Overhauling the Laundry Room/Back Door
Overhauling the Laundry Room/Back Door

Overhauling the Laundry Room/Back Door

As you may know, I’ve been working to replace the brass-colored doorknobs, hinges, & deadbolts in our condo [just our unit, not the building] with silver-colored ones.  In the process of replacing the laundry room/back door’s knob and deadbolt, I realized the hinges were almost rusted shut.  We haven’t used that door ever, at least in the 9 years I’ve lived here [because of stupid reasons, mostly the faulty doorknob which couldn’t be properly locked from outside].  Mostly we just forgot about it.  It leads out onto a beautiful brick circle and garden, known officially as Faith’s Garden, which is also the entrance to the Riverwalk Bridge:


Now that the door works, we use it all the time!  At least I do 😊 And Darwin on his harness leash 😺🐾.

With new hinges and new hardware, I began to realize just how neglected the door actually was.  Even with new hinges it was hard to open & close it.  I was like “WTH???” before noticing the door alarm installed in the top of the doorframe:


Thankfully it wasn’t live, so I snipped the wires, capped them, shoved them into the hole, then Spackle’d and painted over the hole:


Once that was gone, the door opened and closed much easier.  You might be asking, “who would have installed a door alarm?”:

I found out this summer our condo used to be the U.S. headquarters of the Quebec Labrador Foundation.  I knew it had been an office but not which one [QLF headquarters is now located just up the street].  Sandy Weatherall, the woman in charge of Faith’s Garden, is the daughter of Bob Bryan who started the QLF.  Faith was Bob’s wife and Sandy’s mother.  Sandy told me she spent many hours in our condo back in the day.  There’s a breaker in the basement for the exit signs that used to be here, and our stairs have the grip strips necessary for offices, which we discovered in 2012 when the carpet was ripped up:

new hardwood and tread riser grips on stairs

On Saturday August 1st, I worked on the insulation around the door.  After replacing the hinges and re-seating the door correctly there was a gap along the right edge of the door.  I yanked out the nasty old rubber insulation strip:

And replaced it with nail-on felt strips:


As I closed the door to check out my handiwork I found THIS:



Safely back inside, here’s what it looks like:


It might look kind of weird to have a dark grey stripe on the side of the door, but I think it looks fine.  This Winter I’ll be able to feel around the edges and see if any more insulation is needed.

Next up was installing a weather strip at the base of the door, on the outside.  I bought it at our local hardware store.  I used white paint on a Q-tip to mark the spots I’d need to drill.  Then used one of my new metal drill bits to drill pilot holes:


Once it was attached to the door, I realized it was a bit too long on the right side.  Instead of removing the strip and using a hacksaw to cut like 3mm off it, I used a chisel to remove a bit of wood from the door frame.  Now it fits perfectly!  I have since touched up the door frame paint:


The last step in making our back door a much nicer experience was to change out the white outside light bulb with a fun color changing one [#affiliate].  This is a GIF so should animate.  If it doesn’t, click on it:

In case the GIF doesn’t work, here are some pics of the light as it goes through it’s 10+ colors, in different levels of darkness.  The light is on a timer that controls all our condo building’s outside lights:




Every year Ipswich does an Illumination event, which usually covers one weekend in the Fall.  They light up the Riverwalk Bridge with rotating color lights:

ipswich illuminated 2017 - led color changing waterfall lights       ipswich illuminated 2017 - led color changing waterfall lights

And the tree in the center of the brick circle outside our back door:

ipswich illuminated 2016 - tree outside our house        ipswich illuminated 2017 - tree outside our house

This year, due to the pandemic, they’re starting it 9/15/2020 and running it for 6 weeks.  Our new colored light will fit right in .  Last month they lit up the Bridge each night for a week.  It was beautiful.

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    You did an amazing job with that door, the steps, and the bulkhead. It all looks really, really good and was well worth the time and effort you put into updating the area.

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