Monday, August 26, 2013

New Front Door

Several months ago, I was perusing the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I don't even remember what I was looking for, but I do know that I was not looking for a front door. There is nothing wrong with my front door and I've never thought, "I really want a new front door"...that is, until I saw a craftsman style door there for what I thought to be a very reasonable price. I was smitten! I couldn't find the picture I took of the door but this one from Home Depot is very similar to the one I saw.

All I could do was picture this door in MY house. So, after talking about it non-stop for 3 days :), Caleb finally agreed to go look at it. We measured our existing door, called to make sure the door was still there, packed up the kids and went to go pick up our new used door--or not. The door was not the right size for one thing, and once it was inspected by someone who looks for more than just its aspects of cuteness, Caleb noticed it was splitting down the middle and in several other places. Craftsman style door not I thought. Well, THAT craftsman style door wasn't happening, but my sweet honey started researching how to build one himself. We did look into buying one that was already made but...unless we want to sell the rest of the house and have only a front door, the wood doors were way too expensive!!!

So after a little bit of research, my man started building...actually, men, plural, because he enlisted the help of my sweet father-in-law to help (thanks Rod!). After measuring our existing door and buying all the necessary wood, they started by cutting all the pieces and putting them together to see how it was going to look and to see if it was square etc.

Then they connected all the boards in a process I know nothing about (I know they used a biscuit joiner which they didn't end up liking, and I know they put in steel rods to add support for door slamming and general kid craziness)...

Once the glue dried and the necessary screws were in place, it was time to caulk to seal any gaps and putty any large holes to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.

To make sure the door fit, we placed it in the doorway. This helped Caleb see what needed tweaking.

Next, Caleb drilled out the holes for the door knob and the dead bolt using a special tool that my dad had on hand...which saved so much time. I believe the tool is just called a door lock installation kit. So handy!

Now to my job...painting! We used oil based paint (paint color is retreat by sherwin williams) and covered every possible nook and cranny of this door, with several coats. The fastest way to ruin a wood door (most exterior doors are not made of wood anymore) is to allow water to get into the wood and expand it. Although oil based paint is no fun to work with, it is the best at protecting the wood so it is definitely worth the headache!

You can see this was before Caleb installed the window. We special ordered the double paned glass for this door which was really the only spendy thing about the door.

Once the window and hardware were installed, my door was ready to be put in. And here is the finished product, both from the outside and from the inside.

What do you guys think?? I love my new door! I love it even more than the one I wanted to buy! We've had it since February (it was my Valentines present...that is true romance ladies and gentlemen) and it is holding up perfectly so far.

Happy back to school dear friends!!!


  1. A storm door would be a good choice! Unlike other doors, this type of door creates a sense of privacy. By the way, did you just say that your door was your Valentine present? Wow! You prefer to have doors instead of bouquet of flowers or chocolates. That's very interesting of you, Abbie!

    -Nida Eisner @ All County Exteriors

  2. If this was not your first choice, then what was it? Many fail to recognize the beauty of storm doors mainly because of their looks. But behind their facade are advantages yet to unfold. You made a good purchase, Abbie!

    -Marilee Bueno @ 5th Generation Contracting

  3. Love this door! It was the first thing I noticed about your house when I saw it this past spring!