Basement Doors!

We’re finishing a room in our basement as part of a Fall In Love room makeover collaboration with a bunch of other fabulous bloggers. Read more about it and find links to all the other bloggers here.

Well, we’re no longer on schedule with the basement, but that’s okay, because the schedule was a little crazy and overly ambitious anyway. We are learning to be happy with consistent forward progress.

And that we have!

For example, the basement room is now completely inaccessible to the cats! Because it has doors! (and a fourth wall. More on that in a couple of days, I hope).


Back when I first talked about the basement, I said we were going to put a door in one of the doorways and groovy, retro beads in the other. And then do a second door for cat proofing purposes in the doorway right at the bottom of the stairs, two rooms away from the room we’re finishing. We ended up deciding that it would be best to be able to completely shut off the finished room, though, if for no other reason than because the adjacent room is a big messy storage room that we don’t want to think about while we’re chilling in our new, pretty room. Also, the doorway right at the bottom of the stairs is a little trickier to work with. But we still need to get a door up there, and I feel confident that we can handle it now, with two less tricky door installations under our belts.

I also suggested that we’d be getting these fabulous five panel doors:



But we didn’t. We got regular old six panel doors like we have in the rest of the house. Partly because they’re cheaper and partly because the five panel doors have to be custom ordered and we don’t have time for that. Deadlines! Anyway, it seemed kind of weird to spend extra money making our basement doors the best doors in our house. Or the prettiest anyway, since the five panel doors aren’t really better in any practical sense of the word.

So no tutorial or anything here. There are tons of them out there that are certainly better than anything we could give you. I will say that hanging the doors was the thing we were the most worried about in the whole basement: we’d never done it before, and some of the things I read made it sound really complicated…..but it really wasn’t that bad. It took us forever, but mostly just because we get interrupted a lot by life….I’d say it was no more than a couple of hours per door hands on time.

The first door fit absolutely perfectly, width-wise. Like a glove! We didn’t use any shims at all, and, in fact, we ended up having to sand the door down a little so it would close smoothly.


Second door we had a little more wiggle room and used a few shims. And we had to take the trim off on the other side of the door since the build in shelves in the cat room go up right next to the doorway.

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Because I didn’t go with Dave to pick up the doors, they have brass hinges that don’t match the door knobs (we went with simple/cheap oil rubbed bronze for those). He says there was only one right handed door in the right width at all, though, so sounds like it wouldn’t have mattered.

A very utilitarian sort of post for you today, with not much in the way of pretty pictures. I want to get to the part where we decide where to put the gummy bear lamp!

Here’s a cute baby with the doors to make up for how doors are boring. He figured out door knobs last week. We had to go out and buy a bunch of those obnoxious babyproof door knob covers and now, as I posted on Instagram/Facebook last week, I feel like he’s the velociraptors in Jurassic Park, and we’re just waiting for him to figure out those, too. Anyway, no door knob covers down here yet, so he can open the doors and then slam them…over and over again.

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Basement Doors! — 15 Comments

  1. When I got to the gummy bear lamp, I felt like you were talking just to ME 🙂 Those doors look great and I am sure they are making everything look and feel much more finished. Well, you will need a little bit of walls, but other than that. You are making great progress! Thanks for the pictures of Abe opening the door. Took this post to major awesome!!!

    • I just tried to make up a funny hashtag involving your name and gummy bear lamp, but I couldn’t do it. Ah well. And the wall is there now! I will have photographic evidence of it in a day or two 🙂

  2. Lookin’ good! My least favorite part of building a room is all the little things (like hanging a door- although not little) that have to be done before getting your pretty on.

  3. woo hoo to doors! I wish we had a cat room.. we have 4 litterboxes and they’re all over the place. UGH. Also, sidenote, my brother had to put up a ton of those baby-proof doorknob things and now my poor 88 year old grandfather can’t figure out the doors either. womp womp.

  4. Yay for doors! It looks great.

    And those 5-panel doors are EVERYWHERE around here, but the secondhand scores mean that putting a door in is a huge ordeal. Ryan made me promise we wouldn’t use old doors when we build. =)

    • Yeah, I’ve been looking casually on Craigslist for an old/new door for our front entry, but Dave has already said that we’re hiring someone to put that in!

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