I lived through 710 days of a house with an ugly storm door. It’s (in my possibly way-too-detail-oriented-brain) the one thing people notice as they’re approaching the house, ringing the bell, and patiently waiting/silently questioning my overall judgement. The storm door had some kind of hokey X detailing, which I might allow (to slide) on a country home’s side door if it matches the X detailing on the barn, but here, on the front of my house, I couldn’t deal. The faux mail slot? Why? Just why? And you know I like scalloped edges, but when you put them on a door like this that already has a whole lot going on, I don’t know how to say it nicely, but I hated it. All of it. I know it’s one of the most popular doors you see out there, even my parents had one until recently, but they never raved about the old, less-attractive model the same way they swoon over their new door technology. If they’re swooning, and now I’m swooning you deserve to upgrade too. Swoon, swoon, swoon. And, keep on reading for a real tip for my mom (your mom too) at the end.
That purple door you see through the scalloped window? It was something that I had installed a year after I moved in; it’s pretty – the leaded glass, the inset panels, the color, all reasonably tasteful, but it was lost through this old door. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I should have swapped the storm door out sooner but between the siding and waiting out the winter months (which may not have seemed quiet because I was finding stuff to blog about 5+ times a week, but the snow really prohibits outdoor home improvement activities and thus, this had to wait). As much as I would love to have a home with a sheltered enough overhang to protect the natural front door from the elements and eliminate the storm door all together, this house (and most homes in the gusty northeastern states) benefit greatly from extra barrier against the wind and snow, so, ugly as it may have been, that old door needed to stay put until I had it’s replacement in hand.
You might recall me making my storm door picks back in January. You can read about it here if you’d like.
Oh, P.S.: I did not paint these overhang details cranberry pink. It’s hard to notice a difference in color between these brackets and my front door in any of these photos, but take my word on it – the door and these overhang accents are different colors; the front door is much more eggplant purple. Point fingers and call names, I have no idea why I didn’t paint the overhang sooner sooner since a quick, low-cost fix.
So, first things first. Sweet talk a boy into helping, because those doors are heavy. Pete was willing to try this with me, but neither of us had ever done storm door installs before and we considered it a fun learning experience. To other couples: employ patience because this took (hours) longer than we expected. We relied heavily on the instructions from Andersen/EMCO.
Next step, boy in tow, remove the classy old door. It should come right off the frame in a swift hope-you-don’t-damage-it-so-you-can-resell-it-on-Craigslist move so that you can, in fact, put it on Craigslist for $50 and go out to a nice dinner to reward yourself.
When the old door was was removed, I noticed that we had been hiding some old yellow trim behind the door frame (the same stuff we realized existed when the siding came off and WHOA, all of a sudden the whole house was yellow). So, before the new door even went up, I took the time to power sand the chipping old paint and repaint with some heavy duty exterior white paint, that fortunately I had right in the basement since you never know when an awkward yellow paint will begin to interfere with a project.
Oh yeah, and I desperately need a new doorbell. Check out those screw holes in the plastic; even they’re rusty – sign of a very old doorbell. Recommendations for something fun always appreciated since it clearly looks like something I could swap out in all of 5 minutes if I can identify the correct circuit breaker.
I won’t give you the nitty gritty of the install because, like I mentioned, we relied heavily on the manufacturer’s play-by-play and still don’t consider ourselves expert door hangers. But we did it. My new front door is up! It’s an Andersen 3000 series full-view door (bought at Home Depot thanks to a sweet 10% discount) which comes with a nice screen insert, so I have the option of replacing the entire glass unit with something more breathable. Oh hey, and notice that the cranberry pink detailing is gone? Infinitely better. Something may happen with that light fixture, but that’s another project for another time.
Noteworthy post-install thoughts:
- I’ve officially gone in and out of my house 4 times since the install. And each time I begin to exit, I think a) someone stole my door? b) did I leave my door propped open? and c) oh my god I hope I’m dressed decently since people can see all of me. It’s that clear and bright and full-glass. No, I don’t walk around without pants, especially in my front entryway, but now it’s just one of those things you really have to remember. Read: It’s THAT clear.
- Cody loves it. He stands and looks out at the sidewalk and smiles at all passersby. A dog with a view is a happy dog.
- It has a lock! The previous owners did not leave me the keys for the old one. Whoop for added security!
- A pseudo-exaggeration of #1, seriously, this door lets so much amazing light into my entryway:
Hellllo, that picture really shows you the patchy driveway from a new vantage point. It’s on the list; I’m practically having to beg contractors to call me back so I can give them money (a problem I didn’t realize I’d ever have).
Keepin’ on and getting stuff done, we also updated the storm door that protects the door that leads to the basement. It looked BAD before:
Old aluminum that showed lots of dents, the “glass” was actually plexi, and had loads of scratches in it; oh, and no lock, no significant insulative properties, no hydraulic to help keep it closed, it was definitely older than I am.
For this entryway, I went for a less expensive model by Andersen but am still happy with the end result, although I didn’t paint around the frame the same strategic way I did around the front door; the door was framed with white aluminum and I want to make sure when I paint, I’m using the right product and not something that’ll peel off during the next windstorm. You can see a small line of yellow from the knob down to the ground.
And one last thing which, for me, was the most interesting thing about this whole process: How to make a door close at a reasonable speed.
Tell me I’m not the only child who had been yelled for 15 years by her mom for letting the storm door slam shut behind her?
Did your mom know that you can adjust the speed in which the door shuts by simply loosening or tightening the phillips head screw at the tip of the hydraulic?
I did not know this, and it would have probably saved my mom some gray hairs and the rest of us, really wild teen angst. Sorry Mom, I would have fixed it if I had known it was so easy.
Happy that spring is in full effect, since now that I’m looking at those photos I notice about 15 more things that need to be tackled ASAP. Fortunately, besides asphalting, it’s all DIY style maintenance so I’ll share more with you as it happens.