Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside . . . because we have no back door.

Baby . . . it's really really cold outside. In case you didn't know we live in Canada. And while it's the mildest part of Canada . . . it's still Canada and Mid-November is COLD!!!!!!

I'll back up and give you the whole story. This summer we bought a beautiful french door in very rough shape for $45! I never loved our builder basic back door and when I found a solid wood, double paned french door at a salvage yard for $45, I jumped on it.
The key to this story is . . . we bought the door this summer. Summer the perfect season for projects that involve your house having no door! We didn't get around to it until this weekend, in the middle of Fall, with the temperature hovering just above freezing, right on the tail end of a mean case of strep throat and a bad cold.

The reason for our delay was, one part over excitement, and one part terrible measuring skills (on my part). You see . . . I got so excited I didn't notice that it needed WAY more work than I thought. I also blame over excitement for my measuring the door wrong . . . turns out it was 1" too wide and 1" too short. Errrr . . . oops ;).

We considered returning the door, we ran around the house trying to find another opening, we cried a little (just kidding . . . only Lee cried . . . just kidding no one cried).
Lee decided that we could use the table saw and trim the door down half an inch on each side. Then a trip to home depot for a small piece of Fir 1" thick. Lee attached it to the bottom of the door, using glue and screws! Since it's the bottom of the door no one would ever know! ;)

Okay, all is fixed here's how it went down.
This post could have been titled "15 Hours of my life I'll never get back" or "Seriously can you believe that we spent 15 hours on this door" or "OUCH, my back".
We really did spend 15 hours on this door. First we had to clean years of dirt and grease off of the glass, then we had to scrap off old paint and stain from the window panes. Just me, a small razor and every square millimeter of each pane of glass, front and back.  Lee taped of each pane of glass, perfectly so that no stain would get on the glass.
Then we sanded the door, using a small orbit sander for the face of it, and doing all of the trim around the windows by hand!

Then we Stained it! I chose 'Dark Walnut' for the inside because it was exactly the same color as the floor, I wanted it to look like the floor color ran right up on to the door. The other side of the door we painted the same color as the outside trim.

Next, Lee cut out the door knob cut outs using a jig you can buy at Home Depot for $20 . . . word is, totally worth the $20 investment.
An in case you're wondering the $45 for the door, the $20 for the jig, the $6 pot of stain, and the 15 hours of manual labor . . . all completely, totally, utterly worth every penny and every minute!
Judge for yourself, before:
After:
I think that in New Build Homes (aka. Builder Basic Homes), it's the special touches that add the charm and keep your home from looking like a big beige box. There was nothing 'wrong' with the old door, in fact it had some nifty little blinds between the glass, but it was a bit on the boring side, and I really didn't like the plastic trim holding the glass in.
This wood feller takes my breath away.

I LOVES HIM! (Yes I meant to add the extra S).
Speaking of things I LOVE! Our New Door knob! While I think that the lever style door handles (like the one in our before picture) are probably a bit more functional . . . but I LOVE a oil rubbed bronze Knob! Oh the simplicity! (sorry for the bad picture I was having 'camera issues'/ 'camera operator issues'.
And Yes . . . that chair is wearing socks (more on that later).
 
I Hope you like the door as much as we do. My favorite moment of any project is when Lee looks at the finished project and says . . . "Oh Wow, you were right that is SO much better", maybe it's just the "You're Right" part ;).  

Taking a second look at these photos, the actual door color is a little less "redish" than the photos. It's closer to walnut color, than the cherry color it's showing. 

52 comments:

  1. You were right - it looks beautiful! What a change!

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  2. looks gorgeous! i wish i had a handy hubby!!!

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  3. Time well spent -- the new door is a million billion times better than the old one.

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  4. Wow, what a difference. Your new door is gorgeous.

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  5. It really is gorgeous, and you'll forget about the hours in no time, just looking at it!

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  6. Holy cow, it's gorgeous! I usually prefer painted exterior doors to wood-stained but that looks absolutely incredible. LOVE!

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  7. The door looks great! I've search high and low for a post where you said what the wall color is in that room, but couldn't find it. What is the wall color? I LOVE it!

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    1. Thanks :) it's Mourning Dove by Martha Stewart!
      Hope that helps :)
      Lots of love
      Ashli

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  8. Great switch a roo. Looks fabulous and the paned glass makes my heart swoon.

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  9. It looks great!! Definitely adds a ton of character! We live in an older farmhouse that has been "renovated" and they took out most of the character with their renovations! Oh and one of the awesome five panel original doors? They cut a hole for a cat door in. Oy. Sigh...its a rental...if it we our home we would do something about the doors, but I will just have to live vicariously through your doors instead!

    Also - I want to see an outside view of that bad boy above?!

