Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When one door opens...

For quite some time now, we’ve talked about installing a screen door on our front porch. We only have one operable north window in our house, so it would be nice to be able to open up the front door and let in a breeze every once in awhile. On the other hand, it would also provide more insulation, since our front door alone is a little drafty when cold winds blow during the winter.


And after taking notice lately of all the screen/storm doors in our neighborhood, I was really starting to get door envy. A couple weeks ago, we finally turned our talk into action. I had already done some research and decided that the Larson Lakeview storm door was the way to go. This particular model (Screen-Away) has a retractable screen that rolls up into the frame, so you can choose whether or not you want the screen open. Genius!

Menard’s happened to be having a sale on storm doors, so we got the 36" Lakeview for $268 ($30 off the regular price). We chose white with aged bronze hardware, to coordinate with our existing trim and hardware.


Having never done this before, we didn’t really know how long it would take to install the door, but figured at least a couple of hours. Even though it claimed to have “Easy-Hang Installation,” I wasn’t going to be too optimistic.

Although I have to admit, my heart sunk a little when we opened the packaging and saw all the pieces and parts that we had to put together first. I had foolishly hoped the door would be ready to hang right out of the box. But since it was made to be either right-hinge or left-hinge, we had to assemble the hinges and hardware ourselves.


It took awhile to drill all the holes for the screws we needed, but the instructions were pretty easy to follow (and in color, too!). And I have to say that the hinge rail did allow for easy hanging onto the door frame, once we reached that part.




Here is proof that I did more than just take pictures the whole time.

Following the instructions for the hardware was a little more tricky, but we figured it out. The scariest part (for me) was drilling the ½” and ¾” holes into the metal frame. All we had were paddle bits made only for wood, but Luke went ahead and used them and they still cut through the metal (even though it made some awful noises).





Once the hardware was installed, we had to put up the latch rail and mortise on the other side of the door frame, so the door could close and lock properly. And it did! Woo-hoo!


Not quite done yet... We still had to install the bottom of the door, which was adjustable based on how much space you need to the sill.


FINALLY, we had to add the top and bottom closers. With the turn of a screw, they allow you to adjust how slowly the door closes.

All in all, it took about 5 hours from opening up the box to finishing the installation. Okay, so a little longer than we had planned… good thing we started early in the morning. But we really didn’t come across any major setbacks during the process, which is pretty amazing. (Well, except for when Dudley almost swallowed a tiny O-ring that was crucial for the closer installation.)



I’m so glad we have a storm door now, and I think it looks pretty good. It’s been great being able to let more natural light in, and we were even able to open up the screen a few times last month. But when Old Man Winter gets here, the door has heavy-duty weatherstripping to help keep that cold air out. There's also a deadbolt, which is a nice added security feature.

Oh, and I'm not the only one who loves it:


Which means I’ll probably be cleaning the glass every day now to keep up with their snout smudges. Oh well, still worth it!

3 comments:

Oonafey said...

Ha! I love that last pic! That's about how mine look every time I open the door... And the do leave some nasty smudges. Which I just ignore. Really? If I kept the glass clean, I would literally be cleaning it every time I left the front door open. Not realistic for me.

It really looks great. Seamless, likes it's always been there.

Blogger said...

I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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