Monday, November 2, 2009

The Dreaded Screen Door Project

Listening to Pretty Maids.

Why are the simplest tasks so often the hardest to accomplish? Why can't a 20 minute project actually take 20 minutes? I ask myself this a lot.

We hired a well-recommended guy to put in a new door on our cottage apartment, and had him put in the screen door as well while he was at it. The old metal door was ugly and dented and had to go, but we were a little freaked out about putting in a new frame and door because 1) we didn't know how to do it and 2) if it isn't done just right it won't close and will come off the hinges. This is why we hired a guy to do it in the first place.

So, the door went in without too much trouble, but the way this guy installed the screen was ridiculous. I wish I had taken a picture of it. It was not flush, did not close well, and the latch didn't line up. It was verging on falling off when I realized that it had to be re-installed the right way. The new door and frame seem to be ok but so often if you want something done right you gotta do it yourself.

Here is a picture of the door before I re-installed the screen. I got a thing for aqua colored doors and black trim..

Putting in a screen door is pretty easy. We put them in on the front and back doors of the house with no problem, but this one was another story.
Normally a screen door fits into a door frame easily if you get the right size. This screen door was the right size but it didn't sit flush against the door jam. It stuck out about 1/2 inch and there was no way to put on the hinges. Check out this picture and you will see what I mean. Notice how the screen door sticks out? It should be flush.

I thought about this for a couple of days and here, right, is my solution:
I screwed a piece of wood 1/2 inch thick to the door jam resulting in a flush surface, and that means flush installation of the screen door!

Here is the screen door with the hinges. The damn thing actually worked! And painted black it's hardly noticeable.

But let's not forget that I never get off easy with any project. I found that the screen door had a little sticking problem resulting in having to give it a swift kick to get it open. I thought about this for awhile and remembered that I am the owner of plane! So, down came the door again, out came the plane, and with a little elbow grease the sticking problem is but a memory.

A little sanding and a paint touch up and the door was ready to hang for real this time.

I then installed one of those door closer things: very easy per the instructions that come in the package. I did a little measuring, drilled a couple of holes in the door jam and a couple in the screen door and, voila, the door closes all by itself with out banging. It is pretty cool. Then I added a hook lock and a handle.

And here it is, all done, finally. All in all, this re-install took about 5 hours....that's 4 hours and 40 minutes longer than I thought it would take. I kid, but seriously when the weather is as nice as it has been lately I happily turn off the AC and open up all the windows and doors and enjoy the fresh allergen air of Austin - with screens, of course, I am not crazy...this is Texas after all where we grow the biggest mosquitoes in the country. Aaah, fall elm!

We are punk rock martha stewart

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