You would think that replacing a basement door would be a simple weekend project, right? You would be so wrong because, in this house, no project is ever quick or easy.
This one took us 3 months to finish. Yup, we started way back in January. We didn’t work on it the whole time, but it did take a lot longer than we thought.
This is where we began. The basement door is in our small living room so we have to look at it every night when we watch tv. It really doesn’t look all that bad in the photo but it was. The dog/cat door was big and bulky, chewed up and glued shut.
The inside of the door was plain old nasty. I think the previous owners locked their dog in the basement and it chewed and clawed the door. You can also see the lovely pink spray foam insulation. Insulation is a good thing and has its place, but this stuff is everywhere in our house. All I know is that whoever sprayed it certainly did a thorough job. Yikes!
The first thing we had to do was to remove that ugly door. Both the door and the frame had metal stripping around them, to make a good seal, so it all had to be removed too. After we removed all of the metal strips, we had to scrape the old, chippy paint and repair all the holes.
We had planned on buying a new door but found an old one in the basement that fit the opening of the doorway. That was a huge bonus but…
There’s always a but. 😉
The only problem was that the door was a mess. It needed to be scraped and sanded on both sides before it could be painted. Even after we sanded and painted the door it was far from perfect but, when you have an old home, nothing is perfect.
So, instead of looking at the ugly door, we looked at an open doorway and 2 boxes for 3 months. The boxes were our idea of a cheap baby gate to keep Finn from wandering into the basement.
Finally the “new” door went up. The fit isn’t perfect because the doorway isn’t perfectly square but, as I said…
Old house=nothing is perfect.
I tried to recycle everything when I could, including the hardware, but it just wasn’t useable. The door knob was old but not original glass like the others in the house and the metal hinges were caked with paint.
We had to modify the door a bit to get the new door knobs to fit. Luckily the new door knob plate covers the ugly holes.
I think it looks so much better than it did before. Like it’s been here all along.
I’m so glad that we found this door in the basement. Finding a new door that matched the others would have been tough, and expensive.
Another project crossed off the long list. Progress!
Check out another project that we recently completed in the living room, the DIY fireplace mantel.