A few weeks ago we got our doors and jambs back from Houck’s Stripping.  Actually, he had been bugging me for awhile, but I was trying to defer picking them up until we were ready for them.  As usual with remodeling projects, it became clear that the timing wouldn’t work out, so I just picked them up and jammed them in the garage.  Our garage has looks more like the Rebuilding Center or the basement at Hippo Hardware than a garage, since it is packed full of wood, windows, a pink toilet and other materials that came out of our house.   In fact, since we’ve never actually parked a car into either of its two stalls, I’m afraid that it probably feels very emasculated.

After finishing the floors early today, I started trying to reassemble the jambs that I had so carefully dismantled three months earlier.  Although I had conscientiously scraped identifying numbers into jamb piece and the top of every door, I could only find about 1/2 the marks when I looked today.  And of those, at least a 1/3 of the markings didn’t make sense to me.  I wonder if I was drinking beer when I did it?  If you haven’t seen the doors before, they used to look like this.   Even we have our limits, and stripping paint off a five panel door is not our idea of fun.  For about $80 per door, Houck’s Stripping removed all the paint and old finishes, and they’re able to dispose of the old paint much more ecologically than we can ourselves.  It is great dropping off a door that’s encrusted in paint and then picking up one of these beautiful pieces of wood.  As everyone knows, the Pacific Northwest is timber country, and since our house was built in 1911, every single piece of it was constructed of old-growth Douglas Fir that is some of the most gorgeous wood I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, even the studs and joists should be furniture, not structural support.  So, we try hard to keep every piece of it in the house as we do our remodel.  While it will take a lot more labor to reintegrate and refinish these doors, the entire upstairs will get a sense of being original to the house.  I need to weigh these doors, because even the short closet doors (5′) weigh a ton.

I got the door to the baby’s room and one of Chloe’s closet doors hung today.  The baby’s door was actually quite a project, because the jamb was too wide for the door and had been shimmed several times over the years.  I decided to take it apart and cut down the jamb header to make it fit the door better.  Anyway, I really just posted the pictures because I love how these doors look…





4 thoughts on “Well-hung…doors

  1. The doors are gorgeous! And the floors look like they were professionally installed. Of course, by this time you probably have a highe level of skills than many people who do house rehabbing full time!


  2. Nice work on the door. The painted doorknobs in the before pictures kill me. That kind of stuff really makes me want to pull my hair out.

    If you don’t mind me asking, was it expensive to have someone strip the doors? Mine are in pretty good shape (a zillion layers of high gloss white… but I’m sort of partial to that look, and someone did an ok job with the most recent paint job), but the glass knobs and hardware need tlc. It never occured to me to outsource the job, but your doors look terrific all cleaned up.

    Thanks again for all of your color advice on my blog (www.buildingabettercrackhouse.blogspot.com)



  3. For our 5 panel doors, we paid $75 for the 5′ and $85 for the 6′. I would assume a standard height door would be under $100. It really adds up when you have a bunch of doors, but of course, so would the time. I never even thought it through this way before, but if you have to be very selective about what you hire out (as we do), what would that money get you in terms of contractor time? Maybe an hour and a half of a contractor’s labor? Getting parts dipped gives you much more bang for the buck than most projects that you could hire out.


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