Getting to Final

With every job on a renovation there is a surprise. Even the simplest task can present unimagined complexity. We are in the final stages of completing the renovation on our basement. Honestly, this ending cannot come soon enough.

For months we have had the doorknobs sitting in their boxes, awaiting installation. There are two bedroom doors and one bathroom door, so three doorknobs in all. The doors came prehung in their own frames, so we assumed installing the doorknobs would be a quick job.

The door handles went in easily enough, everything fit and worked fine. The faceplates, however, were not to be so easy. First, the faceplate hardware and the pre-cut faceplate on the door frame did not match. Okay, that is to be expected, we can modify the door frame. But then we realized the door trim was set too close to the edge of the door frame and the lip of the faceplate was not going to seat properly into the door frame.

Matt was doing the install, and he just sat there, puzzling over what to do. It was enough of a head scratcher to delay the doorknob install overnight. Next day, he called Wallace and consulted on the problem. Between the two of them, they came up with an elegant solution, to use the router to carve away a section of the trim so the faceplate would sit properly. The following day Matt performed the router operation and informed me that the routed sections would need to be painted. The next day I pulled out the oil-based wood primer paint and got the first coat onto these little sections of bare wood. Today I will apply the coat of high gloss trim paint. Tomorrow Matt should be able to screw on the face plates and the door knobs will be installed.

Let’s look at the timeline differential. The first estimate for the job was approximately 15 minutes per doorknob for a total job time of 45 minutes. The reality was more like 10 minutes to install each door knob. At least 1 hour or problem solving. Another 1 hour for routing out these little sections (including set up and clean up). Another 1/2 hour for oil-based wood sealer (including set up and clean up). Another 1/2 hour for high gloss trim paint (I think one coat should suffice in this case). Another 15 minutes to screw on the face plates. Remember, each of these steps has an overnight in between them – so tack on 5 days for all these small jobs to be accomplished. And that is how we started to install the doorknobs on Sunday and finished the job on Thursday (tomorrow).

In the meantime, as long as I had the oil-based wood sealer out, I touched up all the bare wood for the closet trim and door trim repair (from getting the washer/dryer tucked into its nook). So today I am ready to paint the trim with its first coat of gloss white as well as coat the closet edges with gloss white.

We have the last cabinet on the operating table, the first long strips of cladding were glued on overnight. This evening we will glue on the shelf cladding pieces and then I will have two full cabinets to sand and seal before we glue the units together and install them in the closets.

I have borrowed by step-brother’s oscillating floor sander and I am very excited to do a final sanding of the floors and finishing coats of Pentraguard.

When I look back at our pictures from earlier stages in the renovation, I can remember very well the feeling of, “Yay! We have gotten this far!” Little did I know how much further we had to go. And yet, I got that oil-based wood sealer paint on the trim so the faceplates can be screwed down and the door knobs finally installed and I say to myself, “Yay! We have gotten this far!”

Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 9.18.51 AM

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