House Renovations
COVID-19 = Boredom = Projects, French Doors

COVID-19 = Boredom = Projects, French Doors

The artistry of the Good House is marvelous, in what remains of the original plaster, the outside wall corners are skillfully blended with a wood corner guard; on the second floor in the turret, the plaster wall is rounded; and foyer staircase has a wonderful wood ‘board and batten’ like look to it. The skill of the artisans building the Good House is only rivaled by its design. The footprint of the home is generally unchanged, except for the addition of a door and a bath on the second floor (the third floor is completely different), so it isn’t hard to imagine how the home functioned for the original and subsequent families. The thick stone exterior keeps the home cool in the summer and the 47 windows allow ample light for the bulk of the day. If I close my eyes, I can imagine their daily life.

During our first two years of ownership, all of the trees were trimmed, the bushes (which seriously looked worse in 2016) were removed as they were just a place for flying trash to gather, and grass seed was planted in their place, however, there is still much more seed to spread. Another benefit was the massive front porch is now visible from the street.

April 2012 (Four years before purchase)
October 2018 (Two years after purchase)

The two french doors leading from the front porch into the living room provide the ability to extend the living space to the porch and add light to the room, which we realized when we cut down the HUGE holly tree that blocked the front of the house, it was at that point we realized we needed curtains since the morning light was blinding! And in the boredom of COVID, I realized the french doors could use some love. The previous owner thought that instead of adding a screen/storm door to each of the french doors, SCREWING a wooden frame to the doorway and swapping out 3 random size windows and screens twice a year would be better (probably more cost effective for the crazy lady). I have had enough of carrying these things up and down from the basement and vote for the insanity and hideousness to be banished!

My plan is to replace the hideousness with screen/storm doors, but before that can be accomplished, the doors needed to be repainted and the wood frames need to be removed. Many of the door panes are original, at least 125 years old, as you can see the wave of the glass, so i used a chemical to remove the paint next to the glass. I chose Citristrip Paint and Varnish Remover for its low odor, as the doors swing inside. I had to leave it on overnight a few times to really get the old paint removed, but I did remove 98% of the paint. Unfortunately, not enough to return to a stained wood door (too much damage).

I used the same Behr Premium Plus, Semi-Gloss Enamel Exterior Paint and Primer in One that I had used on the front door frame and the trim around the porch, for continuity and because I didn’t want to venture out into the virus ridden world any more than I had to.

The exterior door handle, is solid brass, and the set screw holding it to the spindle decided not to move (even after soaking in WD-40)… I asked my husband for assistance (never a good idea), and he drilled out the set screw AND the door handle, making it unusable… so I started trolling eBay for a replacement. And of course, found absolutely nothing. The interior knob wasn’t a handle, it is glass, so when I was lucky enough to find a smaller version of that glass knob on eBay, i snatched it up!

I completed one of the doors in the late fall/early winter of 2020, but when Christmas decorations went up, I didn’t feel like creating dust in the living room, so I progress came to a screeching halt for the year. When the decorations are put away, I will tackle the second door. And in the spring, I will move the operation outside and remove the screwed in panels and begin to peel the paint off of the door frame. I cannot wait!

As always, stay strong and safe!

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