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  10. Yep, you were right! That looks fantastic. :)

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  11. I'm totally amazed... how is it that you look at something in a salvage yard and envision the possibilities, and then you make it work, and it looks like it was meant to be there from the beginning, i'll never fathom! it's bloody genius, that's what!! it's totally brilliant, and worth the blood and tears and frozen little tootsies. i'll also second Bekah on dying to see the "outside" perspective.

    if you are up to doing one of those "keeping it real" Friday posts, here's something i'd like to see. was there ever a project that went horribly wrong for you, even after the 15 hours? were there ever any tears? did you ever EVER just toss away something as wasted effort? :)

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  12. Wow! Beautiful door. You have such a great eye for things that will beautify your home.

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  13. Beautiful! I want to plop right down in the chair and enjoy the view. :o)

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  14. That door looks amazing and adds a custom touch. It warms up the space. The hard work paid off!

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  15. looks great Ashli! You were right, much better than the builder door. ;)

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  16. That's beautiful!! Funny...your original door with blinds is on my wishlist right now- because my builder door is even more boring; no window at all! But wow that wood is wonderful; awesome job!

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  17. Absolutely gorgeous!
    Nice work!! It does make such a difference.

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  18. Gorgeous!! I'm glad you stuck with it after it initially prove more difficult than you thought. :)

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  19. That is gorgeous, love it so much. It makes me want to change out our back door, but my husband would kill me as they are new. Such a great job and well worth the 15 hours.

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  20. It makes SUCH a difference! So so stunning and completely worth it!

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  21. It looks soo good! Really beautiful job.

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  22. Wow! That door looks amazing!! Good work!

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  23. Oh my gosh, chair socks?! How did I never know of such things until now? I have an office chair that just grates all over the floor and it drives me nuts. CHAIR SOCKS! Thank you.

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  24. what a differnce a door makes GOOD JOB ASHLI AND LEE......

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  25. Ash,
    This is by far my favorite project in the house. Better than the barn door even. It is just so darn cute. So much character. LOVE! LOOOOOVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
    xo

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  26. Gorgeous!! I adore your house and everything you are doing to it!
    I also love that you're in Canada (my husband's family is in Calgary and mine is from Quebec)

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  27. Ummm, wow! It looks amazing... makes me want to hunt down an old door myself!

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  28. One word for you.... WOW!! What a difference a door makes! Great job and thanks for sharing.

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  29. I absolutely LOVE the new door! It adds so much more personality to the room! Where do you get all your inspiration for all your home projects???? I love your blog and look forward to your posts each day! Glad you are feeling better. Looking forward to more fun projects! :)

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  30. Beautiful!! And, I know you are loving all that natural light!!

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  31. Way better than before. Great job!!!

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  32. Oh Ashli, that door is absolutely amazing!!! What a difference and I love the stain you used.

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  33. Also, as an owner of an old home ....... I can totally relate to the frustrations one can have when it comes to refinishing ANYTHING old. Good find!

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  34. Stunning! I'm a tad bit jealous of your door:-)

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  35. That door turned out fabulous! I love the choice of stain you used and the hardware accessories. Great job!

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  36. It looks great! So warm and welcoming now...and what a great find too!

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  37. Looks fabulous! I can appreciate all your hard work to make it look that great. This summer we replaced and/or repaired all the doors in our home...a total of 5 that needed sanding, painting/staining, and new hardware. Seems a simple project at first, but it's very time consuming.

    Your home is gorgeous and very well thought out. I'm amazed at how much character it has in the short time you've been there.

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  38. Wow - beautiful!! Your little changes are really giving your place a ton of character. Can't wait to see what's next :)

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  39. Great door.
    My hubby has got our front door of its hinges to repair two panels that have gone rotten, its 5C with freezing fog here in the UK today again not the best weather to repair a door!

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  40. This is such an awesome before and after! Great job. The door has so much texture and "soul".

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  41. Looks Fanatastic!! I am wondering how well it will keep the cold/heat out vs. the other exterior rated door (R-VALUE wise)??

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    1. Thanks :) because the glass is double paned it's rated as an exterior door and will keep the cold/heat out just as well as any other exterior glass door! :)

      I found tons of beautiful doors that were single paned and Lee wouldn't let me get any of them because they would be too draft-y! :)
      Thanks for the question!
      Lots of Love
      Ashli

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  42. Gotta love your Lee :)
    Thank you for your kind & promt reply Ashli.
    xo
    Tammy

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  43. That is SOOOOOO beautiful!! What an awesome idea...I never would have thought of that. Love it!

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  44. Ashli & Lee, the finished project looks amazing and makes such a differance. Great idea!

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  45. The door is beautiful. If you added glass to the transom above the window it would be amazing. Love your house. Tina

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  46. breathtaking! makes me want stained doors now!!

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  47. Your door looks SO pretty!! I just found your blog (through a link to your pocket pillow tutorial @youpaidmorethanme.blogspot.com) and love it! We just moved into a builder beige home and I'm a little overwhelmed by how bland it is ... you're blog is very inspiring. Thankyou!

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