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house blog

projects around the house

 

the new front door!

jenn pan

it's happened. it has finally, finally happened. the new doors are IN. this post is dedicated to the front door, but before we see the final outcome, let's look at where we started.

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the old door was BIG and solid wood. we liked these things. however, it was very old, and had been painted over multiple times. see that sort of scrubby detail above the center painted-over "window"? yea, it's a little "shalom" in both english and hebrew that the house flippers did not even bother to remove before they painted over it. it was also a not-very-pleasant (but also not unpleasant) shade of burnt orange. this was the least of our concerns. mainly, the door was a pain in the butt. it was very difficult to open and close, and even more difficult to lock and unlock - which required some lifting - because it was literally falling off the hinges. after shoving toothpicks into the stripped holes a few months back, the door hasn't been as bad as it was for the first year of living in the house, but it still took a good bit of effort to get in and out of on a daily basis.

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another side effect of it falling out of the hinges, is that the door was not square or sealed! from the inside, you could easily see how much of the weight of the door was actually pushing into the frame, thus requiring the lifting to open or close. from the outside, you can see that there was a considerable gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold. this meant we constantly had crickets making their way into the house from the outdoors. once, a very large cockroach even crawled in from under the door. also, twice a month we'd have a ton of dirt and debris blown into the house by the bi-weekly landscaping crew.

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one of my favorite things about the door is the decorative glass. it's just so darn pretty. it also works well with the shade of blue the house is painted. 

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it was not easy picking a stain for the doors. we wanted something "dark-but-not-too-dark and warm-but-not-too-warm". we started with four samples from minwax, which is both a stain and sealer (important for exterior doors!). the colors were dark walnut, english chestnut, jacobean, red mahogany. the jacobean and red mahogany were just too dark. the english chestnut too red. we liked the dark walnut, but just felt it wasn't warm enough. it was also hard to judge because the 2x4 we bought at the hardware store was very knotty and obviously not stain-grade like our doors and so had lots of variation in color. for our second round of stain tests, we bought honey, early american and cherry. we really liked both the honey and early american, but ended up going with honey. the funny thing is, we almost didn't even buy it!

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i am utterly in love with the final color. i think the honey hits the perfect balance of dark and warm that we were looking for. the pictures really don't do it justice because they are kind of blown out. and the chunky dentil shelf? and angled mutt (panels)? i'm really in love with this door.

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the craftsman entry lock from emtek turned out really nice. i still wish it weren't hammered, but it's not very noticeable since it's a nice matte black. we've been using it for a few days now and i still revel at how easy it is lock and unlock the door. single-handed!

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and look! a real, solid wood threshold! and a sealed door, where not dirt, debris or insect can enter from!

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and last but not least, here is the new door in all it's glory. needless to say, we are really, really happy. 

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