If at first you don’t succeed

So at last a new front door! Front door man arrived just after the initial frost had disappeared from the back window of the car, which was handy as I had to back the car paste his van. With the sun shining what could possibly go wrong. Well nothing so far actually. But did I mention the teensy little problem with the double glazed units being made for the door?

Well someone must have not been paying attention because the ball got dropped somewhere between us saying “Yes that’s definitely the door for us” in the door warehouse and the door being delivered to us. No actually the current episode started just before we chose the door so I must digress. Apparently it’s not so easy to get solid wood doors these days. You generally get solid wood door with a veneer on both sides which gives it a better finish. It may also enable not such good looking wood to be used as the meat in the sandwich, but since that would require removing the veneer I guess I’m never going to find out. After the last debacle of a door, we had decided we wanted a solid wood door, so we went with the deputy manager of the door warehouse to choose a solid wood door. Here’s a handy tip for you, deputy managers may not be able to tell a solid wood door from a veneered door, despite what you might expect, especially when the wood used is pretty much the same colour to the veneer. You live and learn.

pWhere was I? Oh yes, when the door was delivered, the builder mentioned there was a small problem with the glazing. What that small problem turned out to be was that you could see the black bits that you get on the edges of double-glazed units that are normally all hidden by the frames. This meant that either the glazing firm had messed up or the door warehouse had mistakenly said the doors were compatible with the units. At this point I could have cared less. All I had ever wanted was a front door which kept the outdoors outdoors and the indoors indoors. In my previous life in property maintenance I had learned there are two ways to make something disappear, you either hide it or make it look like it’s supposed to be there. I figured that I could probably do something clever to make the black edging look like a feature of the glazing so delivery was taken. The new new door is now fitted and the outside having been coated with three coats of quality exterior varnish, we await a wet southerly with baited breath.

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When is a door not a door

When it lets water through. Technically it then becomes an open door, or as near as makes no difference. Just before we went on holiday in September we found our front door had rotted to the extent where a finger could push into it, a fact cunningly hidden by the gloss paint which looked perfect. Not exactly secure whilst we were away so we got a new one fitted two days before going on holiday. Now we are faced with getting another new door as there is a steady trickle of water coming through the corner of the bottom panel despite copious amounts of external grade wood varnish. Fortunately the builder, the wholesaler and the supplier of the door have all had a look and agree it is not a good door and needs to be replaced without cost to us. Actually we may have to buy the varnish but in the scheme of things it’s not worth arguing about.

Funny thing was that it only leaked whilst the wind was blowing the rain in a particular direction. Less funny was that the direction the wind was blowing from was south-westerly which just happens to be the prevailing wind in these parts. I’m told if it wasn’t for the mitigating effects of the Island, Lymington wouldn’t be anything like as calm and serene. Easy to believe actually, you only have to go down to Milford on Sea on a blowy winters day to understand what wind chill really means.

We still have to go choose a new door, we have been informed that reports in the joinery industry suggest we should not get a direct replacement as there has been an unreasonable failure rate from this manufacturer. So we won’t. We’ll have to find one that looks like it, but fulfills all the basic door-like functions like keeping the rain out. Pity, it was a nice door and on a dry day can still be a nice door. But quite frankly in Britain in winter the odds are stacked against it.

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