December 22, 2014

Front Door!

New front door, installed at last

I'm very pleased to show you our new front door, finally installed. What a difference, both outside and in.

Old front door

The old front door was functional but not very aesthetic. Nothing a fresh coat of paint couldn't spruce up.

This is why I couldn't get rid of this door fast enough

Inside, well, now you can see why something needed to be done. My wintertime solution to this was to tack a folded quilt over the door. Kept the drafts out but, boys howdy, was it a nuisance to bring firewood in from the front porch. We bought the new door back in early 2010, but structural concerns kept Dan from putting it in. One had been the repairs to the front porch floor, which were now done.

The new door was a bit larger, so another concern was whether it would fit into the old opening. Removing the old door was no problem, but there was a problem removing the trim.

Door trim behind the siding

In the above photo, you can see that the siding was installed on top of the door trim. One option was to remove the siding to get the trim out. That, we did not want to do; we've been nailing the new siding right to the old. The other option was ...

Hurray for the sawzall

... the sawzall (reciprocating saw). Once Dan cut through the nails, the piece pulled right out.

Like all the other doors and windows we've replaced in this house, the front door had no proper header.

This is what we found once the door and trim were removed

The way it's just toenailed in makes me wonder if this was the original location for the front door. Dan's upgrade -

A lot of my photos are wonky. It's the camera, not the house!

Then he covered the gaps and we were ready for the door. Cracks and openings were foam insulated  from the inside.

I missed a good shot of the next step, which was to put up a sheet of the new siding first. The new door was installed on top of that.

One sheet of new siding went up first, then the new door. 

This is the same barnboard-look siding we're using on the rest of the house. (Photos here and here). For now, I primed it and painted it white.

Once the rest of the siding is up I'll do a proper paint job with the proper color scheme.

House colors: blue siding, brick red doors, white trim.

Inside? What a wonderful difference that window makes.

Needs trim, which won't happen until the windows are in 

No more getting dressed in front of the woodstove in the morning, but I love all the light the window lets in. The living room was always so dark because I keep the windows heavily draped to insulate from cold in the winter and heat in the summer. We used to have to turn on a light to see anything, but the new door lets in plenty of natural light and I love that.

The next step will be to replace those windows, although there is no time table for that yet. [Click here for that post.]


Quinn said...

Now that's what I call a satisfactory outcome! It looks great - I love the detail on the facing edge of the porch floor, too - and it will be SO much better from a practical perspective as well. Score!

Quick question and I hope you happen to see it soon because my window jambs are going to be made today, I think: when you say you used foam insulation, do mean expanding foam that comes in cans? My carpenter wants to use that around the edges of my newly-installed windows before he makes the extension jambs, but I have a long history of hatred of that stuff and haven't used it in probably 30 years. But some of the spaces are really narrow - like 1/4" wide b 4" deep (the wall depth) narrow - and it is impossible to tuck rock wool insulation in there without just cramming it in with a knitting needle, which takes forever and compresses the insulation anyway, reducing the R-value to a fraction. I'd love to hear what you used and why! Thanks :)

Isn't it thrilling to have your lovely new porch and entryway? Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Ha! I still get dressed in front of the fire in the mornings, albeit with front blinds drawn but I always hope the neighbours out bac aren't into collecting eggs early. ;)

Unknown said...

Oh Leigh, that's a beautiful front door and it lets in so much light. Goodness, what were they thinking when they put the old one on. Im glad Dan likes to do things properly.

Tuesday said...

What a great accomplishment. It looks awesome!

Kirsty said...

I have the same problem with a terribly draft front door and this gives me hope that one day mine will be fixed too. I keep my curtains closed most of the time too, to keep out the cold and just a little extra light can make a lot of difference. Good job!

Leigh said...

Quinn, we're both tickled pink with the new look. To answer your question, yes, the stuff in the can, "Great Stuff", is what he used. He uses it in all the small cracks and we really notice a difference in terms of both temperature and sound. Dan used to deliver the stuff by the tanker load. He doesn't mind it because it is not toxic and technically not classified as "hazardous" material. It is considered a "green" product (whoopty-do, I know). He refused to work with truly hazardous chemicals, i.e. truly toxic. I don't know if that puts your mind at ease, but you're right about stuffing other types of insulation into small cracks. And getting all those little cracks filled really makes a difference!

Jessie, That sense of exposure is why I hung the wreath! LOL

Lynda, thank you! I have to say that we've scratched our heads over many a thing we've found in this house. Can't help but wonder if years from now folks will be scratching their heads over what we've done, LOL

Tuesday, thanks!

Kristy, hello and welcome! There's always hope! I admit I thought we'd never get ours in but problems with the old one sort of forced our hand and we put the project farther up the project list. Now I'm glad we did. :)

Mike Yukon said...

Looks nice! Now onto what project next???

Farmer Barb said...

Hey, I had a door like that in California! I actually saw a mouse squeeze in the space between the jamb and the door. The natural light you have now will also make your heart sing in February when the light is still scant and winter is not done yet. We are blessed to have the insulated glass technology that allows it!

Merry Christmas!

Dawn said...

Well done to the both of you for complete that part of your project, I hope you have a nice cosy winter :-)

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Nice job! I will show it to my husband as a reminder that our kitchen door doesn't fit and needs replacing. Mind you he did buy it 20 years ago for a couple of pound from the local tip!, so it owes us nothing!

Valerie said...

What a lovely outcome! Letting the light through without feeling like you are in a fishbowl is a wonderful thing.

We had a miserable, poorly functioning front door for many years. I couldn't believe the difference when we finally replaced it. It's been over 5 years and I still just walk out that door with my cup of tea in the morning for the pleasure of it.

