Friday, May 1, 2015

Outside... Inside

So... I don't have much to blog about these days, hence my long absence! I guess that's good, because it means our house is the way we want it to be, but it's so fun looking back on things here so I want to make sure I'm still documenting! Now that spring is here (sort of), I've been wanting to do some little things around the house. One was a deep clean, which felt really good, plus I needed to do our annual entryway/driveway power wash, and lastly to finally hang a screen door from the kitchen/dining room out to the back yard.

Home Depot sells really inexpensive, cute screen doors, so I grabbed one and was able to fit it in my car by about half an inch. It was a close call! A lot of the reviewers warned against the doors not being square, so I tried to find the one that was best aligned and was actually pretty impressed with the quality, especially for the price. 

As it turns out, the frame around the existing door isn't square at all, so having a square screen door wasn't too helpful! The door frame is a lot bigger at the top than at the bottom, so I sanded of quite a bit of the door to make it fit. I was originally going to use a planer, but the one my dad had made me nervous I was going to slice off chunks of my hand in the process, so I decided sanding with some 60 grit paper was a safer bet. Also... please excuse the iPhone pictures. My blogging absence has apparently made me very lazy.

The first step was to seal the wood. I contemplated painting it white to match the exterior, but I thought leaving it raw would bring a natural quality and tie in our wood patio furniture. I used Rustoleum clear matte spray paint to seal it, making sure to get every nook and cranny. The longest part of this project was probably covering up all of the screen (back + front). Since we don't get the newspaper delivered, I had to use tons of single sheets of paper which took forever. In the end, I did three coats of spray paint and it felt pretty well sealed.

The next step was to attach hardware. Pretty self-explanatory, but I made the mistake of buying spring-loaded hinges at first which ended up being way to strong/stiff for this light of a door. I returned them in favor of these spring-less hinges which were just barely narrow enough to fit in the space on the trim.

Three quick screws.

Next up was a simple door pull.

Then I hung it up! True to form, I got impatient and decided to hang it when John wasn't home to help me hold it. Luckily, since it's light, I was able to do it on my own :)

Since the hinges aren't spring loaded, the door doesn't stay completely shut on its own, so I grabbed a door spring to pull it back to the door frame.

Technically you're supposed to install the spring in the middle of the door where the T bar is, but because the door frame was so uneven, the door was hitting the frame at the bottom but not the top (leaving a gap up top), so I installed the spring up there. It helped quite a bit, and for the tiny sliver of space that was still open, I installed some weather stripping which you can barely see on the right.

For the few days of the year where it's nice enough to have the door open, we've really been enjoying it! I recently read that the air in our homes is about 10x more polluted than air outside (yuck), so this is one nice step towards reducing that. I've been looking into some easy ways to reduce indoor pollution and feel like we're doing pretty much everything we can be to breathe easy.

Since we were about to improve our view of the back yard, I figured we needed to make the view worth looking at! I planted some annuals and succulents, and what we already had that survived Black Thumb Bohne (aka me) from last year is also looking really good!

I also power washed all of our concrete which is soooo tedious! When I think back to the first time I did it, I've definitely learned a thing or to, like plan to be sore for three days and keep your mouth shut unless you want to snack on algae.

I also power washed some of our patio furniture while I was at it. It never would have occurred to me to do this for some reason, but a neighbor mentioned that they do it every year and it definitely made a big difference! We probably should have just taken better care of them from the beginning, but live and learn, right?

So, what spring cleaning/planting/projects have you been up to?

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