Me and My Door

For those of you who don’t know, we bought a house.

We’re really excited about it and are glad to be home-owners again. Granted, it’s a lot of work, but we are incredibly blessed with very good friends who are extremely loving and talented.

Here’s what I mean: We closed on the house on a Friday. The following Saturday, several friends came to help us get the house ready for work.

We decided to completely gut, redesign and have the kitchen rebuilt before we move in. So, on Saturday morning ten people showed up to help demo the kitchen (that’s “demolish” not “demonstrate”) and assist us with various surgeries that were required around the house: tearing up carpet, running grounded electrical, putting electric outlets into the sunroom, pick up fallen branches, dig up scrubby shrubs, edge, mow and basically turn the place inside out in a day.

For the kitchen, we ended up going with dark cherry cabinets with chrome hardware all around (lighting, faucet, sink, handles, etc). The counter-tops and flooring are a textured light-beige. The jewel of the kitchen will be the glass-tiled back-splash that reflects the under-cabinetry lighting.

The following week, my dear friend, McKeel, began work on rebuilding the kitchen and installing the new materials while a couple other dear friends, Matt and Ben, began tearing down doors and sanding all of the trim throughout the house to prepare everything for priming and painting.

Why, you may ask, are my friends doing all this work and I am doing nothing? If you’ve not read the stories about Me and My Yard, then you don’t know how completely inept I am when it comes to things that aren’t computer or graphics-related. I have the propensity to mess up the simplest of tasks.

When we began planning the work for this house, Natalie said to me, “ok, here’s how this is going to work: we will hire our friends, who are GOOD at doing these things, to do the work. While they are working, you will sit on the porch with your laptop and make money so we can pay them.”

That’s not to say my wife doesn’t support me or believe in my ability to succeed… that is a testimony to the fact that we have both seen me in action. When I work on the house, it qualifies as entertainment for the neighborhood.

That’s also not to say that watching everyone work on my house before me doesn’t conjure up the emotional need in me as a male to swing a hammer and build something tangible… so I found a project for myself…

I’m told that when you buy a house, you should change the locks on the doors. How hard could that possibly be? I mean, really… what could possibly go wrong?

Another dear friend, Adam, had been so excited to work with me on a project on my new house that we were both giddy at the opportunity to work on something together. One evening, we grabbed his tools (for I have none of my own) and ran over to the house to start putting in new locks.

The house was built in 1955 and the front door, we suspect, is original to the house. it’s a very cool design and we really like how the windows are laid out… it just needs some updated hardware to bring it up-to-date. Unfortunately, hardware standards change over time and the holes that were bored into the door for the original handles were only about 1.5 inches, vs today’s standard of 2 1/8 inches. That means you have to use a hole saw to bore a bigger hole. I had to ask McKeel because I didn’t know.

“How do I make the hole bigger for the new knob?”

“Use a hole saw.”

“They make those?”

“Yeah. I have one you can borrow, if you want.”

“Is it hard to use?”

“It’s a drill bit.”


He was very kind. I am very ignorant.

To drill a bigger hole into a door, you have to cut a wooden shim to fill the existing hole so you can start a pilot hole. Here’s the part we missed: you have to measure correctly where the pilot hole starts so you get the bigger hole in the right place.

At one point in the operation, Adam looked at me with big eyes and a big goofy grin on his face and said, “I think we just ruined your door… yup. It’s ruined.”

I now have two 2 1/8″ holes cut right next to each other in the form of what most people would call an oval. I call it a peep-hole for spotting Hobbits and small children.

I have never seen a door with a hole cut in it that was too wide for the doorknob.

Neither had McKeel.

He was very kind: “It’s not that bad. I can probably come over sometime and fill it with wood putty or cut a patch and match it to the grain. No one will ever see it.” Note that he did not say, “no one will ever know.” I expect he’ll be telling people about this for years to come.

Stupid oval hole.


6 responses to “Me and My Door”

  1. Reminds me of once when I was a kid watching two guys work on a car that did not know what they were doing. One guy was working, the other was kibitzing and laughing each time the wrench slipped or the jack fell. I finally decided to get out of there before someone got hurt. I hate the sight of blood.
    By the way, I still have the hole saw I bought when I was going to install dead bolts on your house in Toledo. New and unused.

  2. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! i reference ‘me and my yard, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6’

    it’s kinda like the oceans movies…the original is the best, but the sequels…well…you know the outcome, but they’re still entertaining to watch!

    sooo…asking for your help pulling out the soffets at my house might not be a great idea, is that what you’re saying?

  3. After this incident, Natalie told McKeel, “if Paul ever asks to borrow any of your power tools, here’s what you need to say: ‘yes, you can borrow that. When would you like me to come over and help you with it?’”

  4. Paul, this is not Bethany – it’s mom B. I’d don’t really know how or if I should change all the info, so I’ll just use her sign-on. About the extra-wide hole. 1) I’m impressed that the knob seems to be staying in place. I say seems to be, because for all I know someone could be holding it on the other side! 2) There are actually door knob plates (like on our front door)that are decorative and now I know that they are also useful for hiding a multitude of ineptitude. Ours measures about 3 1/2 or 4″ by about 8″ and goes between the door and the knob. I suspect it was invented by someone such as your creative self. I imagine they are available at most handy (or not so handy) man type stores. I love your spirit and the fact that you do know most of your limitations!! Love, Mom