All the best to you and yours for the holidays.

Karen@ said...

Don't you just love projects that should be easy but are not because of some weird way it was previously done?

We've been in our "farm house" seven months now. The previous owner built it himself. There are a lot of issues.

The door looks great.

Mom at home said...

Leigh, the door looks lovely. My mom received the same door for Christmas a few years ago to replace the drafty and unsafe 1930's model. She always mentions how much the light brightens her dark home:)

Kris said...

Oh YAY for you guys! That Dan tackles so much (so do you). So glad it's in place for the upcoming winter. Loving the light inside. I have teeny window in my front door and wish I had more light. But the door itself is heavy and sound and weatherproof, so I'll make do. Now Santa has a proper entrance at your place - can't think he could squeeze down that woodstove chimney. LOL Merry Christmas. :-D

Ed said...

We had the same problem with our door, siding and trim, that has now been taken care of so come warmer temperatures, I think this project will be high up on my list. Our door also doesn't have a window and a dark hallway behind it so I'm anxious to fix that problem too. Fortunately, our old one isn't drafty like yours. Still, your post makes me think about doing it sooner... but it wasn't quit as convincing as the cold winter weather!

Florida Farm Girl said...

What a great job!! Your porch looks just wonderful. I sure hope both of you will take the time to actually enjoy that porch when you get it finished.

Merry Christmas!

Leigh said...

Mike, hopefully the very next project is replacing the old living room windows!

Barb, those mice are tricksy! But so are cats, LOL. I so agree about insulated glass. Score one for technology!

Dawn, it's already warmer! :)

Gill, thank you! Can't complain about a bargain. Hopefully you can find a new kitchen door at a bargain price.

Valerie, I can relate! I confess I was a little worried about what could be seen through that window, but actually, very little can. That's a small trade off for all the lovely light. :)

Oh Karen, that is so the nature of older homes. We've learned to brace ourselves before delving into any home repair project!

Mom at home, thank you! It's wonderful how much more cheerful a little light is, isn't it?

Kris, poor Santa doesn't have a chance with our chimney, LOL. Of course, I doubt our old roof could hold the weight of all those reindeer and sleigh anyway!

Ed, yeah, the timing of the project makes a big difference, especially when you live as far north as you do. Dan actually did this on a pretty chilly, damp day. not intolerably, but it made me glad our house is not open concept. All the rooms have doors and I was able to close everything off and keep the rest of the house warm even though the living room was cold!

Sue, at this point I can't imagine being done with it, but we'll celebrate when that day comes!

Dani said...

Love the door - clever Dan :)

If you find the glass too revealing, why not buy some small bottles of glass paint and make a stained glass door insert :) That way you'll still get the light, but the view inside will, hopefully, be more "muted"

We have the same "gaps" in our back kitchen door - a reminder of uncaring builders. We hope to get that replaced in the new year too.

Sarah said...

A lovely door and porch indeed! Enjoy! :)

Frank and Fern said...

What a nice Christmas present! Now you can see the light in more ways than one. Blessings, Fern

DFW said...

Love it Leigh! It looks great & the light that it lets in makes a world of difference.

PioneerPreppy said...

I absolutely despise hanging new doors. They are always such a pain. Looks like you have the same color siding on the house that we do here.

Unknown said...

Looks great! We replaced a 30 year old solid wood door with one with glass insert, and it lights up the whole area! Got it used, at a re-hab store and just painted it :) What a difference...

Amanda said...

Congratulations! Your new door looks good now, but it will look fabulous when you get the color on it. I put in one with the same kind of leaded glass in the door and sidelights. The amount of privacy the textured glass provides is surprising; you can only see through the clear sections if you are right in front of them looking through them at just the right angles. What really makes me happy is how much more weather-tight the new door is. The old one wasn't nearly as bad as yours, but I so do not miss the sound of the wind whistling underneath the thing.

Sandy Livesay said...


The new front door is beautiful!!!! No more drafts coming through the sides of the door jam. You may see a difference in your electric bill.

Having the light come through the front door window makes the front room look so much brighter and bigger.

Great job you two!!!

Leigh said...

Dani I do love stained glass. :) So far so good though, it really isn't that easy to see through. Your kitchen door is a reminder that even new structures have their problems.

Sarah, thanks!

Fern, love that!

DFW, thanks!

PioneerPreppy, you have a blue house too? I love blue houses. This was Dan's third door and each one has gotten easier and better. Fortunately!

Amanda, that's really true about the textured glass. Love the light and like you say, weather tightness!

Sandy, thank you! We're noticing a difference already. Now for the windows!

Bill said...

I admire you and Dan for being able to do projects like that yourself. If I tried it there's no telling how much damage I'd do.

Wishing y'all a wonderful joy-filled Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Very nice job. The new porch really dresses that house up. I think that is the same front door we put in our house when I remodeled.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Matt H.

Simply Handmade Farmhouse said...

Leigh I am so happy for you...Merry Christmas, God bless your home.

Leigh said...

Bill, considering some of the construction we've encountered in these projects we figure we can't do any worse!

Matt, thanks! I see that door around a lot; a very popular model. Sure dresses things up both outside and in.

Teresa, thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!

small farm girl said...

Looks really good!!!!!

Chris said...

I finally escaped Christmas, to catch up with my regular blogs again! What a wonderful job to have so very close to finishing. At least most of the grunt work is done.

Painting is generally the easy part. ;) Saying easy in a reno job however, is almost like tempting fate though. So maybe I should keep that to myself?

What a difference the window makes though. I have dark areas like that in our walk-in robe and foyer area between the bedrooms and bathroom.