Working Saturday: New Back Door

It is a working Saturday.  We replaced the back door from the deck into the kitchen.  Last winter, I noticed that the winter seal had failed.  That meant that heating was escaping and maybe the house was a little bit colder.  That probably wasn’t the case, but I had my mind made up to replace the door before this winter.  Today was that day.

A couple of weeks ago, Menard’s had the door I wanted on sale.  I drug Rich down there to look at it and be sure.  It was definitely the door.  We found someone with a lift to get the door down from the shelf.  Loading up the truck with my prize, we took it home so that it could sit out in the garage until we had the time to take the old door out.

We needed the time because we were worried about what might be under the door.  A couple of years ago, we had a nest of wasps start up behind the siding.  It took a bit to get everything sealed off so they would die.  I was pretty sure that meant we also had moisture and rot under the door and maybe up the side of the door.  Taking it apart was the only way to tell what was back there.

Today was the day we peeled back the siding and take out the old door.  But first, Sascha decided to dig this morning.  She picked the flowerbed over an old tree stump to dig up.  She had carved away the dirt from one end of the stump.  I swear, I could rent her out to excavate things.  She can move so much dirt with those massive paws.  It didn’t help the neighbors that Rich was out there yelling at her at 8:30 this morning.

Big question was what did we need to repair before slipping the new door into place.  It turned out better than I had hoped.  There was minimal damage.  We didn’t even find the nest that I figured was under there.  There were some missing pieces of wood to help support the threshold of the door, but that was all.

I was the muscle today and Rich was the brains and some muscle.  He cut the nails and insulation around the frame so we could lift it out.  The door popped out without much trouble.  We got it off the deck and leaning again the house.  After inspection and determining the next steps, I scraped away the old sticky stuff from the frame and cleaned up the dirt.

Rich measured and cut the supporting wood for the frame to reinforce the opening for the new door.  There were a couple of areas that required some chiseling to get things level.  Then we hoisted the new door into place for quick fit.  Nice.  It worked well.  Then we took it out of the opening to prepare for the installation.

Now the entire time that we are working out there, bees were searching the outside of the house for places to build this year’s nest.  It was like working with a squadron of drones always looking over our shoulder.  With the old door out, they were easily slipping into the house.  Rick was called into action to kill errant bees trying to move in.  By the time the new door was in place and the house was sealed up again, we counted maybe 25 bee kills.  I should buy a stamp with a bee on it so that we can register our kills on the side of the refrigerator or something.

It was hot outside and Sascha was wanting in.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good way to make her stay in without a door on the back of the house.  She was forced to hang out until Rich had the door secured in place.  She was quite happy when she got the all clear to come in.

After a lunch break, Rich settled in to finish the door and get the new lock put on.  The other big issue with that door was that the deadbolt and the handle didn’t use the same key.  The maid service was always locking the handle on their way out and no one had a key to open the door!  This replacement prevents us from getting locked out of the house.  Two issues solved at once.

Once the door was in place and secured, the impending rainstorm hit.  Rich had been watching the skies very warily.  He wasn’t sure he was going to get things sealed up before the rain came in.  Luckily, he beat it by 15 or 20 minutes.  All the other work he needed to do was on the inside.  I just wonder how long it will be before the trim goes up around the door.

But before that happens, I really want to paint the door on the inside and outside.  On the inside, it will get a nice yellow to match the colors in my Key West kitchen.  I didn’t keep the paint swatches, so I’ll be flying a little blind on matching up the colors.  The outside will get a dark green to match the rest of the door.  By then, I had learned my lesson and kept the original swatch so I could try to match the color.  Hopefully, I can get that all painted in the next couple of weeks.

For now, I can tell Old Man Winter to do his worst.  I have a new door on the back of the house!  But really, I was just kidding about that statement on doing his worst.  I don’t want him to even coming closing to throwing anything like that at me or my house.  Could it be 65 all winter?  Please?

BTW:  I did get stung while I was cleaning up the rough opening.

The old door is out.  Ready to prep for the new one.
The old door is out. Ready to prep for the new one.
One of the squadron of bees.
One of the squadron of bees.
Sascha checking out the old door.
Sascha checking out the old door.
Yep, I got stung by one of the bees.
Yep, I got stung by one of the bees.
Rich working on the rough opening before we set in the new door.
Rich working on the rough opening before we set in the new door.
New door is in.  Time for the locks.
New door is in. Time for the locks.
The master lock installer showed up in good time to finish the job.
The master lock installer showed up in good time to finish the job.