Winterizing: main entry door

Our first winter here, there were a few problems we noticed. Problems that were definitely adding to our electricity bill for heating!

This was taken just before our first Christmas here.

It got worse, over the winter. We would get frost at the bottom of the East facing door, too.

Not only did it show where cold was getting into the house (and yes, there IS weather stripping!), but when the frost melts, it adds to the moisture damage already at the bottom of the doors, which make them less weather proof, year after year.

With the East facing doors, we just cut sheets of rigid insulation to fit, stuck them in between the two doors, and left it.

That is not something we could do with the main entry, since we are going in and out all the time. The insulation would have to be affixed to the inner door somehow, and it would have to be something that would let us remove it easily in the spring.

The solution we settled on was self-adhesive Velcro.

That was only part of the challenge, though. The other was the windows in the door. The wood framing them sticks out about a quarter of an inch, which would prevent the insulation from being flush with the door.

I took measurements of the doorway from the inside of the weather stripping, rather than the door itself, to get my total size needed. I then measured the window sections on the door, taking the weather stripping into account. The insulation sheets are 24 inches wide, so I needed to cut another 8 inch strip to have it fit the space. I used cocktail toothpicks stuck into the edges to join the strip to the bigger piece. A couple of pieces of packing tape was added to the ends, just for extra support. The tape won’t stick to the insulation well, but it was enough to give it extra stability while moving things around.

I then measured, marked and carved out what I hoped would be enough of the insulation that the frames of the window sections would fit, allowing the insulation to be flush against the door.

Cutting the hole out for the door handle was actually more difficult to place, since the door measurements would not match the measurements I took from the weather stripping. We tried putting the insulation into the doorway, then closing the door to hopefully leave an indentation, but there wasn’t enough of one to tell it apart from the indentations left by my knees when I was crawling around on it, carving out the window frame spaces. 😀

In the end, I got my daughter to hold the door open, brace it, and guide me as I held the sheet lined up with the windows, then pressed it against the door knob until there was an indentation I could see.

Once that was cut out, we added the Velcro strips, cut to size.

We went with 4 longer strips, rather than more shorter strips.

The weather stripping left marks on the door that I could use to line up the insulation, so after double and triple checking the positioning, we took the last of the paper off the adhesive and stuck it to the door.

Once it was in position, the edges then needed to be cut at an angle, so the door could be closed.

It took a few times checking the door before enough was trimmed off. For some reason, the top of the door really didn’t want to close all the way, even while the bottom of the door was closing just fine.

All done!

We now have the Pink Panther making eyes at us through the window. 😀

This makes the entry much darker, of course, but I’ll take warmth and lower electricity bills over light. 😉

It’s a question, still, about how well the adhesive on the Velcro will stick in the cold. I honestly would not be surprised if it fell off. I hope it won’t, but if it does, we’ll just have to try something else!

The Re-Farmer

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