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Monday, April 20, 2020

Day 41 - Some More of "Prettying Up The Place"

Well, it's Day 41 of our self-imposed quarantine. We are getting used to the routine of NOT being able to run out and grab supplies as we work on projects. We have to be a little more creative and figure out what supplies we have here on hand. We dig a bit deeper to find the right screws, or adapt a piece of wood by cutting a larger one into smaller pieces, etc.  We are doing that right now on the pergola grids that we are re-configuring.  So that is on hold for a little bit while we get more creative in using what we have on hand.

But sometimes you just HAVE to have new supplies.... like paint.

The local hardware store will allow us to do curbside pickup. We just call ahead with our order and our credit card, and they assemble our purchase and put it right into the trunk of our car when we pull up by the door. This is the very same hardware store that I used to work at years ago when we lived here in Oconto. It is so nice to be able to support a local business during these trying times. We needed more exterior white paint. I called in to Joey, a very dependable young man, who used to be a schoolmate of our daughter Heather. Joey takes care of the paint mixing and got our new can ready for us. All we had to do was drive up and he put it right in the trunk. Thanks Joey!

Last week, we did the curbside pickup at Home Depot of the wooden screen door. Remember that? My idea was to dress up our modern looking metal screen door with an overlay of an old-fashioned wooden screen door.

See, our house has a nice metal modern screen / storm combination door. During the winter months it's a full expanse of heavy glass and a nice tight fitting seal around all of the edges to create a nice extra insulated layer at the front door.

During the summer months, the glass piece comes out and a full-size expanse of mesh screen is inserted. Again, the tight seal around the edges prevents any mosquitoes or bugs from coming in.  So we really didn't want to change it. But it looks too "modern" for my taste.

The only problem with a full panel of screen is that the screen was always getting pushed against when trying to prop it open to get things through the doorway (like little kids).  It always seems to get bumped up against with elbows or packages --- or even the dogs as they are going in or out because the ram pulls the door shut, then anything in the way ends up pushing out the screen.

Here is the original screen door:

After seeing how much the screen is getting stretched out and sagging and bagging, that is when I got my idea.... so to resolve the sagging, and dress up the style ---- we bought a cheap $29.98 wooden door from Home Depot. We removed the screen that came with it.

We added four little $5 wooden brackets to dress it up.  I actually bought eight brackets in a set from a guy on eBay. The other four are for the wooden screen door down on the she shed. Link to: Ebay seller from Tennessee that I bought the brackets from

After I got more paint from Joey, I painted it all up before assembling it inside the garage yesterday. It was way too windy to work outside. 

Steve helped me attach the brackets,
 as it became a "2 person job" to 
make sure the frame stayed square.

We pre-drilled holes into the metal door after carefully measuring and holding the frame into place.  Had to make sure it wasn't impeding on the track for the original screen or storm door panel on the metal door frame.

This picture above shows Steve drilling the holes from the outside, but we attached the wooden frame through from the inside on the frame of the modern door outward with screws. Then you don't see the screws from the outside on the wood frame.

Here is the wooden frame ready to be screwed into place. We didn't have the right sized screws on hand, and had to look around and dig and finally found some in an old bucket of odds and ends that would work. See why it's good to save every little piece of hardware in a bucket someplace?  Creativity!

Here is a close-up shot of the cute little wooden brackets glued and screwed into place. After they were attached, I also put dabs of white paint over the heads of the screws so you don't see them as much.

Here is how it is attached to the outer surface of the original metal door. In the pic below the top screws are holding it up, and I pulled the wooden frame away a little bit to show where it lines up to attach to the metal frame.  We can still change out the screen or the winter glass storm door from the inside.  The wooden frame is narrower than the metal frame so we can still use the handle. There is just enough clearance for the handle.

Once it was into place, 
Steve tightened up each screw just enough
 to not split the wood.

We have secured the wooden frame to the metal one with three screws across the top, three screws across the bottom, and one on each side.

Now the wooden frame sticks out a little bit further then the original metal frame, but it really doesn't matter. What matters most is that the door still seals firmly for bugs in the summer or cold weather drafts in the winter.

Front porch relaxing in the afternoon.

The curli-ques of the screen door kinda coordinate with the same shapes on the retro old light fixtures we bought from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

I really think it dresses up 
the style of the house, 
and looks so cute 
"Country Farmhouse-ish".

In this pic above you can see the location of the pergola to the left between the wall of the she shed and the wall of Steve's garage.

It was pretty windy yesterday and not comfortable to work outside on the rest of the pergola side grids. Today is supposed to be windy and rainy later on, but we might get the grids assembled in the garage and ready to bring out to put on the pergola later today. Here is my idea sketch:

We will see... stay tuned for more projects for "Prettying Up The Place"!

Stay In.
Stay Safe. 
Stay Well.


  1. Your imagination knows no bounds. The house looks great and the little pergola will be lovely!

  2. Once that is completed you will need to accent the Garage to make it all flow.
    Good job!
    Be Safe and Enjoy the results of your labour.

    It's about time.


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