Installing A New Front Door - DIY Project

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Installing a New Front Door

Have you ever felt like you were a magnet for trouble?
or weirdo's? Well let me let give you a glimpse into my world and comical experience when I wanted a new front door. 

Sometimes, I just feel like I have huge weirdo magnet, on my butt!
It's like a giant kick me sign, that materializes for an unspecified amount of time...
5 minutes, an hour...
and I know never when it's going to appear.

Like the time I went to Walmart and had a 200 year old man with one leg in a rusted wheelchair tell me that I had a nice caboose....(and no, I wasn't holding a train at the time) Who then proceeded to try and follow me around the store, whispering sweet nothings at my "caboose". All I wanted was one pack of socks, find a pack of white socks and get in and get out.

I almost resorted to running to the hunting section, applying black grease paint to my face and doing some kind of Covert Op Maneuver in the garden section just to get away from this horn dog.
See what I mean? Weirdo magnet!

Well this next one ends good, lengthy but good

All I wanted was a new front door.

By the way bestie friend Lisa, it's not going to do you any good to reject my shipment of this weirdo magnet. I paid them to throw it on your doorstep and run like hell, it's your turn to hold the damn thing!

This is my front door and screen door...

Taaa Daaa Ewwww
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It's ok, you can say it. I did. Ewww.

Now, fast forward 2 weeks of Internet and Pinterest research. Of me, delicately preparing the hubster of my devious plot to blow some cash on something that still opens, closes and keeps the evil elements outside from getting inside. Replacing it for no other reason then when you look at it, you say.


So, I measured, decided on a look, then went shopping. Simple right? Well not when you factor in I have a weirdo magnet on my butt. All I want is to have molding around the outside of my new door framing it, that currently does not exist.

This is what I have
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No molding, no details, just really old & ugly doors. Below is a pic of my inside door jamb.
Front door DIY Replacement @
The depth of my door jamb is 9-1/2" from outside edge of the drywall to the outside edge of the brick. Most door's including the jamb, is about 5" deep. So off I went to the big box stores to look at "Jamb extensions" to get educated, or should I say "ed-u-ma-cated" as hubby puts it.

So I find a nice man (snort) and ask him if he could show me a Jamb extension, because I'm curious about them. He asks me what size door I need, I say it's a standard 36" wide door, but it's a brick ranch so the depth of the whole door jam is 9-1/2" with a limestone sill and I'd like to look at a jamb extension.

He walks me over the door aisles and proceeds to tell me that he doesn't care about the depth measurement but he needs the casing to casing measurement.

I repeat my original statement, 36 inches (and I start to feel a sudden urge to remove something from my caboose) Uhh Ohhh

Him: Casing to casing?

Me: Yes, casing to casing is 36" wide and the door itself, measures 35-5/8"

(in creeps the weirdo magnet)

Him: I think you might be mis-measuring, because I don't know why you would want a jamb extension?

Me: ok, ummm <deep relaxing breath, because repeating myself twice, just sucks> I have a brick ranch home and want the outside edge (pointing to exactly what I'm talking about) of this casing, to be on the outside edge of the brick like a picture frame molding...and THAT measurement is 9-1/2 inches deep. I would like to SEE a jamb extension, to see how THEY work, so I can find out if I NEED ONE in order to get the look I want. Do you have any jamb extensions?

Him: When was your home built?

Me: 1965, why?

Him: I'm wondering why you feel you need a jamb extension? Did they do something really weird with your house when they installed the door or if it was even installed properly at all....

Me: I want the outside edge of the casing flush with the outside edge of the brick...that's why I'd like to SEE a jamb extension, or find how THEY work?? Jamb extensions, are they down this aisle? <smile>

Him: Yeah but no one ever needs a jamb extension, all I care about is the casing to casing measurement, that's it. So why don't you....are you married? Why don't you have your husband measure from here to here (patiently showing me exactly where I should measure because he is ohh so clever) and BRING me THAT measurement and I'll be happy to sell you ANY door you want.

