I belong to a neighborhood playgroup and the first time I was at my friend Jen’s house I admired her basement door. Yes, because that’s what I do when I am at other people’s houses, or anywhere for that matter. She had a 15-lite door as her basement door. You know, like a french door, with all the little windows? I liked it because you could see who was on the other side of the door. Us moms could see who was coming up the stairs and I figured my kids might be a little less scared in the basement alone with a door like this.
My basement door needed to be replaced because it had a kitty door in it and we have no pets (as a rule). This is what it looked like when we moved in.
This was from a few nights after purchasing, ready to hang.
Here’s my door at Christmas a few months after it was installed. See the plastic still on there? Still waiting for paint and a middle hinge.
A few tips if you’d like to install your own door (other than the fact that you should paint it, duh!). This is everything I used.
1) Put in a third hinge, especially if the door is going to open 180 degrees and be used by kids.
I traced the hinge and then routered out the shape “free hand” but they do make aDoor Hinge Mortising Kit for Routers. I used a chisel to get a lot out too.
3) Find someone else to paint it for you.
No joke, it’s a pain in the butt. There are two ways to go… On the outside of the door I left the plastic coating on and painted first. Then removed the coating. What a pain to get if off. Just 10 minutes ago finish the back side of the door. That’s right, finally finished! On the back side, I took the plastic off first and it came off much easier without the paint stuck to it. I gave a last (third) coat of paint to this side a few days ago. I painted right onto the glass to get into the corners and on the edges.
I scraped the paint off afterwards with a razor blade, not a box cutter, but a blade . It was still a pain, but the paint came off in curly strips, so it wasn’t too bad. So although also a pain in the butt, I think I prefer this method (of taking the plastic off before you paint). Especially when you take into consideration I had to go back and use the razor blade on the front side to get all the little pieces out anyway. But hey, it’s up to you people!
This is the final product. This is looking up from the basement, with the door shut.
Same side of door, but opened.
Front side of door.
As always I hope you could learn something from my trial and error (and procrastination)!