Monday, June 22, 2009

The atheism, cooking, and home improvement blog?

I should really start taking before and after pictures of the work we do on our house...

So Saturday night we went to put up casing around a doorway that, for some reason, didn't have any. This doorway also is a special case, because when I was installing our new floor I sorta screwed up and left a gap along the sides of the doorway, thinking it would be covered by baseboard.. but duh, you don't put baseboard in doorways, idiot...

I was initially going to just put the casing up on the one side where it was missing, and put quarter-round over the gap, which would look a little silly but at least would be unobtrusive (before this past weekend I actually did have baseboard in there, and it looked really dumb).

But the casing on the other side is screwy as hell. I hadn't noticed this at first. See, normally, when you put casing around a doorway, you leave about 1/4" of the original frame. There's a name for this I can't remember. Anyway, check the casing around your doorways, you'll see it. It looks weird if you try to butt the casing right up against the edge, and also I think you run the risk of the casing starting to jut out as the house settles.

On the side of the doorway that already had casing, they put up this weird molding on the corner of the frame, I don't know what to call it... maybe it doesn't even count as molding. Anyway, if you cut a cross-section, the profile would be L-shaped. It like, sharpens the definition of the corner or something. We have it a couple other places in our house where there is an outer corner of a wall. I don't particularly care for it, but I'm afraid to find out what is underneath it.

So on the doorway in question, where they should have that 1/4" of exposed door frame, instead they have one of these weird L-shaped moldings, and then the casing is jutted up against that. This has the effect of there being a small piece of molding that protrudes into the doorway on that side.. and if I do it correctly on the other side, that means that it will be the other way around, so you have this sort of dumb-looking staircasing effect almost. It's hard to explain without a picture.... maybe I'll draw one later.

I'm not having that. And combined with the mess with the flooring, I decided to bite the bullet and go with Crazy Plan B.

Crazy Plan B involves replacing the casing on both sides, which is a good thing anyway because almost all of the doorways in this house have the cheapest casing money can buy. However, when I pull off that L-molding, I know there's gonna be some crazy shit under it (and there was). But I'd already had this sorta crackpot idea for fixing my boner with the flooring gap, and it would also solve that problem: Cut planks to be 3/8" thick and to the size of the doorway, and nail them up -- thus shrinking the doorway by 3/4", but giving me a sort of new faux-frame to build on, while simultaneously covering the gap in the flooring.

Long story short, it worked, it looks great, but it was a pain in the ass. I couldn't find 3/8" plank that was long enough (the thinnest I could find that was long enough was listed as 1" == 3/4" in reality) so I had to do a rip cut all the way down an 8-foot board. On top of that, the blade on my table saw wasn't tall enough, so I had to cut halfway through, flip the board over, and finish the cut. I'm sure it was dangerous as all get out, and I managed to blow a fuse once from the saw working so hard. But, as you can probably guess from the fact you are reading this, I am still in one piece.

Also I hope nobody decides they want to put a door in that doorway because they are going to be really pissed off when they discover that it is 35 1/4" wide now. I don't think that's a standard door size.... heh.

Maybe pictures and/or diagrams later. I should start documenting my home improvement adventures on this blog anyway. It would have been great to have a record of my slow fumbling progress in learning how to do crown molding, for example... I'm finally good at it now, but man, that's a hard thing to do!


  1. You did a wonderful job. It looks a thousand times better than it did before!

    If you're not careful, I might recruit you to build your own home the next time we move! If the Duggars can do it, so can we! They might have Jesus on their side, but we have unfiltered internet access :P

  2. Just a note of caution, I'll remind you once again that at least two of my attempts at carpentry have suffered catastrophic failure... heh