Minding the Gaps

Even though summer is really the best time for doing exterior projects in the Pacific Northwest, our schedule tends to get so busy that I leave projects half done. Exhibit a: the bathroom that took an entire year.  Exhibit b: my lack of blogging recently.

And this year is no different. Birthday parties, weddings, beer festivals, work travel, aye-yay-ay. And on top of the lack of time issue, we’re also running into a bit of a lack of money issue. Mostly because we’re going on two back-to-back vacations in August – a 5 day rafting trip on the Rogue with the brewmaster from Double Mountain, followed by a trip across Europe – that have eaten up the typically allocated home improvement budget… and then some.

Even with the remodeling fund in the red, I decided I should probably install the door handle (read: lock) on the new mudroom door before we leave the house empty for 3 weeks. The bore-holes in the door have been stuffed with socks for the past three months – not exactly the most secure.

But before I could install the handle, I needed to fix the door – it wasn’t swinging quite perfectly. I started with some minor adjustments, shims, etc., and it just wouldn’t close the way I wanted. So, being the perfectionist that I am, I removed all of the spray foam, took the door out entirely, and reinstalled it. I’m not sure what I did differently, but after re-squaring and plumbing the jamb, it swung perfectly.

With that annoyance out of the way, I dug the Baldwin box out of the pile of home depot receipts, and threw the handle on.

Swoon. Let me just say – we now have this lockset on two doors in our house (found it cheapest locally at Chown Hardware). The first has been installed for over a year, and still opens like the day it came out of the box. The knobs themselves weigh about 30 lbs., which is a testament to the quality. A lot of people would scoff at a $250 lockset, but to me, the splurge is justified every time I put my hand on the knob. (That’s what she said?)

Besides making sure the house is fully lock-able, I’m also feeling the pressure to get the siding back on the exterior of the house before the fall rain gets here. First step: window and door trim.

Our house never had exterior trim on it before, so I’m REALLY excited to add a little extra flare. Keeping with the craftsman theme, I went with the traditional exterior window trim, cut from clear cedar, to match our siding.

Look at that beautiful door.

I’m a little obsessed with how it looks so far. Notice around the door I still haven’t finished the trim. I’m struggling there because we need to make an awning  so the door is protected from the constant rain we get here. At first I wanted to go this route:

But as I started plotting it out, I think it will look awkward because it will be just a foot below the current roof overhang, yet jut farther out, and would block the view from the window to the right of the door. I’m now thinking of going with a version more like this:

What do you think? Straight, or pitched? Until I can get it figured out, the trimwork will have to wait as it will wrap the support beams – the 2×4’s in the picture are currently holding their place.

If I can make that decision in the next week, I’m hoping to get started with the siding, covering as much of the exterior wall as possible with the siding I salvaged before we leave. The remainder will have to wait until we return from vacay.

Here’s what we still need to do before I call for our first inspection:

  • Frame walls for refrigerator bay, pantry
  • Plumb for laundry sink and ice maker in fridge bay
  • Run new electrical
  • Install new lighting, exhaust fan
  • Install dryer box for vent line

Let’s see if I can do it before Halloween.

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