Today’s project is probably the least glamourous post that I have written so far but it’s a good reminder that home ownership isn’t always about beautiful things and instagram worthy pics. In today’s post Ben and I fix our front door threshold. We lead an exciting life…I know.
First, some background info on what was wrong with our front door and the threshold in the first place. When we installed the hardwood floors we thought we had a great idea. We would continue the hardwood and make a door threshold at the same height of the hardwood floor. We even installed a rubber bumper seal thingy on the bottom of the door to seal it from the outside. In Minnesota cold weather and snow are big deals and we take them very seriously.
Sound like it would work right? Nope. If you have your door threshold at the same height as the hardwood floor the door bumper scrapes on the hardwood floors when you open and close the door. Because there isn’t a gap we can’t put a rug under the door. Last winter we ended up putting towel behind the door to step on when the door was open. I wasn’t going to go through another winter worrying about ruining our hardwood floors.
Here’s a sketch of what we set out to do: Build a new threshold, lift up the bottom of the door so that we could keep the bumper seal that keeps the outside from coming in and taper the exterior side of the new threshold down to meet the exterior threshold.
We started by removing the existing threshold by wedging a scraper under the wood to loosen it and and a hammer end to pry it up. The wood was dirty but still in good shape so we were able to reuse it as part of the new system.
Now that we had the existing threshold removed we could start putting the new pieces back together. We used leftover hardwood floor planks and started with the straight piece to beef up the middle to accept the new tapered portion.
I then added the reused angled piece that I was able to sand down to make it look new again. Penny was the supervisor so she had to be in a pic!
We cut the top two angled pieces using the table saw with the blade slanted to 45 degrees. The the pieces were sanded to get a round edge. We also cut some small shim pieces for where the new threshold slopes down to the existing exterior threshold.
When putting a puzzle like this together I like to cut all of the pieces and put them in place prior to gluing and nailing anything permanently. That way if something doesn’t work out the way that I thought it would I can fix it without a lot of heartache.
Once I knew that all of the pieces would fit together we glued them to each other and nailed them into place using a nail gun. Using wood glue allowed me to cinch the boards together as tightly as possible. Ben was also careful where we placed the nails because we didn’t want to split the wood and have to cut more pieces.
Next, we filled the holes with wood putty, sanded, and sealed the new wood with some leftover sealer that we had from the hardwood floor. Check out the hardwood floor sealing post for info on that!
Now for the door portion of the story. We know had a door that was too tall and needed to be cut down so it would close again. To take a regular door off I recommend using a hammer and a long screw driver if the pins on the door hinges are stuck like ours were. Stick the screwdriver under the pin and hit it gently with the hammer. Usually that helps the pins pop out a little so you can use the non hammer side of the hammer to pull them up and out.
Once the door was free (Yeah, I’m free!!!) we moved it outside to cut down the length. There isn’t a magic reason to do this outside other than the saw makes a lot of dust and the dust is better outside than in my house.
We knew the new threshold was ¾” high because that is how thick the hardwood planks are. We measured from the top of the door because the bottom of the door looked a little uneven from when we cut it down the first time. When using a circular saw it’s nice to have a guide to let you know you are making a straight edge. We clamped an extra wood plank to the door to act as a guideline for the saw. This made sure that any imperfections were corrected.
Once ¾” was taken off the bottom I screwed the door bumper back in and we put the door back on the hinges. Yeah! The door shut. Not soo fast….you can see outside from the underside of the door. Wah Wah. Epic failure. We can’t have a big gap under the door. The whole point of this was to keep the outside out!
Problem solving time! After the bumper was removed again I glued a leftover shim that was the same length to the underside of the door to add some height. Bumper goes back on. Now pesto chango….New threshold! Finally!!!!! Door shuts! No gap! We can put a rug under it!
Ruler or tape measure
Pry bar or scraper
Orbital sander or sandpaper
Wood: Free (leftover from Hardwood floor project)
Sealer: Free (leftover from Hardwood Floor project)
Nails: Free! (We had some in the gun already)
Wood filler: Free! (Left over from Hardwood Floor project)
Power tools: Free! We had all of these already
Total Cost: $0 Woop Woop!
Now I want to add some curb appeal to the front door. Stay tuned for some options!
Check out the house tour for the before pics!
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