Friday, August 17, 2012

A Screen Door

My uncle (the artist, guitar player, furniture maker, and carpenter) is in town this week and offered to help us finally install the infamous vintage screen door I've dragged around central Texas.  This is no ordinary screen door.  It's 4ft wide and weighs over 50 pounds - made from solid, thick wood and looks just dinged up enough to convince me it lived a long life on the porch of someone's ranch house.  I found it among a pile of other doors in a salvage warehouse in Austin over two years ago.  It had the traditional barn-like "x" shape on the front that I'd already drawn into the plan for the house.  It was heavy and substantial.  I had a feeling it would creak a lot when being opened and closed.  Perfect.

The biggest problem it immediately posed was in its size.  4ft wide doors aren't made standard - anywhere.  I know this for a fact due to a weeks long search last summer.  So my cheap-ish screen door now required a less-than-cheap-ish custom-made front door.  Lots of my "low-cost" salvage choices resulted in creative solutions and expensive tweaks.  Oops.  We discussed the option of cutting our losses, selling the screen door and doing something conventional - like a door and screen from Home Depot.  That wasn't hair brained enough for my complicated sensibilities.  Besides, I just had a feeling about this one.  Its heft and girth felt significant and utilitarian.  The extra foot of width meant our door would provide a passage wide enough for almost anything.  I finally found a company able to custom make a wood and glass front door at a rock bottom price.  Since the house has been built - the screen has leaned against a wall in the attic for months.  It's a small, aesthetic thing - but I was ready to get her big x-marked face onto the front of the house.  With fall coming soon, we want the ability to keep the door open and let the breeze flow through.

Being vintage, slightly warped, and ridiculously crooked, my uncle spent yesterday afternoon squaring her up and then expertly popping her into place.  She opens smooth but is heavy enough, you really do have to push her.  There's quite a creak when she slams back into place.  It's a very farm-y/home-y screen door.  I pushed through it to bring my uncle a mint iced tea yesterday on the front porch, realizing my deeply rooted desire to be a southern lady serving tea on porches.  I've mentioned before the importance of porches, but it turns out they're incomplete without a creaking screen door that leads you to them.    

And yes, screens will be replaced and paint will be re-touched.  Someday.


Keri said...

Oh I love it! Looks great. :)

Aunt LIsa said...

It's perfect. I can't tell you how much I enjoy watching your visions come to life.

Kimberly said...


No Name Farm/Ranch said...

Awww - thanks guys!!