It's been a while (over a year, but who's counting?) and I can finally say that my not-so-little interior door upgrade project is done! After extensive hemming and hawing over the door specifications, laboring over the door hardware decisions and surviving a vanishing handyman, I finally have new bedroom and closet doors.
So what did I decide after all that? Funny you should ask! Here's the rundown:
- Five-panel doors for a little more character than our unadorned slab doors.
- Solid wood doors in lieu of our old hollow core ones. The new doors definitely feel more substantial with a nice heft.
- Closet doors that swing out for easier access to all of the interior space. The doors are also safer than our old bypass (or sliding) doors which had a tendency to drop off their rails potentially smushing little fingers or toes.
- Hinges and door knobs in a oil-rubbed bronze finish (to coordinate with other fixtures throughout the house) and a few crystal knobs thrown in for a little light and fun.
Now that it's all over and done with, what struck me the most was the importance of choosing the right handyman or professional. In trying to find the right skill set, the right fit and someone with good references, I had a rather rocky road. But despite my setbacks, in the end it was worth it to wait and have the right person come in to do the job. Going with the right person from the start has many benefits:
- Guidance on the feasibility of your ideas. Thanks to an active imagination, I'm pretty sure I can come up with some ill-advised home improvement ideas. It's always good to have a knowledgable resource who can vet your thoughts and work with you on other creative solutions. What are other ways to solve your design problem? Which brands' products have held up the best? Which ones are always needing repair?
- Knowing how to solve problems on the fly. I don't know about you but I can never seem to finish a project without multiple trips to the hardware store. Nothing ever goes right on the first try. In the event that you come across a more substantial roadblock, the right professional should be able to get you out of a pickle with ease.
- Ordering exactly what you need. Using a measuring tape is not a difficult thing to do but converting a measurement to a product specification is. Because I was not knowledgable enough myself, I mistakenly ordered pre-hung doors that were too big for the closet openings. (One could argue that the store associate, knowing I was over my head, might have advised me better but let's move on.) In the end, my professional essentially had to disassemble my (supposedly life-simplifying) pre-hung doors in order to create custom doors to fit. In hindsight, I would gladly have paid for an hour or two of my professionals' time to have him do the measuring and the ordering himself. Goodness knows it would have saved him time and saved me money.
- Education. If you're the curious type then working with your professional can also be a learning experience for you. Ask lots of questions and, if you've got the inclination and time, offer to lend a hand. Be the assistant for a day and see just how much you can absorb.
Well, I sure am glad to check that project off my list. Now, it's on to the next one. Hmmm, what shall I choose?...