Two weeks ago, I finally got to the point of hanging a new door on the back porch. When I first moved in, it was only a locking screen door. The previous owner never locked the doors. At one time you could do that in our town and not worry. The first door that was choosen was a comprise with my ex-wife who tended to purchase inexpensive materials instead of something that would last. It never fit right nor functioned correctly. Within a month, my ex-wife put a big dent in the door. Needless to say, I never finished the interior trim due to my frustration with this door and the urgency of other projects.

Over time, this door became a reminder of doing the job right the first time. Several years ago, I decided that it was time to fix this door since the window would no longer lock. I checked the two home improvement stores for a new door and found one that matched the existing windows on the back porch. I loaded it up and brought it home to get started. Unfortunately this project ground to a halt when my ex-wife questioned why this needed to be done? The door was set aside and there it sat as yet another reminder.

Fast forward a few more years and I’m quickly approaching the twenty-three year mark. I am now starting to feel a little like Sarah Winchester concerning this door. Projects on my old house take planning and patience. Most doors sold in California are pre-hung for 2×6 framing. My old house is rough sawn 2×4 framing which is larger and varies more than modern 2×4 framing. This required careful measurements to cut the pre-hung frame to fit my porch opening. Then there is the fact that very few houses over 100 years old are still plumb or level. After several hours of careful measurements, the door was secured in the frame and lock set installed. Most of the outside trim was installed but I would need to make a trip the next day to the hardware store.

After installing the final pieces of exterior trim, I sealed around the door with insulating foam. Next, I finally got to install the interior trim. One of the details no one will ever see, is the glue blocks and clean-up cuts above the door for the patch. The glue block provides a surface to attach the patch so it will be even with the surrounding plywood surface. For the patch, I used construction adhesive only.

After the adhesive dried, I filled in the gap with a non-shrinking patching compound. Next steps will be to finish filling the nail holes, chalking, primer, and paint. When I started this project, I never imagined that the old memories would come up. Being able to complete this project has been very satisfying. And Maggie really likes the new view out the back.

As a footnote, Maggie kept walking around in my first picture, so I decided to just wait for a decent image.