The Little Dutch Door That Could

From the very first time we laid eyes on this door, we knew it was a keeper. It couldn’t stay in its original location because – as you know – we removed the wall between the kitchen and garage-turned-family-room, but there was no way we were getting rid of this little beauty! So we decided to make it an exterior door leading from our family room out to our side yard.

Perfect! How hard could it be to convert an interior door to an exterior one? No big deal, right? Wrong. I’ve said this more than once, but It’s always those “simple” little projects that surprise you and turn into total marriage testers (Kidding! But it was not our finest moment. 😉 ).

Besides the overall sanding, stripping and repainting, this sweet little Dutch beauty had to be weather-stripped and water-tested (there’s no overhang above the door, so we had to be sure it was watertight). We set to work adding weather-stripping to the doorframe, but didn’t realize we would also need to seal all the window panes and the split between the top and bottom halves of the door…until we tried the “hose test.” Despite our best weather-stripping efforts, she leaked like a sieve.

I’ll spare you the boring details, but after several trips to Home Depot and failed attempts at a solution (not to mention, lots of wet towels and soggy feelings), we found a small rubber seal, carpet tacks, and a good caulk line did the job.

Installed in her new home!

Proud owners 🙂

Flashback to “before.”

“After” in the new location as an exterior door.

Post (one of many) hose-tests 😦

Working hard to weatherstrip…

…and make this baby watertight.

Whew! I guess it was worth it!

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Down and Dirty

We’ve had our fair share of dirty jobs so far in this adventure, but this one literally involves shoveling mud.

Welcome to our basement, folks! Or is it a cellar? Not sure…
Anyhoo, we – thankfully – have concrete floors down there, but all the walls are good ol’ South Carolina red clay. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty creepy and it’s currently home to an orchestra of crickets (…and maybe a few trolls and vampires?? Jury is still out.). Our hot water heater and lots of ductwork also live down there, but we won’t be using it for much more than an extra large crawl space. I will probably make an appearance every once in a while to hang some fresh garlic from the ceiling to ward off evil spirits and call it a day.

Although this isn’t a high-traffic space for us, you know we still want it to look its best and when we arrived on the scene, it was in pretty bad shape. The big culprit here is, yet again, water damage. Since the house was vacant for several years with no power, the sump pumps in our lovely dirt-walled basement were not working…so you can imagine what happened next…yep! Mudslide. In fact, we didn’t even realize the floors were concrete until we started cleaning up because there was about an inch of dirt that had slowly washed down onto the floor over the years. Yuck!

Matthew, my brave, hardworking husband, took on the challenge of basement clean up, which entailed a lot of mud shoveling, removal of a few lovely items like a lawn chair and an old mattress/box spring, and repairing the existing sump pump, so we can avoid any repeat performances.

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Rough stuff, right? (And this was after cleanup had already started…I couldn’t get a photo of the true “before!”)

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Taking care of business.

But he didn’t stop there, oh no! Matthew washed and sealed the concrete floors, and had the dirt walls covered with a moisture barrier, too.

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Me trying to sneak pictures of the floor-sealing progress by going down the outside steps…

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Caught.

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Miss Pepper checking in on the progress… “looking good, dad!”

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Done!

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Never thought I’d be so proud of a basement, but this baby has come a looooong way!

Our creepy little basement is looking pretty good these days…but I’m still trying to avoid it, especially after dark. 😉