September 6, 2015
I had a pretty productive day yesterday. I finished installing my floor and hung my bathroom door.
Compared to some of the other stuff I have done, the floor was fairly easy. I purchased hardwood laminate, engineered flooring at Home Depot. The stuff is pretty easy to install. You don’t even have to nail it in place. You basically lay down the pieces and snap it altogether. It’s actually kind of fun. Plus, it comes with instructions and anytime I get something with instructions, I’m delighted.
The most complicated thing I had to do for the floor was to do some rather intricate cutting for the piece that formed the threshold of the bathroom door. However, I got that right on the first try and after that everything was pretty much smooth sailing. I also had to lay my floor around the drain pipe in my bathroom which I did by snapping two pieces of flooring together around the pipe.
I have to say that having the entire floor installed has once again completely changed the character of the house. Pretty much everything I’m doing now makes the house look better which is kind of rewarding. I’m also starting to feel like I actually know what I’m doing with all the remaining projects I have to do on the tiny house and that feels amazing.
The thing that really challenged me yesterday was hanging the bathroom door I made a few weeks ago. I have never hung a door before and doing so may have been one of the most complicated things I have done so far on the tiny house other than building my front door. It involved quite a bit of chiseling and drilling out holes and indentations for hinges, doorknobs and a strike plate. I decided to practice all of that drilling and chiseling on a scrap piece of wood before I got started which I am really glad I did because as I was practicing, I made a couple of minor mistakes that I would not have been happy to have made on my actual door. One of those mistakes was drilling the hole for my door latch just a little bit too big which I was happy to be able to correct before drilling the actual hole in my bathroom door.
In addition to all of the drilling and chiseling, I also had to build a doorjamb for the bathroom door and it took several hours to do that. Luckily, the hinges and door knob I bought both came with instructions for how to do all that. However, by the time I had it all done and had the doorjamb and the door in a condition that was ready to install, it was nearly 5:00 PM. That was when I started to get the feeling that maybe I was getting a little bit tired and should probably quit for the night. Unfortunately, I did not listen to that message from the universe. I was too interested in getting my door installed.
On the bright side, the frame that I created fit perfectly within the rough opening I had created for the bathroom. Unfortunately, with the jamb in the opening, the door wouldn’t open and shut. It kept catching on the upper left corner. Had I taken a break and tried to hang my door another day, I might have realized that the reason it wasn’t shutting was because I had not yet securely attached the doorjamb to the rough opening. Unfortunately, I was too tired to notice that and instead made the rather unfortunate and hasty conclusion that I had somehow made my door too big and that to fix it, I would need to take it off its hinges and shave it down by an eighth of an inch. I then proceeded to unnecessarily spend an hour removing the door, shaving an eighth inch off the back edge (throwing off the look of the door a little bit in the process), re-chiseling slots for the hinges and putting everything back together just to discover that I had now succeeded in making my door an eighth of an inch too small. To fix all of that, I then spent the next two hours with Sheila taking the doorjamb apart, adjusting it by an eighth of an inch, putting it back in the rough opening, properly plumbing and shimming everything and then finally screwing the door jamb into place.
After all of that, we were able to hang the door and I am very happy to report that it did finally open and close perfectly. Unfortunately, I found the whole process to be incredibly frustrating and by the time I was done with it all, I was completely wiped out. Even though everything finally came together, I continued to be upset for quite some time afterwards.
I now realize that part of the reason all of a got so upset was because the perfectionist part of me somehow expected that I should be able to hang a door for the very first time without having any problems or making any mistakes. I now see that such thinking was kind of unrealistic and could only really lead to disappointment. Yes, I made a mistake thinking that my door needed to be shaved down and yes, I then spent a couple of hours doing some work I didn’t need to do. However, I also successfully install a door that I build myself inside a door jamb I built myself all for the very first time in my life. I should be happy about my accomplishment and not be beating myself up for making a small mistake or wasting a couple of hours in the process. When I think about it now, I realize I’m actually pretty proud of myself for being able to build and completely install a bathroom door from scratch. I think that’s pretty awesome. How many people can say they can do that?