My Kingdom for a Door, and a Completed Hallway

I do believe I’ve discovered something that’s more excruciating than watching paint dry, and that is: watching sheet rock compound dry.

We got back from North Carolina early on Friday morning last week, after a 17-hour travel day (I drove. The whole way. Which was fine. Except for the speeding ticket in Durham. And the part where I almost rear-ended another car at 60+ mph coming off the Delaware Memorial Bridge because I was trying to figure out if there was a toll and my eyes were up and looking for a toll gantry, and not on the guy slamming on his brakes in front of me as a box blew across the highway in front of him). We left Black Mountain at 7:45 a.m. last Thursday, and arrived home at 12:45 a.m. on Friday, remarkably unscathed, but exhausted.

Therefore (!?) no work on the downstairs hallway began until Monday of this week, and not a whole lot happened Monday. Tim made a call to the supply house about the door for the bathroom; a couple of pieces of trim went up; and that was about it. Yep. I’m cranky.

Things picked up more today: this morning we heard back from the supply house with the price for the bathroom door and we finally placed the order. They say it should be here in a week. I hope they’re right. The sheet rock around the doorway between the hall and the dining room was also hung today, and 2 coats of tape/compound applied, at long last obliterating the final bit of visible structural skeleton in the house. I should throw a party. We have our old friend the plug-in fin heater cranking in the hallway, consuming untold kilowatts, to make sure the compound dries as expeditiously as possible. We also procured the hanging hardware for the “barn door” approach we’re taking, but the handles/pulls and locking mechanism have yet to be identified. The hanging hardware is standing on its end in the foyer, awaiting its implementation.

After I spent several hours yesterday trying to find the right pull & locking solution(s), we concluded that we should hang the door first to see what kind of clearance, if any, the door has as it slides past the wall, so we know how much projection the handle/pull on the inside can have – likely not anything more than 1/4.” And I’m not very excited about a simple recessed pull for the inside of the door (this won’t be a lightweight door, and for someone elderly with diminished strength in their hands/arms, something like that could prove difficult to use). I feel like a handle of some sort is much more user-friendly, but there isn’t a lot of recessed folding-handle hardware out there. (*Note to my inner designer/inventor.)

I’m told that the hall will be painted tomorrow. That would require all the taping/sanding to be complete. I think it’ll be just a little bit of a miracle if that’s the case, but if it isn’t tomorrow, it should be Thursday. I can live with that. But, as ever, there’s so much more to what little appears to remain: the hanging hardware for the door needs to be installed – possibly this week – but the door needs to show up before it can be hung, which won’t be until at least next week. Then we have to figure out the pulls, and the lock, and install those. The hall-facing pull/handle should be straightforward. The inside pull, and the lock? Don’t lay any odds down on the duration of those.

Meanwhile, I think during one of the lulls, we might, finally, be painting the front door. Once all of that is done, it’s on to the finish trim outside, and to the looming beast of landscaping. I’m hoping against hope that we have a design for that in the next month or so, which would allow a feeble prayer of the work getting done this year. Though if it slips into next year there is something appealing (in a slightly masochistic way) about being able to say this renovation took a decade. . .!

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