Friday, April 25, 2014

A Door Story

Maybe less of a "door" story than a hood story, since this project actually was more about exploring the hood than changing a door. Nevertheless, its been a while since we tackled our last indoor project and - according to Megan's list, and my wish - we wanted to replace the door on the ground floor that leads to the basement and looks more like something is hiding behind it, with something that integrates our not-so-new-anymore refinished basement. Not like a wall that closes it off, rather a glass door or a door with a window, so it creates a better flow to the house and incorporates the basement into the living space.

However, it all started on a Saturday, a beautiful sunny northern California day. Right around the corner from our home we have a complex of "ReStore", "ReUse" and thrift stores that we've been meaning to swing by anyway, not really expecting to find something but to stroll around for a bit. And here we are, a new nook in our hood.

The ReStore store, at least one of them in this complex.

The door section, yes - they really do carry an entire aisle of old doors, who would have thought that. And even some pretty ones here and there.

As well as a couple of massive old and huge butcher blocks, or parts of an old massive wooden door, I couldn't tell, but beautiful wood though, I was tempted to buy them just to have them, but somehow I lost track of them. 

Next building, next store, this time building supplies only, and not just one aisle of doors, no, a dozen.

Including this beauty, that - as sad as it is - won't fit anywhere on the house - as hard as we tried to find an excuse or an idea of where to reuse this one, but, didn't happen, much to Megan's sadness ... ;-)

And then, Megan spotted this one, it was standing there as if it was calling our name, a door, alone, looking like a sad dog in his cage, waiting to get adopted. Hell yeah, no problem, we'll do! Now that you exposed yourself, standing alone in the aisle, just waiting for us, yeah you new door, we'll take you, if you fit.

And guess what, it fits. My measuring tape shows the exact same numbers as those I took at home from the old door, 29-3/4 by 80. Not only that, there is a window in there too, and it's kinda the exact style we've been looking for. I didn't expect that, so my wallet at that time was empty and they still asked some bucks for it, so this one was on Megan, sorry Meg.

Which reminds me, where is she. As usual, when Megan and I go shopping or exploring together, our interest differ so much, that we usually lose each other. So did we today, only I can't even guess where she is, too many doors around to see anything but.

However, I call her, not knowing that she's making fun of me again, by observing me, searching for me from a higher elevation. This barn had too many levels, balconies going on, definitely, too much to look through.

Megan at least caught me on pixels while trying to text and call her to figure where the heck she might have ended up.

Anyhow, we bought the door and brought her home. Funny only that that day my measuring tape was in a funny mood too, it came up with the idea that in different locations one obviously measures differently, so technically the door fits, in real life not so much, a bit too wide, and a touch too short. Again, one of those days, where you think it's easy and it turns into not so easy at all, a door that kind of fits, but not quite, that will take a while and many more steps to come.

Making space for the hinges for example.

But that's only one thing, it's still too wide. But honestly I thought, yeah perfect, at least I have an excuse now to buy an electric planer, I always wanted one, planing by hand is just not as much fun as with an electric one, yippie, HomeDepot, here I come!

Now I've returned home with the planer, and it's such a fun thing to use, especially if you can return a favor, after Megan made fun of me this morning, trying to pretend not to be in the thrift store anymore, I could at least cover her in a ton of wood shavings from the planer :P

But it was worth it, not just because of the fun we had, but now the door finally fit perfectly. Only, Saturday was half over and the door was still a wood color that didn't match anything in the house, so it needs a proper sanding and some color yet. My least favorite job. I don't mind sanding so much, that's still ok, but painting, I don't like it, especially not door frames - actually door frames I hate to paint, I literally get miserable doing it, so miserable that Megan escaped into the backyard, taking care of the weeds.

But the door itself wasn't so bad, it was sunny outside, it didn't hang in the frame yet so I could easily paint it outside, it turned out to be a kind of zen-like activity, to recover from painting that awful frame.

Done! Oh yeah, next day. it's Easter now. happy Easter.  

Time for a coffee. Should have skipped the coffee, during coffee we decided that we don't really like the frosty glass in the door, but decided to go with clear glass - through the frosted glass it looked like there are unidentified shapes lurking on the basement stairs at that spook more than the old closed door that pretended to totally hide something.

So we need to get rid of the frosted glass, dissembling it is the easy part, the more tricky one was to find the right glass at all.  Why am I mentioning this, I tell you why, because it's Sunday, and all glass shops I could research that are supposed to exist in San Leandro are ... right ... closed. It's also a holiday. Which means an entire Sunday without being able to finish a project, not only that it took the entire Saturday to make it all happen, while we thought a couple of hours, no, we can't even finish it today, bleh!

So, Sunday a door without glass. So we go to a German brunch on the water, and to Alameda beach instead. All good. 

But first thing Monday morning, back at it. Drive to the glass shop. Ha! Sure thing, forget about it. The first one (Windows, Glass and Tiles) doesn't have glass in stock, they order it and it takes a few days. Next one, deeper into San Leandro's woods, there it is, see the truck in front of the shop already, ok, so we'll get it here. Ha! You may think so, I did too, but while I parked the car, the truck with the glass guy took off, the sign in the window said, Back at noon, right now it's 9. Ok, too bad for him, I'll take the next one. More San Leandro exploring, only by sudden I don't really know where I am, it doesn't really look like the San Leandro I know so far, it's so different and strange. Arriving at the next glass shop - out of business - next one 2 miles back downtown - out of business, are you kidding me, not only that I got to know the strangest places in San Leandro now, all glass shops seem to be out of business, perfect, so now, what?

Back to the thrift store, maybe they have something, or an old window or whatever I can find, but, they haven't had anything that I could reuse. Luckily the guy gave me a tip and wrote down an address of an glass shop in West Oakland. So I put the address into the GPS and started driving there, San Leandro Blvd towards West Oakland. Interesting, I haven't been here at all yet, an old and sketchy industrial strip, warehouses, graffiti, all kinds of stuff, super interesting. Remind me to show Megan this later. She'll like the painted signs.

Arrived at the shop that I was referred to. Ruso Glass, West Oakland on International Blvd. - pretty sketchy area though. Got in and - ta da - like in an old movie, a super old school glass shop with wood paneling all over the place, the largest storage of glass I've ever seen, I guess I can get my piece here, that's for sure, and yes, I got it, that was nice.

Driving home all excited, take the glass and mount it, call it a day, done and done!

By the way, it's been a few days now that the new glass is in, but we still have to get used to it. As much as we love it, and as nice as it looks and ties the whole downstairs together, the glass I bought is so crystal clear that you don't really see the glass at all in there, it looks like a hole in the door that you can just put your hand through. Strange. Anyhow ...

... cheers!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you guys checked out the Restore! Looks like yours is huge with lots of cool finds. And some of those doors-- wow! I love the one you picked and am always amazed at how "handy" you are, t. Job well done! Again! :)