We’ve known for a while now that we would need to eventually replace the two sets of patio doors in our sunroom.  We aren’t sure exactly how old they were – they were added sometime after the room was enclosed (it used to be a screened in porch) in the 50’s, but we think they may not have been that old.  They seem more like they were probably installed in the 70s or 80s.

Front patio door.

Anyway, the doors were failing on a number of fronts.  Neither one sealed worth crap – the cold air just poured in all around them in the winter and the bugs came in like crazy as soon as it started to warm up.  Besides that, the one in the back didn’t really open.  It rubbed against the floor so badly that we felt like something was going to break every time we opened it, which means we’ve never actually used it (or the porch on the other side) during the entire time we’ve lived in the house.

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Also, neither one had real door hardware – they had handles, but no latches (or dead bolts) and some funky locks which were needed both to lock the doors as well as just hold them shut.

Old door hardware.

And, to top it all off, the door in the back of the house was literally failing and rotting away.

The back patio door.

Rot on the back patio door.

With the house being painted this spring, we’d originally thought we’d just have the old doors painted the new trim color and replace them sometime later (maybe this fall or next spring), but after living through another super cold winter where the sunroom (which we use like a family room) was so uncomfortable that we basically never played or watched TV in there and then taking another look at the rot this spring, we decided to replace them sooner rather than later.

We’d been looking around at the selection of patio doors at the home centers and builders centers in our area over the last year or so and pretty quickly decided that we loved the Andersen 400 Series Frenchwood Patio Doors.  We ordered the doors with basically a standard configuration, adding an extension jamb to better fit the 2×6 framing on the porch and switching out the grilles for a little wider profile to match up better with some of the original divided light doors in the house.  After ordering the doors toward the end of February, it took about a month for them to come in and then another full week for them to be installed (which we hired, considering that there were so many oddities in the installation of the old doors that we didn’t know exactly how much trouble we’d have getting the new ones installed).

Installation of new patio doors.

As it turns out, despite all of the weirdness around how the old doors were installed, the opening was standard size and the new doors went in without much hassle.

New Patio Door with Stickers

The contractor was even able to raise them up in the opening enough that they not only don’t drag on the floor, but there is enough clearance that we could actually put real, plush carpet in the room down the road a bit without running into any problems with the doors opening.  I am super thrilled about that!

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As of now, both doors are installed, but we still have some finish work to do.  On the inside, the doors need to be finished (we’re planning to stain them), the trim needs to be painted, and wall needs to be touched up a bit.

Speaking of which, check out this scrap of old wallpaper we found hiding behind the old molding.  This one pre-dates the pretty teal wallpaper that we removed shortly after we moved in.  We actually think it’s probably from the 70’s since it matches the description of one of the girls who grew up in the house during that time.

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And, on the outside, the doors themselves came with a maintenance free finish, but there are a few trim boards that still need to be primed/painted along with the rest of the house.  We chose the Sandtone color to match the new trim color that will be used when the house is painted, so it looks a little out of place now, but will blend right in in a few weeks when the new colors are on the house.

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Even with those finishing touches remaining, though, we are loving the new doors.  They are such an improvement in every way over the ones that were there before.  One more project checked off the list, just in time for painting to start.  Woo-hoo!

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