21 March 2006

The Doors

Today I was in New Jersey.
I went to help a friend of mine put in a new door on his garage. Not a garage door...A door on the garage.
The starting point of this post is a complaint.
The door he bought was a typical exterior door from Lowe's. The typical exterior door from Lowe's is made to open in. His wife (my bestest friend ever) suggested they get one that opens out so that when they eventually start parking their cars in the garage...well, you get the idea. Sounded like a good idea to me too. She's smart like that. So I said we could probably just reverse it but I'd come over and look. One look at the door and I realized I'm a dumbass because you can't just flip the door around (it would leak...All the weather-proofing around the door is made for the outside).
So it was back to Lowe's we went.
After waiting around ten minutes for the only person in the store who knew anything about doors got back from his lunch break we found out that to order the same door they have in stock for ~$120.00 (the one that swings in) it would cost ~$200 for one that will open out!
So it was across the street to Home Despot where we encountered the same situation (I think they were like $30-$40 higher even!). So it was off ten miles up the road to 84 Lumber where their basic door was only $88 and I think it still cost him almost $200 just to get the one that opens out. At least they said a week to ten days...Lowe's and Despot both said 2 weeks.

So what's my complaint?
Yup...you guessed it.
I think it's total B.S. that doors don't come made to open in either direction in stock and at the same price!!
Interior doors do. Bathtubs come with the drain on the left or the right at the same price. Most things in this arena do. It takes ten minutes to change a fridge from opening to the right to opening to the left.
It's just crap.

So he ordered the door and we went back to the house and rigged something up to be able to re-hang the old door in the much larger rough opening we made for the new door.
To be honest...at this point I'm really tempted to ask him if he can cancel the order (and get his deposit back) and we can:
A) Buy the $88 door at 84 lumber and I can disassemble, reverse, and re-assemble the frame
2) Buy a 'door slab' (door, no frame) and I'll build a frame from scratch

08 March 2006


This week I'm trying to wrap up the apartment project.
I've been doing my first ever carpet installation. Overall carpet is pretty easy (especially when compared to some of the other stuff I've done).
I don't have any pix yet...will take some and do up another post.

Once I got the right size carpets (bought a remnant to try the first room...it wasn't as long as it said on the label so it didn't fit...took it back) the first major step is getting them up to the 3rd floor by myself. Turning the corner on the landing between the staircases is A PAIN! And then maneuvering the roll into the right room at the top of the stairs is nearly impossible (by myself) but I got the smallest of the 3 carpets (for the smallest room) upstairs yesterday.
Once the carpet was in the room it was fairly simple to un-roll it and lay it out on the floor.

Unfortunately this is where I ran into my next problem. I bought an 'economy carpet kicker' at Harbor Freight tools...and then did some research on kickers and realized that the one I got isn't meant for the type of carpet I'm installing. So I drove pretty far to another Harbor Freight that had their better model in-stock, returned the other one and got the good one. So yesterday when I started to 'kick' the carpet in place...the nail adjustment dial (you set the length of the nails depending on the type of carpet) popped off. I kept using it for a while with the nails all the way in but it wasn't gripping the carpet well enough to do what it's supposed to do (hook the carpet onto the tackless strip). And then this morning when I looked at the kicker loading it back in the box to return it...I noticed the metal plate behind the knee pad actually cracked in half! What a piece of crap!
So today I'm going to HF to return their piece of crap and going to Lowe's to buy the carpet kicker they sell for more than 4 times what I paid for the one at HF. I was looking at kickers online last night...the one at Lowe's is still the bottom end of the pro-kickers...but it should be WAY better than the one I broke.

The other thing I learned by looking up a bunch of websites describing carpet installation...is that I need to rent myself a "Carpet Stretcher" to finish the job.
Basically when you get the carpet hooked on in one corner with the kicker, you then place the butt end of the stretcher in that corner and pull (stretch) the carpet in the opposite direction and then use the kicker to attach that side to the nailer strip. using the stretch and kick technique you work the rest of the way around the room until the carpet is all stretched and attached to the tackless.

So today I'll be returning the bad kicker and buying the better one.
I'll be on vacation for the next week...so I'll have to wait until I get back for the day I rent a stretcher and get the carpets done. I'll get them in today though so they will have time to settle and acclimate...Will make for better stretching when I get back.