Friday, 24 May 2013

Operation Kerb Appeal, Part 1 - A New Front Door!

I am bringing sexy back to the front of my house.  And, yippee, I squeezed a random  and totally uncalled for Justin Trousersnake reference!  Apologies in advance, I'm feeling pretty random today.  'Operation Kerb Appeal' will come in many parts, and will take quite a while, as we are concentrating on the inside spaces first.  So, more to come on this for sure!  

The aesthetic we are going for is traditional with a modern twist, the hubby and I love this look but our house will be more mid-century modern inside when done, so we are hoping to marry the two to tie the spaces together.  We like the picture below, this is a still from a UK daytime show called 'Homes Under the Hammer', where folks buy properties at auction and renovate them, and the house on the show is actually almost the same house we have.  We have plans to add in those lovely railings too, hard landscaping and plants to break it up.  We also want to reinstate a Victorian-esque pathway in black and white tile, a bit like this here, but that will come later, once we have removed about 3 tons of fugly concrete.  

Love the railing / shutter combo, and the crisp paint
So, remember here, when I told you all my front door was about as sturdy as a wet paper bag, we got on that pretty quickly after moving it is in all its gory glory.

Mmmmm, not very attractive!
Definitely on its last legs!
I like the colour, but not much else!
So, we hired our usual contractor who owns his own company that we would recommend to anyone that asks, he did our double glazing in our flat, plus he kindly came to take out the dining room window when we realised our sofa would not fit into our new house...more on that here!  

He was both supplying and fitting the new door for a fixed price, he even went the extra mile to get some custom sandblasting done for us on the window light above the door, we have our house number in there.  The standard door in the catalogue with the leaded number was really granny gravy it had leaves and colours and all sorts, which made the door look much less classy, which is not cool, so we upped the spec for not much moolah, plus changed our minds halfway through, as originally there was going to be some small panes in the door, which he took with good grace and a smile, even though we were being really annoying.  We lost some light in the hall without the windows, but it's worth it as I hate it when people know you are looking at them through the peep hole, especially when you are pretending to not be there.  So all in all we are really happy with our choice as it looks mucho sexy.  Result!  We have already been asked by some of our neighbours who we got it from, as they are looking to upgrade theirs too, so we dished out his details pronto, good tradesman are hard to find! 

We opted for a composite double glazed door, as the house is not very airtight, so we went for man-made over wood, more expensive, but worth that extra warmth in a drafty old house, plus the extra sound proofing is a bonus with a yappy mutt in residence.  Plus, as our guy is extra awesome, and has started to do woodwork as a hobby, he is going to noodle with our old mahogany door and make us some stuff.  We told him to get his butt on Etsy pronto, as his hand carved stuff is really funky and cute, plus as many people have been really complimentary about his work, us included, he is thinking of bringing it into his business model too, as a trendy up-cycling USP.  How cool is that! 

The front door is something we were considering DIYing to save cash, thanks heavens we thought better of it!  It was worth every one of the £1,062 we spent as it was a beast to get in place as there is literally not a straight wall or angle anywhere in the house.  It took Richard absolutely ages to wrestle it into its spot and get it level.  We just heard the occasional grunt of exertion, mumbly self flagellating, and prayers to the God of Doors that are a bugger to fit for divine intervention, emanating from the hallway.  It was then the hubby decided to pop his head round the corner to offer some assistance, he promptly became the official door propper-upper.  It took two visits in the end to get it done, one to fit the door and the next to tidy up the issues left by one the previous owners who had bodged the fitting of the previous door, so all in all our guy went way above and beyond.

However, we have a new issue, our new and beautifully fitted door has highlighted a ceiling that's totally out, we never noticed before, probably as the old door was way off too, but that's fine, we will rip out the ceilings and replace eventually as the original coving which we were hoping to salvage (the only visible original feature in the place) is looking less than hot since we started the re-wiring job.
Notice the wonky picture & ceiling, the 
door is actually perfectly square!
Simple, stylish, and no annual
re-painting required!
As a parting note, you can see from the picture above, the rest of the front now looks much worse as my new front door is so lovely.  Boo!

Is there anything you have tackled that you thought was a huge mistake, which you then had to call in the pros, or are you always realistic about your DIY limitations?


  1. I left a comment but I wasn't signed into my Google account, so I think the internet ate it...

    I love the new front door! It's soooo classic! I can't wait to get around to painting my front door black as well.

    I know exactly what you mean about having windows in the door - I'm thinking of hanging a curtain to the side of the door that I can pull closed at night. Our stairs are right inside the front door and I don't want the whole world to see me walking up and down stairs in my pajamas!

    1. Curtains sound like a great plan...with a peep hole too, you can dodge so many doorstep sellers and other odd balls who knock on your door.

      P.S. At least you have PJs on, I have forgot my towel before and as the bathroom is at the very back of the house you have to do a drippy mad dash through the entire house, including any passers by, getting your rear end as you scuttle up the stairs....hehehehe!


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