Tuesday, April 28, 2015

No More Sad Door!

Remember when this happened?

My broken sliding patio door. That was in August. I've been living with it since then.

Even before it was broken, it was a leaky, builder's grade (or worse) door, with "curious" installation issues.

My house isn't that green. This is a weirdly-colored photo

Granted, part of that was my fault because I take forever to make a decision about large purchases. I really agonize over them. Since the screen porch (and a glass storm slider on the outside) protected the door from being either dangerous or leaky, I just let it ride. Winter in Iowa is a terrible time to do window and door replacement, too.

But it also was depressing. It made my kitchen seem trashy and uncared for in a big way, I was embarrassed when I had company over, and spending time in my kitchen gave me the sads. I know I'm going to sound a little overly tragic and possibly whiny by saying this, but I think the door was one of the factors in my winter blues this year. Seriously.

When I checked out patio doors at the big box stores, I wasn't enthused about their products; some of them seemed suspiciously low-cost. Installation could be purchased too, but those are subcontracted out and I had no idea who would be working on my house. I wasn't crazy about the store getting to decide that part. And sales people didn't seem particularly knowledgeable about their product, which made me nervous.

I also got a few bids from large-scale roofing/window/door companies, and got discouraged. Don't get me wrong. None of them were bad people, or bad contractors. But they are too big for their britches and do bulk ordering of just one or two lines of products. I decided I didn't want vinyl-clad windows or doors in a 1930s house. I just didn't. They may be what's economical. They may be "what everyone else is getting." But it wasn't right for my house, and in talking to just two contractors I got tired of being told why what I wanted wasn't what they wanted to sell me. It was also clear they didn't want little one-off jobs like mine. And the bids for the labor part were priced accordingly. Unreasonably high. Like they wanted their bids to be rejected. I think they did.

So I did. But that didn't leave me any closer to finding a) a patio door and b) an installer. In February I finally found a place, north of town, which is part of a small local chain of construction supply stores. They deal mostly with people in the trades, but also do business directly with homeowners. They have a recommended list of installers. They have people who actually know the products they sell, and explained it to me thoroughly, and were happy to price out several different options.

This wasn't the cheapest option of all the places I looked. But look at this!

Is that not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? It was to me. I sorta peeked around the edge of the kitchen doorway, not knowing what I'd think, and......I actually had to stifle a few tears. The installation dude probably thinks I don't get out enough.

The green in this picture is much closer to real life. 

Clearly I've got some painting to do, and yes, my kitchen floor still needs replacing. But wow, wow, WOW.  I'm so glad this is done!


  1. Very, very nice.

    I got into a mess with Lowe's about storm door installation. I cancelled their contract yesterday. Now to find a local place, but that's easier said than done. I thought it would be so simple :-)

    1. Simple just doesn't seem to ever happen with these things, does it? Ask other homeowners for references. Sometimes those lead to the best people.

  2. Oh my gosh. I forgot this happened to your door. A few weeks ago, I was home alone, and I heard a loud bang from the room with our slider. The window was just starting to shatter. I sat and watched and listened to it crack-crack-crack for I don't know how long. At first I thought a bird had hit it, but no dead bird on the deck. Then I started googling.

    So, we've been doing the same thing. I HATE all the vinyl sliding glass doors. I kinda love the wood ones, but the prices. Oh hell no. We are now considering closing up part of the wall and putting in a standard door--but I know just what kind of give-a-mouse-a-cookie kind of undertaking that will surely be. And I worry about losing light. But that door has a western exposure and that room is a big part of why I can't stand the heat in our house in the summer.

    Now, looking at your door, I'm feeling torn again. I really want a wood door.

    What are the chances this freak occurrence would happen to both our doors? :-)

    1. Rita--I have no idea how old your previous slider is, but a new one might give you a considerable improvement on heat/cold insulation, whether you go with vinyl or wood. I've been going into my kitchen regularly and thinking "why is it so quiet in here?" only to realize I had no idea how much neighborhood noise was filtering through that old leaky door. I'm wondering how the kitchen will feel when summer starts (it faces west and is usually roasting by 4 p.m.)

  3. Forgot to say: We don't have the cracked glass. After about 15 minutes of cracking noises, I started to hear plinking ones as tiny bits of glass started flying out of the door. I was late for something with a kid, so I just left and let it all fall without me!

  4. What a great looking door! You must be absolutely thrilled.

    1. I am! I keep taking a step into the kitchen and coming to a full stop to just admire it. :)