Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Opening doors

Why is it that all the restoring-old-houses blogs and websites that I find have these things: two handy, into-it spouses/partners doing the work and money. Lots and lots of money.

I mean the people seemingly have gobs of money. They talk about redoing the bathroom in their 1920s bungalow and I'm all excited and I eagerly inspect the pics: Ohh, nice new tile, replace the seal on the toilet and a bit of rotten flooring. Ahh, there they've replaced the window since they discovered the extent of the water damage. Then custom paint, and new fixtures and ...

Then they gush over how they did it all - this 'tiny' job - for under five grand and over a week-end.

Five thousand? I don't have $500. I'm trying to restore my home running to the Lowes with a $100 gift card every now and then.

I also have no help. Not ragging on Evil Genius Husband: he's busy as all hell plus he's just not the handy/crafty/fixy type.

I have no animosity towards these other folks, of course. I love to read the how-to part and see the result. I'm glad they're remodeling these old homes but howcome I can't find someone else doing it a brick at a time ... on a shoestring? It's just depressing.

I hate it because I can't relate. I can't identify with 'getting someone out' to rebrick all the chimneys or put up the 1000 square foot addition. I'm never going to be able to get all new appliances for my kitchen much less decide then that - what the heck - I'll just replace all the countertops as well!

So help me out here. If you are restoring an old home (or have come across someone who is) on a tight budget, let me know. Show me the blogs and websites! I'll love you forever!


Speaking of that $100 Lowes gift card ...

The babies and I went and picked up two screen doors for the front and back so that I can have the doors open in pretty weather without sharing my home with roughly 1200 flies and mosquitoes.

I wanted something really nice for the front door that would compliment the porch with it's Victorian woodwork and something sturdy for the back to hopefully save the screen from babies.

This is the front door that I got.

And the back.

They're by ScreenTight which is a South Carolina company (which is cool) and are solid white vinyl. I spent 20 minutes agonizing over which door to get and whether I should go with wood or vinyl. I loathe the thought of vinyl but decided in the end that it would wear longer and look better. The back door, especially, will get sun, rain, and baby hands on it all the time. I don't need to be wasting money having to replace these doors ... ever.

My only complaint is that the filigree on the front door looks really vinylly if that makes sense. I mean it looks like plastic. But I figure that since we come and go through the back door that the overall impression (like from the road) is of more value than any close inspection the front door will get.

Because both of these doorways are in the oldest parts of the house they are crooked and oddly shaped. I'll have to add a strip of wood to the back doorjamb and actually partially rebuild the front door opening.

I'm also going to paint the front door (not the new screen door, the actual front door itself) cobalt blue. Because I want to. Hah!

(PS: now that I look at these pics I realize that the back door came with different hardware than pictured. It has a latch and strikeplate and hydrolic door-closer. I prefer a traditional look so I'll need to save up to get handles and a doorspring. Great. Now I don't know when I'll get the danged doors up. *sigh*)


At 9:13 AM, Blogger Karry said...

I was doing the same thing to my 1800s victorian back up in MI before we moved. I got the bow window redone and we painted all the walls adn stripped some 100 year old wallpaper off and uncovered some boarded up windows (My sis in law uncovered a boarded up STAIRWAY AND BEDROOM in her old house) and we got it all done just in time for the company to say "oh, by the way - we are relocating A THOUSAND MILES AWAY. Feel like keeping your job?" So I sold it and am sad. I also had painted the front door blue - the house was a pale yellow icky color aluminum siding on bottom, vinyl on top. Blue looked nice against that - but I don't think I went as bright as you. Looks good!

I hear you when you say it's hard to do on a shoestring. We re-did some plaster with drywall after scavenging some construction sites for scraps and puzzle piecing it together. I think we spent $10 on spackle and sandpaper to get a new wall. Yay remodeling on the cheap!

I will toss any sites your way if I find 'em.


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