It finally arrived. My long-awaited front door was delivered to the shop for painting/staining on February 28. I huge thanks goes to Anna Petersen, the young lady that welded my basement sink stand for allowing me to use her studio. Due to the delay, the door arrived during very cold temps, too cold for my painter, Britt Sang to work on the door in his house shop. Due to the size of the door he wasn’t able to get it into his basement where he normally works on door projects. He was not able to warm his garage to a temp needed for painting and staining, so I was forced to either find a new painter or a place for him to work. Since he was referred to me by Hyde Park Lumber and they were now paying for his services as part of my reparations, I called Anna who did not hesitate to say yes.
Hyde Park Lumber arrived promptly at 10am. The same two men that delivered the first door brought the new and they nervously removed the cover in anticipation of my reaction. It was beautiful. It had the right sidelights and with a quick measurement was the right size. Massive relief. Britt and his partner Bernie got busy right away. Initially Britt told me it would take him 10 days to paint and stain the door, but Bernie tackling the stain side and him the painted they were able to have it done in a week. Unfortunately for me I was scheduled to be in New Orleans with a client the first week of March, so it was decided that I would not schedule the install until I returned, which gave the paint and stain extra time to cure.
I had Doug Routt owner of Sentry Doors scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, although we didn’t confirm until Monday the 11th to ensure the weather would cooperate and it did. That gave me two days to find and clean up the inside trim pieces from the original door. The top trim, between the door and transom, was missing when I purchased the house, but thankfully I had a suitable replacement from all the saved trim from doors that were removed during demo and not part of the rebuild. I also cleaned up the transom, all using my tried and true denatured alcohol and Restor-A-Finish process.
Doug’s installer Eddie and his wife Jen (this husband and wife team did not disappoint like the Roland Hardwood couple) picked the door up from Anna’s shop and brought it to my house. As fate would have it, Duke Energy was working on power lines in the area and had turned off power to my side of Camp Washington. He was able to remove the original trim (the goal was to keep it in tact as it would be impossible to find new which match the trim around the transom), but he soon reached a point where he needed power to run his tools to cut out the old door. Fortunately I had a battery-powered reciprocating saw he was able to use until the battery died. At that point I left to retrieve my generator from my storage locker. Power was restored before I returned and thankfully Jen took pictures of this momentous occasion in my absence.
I returned in time to see the sidelights and frame being carried from the truck. Eddie suggested that I should work to remove some of the paint built up on the trim he removed, so I turned my attention to that in between taking more pictures. I love seeing the handwriting from the mill on the back of these old pieces of wood.
I had 16 weeks to pick out and order the lockset for my door. Incredibly I forgot and Monday was forced to do a Google search to see if a can find one locally. I wanted something similar to the original handle and a higher quality than what I could find at Home Depot and Lowes. I found Bona Decorative Hardware located in Oakley. What an awesome display of cabinet and door hardware they had among other items like fire place inserts and faucets. If I am fortunate to restore another old house, this will be my go to place. They are family owned and operated and what struck my eye when I first saw their website were the words “architectural hardware”. I had no doubts that I would find something, the more pressing question was could I get it in two days.
Fortunately they had a vendor, Emtek Assa Abloy, located in CA that shipped same day if ordered by noon. Their product line was exactly what I was looking for, actually more than I was looking for as I was able to customize the lockset and select my inside and outside pieces. I selected their Nashville set, which offered 8 different finishes, 10 different lever options, and 19 different knob options. Since I have the original 8 point glass knobs throughout the house I selected a 8 point glass knob for the inside. All in oil rubbed bronze to match my outside lights. They arrived Wednesday morning and I was able to pick up while Eddie and Jen took a lunch break.
With the time lost with the power outage, Eddie had to return on the next day to finish putting the trim back on. That gave me extra time to apply stripper on the outside pieces to remove more than what scrapping could remove. I got down to either the wood or original white color after removing gray, dark green, and yellow layers. The original inside pieces as a stand alone looked darker than the door, but once attached to the door it made the door look like it had been there forever. It proves the weeks I took removing trim prior to demo was worth the effort. I love the front door and I’m so glad I held firm on the decision to maintain the 40″ opening and wood.