Replacement door: sun room door frame progress, and washer surprise

You know, when the outer door on the sun room finally broke, we thought replacing it would just be a simple matter of switching out one door for another that we salvaged from a shed.

How wrong we were!

There were a lot of things we discovered along the way that complicated things. For those who are new to this blog (welcome! Happy to see you here! 🙂 ), you can catch up on the saga here, here, here and here. Then life happened, and the whole thing stopped until yesterday.

Today, I am finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!

The first thing I did was smooth out the rough bits of the cut pieces a bit, then nail the side piece in place. I didn’t bother taking a picture at that point, because it really just looked the same as when we checked the final fit yesterday.

I had trimmed away some ragged bits of old caulking that were still attached to both frame and wall, but that bit of a gap that you can see was still there.

Once the side piece was nailed in, it was time to take off the door and work on the hinge side.

When cutting the side piece yesterday, I first cut it to the line I’d measured and marked with a chalk line, only to discover that when we put the piece in place, needed more cut off. That I was left with two long, narrow pieces came in very handy.

I used sections from the skinny end of the first piece I cut off to fill in the hinge recesses.

Since the weight of the door will be on this side, I used some wood glue on the second piece that was cut off…

… then nailed it in place, with extra nails on either side of where the hinges will be screwed into place.

Before taking the door off its hinges, I’d marked exactly where I would need to put the latch plate on the other side.

While giving the glue some time to set, I used a chisel to start gouging out a recess for the latch.

While I had been working on this, we got a call from the appliance repair guy about our washing machine, and he arrived while I was gouging, so I paused to be with him for that.

It was just last week that our new washing machine simply stopped working. No response when pushing the power button. Of course, pretty much every time we walked past it, we’d reach over and push the button. Nothing happened.

When the repair guy first called after being contacted by LG for the warranty work, and I described what was (and was not) happening, he ordered 2 parts that could possibly be the problem. They came in very quickly – in conversation, he mentioned that some of his customers using other brands have been waiting for 5-6 weeks, and he still doesn’t have their parts! With LG, the parts come in pretty much the next day.

He, of course, did the same thing we did; pushed the power button. LOL He tested the power to the outlet, and it was fine. As we were chatting, he mentioned that he has only recently started working with LG products; the company had been trying to get him to do warranty work for them for some time, and he finally agreed. I’m glad he did, because he’s the only person in the area that does! Still, he said he’s not as familiar with LG products as other brands.

After popping off the cover for the electronics at the back, he took the screws off one of the first part he was going to replace, for the power. The other one would have been the display panel. Then to check something out, he plugged it in.

It made noise.

I think we both had matching stunned faces.

He hit the power button.

It turned on.

I asked him what he did. He’d done nothing!

He checked the wires, to see if any where loose, but everything was fine.

He was at a complete loss as to why is suddenly started working.

He was also at a loss as to how to proceed. If he left it and sent the parts back, he’d half to re-order them if it stopped working again. The fact that it stopped working once, for no reason he could find, means that it could easily happen again. In the end, he decided to leave the parts with me, bill the warranty work, then if – when? – it happened again, we could call him directly, and he’d put in the new parts. Not knowing why it happened in the first place, as well as what happened for it to start working again, made is difficult for him to just walk away from the job. It just seems like there’s a very good chance it will happen again.

After he left, we started a small load of laundry, just to test it! So far, it’s still working fine.

What a mystery!

Ah, technology. I love my tech, but it does break down a lot more than the old school stuff! 😀

After that, I went back to working on the door.

While the door was hung, I had to lift it over the threshold to be able to close it. There was a large gap at the bottom hinge, but not the top hinge. In fact, the top corner of the door was hitting the frame. So while I did not need to add material all the way to the top of the frame, I decided to fill the hinge recess at the top, as well. With no hinge recesses, there should be enough of a gap at the top for the door to no longer be touching the frame at that corner.

Once the hinge side was built up, I put the top piece back. I then applied caulk to the outside of the frame pieces.

It’s amazing how just adding that white caulk over the gap made the whole thing look so much better!

The top was a different issue. Particularly in the middle, where there was a substantial section of wood missing! I’m guessing there was some rot that got cleaned out, before it was painted the summer before we moved in.

Little bits and pieces from the remaining piece cut off the side frame got used to fill in the gap, then I caulked the rest.

I lined the angle cut with the other side of the frame, but the shifting meant that left a large gap on the hinge side. Another piece of wood and some wood glue got pressed into duty to fill the space.

For now, everything is being left for the glue to and caulk to dry and cure for a while. The next step will be to hang the door again, and attach the latch plate. I picked up a quart of white exterior paint, and the whole frame will be painted.

Then, once everything is back up, the chain for the door, to keep it from blowing open too far, will be attached to the top of the frame. Once that is secure, I plan to move the shelf we’ve got behind the door, to the other side. I want to wait until the door is completely done because, right now, that shelf ensures the door doesn’t get blown open and breaking a window or something. I doubt the door can even open that far, but I didn’t want to take any chances!

So I figure, I’ll snag a daughter this evening to help hang the door, then – weather willing – the painting can happen tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Unless we discover something else has gone wrong, once the door is hung back up. The way this project has been going, that wouldn’t surprise me at all! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Shelving it

During our trip to the city, I was able to pick up a couple of cheap plastic utility shelves for the old basement. Due to lack of space with all our other shopping, I ended up getting one at Costco and one at Walmart. They were the same size and type, but different brands.

Today, I wanted to start setting them up and grabbed the one from Walmart.

The basement stairs are steep with narrow treads, so I tried sliding it down the stairs in front of me. Like an idiot. This set of shelves were held together with nothing but a single strap (the Costco shelves were shrink wrapped). One of the shelves came loose form the others, and the next thing I knew, I was balancing precariously at the top of the stairs, one shelf in my hand, the rest almost at the bottom of the stairs, no way to close the door behind me, and a sudden crowd of cats wanting to check out the sudden stream of blue language.

