Monday, July 14, 2014

French Doors: 1 - Goats: 0

French doors kicked our butts.

But I guess I have to start at the beginning..

Before I posted that I was putting it into the universe that I wanted to widen the rough opening for my patio door and install this, our slider had started wearing out. Sliding doors wheels are typically meant to last about 20 years, but ours decided to bite the dust a few years early and had left the back door difficult to open.

Mr. Goats and I took the door off and replaced the wheels, but that didn't completely fix the problem as the track was bent.

It was a whole big thing.

Long story... less long! I could no longer open the slider without throwing my back out, so something had to be done about it immediately. This meant that I couldn't get my dream doors, but we got a good substitute.

Mr. Goats and I like the 10-pane look (and there actually aren't 10-panes to clean! they're "dividers" inside two glass panes), and the price was beyond amazing!

When it came to installation, we changed our minds multiple times as to whether we'd have help, hire someone, or do it ourselves. Ultimately, when help fell through, I convinced Mr. Goats that we could do it ourselves (how hard can it be?!).

Famous last words, right (foreshadowing)?

We got the slider removed and the rough opening prepped for a new door (sill pan, weather stripping, etc) done and the new door in place in under 2 hours. At this point, the only thing to do was to get the door square and level and plumb, and all those technical terms.

And we.. couldn't... get... it... right!

Mr. Goats and I worked on the door from 6 am until about 4pm, and by the time we threw in the towel, the new door was only a tiny bit easier to open than the slider.

What a mess.

Luckily, my friend's husband has a home renovation company, and sent someone to our rescue!

All that was left to do was to seal it and trim it out! (note, it's a pre-primed door and the trim had a coat of paint, so there are color discrepancies - it'll look better when everything's been painted)

And pick a paint color...!

This post just goes to show that, no matter how easy doing something seems on paper, sometimes you just gotta call in the big guns.

Have you installed french doors yourself, or did you know better to have help? Heck, how 'bout ANY doors? I'd love to hear!


  1. Great look! I'm super jealous! I'm curious to know where the alignment of the new door became problematic. Always is easier to learn from someone else's let's say…challenging…projects. Keep up the great work!

    1. It does look great - haha! Thanks :-)

      It was the "shimming" - the instructions said to shim until there is an even gap along the top and between the two doors. We were able to get an even gap on many occasions, but couldn't get either one or both doors to open, even with an even gap.

      Fortunately, when the contractor got here, he said the same thing we were saying ("It's not doing what it's supposed to be doing!" pretty much sums it up. Meaning, that if we added or removed shims to move the door up or down, it was doing just the opposite). Apparently, it's just trial and error. We weren't patient enough to keep trying and erroring. :-p

  2. Looks really nice. Is the one side fixed? We have a french door that one side is fixed. However, the side that opens is hinged on the inside edge, therefore it opens up towards the table and we have to move the chair for it to be totally opened up. Drives me nuts. I would like to replace, but practical husband says, it works. SMH

    1. We're upset that we couldn't find an outswing door without a "custom" price. I've kinda known that for a while (been wanting to replace the doors for over two years!), but apparently I didn't tell Mr. Goats about it. Whoops! Both doors open, but we'd have to move the table back if we want to get the inactive door opened. Needless to say, that's probably not going to happen very often. But I totally get it (and that's why it took so long for us to replace our door! "it worked" - until it didn't ;-) ).

      Is there a way to "turn" the door? Might have to chisel for new hinges and turn the handle around (and route new holes for the locks), but it'd be cheaper/easier than adding a new door, hmm?

    2. Yikes, I am probably too intimidated to do all of that and doubt the hubby would be concerned enough to do it.

  3. We removed one of the fixed sided french doors and replaced it with a double, out-swing door a few years ago, in my pre-blogging days. We picked one up at Lowes, with the blinds built in between the panes and had it delivered. Luckily, our rough opening was fine, and didn't need to be torn up so much. I had it installed in an hour! However, the dance of leveling, shimming, leveling, adjusting, shimming, re-shimming re-leveling, etc. took ALL WEEKEND. I was really close to throwing in the towel, but finally got it in decently. We love it, but I'm not sure I'd want to tackle one of these beasts alone again.

  4. Wow, who know it would be so hard! I think I would have quit sooner...It looks amazing though, glad you got it done finally, thank goodness for helpers!

  5. You have done such a beautiful job. You encourage me to fix a french door by myself. I thought that for many days. Thanks for the blog. In UK French doors are very likeable.