So now it’s doors. Every three hours, it seems, I must replace part of my home.
Blame Florida heat and humidity, cheap 21-year-old builders’
materials or plain old age. Whatever the culprit, a sinister house demon siphons off loads of cash
I’d rather keep. And is, specifically, no fun. At all.
Today’s project is the front door to my house. It’s a
double-door, wood, painted green right now, with little glass panes. The glass
gets filthy, the wood is weakening, the color is cracking off, and the ledges
below each window are perpetually filthy no matter how many times I drag a damp
rag across them.
The doors’ multiple windows also let in that brutal Florida
sunshine. As new homeowners, we adopted
quaint cloth coverings on the interior that kept the sun from warping the floor. They had the secondary benefit of adding an embarrassing Midwestern DIY feel. Years later, a decorator
insisted we replace the kitschy cloth with pricey wooden shutters. At the time,
homemaker genius that I’m not, I didn’t realize I could install new doors for
about the same price.
Now we have a dog, Gigi. She’s a cutie. But she was left
alone too long one day and broke the shutters. Plus, she digs her nails into
the wedge things (louvres?) whenever she wants to look out.
When she’s done with her alfresco escapades, she claws at
the other side to come back in. She does that a minimum of three times every day. That makes the window panes even filthier and
scrapes the paint off the wood, so you can see the original red under the green.
A friend-who-knows-stuff saw the shutter damage and gave me
the name of a company that will fix them.
I called. The salesman showed up —
and told me it would cost so much to fix them that I should buy new doors
We’d been planning to repaint the house’s exterior, so this would be a
logical time to either replace the doors or slather on another coat of Porter.
I posted a plea on Facebook and got two recommendations for trustworthy
local door guys. The first came. He carries one brand of doors. One. He said my
doors are unusual in size (30 inches by 8 feet) and can be replaced with only two models in the
entire universe. Both are meh — so meh that my homeowners’ association would holler a neighborhood-wide NOOOOOO if I asked for the go-ahead. Still, I chose a design and was told he’d call for a quote. Day 8: still waiting.
So, I called the second company, requesting a home visit
from a rep. “We have so much more in the store than we can show you with a home
visit,” a guy said. “You should come in. We’re open on Saturday.” You know what
happened, right? I cajoled my husband — who does not want a new door, but
instead wants the shutters miraculously and inexpensively repaired — and drove half
an hour to the showroom. One salesman. Fourth in line. I told him my situation,
wrote down all my contact info at his suggestion … and haven’t heard back. Day 5.
So. Online, I found a bunch of doors I could actually get
After pinning them to my Pinterest page, I realized many are by
the same company. I emailed. I corresponded. I was assured the doors can be
custom-made to fit my opening. I wrote back with rough measurements, the door
of my choice, and the request for a quote. Is the door $2,000 or $20,000? I’ll
get serious with the tape measure once I know if I’m wasting my time and that
of the rep.
No answer. Day 3.
Here’s the plan: Paint the dowdy door, knowing the dog will scrape off the paint, so we’ll soon see green and red under the new hue. Leave the broken shutters and shudder every time we walk by. Buy a new door in 15 years when we’re ready to sell. Someone may as well enjoy it.
Eat well, live well, leave the decorating to the competent,