Since we have moved into this house we have had heating and air condition problems. It is a 1910 home and we are lucky to even have HVAC in Denver. Most friends do not have this luxury. We have no insulation in our house. Like zero. Behind this plaster is brick.. well hopefully (wink wink). In one instance, we removed the baseboard to the left of the door and we were able to see straight outside. This was also the case next to the pantry. (No wonder there was once a mouse problem...) Our food would be COLD, like icicle cold, in the winter in our old pantry. We wanted to get this door and door jam repaired since it is original to our home but unfortunately the door was just too warped. Look at the top left corner of the door. It was bowing out significantly and we were able to literally see outside at all times. This created a bug problem and also our house was losing air quickly. Throughout the last 100 years or so, this door faced the elements and the storm door was offering little to no protection at this point. So it was concluded we needed to replace the original back door (cue Nicole Curtis yelling at me...) and my dad graciously gifted us a new storm door & installation for a house warming present.
Funny story: When we first bought our house my step mom came in town to help us with a few projects. When she first got here we went to Home Depot to purchase supplies for the weekend projects and I was asking Ben for a new storm door because the one originally at the house would slam shut so loud and it actually ripped several pieces of clothing because it was broken. This was week 2 of owning our first home and Ben was like "No! We can't spend all our money right now!" haha soo my step mom told my dad this story when she got home because real adult life set in for us. Since that day my dad has been set on gifting us a storm door!
This sound so silly but I have been absolutely so excited about this! You will see why below but the full glass allows for this mini indoor/outdoor feel that I just love when having guests over to sit on the back porch under the twinkle lights! Also I like to leave it open when I am cooking to look outside and get all the natural light possible! It even has a self closing mechanism so NO MORE SLAMMING! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this the most about the new storm door. Anyways back to the back door...
Here is a before shot from inside our kitchen. Looking back on it, the door was rough.
I really wanted to keep the integrity of the home and this meant ordering a custom wood door. We went to The Door Store in Denver and their prices were really reasonable (actually WAY cheaper than Home Depot) and they had a style that was really close to our original door. The only detail we lost was the look of the 4 windows. I truly like the all glass because again it lets in more light and I can look outside unobstructed.
This is the day our contractor installed the new door!
I will get into a few other problems we had with the door that are common with old homes and shows you just how much craftsmanship went into this from our contractor. You can see above that the concrete slab under the door was crumbling. Also the deck is right up against the doorway so this causes water to pool up against the house. In addition, the wood around the transom was rotted. Basically we needed help. Our contractor suggested that he could add concrete to stabilize the door below the new threshold, he could add another picture window in front of the original transom to increase energy efficiency and he could install some decking to redirect water away from our house. No sooner than he discussed this with us, we had a major rain and hail storm in Denver. The water came pouring in our kitchen on the newly finished hardwood floors. We had cardboard all over the floors to protect them and the water soaked underneath and to top it all off our floors are of course uneven so we were in a scramble to clean up all the water in the kitchen. Thankfully we were home and heard the water gushing in so we were able to act fast. Once we thought that we had averted this crisis, we went to the basement and there was water everywhere in our office. Oh joy. So we decided we should proceed with making some additional repairs to this back door area to reduce the risk of future water issues. We absolutely do not regret this add on to our project.
Next it was time to pick a door color. We decided that we wanted something bright and fresh for the door. Because why not? On Snapchat I asked friends to weigh on what color to pick. Ultimately we decided to go with the far left color. My signature turquoise... Ben keeps calling it green. I highly disagree. (wink, wink)
After we painted the door, our contractor installed our new storm door! Isn't it beautiful? It has a feature where you can pull down the glass halfway and it turns into a screen. This is so nice to have in Denver. I pretty much leave the back door open all the time now! You can also see the new grey decking that diverts water and snow from the doorway.
After installation of the door, this is what the inside looked like. I was insistent that we keep the original molding around the door so it looked quite rough right after installation. We caulked and painted all the molding and it changed the look of this door dramatically. I was also insistent that we keep the original door handle. However, the latch was very old and a weird shape so we found an online shop that sells antique hardware parts that would allow us to still use our doorknob but were smaller in overall size so wouldn't threaten the integrity of the new door. Door knobs are so complicated! The metal stick that actually turns the door open is a 5/16" square pole. This is not the standard anymore. But luckily for about $25 we were able to order a new inside piece from House of Antique Hardware. I learned a lot about door handles and latches through this process. We specifically ordered this one. This website has tons of great info and I went to the glossary often to determine exactly what we needed and called their customer service #. They were great to work with!
Below is an in progress shot of the finishing details. Again it is so amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for your space! Cheapest way to freshen it up!
Some of my favorite elements about the backdoor project are:
- Buying a traditional wood back door from the Door Store and painting it a fun color! We didn't lose the charm of the old house.
- Keeping the original doorknob (We just replaced the inner latch hardware through House of Antique Hardware, which has parts for old door knobs and sells antique hardware.)
- Replacing the light switch plates with fresh, clean ones from Wall Plates Online. (Found lovely mouse poop when I took the old wall plate off.)
- Putting a fresh coat of white paint on all the trim around the door and in the kitchen to really clean it up!
- Adding a fun and eclectic rug from West Elm!
P.S. Sorry you can see me in the reflection in ALL of these pictures haha.