Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Doors and More Door Drama

When our family was visiting this Christmas, my brother and father in law (PR and RR, respectively) helped me to install windows, and we were on the cusp of putting doors in, as well, but the rough openings I made turned out to be too big. I guess I got a little too enthusiastic with the concept that it's better to make them too big than too small, so of course, I made them too big. Now I have to close the gaps, which will entail framing and sheathing, which is a bummer, but nothing I can't put off and in the hopes that it will fix itself. Hey, it's the holidays, a time for miracles.

For all it's worth, we now have all of our doors, and that's a bonus. The kitchen and shop doors were simple stock doors from Home Depot, so they were on the reasonably cheap end. As I've mentioned, if they have them in stock in their store, you save at least $100. The problem is, you have to be willing to live with an orange door that only a cat can fit through. Nah, just kidding. The doors are fine, and we found a couple of fiberglass ones that were the right size (36 inches wide) and reasonably decorative. So we went with it.

For the front, however, we wanted something a little nicer, and for the upstairs bedroom, as well, in order to access the beautiful balcony we hope to build so that we can sit and drink lattes and watch the deer walk by.

Just wanted to give a plug to Home Depot for their recent shift to outstanding customer service. I'm finding it a pleasurable experience to get help, and my recent need to have door delivered was a good example of this. I hope I'm not repeating myself, but I was hesitant to have the doors delivered because of the obvious cost and because I was hoping to do it myself. There was no way the French Door was going to fit into the back of my Mentor's Explorer, and I was convinced that the smaller doors wouldn't fit, either. I was wrong on the latter.

The guys who helped me, I think Al and Frank, were so helpful and friendly, I couldn't believe it. It was two days before Christmas, to boot. They heaved those doors onto the cart by themselves, an impressive feat that I'm guessing comes with experience. Either way, an excellent customer service experience. It turns out that two of the doors fit into the back of the Explorer, though I had to keep the back window open. The special order doors were too big, they had more framing on them, so that was out of the question, and I had to arrange for delivery, but more on that later.

Frank helped me take the doors to the car, helped me load them, which was logistically like jumping through hoops, and then, without even my mentioning it, he noticed that I had a flat tire and said he'd be right back. He returned with a pressurized air canister and filled the tire. I couldn't believe it. I had tears welling up in my eyes and I kept repeating to myself, "Man, I love this place." A good experience, overall.

It doesn't end there, however. I got a call later on about arranging delivery, and she said if I was lucky, he would help me move them into the barn, but no guarantees. It was up to their discretion, their only obligation was to get the doors to the house. No more. I figured I could always cover them up and have a friend come over and help me move them inside.

On the big day of their arrival, I got a call about 6:00 AM (it's a good thing I'm an early riser) from the delivery guy, and he said he'd be over by 7:00. It was kind of cool, he had a flat bed truck with a forklift, of all things, on the back. He parked on the road and drove the forklift down our driveway, doors and all. It could have been a timing thing, it usually is, but he was a really cool guy, and offered to unload and move the doors into the barn. They come attached to an A-frame to protect them during transport, and I the standard procedure is to leave everything and then come back for the A-frame. So, it saved him a trip to get the job done then and there.

He not only helped me move the French doors, which must weigh hundreds of pounds, but he hauled the other doors all by himself. I sat there like a dork watching him, but in truth, I wasn't prepared to lift one of those things. They have lots of glass on them.

Either way, it turned out to be yet another good Home Depot experience. I love that place. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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