Monday, January 28, 2008

Latch, then hatch

We took a nice walk around the property Sunday morning with Matt and Emily, then had some omelets and sent them on their merry way. Repaired to the attic to finish up the door project.

These were easy steps compared with Saturday's tasks: Building stops (we robbed from our stash of ½ x 2 ½ trim wood; not cost-effective, but whatever) and screwing them up along with weatherstripping. Then cutting a special piece out of a 2x6 to fill in part of the door frame that was missing. This tested John's skill freehanding the circular saw. It basically was a case of multiple modifications. Originally, where this door is, there was a window. Then somebody built the deck and put in a door, with a not-exactly-textbook door frame. Then we come along and further rig it up. So at this point the door frame is made of like five different types of wood, all in different dimensions. This is a prime example of what we here at Permit the Frog like to call "trickycuts."

Into the new special piece would go the little hole for our latch. We got the knob and handle into the door after some fiddling, then John marked where the latchplate would sit on the frame. Chiseled out a shallow area for the plate and a deeper well for the latch to slide into. It's funny how you go in and out of doors a zillion times in your life and never think about whether the curved or flat part of a latch faces outward. Just takes a second to figure it out, but you'd never have a reason to bother until you had to install it. John caulked up the frame outside while I made a list of all the tools we had assembled in the attic during this door installation. (That's for February, when we have time to Get Creative With the Blog. Look out, loyal readers.)

Anyway, here's what we had now: a door that opens, closes, locks and makes a halfway decent seal on three sides. (Still need a rubber sweep on the bottom.) Yeah!

You know what this means? It means that the last project of any consequence or anxiety before we can close out our loan is DONE. Done!

Another awesome thing is that, in doing this project, we spent all this time in the attic and out on the little deck. Notable for two reasons: One, it's like being in a different house up there, because you can see over the trees and appreciate this big sweeping view we have—very exciting to think about when we can use this space for actual living. We really haven't spent much time up there.

Two, it reminded me very much of the first weekend we worked at our house, last March. The weather was similar. Back then, we'd gone through the crawlspace hazing and then headed up to the attic to take out that broken bay window, and it was the first time we really saw our view. Now here we were on the last weekend of this phase of renovation, and we're up there again. But there's so much behind us now. It really was pretty moving.

OK, so that's not the end of Sunday. We have to make an attic hatch and John has come up with a nifty design involving a leftover interior door we have floating around. We—mostly he, actually—got it framed out last night. We'll attach the door and some plywood tonight and put it on hinges.

Stay tuned for some major celebrations.

- Erika

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