Monday, July 17, 2017

Let's go Dutch...Door that is!

After about nineteen years
of being slammed, abused,
 scratched, dented,
faded by the relentless sun, 
and kicked in by our daughter's 
angry boyfriend,
our front door was in pretty bad shape
and needed replacing.
Sam and I started our search 
for just a plain new door at Lowes.
Sam decided she wanted one 
with a window.
After we settled on a style and 
received an install estimate,
Not high, but not exactly cheap.
I suggested we think about maybe 
getting a Dutch door.
That threw a wrench in the works!
For many many years I always thought 
it would be awesome to have a Dutch door.
It looked like fun in Disney's old cartoon,
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".
It seemed like a great way to thwart bullies.
Dutch doors seemed so charming in a bunch 
of old movies too.
There's a Dutch door in Jack Benny's 
"George Washington Slept Here"
and one in Katherine Hepburn 
and Cary Grant's 
"Bringing Up Baby"
And one in Barbara Stanwyck's
"Christmas In Connecticut"
Where does one even begin to
shop for a Dutch door?
I went to the Internet and found.
My Dutch Door is a company in 
California that ships anywhere.
Actually there were a few companies 
in California, but none of  them 
do business outside the state.
"My Dutch Door" was pricey.
The style I picked,
 pre hung on a frame, with no paint or finish,
two bore holes for the knob and dead bolt, 
plus a Dutch door bolt and I find an installer,
was headed way past $2000.
But the shipping was free!
After about a year of hemming and hawing,
 Sam was growing impatient.
She just wanted the door from Lowes. 
She finally relented to my request 
that we should blow our tax return 
on a Dutch door.
I began the difficult process of finding a 
qualified, licensed installer who had actually 
hung a Dutch door, as per the advice from 
the man I talked to from
My Dutch Door and to qualify for the warranty.
      I confused one installer by calling it 
a Dutch door, he'd never heard of it.
After describing it he said 
"Oh, you mean a split door?"
Door stores won't install a product that's not
from them and contractors won't even come out
for such a small project.
Finally I turned to Tina, my coworker, 
and asked if her boyfriend John,
The John that installed my bathroom lights here,
would install my split door?
(He'd never heard of a Dutch door either.)
John said he'd give it a try then asked
if I tried the local door company Avanti?
I had never heard of Avanti,
I gave them a call, and I'm glad I did!
I was transferred to Chuck and he said, 
"Yeah we build Dutch doors."
He said they just order a split door from the 
manufacturer like most all companies and then 
Avanti adds the widow and builds the frame and
they do the install.
The unpainted complete door would cost $500 and 
the install would be $475.
Oh, and the Dutch door bolt ran about $18.00.
Needless to say, I ordered
the door from Chuck.
He needed me to arrange for his foreman Jorn
to come out to measure and get the specs, 
before he began the build.
pulled off the door molding 
before Jorn came,
 so he could get accurate 
Something I probably didn't need to do,
but I was anxious to get the ball rolling.
Once Chuck got the specs 
the door would be ready two weeks later.
Good bye old door.
I got the call the door was ready 
on a Friday,
and by Wednesday the installer 
was there to remove the old door.
Sam took the day off,
So I had her document the process
 on her phone and text me 
at work all day long. 

Removing the old jamb.
No more threshold.

Jorn delivered the Dutch door after
the old door was completely removed.
It comes prehung on a new frame.
 Install begins!

The Dutch door already looks great!

 I was happy to see the bottom and 
top halves were rabbeted together and
had weatherstripping between the two. 
Better for strength, security
and insulation. 
Awaiting the molding on the outside.
 Said molding!
 Adjusting the hinges.

 Wood shims around the door to 
tighten the jamb.
Spray in insulation.
 Adding the interior molding.
 Almost done!
 Attaching the door handle and dead bolt.
Adding the $18.00 Dutch Door Bolt!
It holds the halves together to act 
as a single door when latched.

This is the bolt style I went with.
Just lift up on the knob and pull 
to open the top half of the door.
I could have also gone with the quadrant latch,
where you rotate the latch off the knob 
on the top half to unlock the two halves.
Then the latch just hangs freely 
on the bottom half.

Now he is cutting the inset for the half moon 
rim strike on the lower door.

 Now adjusting the bolt placement.

 Now the Dutch door acts like a single door.
Six hours later the install is complete.
He did admit he'd never installed 
a "Dutch" door before. 
 But I think my Dutch door is simply 
the cat's pajamas!
I can hardly wait to open my Dutch door 
for trick or treaters on Halloween, plus
I'll be thwarting bullies in no time!😉 
Now to decide on a color.
Our HOA states it needs to be close to 
the original color.  Sam and I picked Behr's 
"Aqua Fresco" from Home Depot.
Now to find a painter...HEY JOHN!!!
Thanks for stopping by
and happy hunting!

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