Saturday Project

Whenever I try something new, you can bet it will take 2-3 times longer than it probably should. Such was the case today when I attempted and pretty much succeeded to install a new storm door in our front entry.

I have a few things working against me:

  • I hate following directions. Really. I only cook things that I can do without a recipe.
  • I am horrible at figuring out diagrams.
  • I am not very good at improvising.

Clearing the garage for Julie’s car is a project on the horizon for us, and so the large storm door had to be removed from storage and stuck in its proper place. I really wasn’t looking forward to this, especially with a high of 40 degrees and high winds…

I started off by glancing at the directions and screwing in the top part. It felt good to just pop something in to the door frame. I felt like I was getting somewhere. Step two almost stopped the whole enterprise cold.

I needed to put the hinged part of the door frame onto the door. It is essential to make sure the door can actually open. I looked and looked at the diagrams and the door and I just couldn’t figure out how it was going to work. Even when I had the hinge system figured out, none of the holes lined up as the directions said they would.

Keep in mind, I have every confidence in my ability to mess things up. I could not believe that the directions were wrong. I almost gave up. Finally I just drilled the holes, chopped off the extra door frame, and slapped it all together. It worked fine, the directions were wrong. I won.

Actually getting the door in place was another challenge by myself. I used a cinder block and chunks of wood to prop it into place, furiously trying to drill holes with screws that didn’t like boring into wood. Though things continued to go slow, I eventually got the door attached with the frame in relatively good shape. I even had the latch side spaced out correctly with some ingenious use of wood scraps.

At that point I was ready to be done, but I still needed to drill holes (with the bits I had that were too small) for the latch and door knob assembly. While doing this there were three separate occasions when the door closed with the partially assembled latch and I had to spend 5 or 10 minutes opening the door.

When I could safely open and close the door, I gave up. The spring that closes the door will have to wait. I also couldn’t line up the metal plate that the latch goes into. Oh, and that piece I screwed in at the beginning? I should have measured first. The door now has a 1 1/2 inch gap between the threshold and the weather stripping.

All of that will have to wait until next weekend, further delaying the garage project. Sigh.