.

Then I went to Home Depot to look at pre-hung doors.  A part of me admitted that if they suited my needs and were reasonably priced (they were -- about $60) I may relent and buy one instead of building one, but there were many reasons they were wrong: 

1)  The jamb wasn't wide enough so I'd still have the same issue;
2)  The wood that the jamb was made of was pieced and not matching -- clearly meant to be painted not stained;
3)  The door was hollow (which seems to equate poor quality) and just a plain flat box -- not the style of the house;
4)  The hinges were brass, not brushed nickel.  Granted, those could be changed out, but it's additional hassle and expense.

It was a worthwhile trip, though because I could examine the whole gizmo closely with an eye on re-creating it at home.  Again, I'll say, gosh, it doesn't look like there is that much to it -- but I am positive that I must be missing the finer details and underestimating the required engineering...

I had a guy in the door section of Home Depot answering my questions and trying to troubleshoot with me, and eventually he said, "Are you doing all this work yourself?"  I replied that I was.*  His reply"  "Wow.  That's cool."  (Which from my perspective sounded like, "Wow.  You're crazy.") 

Red asked me if I plan to re-hang the doors that are currently hung.  You know, re-hang the white ones with 81 years of paint on them into my new beautifully stained door frames?  Unfortunately, yes, that's my plan for now.  I do plan to learn how to make interior doors, but it just too freakin' hot outside to spent that much time outdoors right now.  I thought about just not putting all the doors back up -- but that's probably not realistic.  I need the bedroom door for the dog/alarm system, I need the bathroom door for obvious reasons, the swinging kitchen door (I know, I know:  swinging.  Won't THAT one be a fun one to tackle?  I'm in total denial about that one) I need for the dog -- so ultimately that wouldn't be a workable plan.  I'm also toying with the idea of pocket doors or sliding barn doors... but I haven't devoted enough thought to them yet to have an intelligent conversation about them. 

I'll admit that the project is a tiny bit daunting. But I'll just as readily say that I am positive that I can figure it out. (Thanks mom, thanks dad -- somehow you raised me to have such confidence!)  And this guy assures me that it's all in a day's work on the job site -- and just look how happy he is!

* Unless I can make it appear so intriguing that Red can't resist jumping in.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Taking the Plunge

I've stood around and stared at my door frame and associated door jamb several times in the last few days.  Sounds exciting doesn't it?  Well, it IS sort of hot here... and staring at a door jamb and thinking is about the peak level of activity you can do without sweating.

The upshot is that I've decided to take the plunge and take on the whole door jamb replacement.  My famous last words -- it just doesn't look like it would be that difficult.

My next steps?

1)  Dig around in my memory bank and in my shop and determine what stain I used on the baseboards to ensure that the trim matches.  There's a chance I wrote it down in my "home book" that I keep.  If not, I know I have some leftover stain cans in the shop, and some leftover pieces of lumber, so I'll do a few test pieces and see what matches.

2)  Now that I have a new plan of attack, I need to re-evaluate the need for sheetrock filler.  I think I will still need it. 

A tiny part of me is tempted to go ahead and re-sheetrock the whole wall, and put in insulation at the same time. With just filling in the gap I'm still going to have the unfortunate sheetrock seam right along side the new trim.  And while I'm told that interior walls rarely have insulation, I'd like some just for noise insulation.  Of course that brings up the whole wall texturing issue... Oy.  But my walls have minimal texture anyway, and...?  Uff da.  I don't know about that part.  (And don't they sell something you mix into your paint for minimal texture?  Couldn't I just do that?)

3)  Buy the estimated project supplies -- just a starter supply -- a few pieces of lumber, the minimum purchase of sheetrock, tape, etc.  My hope is to not have the door frame disassembled for days and days.  If I can have supplies ready, I hope to minimize the chaos.  (Yeah, you can start laughing now.)

4)  Put up about a hundred drop cloths to protect my bedroom chandeliers and bedding from dust. Complete demolition...remove door in a fashion where I have some hope of being able to re-hang it.  Pay special attention to where and how door hanging hardware is installed...  Take photos!  Save all the pieces!

5)  Figure out what the re-assembly process will be.  Measure.  Measure again.

6)  Rip, sand, and stain lumber. Build.  Re-hang door.... Clean up.  Admire.  Possibly brag.

I'll really have the process down to a science by the time I complete all my doors.  I could probably hire myself out on my street doing trim/jamp replacement for the next several months...