That was a lot of (worthwhile) work

So, we have finally installed our shiny new front door. All horizontal slit windows and modernist handle, it’s in and looking way better than the mouldy door the fire service installed. It wasn’t mouldy when they installed it, to be fair. But the point at which it was installed was about the least ideal point for it to be installed.

It got damp, then it got mouldy. Then we sprayed it with mould killer, which seems to have worked, but it was always the cheapest door that home depot sell. And yeah, I did say he didn’t need to worry too much about the quality of the installation, and told him not to bother foaming around it, but that meant that the amount of road noise that came through was pretty astonishing.

So yesterday, having popped over to see Kathryn’s mom, and having had lunch with Nikki, we finally took out that crappy old door, and put in the new one.

The new door, with a few shims left to do…

It took us from 4pm to 9pm to do it, and the unsquareness of the house has, of course, bitten us again (the sill step is hilariously far from square), but it makes such a difference!

It really changes the look of the house from the outside:

Hello, says our house, in a strangely “oh, look, a face, because I’m a human and I’m programmed to see faces everywhere” way.

But it also does exactly what we wanted; it really brightens up the hallway. Amazingly so. I mean, it’s west facing, so at the point in the day when the house is at it’s darkest, we have this lovely light coming in from the west side, and that was entirely blocked by the old door. Now light comes flooding in to the hall (that might be overstating it)… but at any rate it’s really quite exciting.

So obviously, we covered it up.


Because we didn’t want to ruin it when we put up the plasterboard for the door. That was one of today’s painful tasks. Mainly painful because of the unsquareness of the house, which led to the unsquareness of the floor, which led to the spectacular unsquareness of the boiler room cupboard. We had tried to even it out a bit, but had to some more shimming to make it level enough to attach the sliding door runner to.

Which means that the gap at the top is…well, not perfect, shall we say. It is of course made worse by the fact that this is the first bit of drywalling we did, and we didn’t think to shim the ceiling down a bit at the door, and indeed all over the flipping place, to make up for the fact that the door and the wall there are half an inch higher than they are 4′ away at the entrance to the bedrooms. That’s because the foundation at the door is half an inch higher. Because of course it is.

Anyhow, we have plans for hiding the unevenness further. But cutting the 11’4″ piece of plasterboard for the door was an entertaining task, and not one that was achieved wholly perfectly. But we think it’s “good enough”. So when I’ve put the final few bits of plasterboard on the lower half of the walls, and finished plasterboarding the other side of it for the boiler cupboard, we’ll actually have finished drywalling.

We can say that because the afternoon was spent in the deeply enjoyable task of drywalling the tiny little attic above the bathroom and laundry. In many respects it was hardly worth it, but it’s about 70 cu ft (2 cubic meters) of storage which we would otherwise not have. And it was plasterboard we already had.

The itchyness from lying on the wooden flooring measuring and holding up bits of plasterboard while being showered in insulation does make me question that though.

Our quest to find some sort of reasonably priced finish material continues, however. We’re vaguely considering this:

Which is a possibility… we’re both fond lime plaster, and it has the potential to be relatively cheap…

Anyhow. No decision as yet.

Author: KateE

Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at