Frenchie French

One of our big ideas for the dining/kitchen/sunroom space was to knock out part of the exterior wall and add some french doors into the mix. Well thanks to our aw-esome new handy dandy handy man, that dream is now a reality America! I guess once you start knocking out walls, you just can’t stop. It’s like pringles or something. For reference, here is a picture of our door before. Nice, but not quite there. The gold accents, the mini little glass panel. It worked, but I had grander plans.

Simply White Trim
Simply White Patio Door

We really liked the guy that came out to do our gas line, so when we brought him out for that job we made sure to have him quote us a price to have this work done, too. We knew that we had to have the following done for the new door install:

  • Brick surround needed to be cut
  • New header for the larger door
  • Electrical box moved over

Overall, we received (3) quotes to have the work done. The first, came in at $1,500 (ouch), the second $895 and the third (our guy) was $750. Normally we would go with the middle priced quote, just to avoid any issues with inexperience, etc, but since we had worked with this guy in the past, we knew he would do an awesome job so we hired him and decided to call it a day. Not cheap (by any means), but also, I think this is going to be a pretty darn good addition to our whole house layout, so we were willing to bite the bullet and make it happen.

Removing Exterior Door
Door Opening

After we removed the door that was installed before – you could already see a big difference in how things looked and felt. I personally feel like the glass panel to the right of the door didn’t really add much in the way of light. Since the paneling was so thick on either side, the amount of light (and openness) that actually resulted from the extra glass was minimal.

Here is Jason, our handy man, measuring out the dimensions for cutting out the interior portion of the door. Since the door opening was a bit tighter on the left hand side, we opted to bump out the door a bit to the right, so you can see a bit more is being taken off on the right side of the door.

How to Install Exterior Door
Measuring Door Opening

After removing the exterior brick and cutting the opening, things were looking like this! Starting to see progress here. Since this door opening was a supporting wall, he also had to pop in some wood framing in order to keep things from caving in (always good). 🙂

How to support structure while removing wall
Supporting Wall

Check out this hunka hunka header above the door. Every other stud isn’t resting on the new wood, since those are from the previous header. The newer (lighter colored) wood, is what Justin built to support the structure. Looks nice a sturdy to me! 😉

Header above exterior door
Header Above Door

Once the door was in, we noticed that there was some serious gap action happening. Since we had some great stuff insulation left over from the bathroom renovation, we decided to whip out that can and help make this new addition air tight.

How to insulate door
Insulating New Door

Truth be told, we plan on finishing off the screened-in porch soon, so this door will actually not be facing out onto the exterior. But, it just seemed to make sense to insulate wherever we can. Plus, it’s possible we won’t get around to finishing off the screened-in porch prior to winter, so this gives us some buffer room. 🙂 It continues to expand a bit, but here is a picture of the after. You can’t see the outside anymore, so we will go ahead and call that a win.

Great Stuff Insulation
Insulated Door

After lots of shimming and nailing up boards, we officially have a new french door installed! EEEEKKKK!!! Yes – I’m THAT excited about it. Looking mighty ffiiinnnee. Yep, I’m in love. Now instead of a 32″ opening, we have a 60″ opening – big difference. I can’t wait for all the summer nights when we can pop these doors open and enjoy the balmy breezes.

French Door Off Dining Room
French Door

Yippie skippie!! Pumped to get some trim around this beauty and call it a day! Also – very ready for my house to be sans dust for more than 2 seconds. 😉

The combination of the brick cutting and the supporting wall was overall what convinced us that hiring this one out was the way to go. We’ve definitely installed a door (or two) in our day, but this just felt a bit beyond our abilities. With all the other kitchen reno stuff in the mix, we also wanted this done (like yesterday), so it was pretty helpful to have someone come in and do some of the dirty work for us. The key to your sanity and safety in a DIY household (in my opinion) is to hire it out when you have to (or want to!). In the long run, I know we are saving SO much by tackling the majority of projects ourselves, so when it’s time to hire it out, I’m usually happy to do so.

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