Monday, 6 February 2017

A necessary sidetrack

This weekend we had a very specific list for what we wanted to achieve at the house:
1. Measure the holes in the floor of the master bathroom and lay (and secure) plywood in them
2. Finish demolishing the master bathroom (holes covered so the debris won't fall down into the study)
3. Finish removing nails everywhere
4. Map out electrical
5. Pick up lumber and tools for dry rot replacement

We got a solid two and a half things done on that list. Sunday kind of threw us a bit of a curveball when we arrived at the house ready to finally finish the master bathroom and discovered that the door wouldn't unlock. 


We couldn't get into the house.

The offending culprit; Locked Door Handle of Doom


But first, let's go over Saturday. We didn't end up working on the bathroom (or removing the rest of the nails) because after figuring out the electrical and going over what Greg (my brother-in-law) needed to fix the dry rot for us, we were completely frozen. I mean teeth chattering, fingers refusing to work, cold to your core, frozen. 

We both layer up when working on the house, but we try not to over-do it. You get warmed up pretty quickly after getting to work. Three weekends ago I was working so hard (constantly going up and down the stairs) that when I sat down to take a break I could see steam coming off of my arm. Yeah... I'm pretty hot. (I'm so sorry... Even I had to roll my eyes at that one)

However, because most of what we had done at the house on Saturday involved just standing around, talking and pointing things out, the cold seeped into our bodies pretty dang effectively. 

We DID manage to solidify our electrical plans though (with the exception of the master bathroom. That one needed some editing because I changed some things around in there). A fact which makes me very, very happy. 

We did a little shopping that day and ended up coming home with this baby:

A gorgeous thing of beauty and our (my) new toy!
We had decided a week ago that we should pick up a miter saw to a) speed up the process of adding blocking and b) help us in our future trim endeavours. Of which there will be many. 

A little over half of this cost was subsidized by a few Home Depot gift cards that we had been given since buying the house. We could have used them all much earlier, but we wanted to make sure that they went to something worthwhile. Something other than garbage bags and masks. So, why not a tool that we will not only get a TON of use out of but also one that we will keep for decades!

If you were one of those people that gave us a Home Depot gift card, thank you :) 

Now, back to the horror of being locked out of our own house...

This wasn't good. We really needed to get in and get that bathroom demoed so we could get the garbage bin picked up and avoid an additional fee. 

While Jake kept fiddling with the lock, I called a locksmith and set up a representative to come out and help us. And because fate likes to make you sound like an idiot to strangers, Jake managed to open the door just as the representative called me back.

Okay, I'll take the subtle humiliation over a locksmith fee. 

We had already planned on going to a Home Depot out of town to look for pressure-treated lumber (our local one didn't have any in stock) so we added picking up a new door handle and deadbolt to that list. 

Our beautiful pressure-treated lumber that absolutely no one will see.
I'll feel a lot better knowing that the walls will not collapse one day though. 
Yes, Jake managed to get the door to work again, but the issue on why  the door wouldn't unlock was not made clear. And we did not want to leave only to come back and the same problem arise, especially since contractors could be in the house soon. I had planned on changing up the door hardware at some point anyway so doing it now made sense. 

Surprisingly, it wasn't much of a battle to select what we wanted. I secretly think Jake was just beyond caring, but that worked for me because I got what I wanted. :D 

My selection. I like having door handles that you can open with your elbow if your hands are full.
And since this door is the door we will use most often (and the fact that it opens right into the kitchen), being able to overload myself with groceries and still be able to open the door was a necessity. 

We planned on going back to the house to unload the lumber and quickly install the new hardware. Then we could blessedly get back on track and finish the bloody demolition. 

Yet again, fate intervened. 

The holes in the door (by no means an old one) were off JUST enough to be a major inconvenience.

By the time we had tried everything, made adjustments, tried again, made adjustments, bashed things into place, made some more adjustments, got angry, made some more adjustments, and finally got our new deadbolt and door handle in place and working properly, we were once again... 



It turns out, standing in an un-insulated building with the door wide open while touching metal with your bare hands is NOT conducive to a comfortable situation. 

So, incredibly cold and slightly discouraged, we opted to go to Lowes to get some more keys cut and then just went home. 

It's not that we didn't accomplish ANYTHING this weekend. We just didn't accomplish the one thing that we had decided we NEEDED to get done. 

Oh well, an extra fee for keeping the bin is a price I'm willing to pay if it means we can still get into our house whenever we want. Especially when that means I now have one more functional PRETTY thing in the house instead of just studs to look at. 

Without further ado, I give you the befores and afters!

The side door in question.
One of the previous owners was in a wheelchair so instead of a little step to get into the house, it's a gradual slope. I love it at this entrance. Our old apartment you had to go up a step and it just made things that much more awkward (especially if you were carrying a million things at once)
I also really like the fact that the door is under cover from the elements.

Ugly old brass knob. Nothing inherently wrong with this, just not very nice to look at.
I wanted to change it, but it was pretty far down my list of things worth doing because so far, the door had worked perfectly fine.
Until yesterday.

View from the inside with gratuitous creeper shot of Jake.

And now for the beauty that was installed yesterday!

Looks so much better!

Wonderful, easy-to-open-without-your-hands, handle!
View from inside.
Close-up of inside view. 
If I have some time this spring or summer (definitely after we are living in the house) I will paint the door to really freshen the whole thing up, but isn't it amazing what just changing the hardware does to it?

Here's a side-by-side comparison:

                  Exterior - BEFORE
Exterior - AFTER                

               Interior - BEFORE
Interior - AFTER                

Even though it wasn't what I wanted to get done that day, part of me is happy that it happened. Something that wasn't necessary was suddenly put top of the list, a something that is now aesthetically pleasing!!

Would you have chosen the same change in style? Or would you have gone with something else?
Let me know in the comments!

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