Thursday, July 15, 2010

Massive Door, massive headache

Every once in a while you take a job that you wish you would have just said no too.  This door is one of them.  This was the mother of all bailouts.  The contractor had done work for these folks before and didn't want to let them down with the repair of this massive entry unit that was absolutely demolished by sun exposure.  Cherry wood door stained dark.  Then painted.  Then patched and painted again, and again, and again.  Until finally it refused to work and threatened to let water ruin the hardwood floor.

The contractor wanted nothing to do with it.  His regular door supplier wanted nothing to do with it.  The next guy he called wanted nothing to do with it.  He got referred to me and being the economy what it is, I took it it on.  I knew better but I did it anyway and it has been one problem after another.

First off, this door is a monster.  8'-0" in height, 20 years old, and it has one off artisian leaded glass sidelites that matched the transome above as well as in doors inside the home.  This means I had to remove the uber fragile un-insulated artisian glass from the sidelights and temporarily fill with plywood while we took the glass back to the shop to build the new door.  Then we had to prefinish the door to match the aged cherry interior transome and molding.  I called in the wolf, my friend Andrew, and he matched it exact.   Then we dinged the door during delivery somehow.  Then during install we discover a mess of unexpected complications.  First the jambs were continuous through to the transome.  Which meant we had to temporarily support the transome while we cut out the jamb away, then figured out a way to permently support the transome in the opening.  Then we discover the exterior of the transome is rotten at the corners... and I just can't leave a problem like that.  Then the subfloor was rotten to no end. Why is the floor rotten? Because someone ruined the sill pan. Had to fix that too. To make a long story short I've got 45 hours into a job I bid at 10.  Ugh. Every day I learn a lesson and this one is to always listen to my first instincts.  Regardless I'm super proud of the end result of this door.  We performed carpentry wizardry here and when I look at this thing I can't help but beam with pride knowing there are very few people that could have successfully done what we did here.


  1. Looks great! Something looks abit odd with the keystone and corner blocks on the segmented arch. Cool Blog Rob. Hope all is going well with the new venture!

  2. Yep. I agree with the corners. That was origional, we didn't mess with anything above the sill of the transome. We actually cut the casing and concealed the cut under the crown molding. Thanks for the comment!