Monday, July 12, 2010

The Real Front Door

What a long process this has been.  We finally have the actual front door - although it's not really the front door, per my post from February 21.  It's painted a dark marine blue so it's hard to make out the window, especially in this light.  The shadow puts the glass in full shade.
Long ago we installed the birch temporary door, thinking we'd replace it once the major construction was done.  I was looking for a mahogany Arts and Crafts style door, but because we are participating in LEED for Homes, any tropical wood in the house has to be FSC certified.  Few manufacturers make FSC mahogany doors, and the ones I could find were quite expensive.  And most of the stock Arts and Crafts style doors are made of mahogany.  I finally found a door similar to what I was looking for at  Their AC901 was very close to what I was looking for, although I really only wanted three panes rather than six.  I like natural light at the front door, but it's nice if people don't see directly in as they're standing at the door.

The door was delived promptly but did not come with the FSC certification.  The supplier was supposed to get it from the manufacturer but wasn't able to.  Even if the wood was sustainably harvested, without an FSC certificate we could be disqualified from the LEED program.  They'll take the door back and refund all of our money, but it doesn't seem very green to ship a door from Chicago to Massachusetts and back.

I had to start looking all over again.  There are some fiberglass Arts and Crafts doors available which have a pretty realistic mahogany wood grain, but fiberglass doors can't be trimmed down to fit the existing jamb.  Some of the other doors I found were quite pricey.

I ran into a local woodworker who makes beautiful furniture and he enthusiastically said he could make a door for us.  I called him several times but never received a call back.  I stopped by his shop, dropped off a drawing, and he said he'd get back to me with a price.  I called several more times but never received a call back.  I called again and finally caught him.  He said he was laying up some woodwork and would call right back - but that didn't happen.  After a few more calls I caught him again - but he was laying up some woodwork again and would get right back to me.  I never heard back so it was time to start looking all over again.

I found that by modifying a stock door pattern, Rogue Valley Door could make the door I was looking for at a reasonable price.  Unfortunately it would take a couple of months to get it.

Then someone recommended Cape Cod Carriage Door.  The price was relatively reasonable and Chris Jones, the owner, was able to make it quickly and have it installed within two weeks.
It's painted wood, in part, because of Gromit and is made exactly to my drawing.  Gromit doesn't necessarily understand that you don't just scratch a door if you'd like to go out.  It's a simple door but really fits the house.  It has the Arts and Crafts style shelf and corbels.  I'm not sure who first thought of putting a shelf on a door.  It has no function but just looks right.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th of July

I like the parades in Centerville.  They're short and just up the street.  We can walk there, see the parade and get on with things.
Main Street is quaint, but certain modern necessities have gotten in the way.  Notice the electric service running across the front of the Historical Museum.  There must have been a better way.
I think just about every kid in town was in the parade. 

The fireworks in Hyannis take a little more effort.  You have to get a parking space early before they fill up.  While waiting for darkness I took this photo of the pre-firework sunset over Hyannis Port.
As we were waiting I couldn't help but think about all the things I should be doing at the house instead.
The cupola light is finally in.  It was low on the list of electrical tasks so it took a while.  It has a 5 watt long-life cold cathode bulb hooked up to a light sensor.  The electrician mistakenly put in a 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb and it looked like a landing light in comparison.
And the photovotaic panels are finally installed.  We've had our deposit in since January but a number or missteps on the installer's part delayed things until July.  The inverter is at the roof deck level because apparently the DC current from the PV panels cannot run within the house.  The inverter converts the DC to AC.  They wanted to run a conduit around the back of the house and down to the basement, but I want to avoid looking like the Historical Museum.
And the Kitchen is still not quite done.  The cabinets, doors and drawers seem to come in installments.  It's all looking good, though. 
The Ikea appliances look sharp, but the controls sure aren't intuitive.  You actually have to read the manuals to use them.
This is one of our many, many cardboard and trash runs.  Can you believe that the dump is closed on the on the 4th!

I can't count how many full wagon loads of cardboard we've hauled away.  The quantity has been incredible.  At least it all gets recycled.