Let’s revisit the front door. After a few of you suggested that a single pane window transom paired with our address numbers would look stunning, it took us all of 5 seconds to think, you know what? You’re right. Yes! Done.
We were pointed in the direction of fellow DIY blog Old Town Home (we’re hooked, we’re hooked!), so I contacted them and asked them about their experience; who did your gold numbers? Are you happy? By the way, we love you! Alex responded almost immediately, dug through his archives to share with us their experience, and it was all the confirmation we needed to know we were heading in the right direction.
At this point, we wish we could say, and then the door was installed, painted and numbers applied. The end. But this is a 120-year-old+ house! There is no such talk around here.
The contractors have been in full swing, and every time I go downstairs to refill my coffee mug (and generally just to stand, agape, at the goings on), I’m greeted with so many changes. To quench my urge to just sit down there and watch, I’ve quietly been sitting at my (too small) desk with headphones on. But one day (we’ll call it Tuesday; yes, it was definitely Tuesday), I noticed Jack perched at the top of the steps, watching this:
The door! They were working on the front door! I quietly reminded myself to sit back down, Kim!, but it was lunchtime, so down the stairs I went… and my goodness.
The front door installation turned into a larger project than we had intended, due to a few factors:
- The visible vinyl siding was buckling in a few areas, which was largely due to the poor insulation (or lack thereof). It seems as though the most recent door installation – prior to us – was done cheaply, ineffectively, and poorly.
- While making room for the transom window, soggy insulation and rotting wood was discovered, so, that was fun.
- The original wood siding was found underneath a layer of mid-century asphalt siding, and on top of that was the vinyl we have now. Rather than remove the old asphalt siding, vinyl was placed over it – which, as we’re sure you can guess, was the cheapest option.
- Planks of wood were literally floating in place (above, to the right of the door opening). The contractors guessed that the front door may have originally been centered with sidelights on either side. (We’re thinking this had to have been gorgeous; right?) However, the replacement and repair of that former set up raises dollar signs, so it was simply boarded up.
Sadly, we’re unable to afford sidelights and the complete re-centering of the door (this would easily climb into the multiple thousands), however, since we’ve had to take down all those layers, we will be moving our new door to the right, which will allow the porch lights to be equal in distance from the (soon-to-be) new trim. Below, you can see our old/current door, and how it was installed with the porch lights during the Great Sidelight Cover-Up:
While we’re at it, proper insulation will be added before the vinyl is reattached (and the layers underneath will hit the curb), and we’re going to install a much taller transom window – 16″h instead of 12″ – which will not only look better, but will allow more light to pass through and make more sense overall. We’ve since decided on this Briona handleset in matte black, but we purchased it from Hardware Direct 2 U for a fraction of the price (we wondered how it could be so inexpensive, but it arrived fast and safe!).
As if all these changes won’t be impactful enough, we picked up our gallon of Hague Blue paint from Sherwin Williams (they keep the color combination for Farrow & Ball in their system) in addition to an adhesion promoter, and we’ll be purchasing our address numbers from The House Number Lab on Old Town Home’s recommendation (we’re leaning towards The Grant or The Americana in matte gold).
To say we’re excited about the changes would be an understatement – even despite the mounting costs of repairing the siding, water damage and porch-light-centering. In the end, it’s really important for us to get our curb appeal going, not just for us, but our new neighbors, too! We’re already daydreaming our springtime exterior jazz-up; flowers and grass and painted porches, you’re next! (Well, in 6 or 7 months.)