I generally have a weeks’ worth of time off work over the holidays. This year however we decided that we’d take the time and money we would spend on the trip and invest it into some improvements in the house. The one that seemed a pretty good match for both was replacing seven hollow core doors with solid wood slab doors. Sounds simple right? We thought so.
This wasn’t really an immediate need for the house to function or an efficiency upgrade. This was an issue of having grown up in a home where the doors were all solid wood and the hollow core doors taunting me. The doors were a symbol of everything I didn’t like about houses built from the 60’s on. They were cheap, disposable and lacking in character. We’ll invest in doors we both like better, and feel better about the house.
We started the day after Christmas, borrowing my parents van and the dad that came with it. Our first stop was a local place called Building Value . Perusing the aisles, a worker helped us look through if any of the salvaged doors would work for the doors we were filling. He gave us valuable information about checking where hinges were and how the door opened as well a how much space was needed for the latch. Sadly we didn’t find any doors that worked there, nor did we find any at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. The end of the day had us at Home depot picking up the doors for the openings that we had, except for one that I needed to pick up the next day.
It took longer to get the items we needed than expected and we were disappointed that we didn’t find ones we could re-use. We were sure that we could still have the project done by the end of the week at that point. Unfortunately that was not to be. We thought we had everything we needed in the first trip but had to go back multiple times for additional hardware pieces, and widgets for cutting and placing the doors. By the end of the week we had the hinges set and were working on the knob/latches. Way behind schedule it was taking more than an hour per door, and my husband’s arm was tiring from slowly boring through the wood. I stepped in to help, and made things worse. I misjudged a the depth of where I was drilling for the latch, let it get caught and buck out of my hand spraining my wrist, and fracturing one of my fingers.
Although the doors are up they have yet to be stained or sealed. Nearly two months later the project is not done, as I spent the majority of that time in a cast. Which lead to its own conundrums.