What The Heck Are We Working On?

So how’s the old house coming? We have a bunch of small projects we’re working on; each one involves a ton of research, hours spent sourcing (home depot doesn’t carry antique hardware) and then we have to complete the project. I underestimate the time involved for every single one.

Case in point: exterior door. Our front door is not original and I want to replace it. But what would be appropriate? The photo I have of the house is from the last 125 years (?) and I doubt the door seen is original. What I’ve found in researching is 8 and 6-panel doors fit the period of my house. I prefer the 8-panel because its really unique and feels more Georgian. I’m having a heck of time finding one and I’m hearing from fellow renovators they’ve never even seen one at salvage. And if I were to buy a reproduction, who stateside makes them? Once I find the door I can then choose hardware, have the molding around the door fixed and add an exterior light. Below a few more projects we have in the works.

The renovation is kicking our butt lately and we’re having definite moments of wanting for it all to be done. It’s exhausting to work, write a blog, renovate and somehow fit a trip to the gym and a homemade dinner using my farm box veggies in a day. Most days the only thing on that lists that gets accomplished is work, not taking the time exercise is taking a toll on my anxiety levels and waistline. I don’t want to be a complainer because I know it’s all part of the process and I can’t expect to finish everything overnight. So I tell myself again, Patience Katy, little-by-little.

We ordered 3 sets of reproduction HL Hinges for our door from Seven Pines Forge in PA for the doors in the den.

We decided to add thumb latches to the doors in the den. We need to find three sets. The detail shot shows the nails were are looking for attach the HL hinges and latches spotted at Old House Parts in Maine.

I’ve decided to add interior shutters to the windows in the den. Through my Historic New England Homeowner membership I am getting some help researching a style that is appropriate. They’re also helping me with how to properly restore my fireboxes in this room too.

We gutted an old beadboard cabinet, fixed the walls and painted the molding green. Next we need to install shelves for a bookcase.

I’ve been fixing the little gaps between the molding and the wall using Lightweight Joint Compound. You think this would be quick but it takes hours. This wall needs a touch up with paint but the gaps have been filled.

I picked Clunch as my entire house molding color. I ordered a gallon along with a little more Verte De Terre to finish up the den.

Greg got started stripping the molding and the door in the entryway. The door and molding will be painted, Clunch. We’re not there yet but the walls in the entry with no molding will probably be wallpapered.

This is the BIG project we’re avoiding. The back extension needs to have it’s clapboards replaced and bunch of other things including rotten window sills and the bathroom tower out of view in this photo needs help too. Greg was going to try to attempt it himself but it just hasn’t happened. We’re going to get estimates this week so we can hopefully get it done before winter. And then we can paint!!

Related Posts:
Front Door Inspiration in Marblehead
Learning More About HL Hinges
Rot Clapboards and Corners

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  1. Hi Katie,
    I love that you are working to bring back this old house to life. Been there- I know it is a labor of love. (most days!)
    I am considering purchasing HL hinges from seven pines forge for 2 log outbuildings on our property. Were you satisfied with the product and the way the transaction was handled? I am looking for a referral to make sure it is not a rip off. It looks very legitimate, but I want to be sure. Your experience with Seven Pine forge was…?
    Thanks for taking the time to help me.


  2. I’m not doing a renovation but I do from studying part-time and working full-time, and just life in general (as someone who lurves me a project) that things ebb and flow – if you’re too tired, go with it. As frustrating as it is, when your energy levels are back up, things will go much more quickly. As lame as it sounds, be good to yourself. Everything in it’s time.

    And you’re totally not whining.


  3. I hope you write about the research “Historic New England Homeowner” sent you. Good stuff. They are at a whole other level of restoration. When we toured the house in Essex my jaw dropped to floor when we saw a room very similar to the one we have nearly finished and he said the paint in the room is ORIGINAL. They removed 4 layers of 100+ year old paint down to the original paint without damaging the finish. That is unbelievable.


  4. I think this is great. Of course you can’t do all that in one day! Everyone reading this blog is amazed at what you’ve accomplished. Like that molding….beautiful.

    Our to-do list is super long and seems to grow longer every day, since many things have had to be done over and over. Things like animals in the ceiling/floor, vent problems, warped windows, ruined bead board, etc. It’s depressing. I am enjoying shopping for antique lights and wallpaper though.


  5. Thanks everyone for the words of confidence. I really don’t like to be whiny but I don’t anyone to think this is easy. I know my fellow renovators can sympathize and I hope this little bit let’s you know you are not alone.


  6. Architectural Salvage in Essex Vermont, right out side Burlington is a great source. They might have the eight panel door your are searching for or could point you in the right direction… give them a call…(802) 879-4221!

    If you find your self headed north… send a note I could point out a bunch of great places to check out!



  7. I’m sorry you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with things. You’ve done such an amazing job, and this house is a project of years. You will get it done!


  8. this is one i can help with: we bought our custom reproduction doors (two exterior, one screen door) from http://www.vintagedoors.com/

    they have about a million choices and will make you a completely custom door. for example, i like this aspect of that door but would prefer eight panels instead of six, etc. they’re pricey but worth it and shipping isn’t too painful since they’re based in ny state.

    it also doesn’t hurt that they’re terribly nice to deal with, provide prompt pricing and offer all the doors in a million different wood types.

    hope it helps.


  9. It’s hard enough just to work and take of a house with all its regular chores. Add a renovation and having any ounce of a life into the mix and something’s gotta give. I think you guys do a great job of balancing it all. Nothing wrong with letting the house take a back seat to some other things while you rejuvenate.


  10. you’re just awesome katy. i loved the last two antiques related posts and this house update. i’m sure you are exhausted. but on top of the reward of eventually having a beautiful home you are contributing to the preservation of historical architecture. you should be proud.