Fool for France

Have I shown you this? I am only now getting over it. One night I fell asleep to the sound of raindrops on the roof. Nice to have a sound roof, I thought, and that was that.

Then in the morning I awoke to this. The roof was sound but the doors were not. This was the result, a major leak, the result of no weatherstripping whatsoever. Oh, oops, neither architect nor contractor thought about the doors, not that it would require much thought. One good storm during the two years of construction might have tipped them off, don’t you think?

Okay, okay, I’m getting over this, right? So, no way was I going to ask my contractor to do the weatherstripping. The fact that he wanted to build completely new doors suggested that any such thing would never be right. Besides, I have spent enough time here to realize that with the wind, the rain, the occasional freeze, wood is not the best solution for an exterior surface. Plus, I wanted new doors now, not a zillion years in the future.

Google to the rescue. I found the amazing maitres ouvriers, master builders to the likes of you and me, Reignoux Creations. They do metalwork that is appropriate for historic buildings. I’m sure I’ve written about them before. Anyway, I drove out to their place and saw the workshop. I looked through a catalogue and selected a pattern, which I tweaked. They sent a design drawing, which I approved, and we set an installation date. Right on schedule — that in itself is a nice change — the guys showed up. They ripped out the old doors — and they’ll none of them be missed — and put in new ones. When they were finished, there was just the slightest scratch to the paint which, if I provide a can of my crazy fussy Little Greene paint, they will repair for me.

The cash is not flowing, unfortunately, so I’ll have to save up to do every single door but I can assure you, every single door is on the “to do” list. Here is the door in the kitchen. On the right, through the window, you can see the new marquise, or is it marquis, that shelters the utility room door. More on that later.

9 Replies to “New Doors!”

  1. Lynn

    Amazing – especially the part about them showing up on time and completing the work Ibn a timely manner.

    Love the new doors


    Gerard Nussbaum


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. I stressed about getting rid of the originals but that little flood helped me get over it. I’m told the originals were pretty upscale for 1860 but to be honest, I don’t think they’re “original” originals. That metalwork always looked pretty post-WWII to me.


  2. They sound wonderful! Isn’t great to work with real master craftsmen who know their stuff?! We’ve been mostly very lucky on that front, but everybody has tales of woe about disagreable craftsmen who won’t listen and won’t turn up when you want them. Our worst experience was with our kitchen cabinets, which we fairly quickly had completely reinstalled by someone else. Where possible we haunted the workshops of our artisans, and photographed and videoed them. They loved it! We gave them memory cards with the photos and videos for them to show their families and they were touchingly grateful. ‘Our families never get to see what we do’ was the comment from one of the foremen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great story. My guys are camera-shy. I do have a few photos with live humans, but mostly with their backs turned, etc. The guy who built my windows won’t even let me visit his workshop, much less bring a camera. It’s too bad. Showing the work being done adds a lot to the story. In my case it’s less what we did as it is where all that money went. This place has supported a few families.


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