Me:  I've given it to you, remember? I said <I took a deeeeeeep breath resisting the urge to grab the weirdo magnet and hit him with it!> 36" from INSIDE casing to casing. But lets stop for a second. Your first sentence was "No one needs a jamb extension", right?

Him: Right

Me: Ok, excluding my brick, just forget about it 
and please answer my question
the jamb measurement (reading my notes) depth wise, is 7-1/2" wide. THIS door jamb RIGHT HERE is NOT, its about 5", so how do I extend it?

Him: Ma'am, they must have done something different with your door, but if you could get us the casing to casing measurement, it will fit.

Me: Soooo, you're still telling me to bring back a measurement?

(At this point, there is another couple approximately in their forties, watching, listening...and even the husband looks at this sales person with mild irritation)

Him: <Beaming smile> Absolutely, I want to make sure your door fits.

Me: ok, uhhh <huge frustrated sigh now> Ummm, in the time it took me to park my car at the farthest point in your parking lot, walk the 3 miles inside this huge 2 story home improvement store to the escalator and then walk back another 3 miles to the door section, I think you could have gotten some form of training that says when a customer says Jamb extensions, she wants to see a jamb extension. Sooooo, instead of making the 6 mile walk BACK to my car, the 7 mile drive BACK to my house...why don't I do a Seance and bring BACK Flo from Mel's Diner! Because THAT'S the only thing I'll bringing back here for YOU. Maybe you will hear that, even tho I've said Jamb extensions now several times!

Him: What?
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Me: Do you remember Flo, from Mel's Diner, played in the 1970's!?! She used to yell "Kiss My Grits" when she was irritated (like me right now)?

Him: (shrug)

Me: Well, what I'm thinking YOU can KISS isn't ladylike, so let me bring HER back! Jerk!

The on looking couple I told you about, as I walked past to do my 3 mile jaunt back to my car the husband whispers; "Home Depot sells Jamb extensions, try there".

Thank you kind sir! at least someone heard me.

Well, as it turns out (after getting ed-u-ma-cated) I could use one, or we can work around it and the latter is more cost effective and I won't have to replace my limestone sill at the bottom. Whew! because that's what I was afraid of.
Thanks to hubby and Adam (Handyman/Contractor) I bought all the supplies I needed, including pre-primed wood trim to frame out my new freshly painted white steel door.

Now we can all start saying Taa Daaa! 
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The hubster hates, despises and absolutely loathes doing doors. He hates it so much, he didn't even QUESTION, nor CARE about the installation cost.

Now that says how much he really didn't want to DIY it.
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And he was right too because let me tell you, Adam just LOVED the fact that our Brick Ranch was built by a Carpenter who had a fetish for 3 to 4 inch nails.


Pulling those long nails out, sounds suspiciously like pulling a molar out of a screaming moose.
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That poor guy!

Then he had to frame around the outside of the door with molding that we never had before. So you know what that means

you have to drill into brick, and put in anchors. Each hole in the brick, took 20 minutes to drill with a hammer drill.

Totally worth it!
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Front door DIY Replacement @
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Adam hadn't caulked/filled the nail holes yet but here are some closer looks, and the storm door hasn't been installed yet.
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Ironic isn't it that the new handle and lock cost more then the door ? I found that ironic.
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Here is the finished door, and the weirdo magnet has disappeared, for now!
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Shadow had to join in, the full lite screen door when opened, is now her favorite spot to squirrel watch.
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And since I didn't choose a entry door that had glass, I changed up my entry with brighter items and am moving the 3 wood/wrought iron gates to the Dining Room.
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Front door DIY Replacement @

Front door DIY Replacement @
Just adding one coat on the pre-primed door and trim....made it even brighter on my covered porch.
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Front door DIY Replacement @
Well that's it for weirdo magnet episode # 148 in my life.

Thanks for letting me share it.