Saturday, November 24, 2007

This Old House

I live in a 1916 bungalow house here in Northern California. It sounds cute, and it is. Until you try to fix something (which is pretty much all the time). It is never easy.

We decided to put a French door between the living room and main hallway. (Okay, I decided because DH generally just goes along with my crazy plans.) You can see from the puttied-over hinge mortises that there was one there originally. The original owners were on to something, because as the kids get older, the noise level from the living room back to the bedrooms has increased proportionately. You'd think, not that big of a deal. You'd think.

We couldn't buy a door new, because all of the original interior doors are only 1 1/4" wide, but new doors are all 1 3/4" wide, so they won't fit. I went to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore yesterday to sniff around, and the very first door I spotted was perfect. Seriously, in a warehouse full of doors lined up sideways against the wall, I go right to this door that is the right style, the right width and even the right overall size. Like the creator himself was pointing me to that particular door. It was even a brand new blank, so it hadn't had any hinge or knob cutouts made in it. And then it didn't have a tag, so the guy says $60. PERFECT!

Because the house is so old, I have to special order big brass hinges for $15 each. No problem, I know just where to go. Then we try to buy knobs. Because the door is so narrow, you can't buy new knobs because they won't fit, but all of the old knob sets require that you cut out a big square in the edge of the door for a mortise lock. Hard. You can buy a special attachment to do this which costs around $900.

Basically, we're waiting for our very skilled builder friend to come home from Thanksgiving vacation and save us, because we haven't got a clue. But it's going to look awesome when it's done.

On this date: In 1978, Letterman first appeared on The Tonight Show

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