A month off, Day 17, 18, 19: Door trim


Not much has really happened the last three days. I woke up Thursday morning realizing that there really wasn't going to be a better time to work on fixing the front door trim on the house. It was going to be unseasonably warm for a few of those days, meaning it was perfect for doing some painting work.

Day 17 was spent doing the demolition on the door frame trim. I pulled out the a short crowbar and pried off the existing trim. This, turned out to be the most intimidating part of the entire project. Years of working in infrastructure have trained me to go slowly so as not to cause disruption. Living in a 100+ year old house re-enforces that any change you make, be prepared for it to be that much more complicated. The rotted out top piece came out easily, the side pieces with a bit more effort. While it wasn't required -- and perhaps, not even recommended -- I filled the gaps between the door jamb and frame with expanding foam and let the remainder cure overnight. I spent the rest of the afternoon raking the yard.

Day 18 I finally installed the new trim. I used construction adhesive, screws, and outdoor caulking to place the new trim. It was at this point I discovered that the brick molding kit I had bought was for a patio (double) door, rather than a single door. I trimmed the longer top piece down with a handsaw and did a number of dry-fittings before installing it. The construction adhesive was probably excessive, but it was comforting to overdo it a bit. The trim went on well enough, and gave me a bit more confidence in thinking I could also replace part of the damaged window frame and trim next year.

Day 19 I painted. The previous day I took one of the broken pieces from the demolition and brought it to a nearby hardware store for color matching. While the match wasn't perfect, it was close enough, and a pint was more than enough to cover most of the front house trim to hide any discrepancy. Honestly, the painting turned out to be one of the more fun things in this project. It was like the raking; it didn't require much thought, and the physical motion was light yet engaging. It occurred to me that with a taller ladder, a power washer, and some other paint tooling, I could easily touch up the rest of the house next spring.