Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chasing the light

Our dining room. I think this pic was from Thanksgiving. It's a smallish room and not a lot of natural light. The two-story house next door blocks out most of it. We had even put up a giant mirror to the left of the double windows in an effort to lure in some of that light.

But, check out how much brighter it is with the back door open....

When it started raining, we found water leaking and seeping through that door. Plus, it posed major security issues as it was actually an interior door. That made us most leery, especially after every contractor type we spoke to said we needed to change it -- immediately. "I can cut that door with a knife." Ugh. Since we were going to replace it anyway, why not install patio doors? YES! :)

We embarked on a search for affordable patio doors and gathered several quotes. We really wanted something low-e and dual-paned. But all those "extras" ratcheted up the price. So, we turned to used door stalking on craigslist. Even then, it looked like we would have to settle for something a bit banged up and a little less than what we wanted.

Then Sergio took a trip out to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. There, he saw OUR door. It was hidden behind a couple of other ones so he had to dig a bit. Once unearthed, he saw that it met all the "wants" and even had argon gas insulation between the panes! Gorgeous wood on the inside frame and brand new! It looked like someone bought it, didn't need it, and then donated to Habitat for Humanity. The store sells donated materials at a fraction of cost, to help fund their builds. It surprised us to find this beauty untouched...but lucky, lucky for us!

(waiting for installation)

The workers taped off the room to keep the dust off before cutting into the wall.

After chiseling away the stucco and then cutting through the wire and paper, they found the original wood siding. It was in surprisingly good condition. Then, a threesome of unexpected pipes stumped them for a bit. A bit of nosing around helped them determine that they were old and no longer used.

Out comes the old door and time to prep the giant hole...

...and in goes the door!

The next morning, I had sort of forgotten all about it. It was such a pleasant surprise to open up our bedroom door and step into the light filled room. It makes an amazing degree of difference.

I'll take better pictures this weekend. It's supposed to rain again Friday and Saturday though. Ack. Sunday should be sunny. Sunday.


  1. Can't wait to see it! Maybe I'll stop by before or after my reading/study session at Oxy. I tend to be at Oxy a lot now. Lil Sis

  2. Elsie - what a great journal of all the amazing things you have done to create your beautiful home! So cool seeing the process of creating a new door!