Sunday, September 13, 2009

A New View On The World

Rick and I have started our renovations in our living room. We have put money aside for this purpose. We had started a couple years ago,but the room never got finished. We had put up sheetrock on the ceiling ( got rid of those nasty tiles!),painted,put in a hardwood floor,and put up sheetrock walls ( we originally had floral panels with white strips that covered the seams).However, we never finshed the job,leaving us without any molding around the doors,windows, or even mopboards.
Then last winter, we got an ice dam on under our roof,and our ceiling leaked. We had to poke holes in it to relieve the pressure of the water build up. So now we have this rectangular area where the sheet rock needs to be replaced. Since we can't afford a new roof this year,we will make do with heat tape under the eaves of the house. We did that after this ice dam occured,and didn't have any problems for the rest of the winter.
Then, the seals on our sliding door to our deck went.Now, having this sliding door has never been a major problem. The biggest set back was that I had to have long curtains to block the hot sun during the summer,and to give us privacy in the when the trees lost their leaves. This caused a problem,because our dogs, Samson and Sasha,love to lay in front of the slider,and would lay on the curtain,pulling on both the curtain and the rod. This would make the clips that hold the rod up bend down,and I would have to constantly push them back up so they didn't sag.
Once the seal went,we really couldn't see out the door anymore, so we just kept the curtains basically closed.
You get the idea from this photo,with my dog Samson in his typical spot. I took this the morning we changed our doors. It doesn' took so bad from this angle,but...........

.....this a better view. Yeah. You can see why I kept the curtains closed. Even the right side had some mild condensation in it. The left side here,as you can see,was bad. So bad that the bottom inside of the slider started to rust out.It had to be replaced.So..what kind of door do we replace this with? I already knew. French doors with panes and blinds. I love French doors with panes,they just fit the style of home I want.However,the dogs scratch at the door when they want to go out,and they would scratch up the pane dividers. Why blinds? Well, I didn't like they way curtains looked because I live in a small house,and they tend to make rooms look smaller. Plus, I love looking at the trees that are around the front and side of our house. It's very pretty year round. But I did need something to block that hot sun that comes in during the early afternoon and give some privacy.But blinds? The dogs would maul them when they wanted to go out. That wouldn't work.

Then, lo and behold,we were at Lowe's one day, and there they were.....French doors with pane dividers and blinds between the glass!!!Wow! I didn't know they made such a thing! Then I saw the price tag-OUCH! $749! Sigh. We would have to look for something else.Then I got a Lowe's Labor Day Sale flyer. The doors I wanted were on sale for $699. Hmmm...still a bit high,but better. We looked for something compatible at a lesser price,but had no luck. We knew too,that they offered a Military discount(my mother also had called to remind us as well!). We knew we had to replace the door before we could forward with the room,so we said, the heck with it. Let's go for it!! Then the next decision was trying to figure out if we could install it ourselves,or if we should have Lowe's do it. Well, they could do it and take away the old door,but it would cost $499. Not an option. We looked in our Home Depot Do it Yourself Book ( we are equal opportunity shoppers!) and putting in the door seemed pretty straightforward.We went to Lowe's and got the door and the hardware to go with it. I chose a dark door handle and lock set. We thought gold would get washed out once we painted the room beige. We loaded it up in our neighbors truck ( our truck bed is too short) and asked for the military discount. In all,including the original sale price, we saved about $120. Our final price came to around $620. Plus,the door is energy efficient ,which qualifies for a tax break when tax season comes around. Bonus!!!

We stored the door in our garage a few days,then came installation day. Rick's army buddy Paul,who he was in Ramadi,Iraq with,came to help. Our next door neighbor's son,Justin,helped carry the door up the stairs to the deck. Even though Rick,Brian,and Paul were lugging it,they needed an extra person because Rick couldn't carry too much weight due to his knees. As they were carrying it and trying to get it up the stairs,I kept saying to myself,"Please don't drop it,please don't drop it." They didn't. Once the door was on the deck,Justin went back home,and the boys removed the old slider.I then left to go to Michelle's house to make lye soap (this will be my next post!)

When I got back, I could see as I drove towards my house that one door was open. So they doors were in! But how far along were they?They were just cleaning up the area when I walked in the door. The door were in,and the looked GREAT!

It's amazing how much the room is opened up,and looks bigger as well! You can't really get that feel from the photo,but believe me,it's like night and day. The bad thing is it reveals how our deck needs to be redone now!!! You can see how the the railings are curving inwards in this picture. Whoever installed our deck did not use concrete footings,just cinder blocks to hold up the deck in the center sections,so it has settled and the deck is bowing. Another project for next summer!At any rate, I am loving my new doors and the new feel it gives to the house.

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