Thankfully, my husband was able to rescue me. All I really needed was for him to keep the cats away and close the door.

I look forward to when the basements are safe enough that we don’t have to worry about them getting down there.

I decided the other shelf could wait until I was done with this one.

Both of these are 5 shelves tall. I was pretty sure they wouldn’t fit at that height.

I was right.

Even if that support was all the way in (I had to use the flat side of a hammer to get the others in), it would still be too tall.

Which is fine. Four shelves is good enough.

I focused on replacing the sorter shelf, with its many glass jars, first, since it was the most unstable.

A perfect fit! Except…

My apologies for the out of focus picture, but you can see how much space is under the leg, when I leveled the shelf.

So I needed to put something thin under the front legs, while still staying away from wood or metal. What did we have that I could use?

I started looking around in the new part basement when I remembered the stack of old floor tiles I’d moved from the bottom of one of the shelves while cleaning up.


Nice and stable, too. The other leg ended up needing a couple more tiles than this one.

That floor is remarkably uneven!

It didn’t make sense to put all those filthy jars back into the nice new shelf, so I made use of the old laundry sink.

In between soaking and washing batches of jars, I got my husband to bring over the other shelf.

Which was much, much easier to get down the stairs. Amazing what a difference a bit of shrink wrap can make!

Once I got it open, however, and starting looking between the shelves for the parts and pieces, something seemed… off. There seemed to be an awful lot of supports in there. And what was that, stuck under one of the shelves? That’s an odd shape…

So, according to the part list, there should have been 4 top caps, 4 legs, 16 support poles, 5 shelves and 3 wall brackets.

There were 5 shelves, 20 support poles, no top caps, no legs, no wall brackets, and 2… whatever those things are in the picture. I think they’re legs from a completely different style of shelf.

Well, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I may not have legs, but I still have bricks!

I also used more of those tiles to level the shelf at the front.

I found an email address on the information sheet for this company’s customer service department, so I’ll email them about the parts issue later. This Costco one was a tiny bit more expensive (worth it, just for the shrink wrap!), but also seems to be a higher quality, too. I want to get more of these, and would get more Costco ones, if I had to choose, but not if they’re all messed up like this! 😀

Here is a before and after.

Cleaning the jars gave me a chance to look for chips, and I did end up taking out about 5 large canning jars and another 4 or 5 quart sized ones. Some of the ones I kept did have teeny chips I could just barely feel, but these will never be used for food again, so I was okay with keeping them. The ones with larger chips have the potential to cut someone, so I will probably find a way to use them for something else, where it won’t be an issue. Like bottle bricks.

As we start going through the collection of bottles in the new part basement, we’ll add more to the ones being set aside here, for potential use as bottle bricks. There are also lots more jars in the old kitchen that will come down here, so more of these shelves will be needed just for those.

The wooden shelves will be moved into the new part basement and put into use there, since we don’t have to worry about the wood getting wet in there.

A nice little bit of progress down there for the day. 🙂 I’m quite happy with it!

The Re-Farmer


In the heat of summer, the old farmhouse does tend to stay cooler, even without air conditioning.  On really hot days, we would open up the basement doors to allow the cool air to circulate as a sort of geothermal air conditioning.

Since we haven’t started clearing and cleaning the basement, and there is too much breakable stuff to risk the cats, we have been keeping the basement doors closed.

While my brother was here today, he wanted to check out the basement in hopes of finding the fan that used to be there.  He had already taken out the glass window to the old part basement out and popped on the metal mesh window that is meant to be there for the summer.  Once inside, he removed the foam insulation that was there, so we now have some natural light and a bit of air circulation.

He then showed me where the fan was supposed to be, and described it more to me as he indicated how it fit on the ledge he’d built for it.  We even went into the new part basement to look around, but there’s no sign of it.  (For now, we’re leaving the foam insulation in the new part basement windows; there’s really no need to take it out.)

While there, he dragged out an industrial blower.  He had shown it to me before, but I somehow never thought it was something that could be used like a regular fan.  With the basement being dry right now, I wasn’t concerned.  It’s there to make sure the concrete stays dry, so the base of the furnace doesn’t start rusting, even though it’s slightly elevated from the floor.  He plugged it in and it’s working fine, so we at least have that aimed at the base of the furnace, and it’s powerful enough that it’s going to move a whole lot of air at the same time.

It’s been another warm day, and my husband is having a harder time of it; he’s always been someone who prefers cooler to warmer temperatures, but now his tolerance for heat is much lower.  We’ve been trying to think of ways we could open the basement door without letting the cats in.  We’ve thought of getting a screen door, or of one of those stick on mesh curtains.  Now that I think of it, we might not need to buy a screen door.  There might be one in a shed somewhere, though what sort of condition it might be in is something else to consider!

My husband, however, had a brilliant idea.

We have grid wall.

Or, more specifically, we have our daughter’s grid wall from her art festival displays.

They are 4×6 ft, and we have special clips to attach them to each other.  Since they were last used, they’ve been left attached in pairs.  The clips allow the grids to fold against each other, and made it easier to carry them.

Would it work to put grid wall in the doorway?

Well, we found a way.


The grid wall is stable enough that it won’t fall over, one way or the other, and the edges are braced so that the cats won’t be able to push past.  The basement door can close more than enough to access the bedroom door, which is right next to it.

Plus, the light switch can still be accessed.

So far, so good!  We have cooler air circulating, and the doorway is caged to keep the cats from doing down.

Just for a lark, I should have some paintings on the grid wall. 😀

The Re-Farmer