Okay, first: The contractors. Let’s just put this out there – this waiting game is no fun. We’ve talked about our feelings on being stunted, and every day is a new wave of emotions; sometimes we’re all yeah, we’re going to kick so much ass this weekend!, whereas other days we’d rather sleep in, curse our blind-less windows and curl up with Netflix. When there’s so little we can actually do until the contractor’s have completed their work, our motivation goes up and down (and up and down), and right now, we’re still waiting. Their job in the queue before ours has gone weeks past schedule, which in turn does the same for us. (Although word on the street is that they’ll be back next week.)
And so, we wait.
However! We were able to get Mike, our head contractor out for a quick visit, if only to discuss a few more questions we had for him (and while he was there, Q: Is there anything else we can do? A: Not really, no. Boo!). The biggest question? Our front door. Oddly enough, this was no where near as difficult as the Great Door Hunt for the foyer coat closet, although there was still a lot of juggling numbers, measurements and finishes. (Are you sick of all this door talk yet?) Currently, you’re greeted with this:
The door itself might not seem like the worst thing (although it’s far from anything we’d choose on our own), but the door jamb wasn’t properly installed (big surprise, right?), it’s full of dents and so much air can pass under it that little Miss Maddie actually crouches by the door all day long. Staring. Chirping back at the birds.
The door is a pretty standard 36″w x 80″h, but Mike suggested opening the height to a more substantial 84,” which we soon found out meant dollar dollar bills. We loved the suggestion (and it would match the height of the vintage 5-panel that’ll be sharing the same foyer), but it just wasn’t in the budget. Sadly, a new door isn’t something we can put off – there’s a Chicago winter around the corner! – so we had to reassess our options.
And what happens next is why we love you guys. (You all are so helpful. The best! Can we just all sip wine together and hang out in a big circle and braid each others’ hair?)
A recent comment from Cait on a past post quickly evolved into a more private email exchange about entry doors after she linked to a door that we really liked. Not to mention, she had just gone through the front-door-buying-process herself, so she was full of information. The style was non-offensive, clean and just our speed. Oh, hey, new door:
Whether Cait liked it or not (hi, Cait!), she turned into our Door Guru. Throughout the relatively easy hunt, I would email her a question or two, she’d reply, we’d gain insight, and we’d have a happy evening knowing that we’d been blessed by the Guru herself. But when I told Cait that we were bummed about not being able to afford the taller door (We’re going to loose the impressive height! I thought. We’re… settling!), she suggested the most magical answer of all: A transom window!
For a few days after this revelation, Scott and I Googled, pinned and researched transom windows. It’ll add the height we want!, we said. And we’ll get more natural light, too! The good news is that the cost of the transom + the door is still less expensive than custom ordering an 84″ door. Then I found this image that was almost identical to the door we liked with a transom. Done. Sold.
Because Mike will be installing the door and creating a proper jamb himself, we confirmed our plans with him, and he assured us we could buy the door off the shelf at the standard jamb depth (which comes in around 4″ or so). As for the transom, we’re leaning towards this one, but we could go with a single glass pane as well (thoughts?). Here’s how my rough Photoshop calculations predict it’ll look in Hague Blue:
The door was already purchased over the weekend, but we’ll buy the transom window once Mike has had a chance to look at the ordering options. As for the finish, it’s currently primed and (mostly) ready for paint, although we did have an internal debate between steel, fiberglass and real wood. While fiberglass would have been nice, cost reared its ugly head again (since the price can easily double!), and we didn’t want the maintenance of a solid wood exterior door. Side note: In regards to the price tag, we kept in mind the cost of not only the door itself, but new locks and installation. Because we needed a whole new jamb built – and properly! – it was important for us to not skimp on the build-out.
In the meantime, we’re still deciding on a door handleset, which is turning out to be the real question: Will a matte black handle blend in too much with the door? (And if so, is that a bad thing?) Or should we go with bronze/brass for contrast? And dare I mention those exterior lights? It’ll get there…