Thursday, April 13, 2006

What I Didn’t Do Today

Reading that blog title you just know that this one is going to be non-stop action, so hang on to your butts.

I didn’t get the screen door hung today. As soon as I held it up to the door it was obvious the hinges where on the wrong side. I wish had noticed this yesterday because I would have remedied the situation then and I could have hung the door today.

The screen door has a distinct front, back, top, and bottom, so I can’t simply flip it around or anything. You also want the screen door hinges to be on the same side as the door hinges otherwise it becomes awkward to hold the screen open and unlock the door. So the hinges had to move. You would think that it was a simple matter of removing the hinges and moving them over to other side and reattaching them. No way. Nothing is that simple.

You if recall the screen door had been trimmed and the width was reduced by a few inches. It was obvious this had been done because the door had lost it’s symmetry. On one side the rail (or is it a stile) was 4-inches wide and on the other it was about 2.5-inches wide. I had to add about an inch and a half to the other side, not only to regain the symmetry, but also so it would fit the new side door.

Not only were the hinges mounted on the worng side, but they were mounted on the 4-inch side and I needed them to be on the other side. This is the side I had just repaired. When I was making the repair I wasn’t anticipating that the inch and a half sliver of wood I attached would have hinges attached to it. If I attach the hinges and hang the door then all the weight of the door will be hanging off this sliver of wood and suddenly the repair I did becomes crucial. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good repair, but was it good enough? I didn’t feel good about it.

Also today I noticed that the two boards that make up the upper right-hand corner were completely separated. The door is put together with mortise and tenon construction and one of the tenons was completely snapped off. Because the screen on the door is a heavy wire mesh as opposed to a flimsy nylon screen I didn’t notice this break. It needed to be fixed.

So I basically had three chores to perform today on the screen door before I could hang it. I had to fix the broken tenon. I had to reinforce the repair from yesterday so it could be the new hinge side. And finally, I had to swap the hinges and handle so they were on different sides. I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say it required glue and nails and the glue needs to set for at least 24 hours before I can hang the door. So the whole thing is resting comfortably in the garage waiting for it’s impending hang.

One note of interest. Because I was using glue on wood I needed to get the paint off first. Naturally, I got out the trusty heat gun and went to work (Ahhh, the heady aroma of lead paint. Is there anything better in this world?). As with just about everything on the outside of the house there was only 3 layers of paint (thank you asbestos siding). When I got down to the first layer of “paint” (I’m not sure if it is paint) I found the same black, or is it very, very, dark green “paint” that I found on the exterior window sills. That’s right – black paint. It is so dark I suspected at first that it was some sort of primer, but I’m not really sure.

Even if it is dark, dark green it still must have been eye-popping. Even if it darkened with age it had to start out dark. Can you imagine my house (see picture some where) with a basic 2-tone green paint - picture forest green on the first floor and then pale green on the second floor – and then a trim color that is so dark it might have been almost black! Also take in to consideration that the house is on a very visible corner lot. I mean, there might have been horse and buggy wrecks out front from passers-by gawking and craning their necks at the contrast of the dark trim against the pale green paint on the upper floors. Well, maybe not actual wrecks, but still, it would have been a site to see.

I can’t wait to paint the house.

The other interesting thing to consider. If this screen door has the same 3 layers of paint as the window sills, all ending with this black “paint” layer, this would indicate that the screen door is original to 1895. We know, or at least I know, that the window sills are original to 1895. The screen door is kind of an intersting design. It is nothing too over-the-top Victorian, but then neither is the house. Regardless of the style you want to call, it seems to fit the style of the house. And now that it’s been repaired it seems to fit this side door perfectly. Everything seems to indicate that I am be putting an 1895 screen door back in it’s original place. I think it’s neat.


Doug K. said...

The stiles are the vertical members, and the rails are horizontal. Think of the railroad track.. it's horizontal.

Is there a picture of the door?

Doug K said...

Oh, now I see the screen door shot.

Greg said...

"rails are horizontal. Think of the railroad track", that's a good image. I can picture a rail road track running across the landscape. I'll probably never forget this. Thanks.

deb said...

actually greg, black accents on houses look very nice.
when our neighbour was painting their place 2 summers ago she chose fushia doors, green for the siding and creamy-yellow for the windows and trim (all heritage colours), but there was still something missing... i told her to have her painters do the smaller mouldings around the windows and doors black and it turned out fantastic! it emphasizes the windows without being overpowering... don't under estimate what a leetle black can do! (i am the master of colour theory)

(and we've got black doors... well, once they're all painted we will ;) )

Becky said...

Ok, I must say I love this post. Why didn't I think about posting what I DIDN'T do every day. I'd have pages upon pages of content with my tiredness batteling the nesting instint. Greg, you always impress me whether you're doing something or not :)

Jenne said...

Great, as I'm sitting here imagining your green and black painted house...I am getting visions of mint chocolate chip ice cream...mmmmm.
We've been working on our windows lately and they have really dark green paint on the exterior, underneath all the white. And the top of the house is peeling and it's a yellow-y cream. I cannot think of any good ice cream flavors with that color combo...lemon-lime maybe? :)

Have you tried a photoshop mockup of how your house looked with those colors you're finding?