Monday, March 10, 2014

The Storm (Door) is Coming...

The Facts

Storm door installation. Approximate start time of 9:30 AM. Completed at approximately 2:00 PM.

His Side

Installing a storm door isn’t my idea of fun. I’d rather be at the movies, playing a board game, or hanging out with friends and family. With that being said, things need to be done around the house and I’m a man, so it’s my job to get them done. Since I’ve never been much of a “Mr. Fix-It” and my wife comes from a family that excels in home improvement projects, I felt like this was an opportunity to prove to Kristi, her family, and (most importantly) myself that I can step up and do it. Helping me in the process was the plethora of tools I got as wedding gifts and the cordless drill I got for my birthday.

Wrong side, no big deal
Once we got everything set up to start, we kicked it off by putting the hinge rail on the door. And, naturally, we put it on the wrong side. Leave it to us to mess up the very first part. But I was a rockstar with the drill and we fixed the problem rather quickly. From there it was reasonably smooth sailing which surprised me. My wife is not known for her patience, especially in home improvement situations. Knowing that and knowing my lack of experience in this field, I expected a rough day that would include some big frustrations but Kristi handled the good and the bad like a champ and only really got frustrated when I about ran a yield sign because I wasn’t paying attention.

I made this driving gaffe on one of the THREE trips to her mom’s house to get extra tools. One of which was a half inch drill bit (it’s huge) that we had to use to drill straight THROUGH the nice new door we just installed. It was a bit nerve-wracking seeing that huge hole in the door but it was for the handle and it worked out fine. Borrowing extra tools is all the help we got, though, in the entire process. Usually, the first thing that happens when we meet a problem is that Kristi is on the phone with her mom. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good first move because her mom is a lot of help, but I didn’t want any outside help. I didn’t tell Kristi this at first, but I was going to do anything in my power to make sure we knocked out this project by ourselves. It’s back to having something to prove.

We got the entire thing done in a shorter time than I expected which is good because Kristi made the rule that we weren’t eating lunch until it was done. You know that made me work faster! It felt good to work together on something and complete it on our own. You might think this isn’t such a huge accomplishment because you do it all the time with your spouse, but for us it’s big so let us have our moment!

Her Side

As you may recall from our last post, we divulged a secret of ours... we aren’t a DIY savvy couple. So, naturally, we decided to take on what seems like a pretty big task (at least for people who aren’t used to this sort of thing). We installed a storm door. Woohoo!

Let me start off by being perfectly honest. I’m notoriously impatient (I know, it’s not a good trait) and I am easily frustrated when things don’t go according to plan. To be more specific, it’s when things don’t go according to MY plan (at least I’m aware of it and, trust me, I’m working on it). 

Mistake #1
The process began with cleaning the existing door as it had braved the South Carolina elements for at least three years and had quite honestly seen better days. Once we cleaned the door to the best of our half-hearted abilities, the process of installing the storm door began. One of our saving graces is that we had the forethought to look over all of the instructions to make sure we had the appropriate tools required for the job.  Unfortunately we have been known to skip over this step in the past, and it’s definitely one you want to pay attention to. 

As we began the first part of the installation process, we drilled holes in the door to attach a hinged part to and it was surprisingly easy. BEWARE, when something is going smoothly there generally is bound to be some obstacle flair its mean nose and knock down your confidence in your ability to successfully complete the project. We installed the hinge on the WRONG side of the door! Can you believe it?! Thankfully, we laughed it off and simply looked at it as a practice round of installation. 
We fixed it!
The rest of the project went relatively smoothly with only some minor speed bumps along the way. In an effort to have full disclosure, I wasn’t convinced that Nolan and I would be able to complete this project solely on our own since neither of us had done something like this before. I am pleased to report, however, that we did it 100% on our own and only had to make a few phone calls to my wonderful mother to borrow some extra tools. You may note that I previously mentioned we made certain to have all of the appropriate tools required for the job and we did, but only if we wanted a door that didn’t have a handle or latch (we forgot those small details). So, thank goodness for a mom who lives close by and has a ton of tools. Oops!  

Speed bump averted!
If I had to make one complaint about installing this door it’s that I wasn’t as involved as I thought I would be. When it comes to projects I generally take the lead; but, strictly because I have more of an interest in them, not because I feel I have to. I did steal the drill from Nolan a few times (hey, I wanted to be able to say WE did it together and not be lying!) and he gladly let me do the not so fun work of cleaning up the mess we made.   I think we make a pretty great team.
In all, this was a great growing experience for us. Accomplishing this task has given us (well I should probably just speak for myself here) a new kind of confidence that we can tackle another big project! It was definitely an exhausting process, but I would do it again simply because we work so well together!

Before & After

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