Sunday, November 11, 2012

What I've been up to: the exterior doors project (and leaves)

New back exterior door.
Life has been busy lately. And I'm thankful for that. One of the reasons why I have not posted for a while is I have been putting some finishing touches on the exterior doors that I installed on the castle. The other reason is two 50-year-old large oak trees, one in the front yard and one in the back yard, and the corresponding leaves that keep falling from them.

First, the doors. The front door I put on last year and I left the trim unfinished. This has made our castle look a little less like a castle. Michelle has politely been reminding me of the unsightliness of the front of our house.

Then, the kitchen remodel process a couple of months ago, and the installation of a new back door, has led to a matching unfinished theme on both sides of the house. Both door frames have been exposed and awaiting either painting or siding. For those of you who have read past posts, you know that I really don't have the patience for painting, so, instead of painting the trim I was hoping for an easier, seamless solution that would be more permanent. I've been doing research on how to wrap doors and windows with aluminum siding. It looked easy enough. And I formulated a mental plan of how this project was going to work. Oftentimes when I imagine a project on the house, I discover that it is not as easy as I thought. Or I run into complications. Plus, if it is the first time I'm attempting a project, it makes me a little nervous because the end result doesn't always match my mental map. I considered just hiring an expert to do the job.

And I've been procrastinating.

And when I have some extra time and plan on doing the work of finishing the doors, I generally start with attacking all the leaves on the ground, leading to hours of work, and unfinished doors. But the cooler weather signaled a need to make the door project pertinent, in preparation for winter (and to please my wife). Forget experts. I was going to do this myself.

A day off from work and a trip to Home Depot led to my purchase of the aluminum trim coil. When I got home I began to improvise wrapping the doors, and I quickly discovered it was pretty easy, even though I didn't own the proper tools like a coil dispenser. It wasn't ideal, but I cut the aluminum coil with tin snips, shaped the edges to wrap around the corners, and then attached it to the door frames using nails sparingly. Then, I installed the storm doors and sealed the edges with silicon calk. The end result looks pretty darn good for an amateur.

Next, I went back to the ever-present leaves, spending four hours in the yard, clearing piles away from absolutely everywhere. I felt pretty good about my hard-fought effort, until I looked up and saw endless brown leaves still clinging to limbs. After a windy, warm day yesterday, they released themselves. I woke up to a 28-degree morning, and this sight outside the back door:

There were piles just like this everywhere in the yard. If only I could do something amazing with aluminum wrap that would magically make leaves a low-maintenance, one-time, chore.

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