This past week we’ve been searching for an old back door. We cruised craigslist for days seeing a few but none I really loved. We headed up to Old House Parts in Kennebunk, Maine on Friday morning hoping we would see a whole bunch of different versions making the search easy. We saw a few 9-lights but most of them were not in great condition and needed a lot of help. Our current door is 35″ wide and we learned the wider you go the price jumps. The 35″ width is a modern size and finding an old door that wide is rare.
We left wondering when is it worth it to go old? When we saw old versions of the 9-light (circa 1960’s) they looked pretty beat up but basically looked like a plain stock door. Nothing about them screamed, old!
We were both pretty convinced at this point we should just buy a new solid wood door. The new doors come with the jam and a threshold for around $1,000. The old versions we were looking at were going to run us over $1,000 after repairs and the wood needed to build our own jam.
Old House Parts recommended we check out Nor’east Architectural Salvage on our way back home. We ended up stopping at Snug Harbor Farm, a few antiques stores, and a stop in Kittery to pick up some stripe pajamas for Greg’s sister who’s about to have a baby. I was taking my sweet time and before we knew it was almost 3:30 and ended up searching on my iphone for “architectural salvage NH”—turns out the first place that pops up was in Exeter. After sitting in bumper to bumper school traffic we arrived at Architectural Salvage. Totally the wrong place! The owner was a really nice man with some gorgeous barn doors but no doors that would work for us.
By now it’s dark and I’m feverishly trying to search on my iphone again for the correct address. We drove around in circles. My freakin’ phone kept telling me South Hampton, NH didn’t exist. I almost lost it which in turn made Greg pull the car over with mumbles about how my stupid fancy phone can’t even find an address. After some searching on his phone he got frustrated and gave up.
Driving back to the highway we happen to drive right by Nor’East at 4:40—they closed at 5. We ran in both us pretty irritated by this point, found a door from the 1920’s with the original hardware and lock for $175. Greg’s only comment, “Just get it.” I added a brass knob for $30, loaded her up, and drove away with our brand new door at 5:05. How’s that for speed shopping? I was even able to snap some photos of inside the shop.