I have a very small house. Very small, as in 900 square feet of current living space. As such, I have to consider everything I do and buy on a micro scale. Apartment sized appliances, miniature furniture, etc. My house is also very old and, as such, has very old doors. Large, heavy oak doors which I adore but take up a great deal of space. I’ve removed some of these doors, such as the ones leading from the hallway to the living room and kitchen, and am using louvered bi-fold doors when at all possible. Bi-folds are certainly not in keeping with the aesthetic of the old house, but they are light and compact and improve the flow. It’s just one of the many, many concessions I’ve had to make so far.
I purchased 3 louvered doors in the last few years and, before this morning, installed exactly one. They are the simplest of construction designs. They are also quite possibly the most infuriating things to work with. So, as I do with all my other challenging projects, I left the other doors untouched to clutter up the house until I found the gumption to tackle the next one.
Today, I vowed to install door #2 – the one that leads down into the basement. The basement is heated, so a closet-quality door works fine. I simply needed a way to keep the cats from going down and using this unguarded space as a litter box. Prior to today, I taped large sheets of paper over the opening – which they tore through with ease. Then I taped a piece of particle board along the bottom (with old painting still attached). Not only was this an indescribable eyesore, but the cats still managed to find a way in, as I discovered when I removed the paper this morning.
Back to the project. I unwrapped the doors, pulled out the instructions and surveyed the hardware. Half of the hardware did not match the instructions, a spring was missing, and the instructions left out one of the major pieces. Doing OK so far, since I never really follow instructions and have so much miscellaneous hardware around the house I’m pretty sure I could reconstruct the space shuttle. But here’s the tricky part. I had to line up three holes with three sprockets – two of which were constantly moving – all while balancing on the top step of the basement stairs. And with three cats hovering at my ankles just waiting for a chance to break through. After full hour of aligning holes and sprockets (which fell out of line with even the most minute twitch of a muscle), cursing and kicking cats, I’m proud to say I have a new basement door. ***I swear to you, building the living room bookcases was much easier and required far less cursing.*** With a little paint and A LOT of trim work, this space may finally get done.