Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Better Door Than A Window

We got some new windows in our house last month, to replace the original windows which rattled like maracas during a northwest wind, and required brute strength and a good head of steam to open in the humidity. The new windows were expensive, as most home improvements are, and decidedly unsexy; like a new roof (which we got last fall) it's a heap of money that will elicit no groans of envy or gladden your heart or make you sigh with satisfaction. But they needed to be done. (We still have two big windows to do, but that will have to wait until next year, when I can stomach spending thousands of dollars on something that is no fun at all.)

Naturally, after dropping a wad of dough on windows, the Mister decided that new doors was exactly what we needed next! I had no freaking idea that doors were so incredibly extortionate, but I guess they do perform the rather important function of keeping random people out of your house, so maybe they are worth it after all. (Unlike shower curtains. Can someone explain to me why shower curtains cost a bajillion dollars? All they do is keep the water from splashing on the floor; it's not like they have complicated engineering or fine Corinthian leather seats.) I knew you could buy doors, but I had no idea they could run into the thousands of dollars. And plus, you have to buy a handle! I assumed they came with handles, but NO! you have to go out and get one as well. (When we bought our first house, I was gobsmacked that houses did not come with garbage cans, you had to supply those yourself. And we had no mailbox, either, we had to go out and get one of those too. Who knew?)

The Mister thought he could probably install the door himself, to cut down on the costs, uttering the words that chill my very soul: "How hard can it be?"

He started putting in the front door around 11 yesterday morning and finished at around 10 last night. The thing with putting on a front door is that you have to make sure you have all the stuff you need to do it, because it's not like you can run to the store to get anything in the middle of it....because you have no door in the house. This presents a problem until one of your children comes home from school to stay in the doorless house while you run to Home Depot. Also? When a big thunderstorm comes up, it presents a bit of a problem when you have a huge gaping hole in your house and no way to keep the rain out. AND, you can't stop installing a door until the door is all the way in, because if you want to go to bed, you had better be able to close and lock said door.

It was quite an undertaking, but he did it, saving us thousands of dollars, which we may have to now spend on his blood pressure medication. It's a lovely door; it has a window, so we get more light in the front hall, and I can see who's out there before I actually open it.

I think the back door can wait until we get the other windows.

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