Saturday, December 10, 2005

Hot & Bothered

Yesterday I got both doors hung. The second one went much faster and smoother than the first. Last night I was warm. I was more than warm at one point, I was actually hot and had to turn the heater down! The two parlors that are closed off by the pocket doors make up a space about 14X30 feet. At one end of this space is the only heater in the house. This heater is only temporary. It is a vent-free natural gas heater (Not legal in California. Don’t tell anyone). Last week I could have run that thing for 12 hours straight and never heated these parlors. All the heat went right out the opening where the doors now hang and right up the main stairwell in the foyer.

Even though all of the heat went upstairs it really didn’t heat the upstairs because it just kept going in to the attic and out the top of the roof (No insulation in the attic and an open stairwell to the attic. It’s on the list). In short, running that heater was a colossal waste of energy and money, and so I never ran it. Now that I can close off the parlors I can contain the heat in that room. The rest of the house will be an iceberg but at least I can be comfortable in the evenings. Maybe I’ll build a little fort in there and camp in the parlor on really cold nights.

Last night I cranked the heater up to 5 (the max) and in no time at all I was stripping off layers of clothes. After a little while I turned it down to 1 and was comfy the rest of the night. This is like a dream come true. Now, if I can keep from killing myself with the vent free heater everything will be great! (The room can draw fresh air from the chimney and I have a CO detector). Now for the part that is bothering me.

There are 2 problems with one of the doors. I didn’t notice it until I got the doors hung but one of them is a half inch longer than the other (Never cut old wood!). I guess I never measured both doors. I measured one, figured I needed to add about 6-inches, and never really checked to see that they were both exactly the same height. I just assumed they were.

It is only a half inch but they don’t line up at the top and it bugs me. I trimmed the wood I added, so the “new” doors are the same height, but when they are closed the lines don’t match up where the top rails meet. The door that is a half inch longer has another small problem. It hangs slightly out of plumb. When the doors come together they match at the top but by the time you get to the bottom one is about 3/8-inch off. Again, not major but it bugs me. More importantly, when I add the locksets you won’t be able to lock the doors without fooling with it because the lock faces won’t match up. I may not want to lock the doors a lot, but if there is a lock there it should work. It is a matter of principal.

I think the door doesn’t hang plumb because the wood I added is not perfectly straight up and down. I’m thinking I should do it over. If I cut off the wood I add and do it over I could solve both problems. This door that is not plumb is also the one that is too long. This is also the door that I broke two blots off in the door when I was adding the addition at the top. This is also the door that I had to remove several times and trim wood off the top. This is also the door that was caked in dirt. This door has been nothing trouble.

If I remove the piece I added I can trim the extra half inch off the door and then add a new piece of wood, this time making sure it’s straight. I hate to do things over but I think it will be worth it. I have to remove the doors again anyway to add the locksets and pulls (whenever I get them) so I will have the doors off. Now that I’ve done this a few times it should go much faster. The one big problem is this is the door with the 2 broken bolts. These must come out before I can add new wood. It should be a challenge.

I’m not going to be doing this right away. I want to get back and finish work on the kitchen. For now I will just enjoy the doors and be Hot & Bothered. It beats the hell out of being Cold & Peaceful.


ben said...

We have french doors between the living room and dining room that don't line up either. They should lock, but don't. The reason is that one side has settled due to poor placement of a doorway underneath in the basement. I could get the doors to line up, but it would require jacking up the house - then repairing plaster, repainting, etc. If they're not mortised, would it be easier to relocate the hinges?

Patricia W said...

Those doors were a huge undertaking in my opinion. They are beautiful but when you can I would fix the problem of them not matching up, that will drive you nuts.

Isn't it nice being able to keep warm? We're holed-up in the downstairs for the winter and I run around with pieces of insulation and foam plugging holes and scouting out where the drafts are coming from. My walls aren't insulated and the attic has virtually none so a lot of bucks are flying out of the attic, even with doors closed. I can't wait for the spring thaw just so that I can start tearing into the walls downstairs and getting them ready for next winter.