Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sidelights Schmidelights

About that door up there...there's a story. And I think it's a pretty good one. You see, we've been looking for a door to replace our current front door. And this is purely for practicality's sake, because if you've read this blog for any time, you know I'm in love with our front door. Stylistically, anyway. I love that it's an antique oak door with a beveled glass inlay and it lets so much light into our living room. I seriously love it. BUT...that thing not only lets in tons of light; it also tends to let Arctic-like winds whip through our house as well. We can literally scrape thick frost off that window any given winter's day. Even in this picture, you can see we have a towel stuffed in the lock hole. Yeah. How's that for energy efficiency...ha.

When I say "we've been looking" you realize, that we're cheap-o's and don't want to drop a million dollars on a piece of wood (or fiberglass, in this case) that swings on a hinge. So we've been checking out Craigs on a pretty regular basis. We did find a door we liked (Craftsman, like our orange door), but it was above the price range we could afford. Plus, we've learned over the years to just wait. Yes, it's hard sometimes and super annoying, but I'm always amazed that if we're just patient, God brings us pretty much the exact thing that we've been wanting/looking for, at a fraction of the regular price (because, really, who can afford a $2,000 door?) 

And that's precisely why I shop Craigslist, thrift stores and auctions. 

You'd be amazed what you can find if you dig a little. When you think outside the typical box-store "box", there are some pretty sweet deals to be had. 

So there's an auction place near us that auctions off building supply inventory. Contractors dump their extra stuff  here, or "regular" people get rid of that random window, door, or heck...I even saw a Krispy Kreme display case at the auction this time! You just never know what will be there. But if you're looking for really anything house-related, this auction is the place to go. It's the same place where I got our back door. (You can read that fun story here)

So I went to inspect the doors the day before the auction and I saw this Craftsman there.

Cue angels singing 

Obviously it got my attention, since we love that style door. This was exactly what we wanted--another Craftsman. BUT it had sidelights. Two of them. So I walked away sadly and went looking (without any luck) at the other doors. There was nothing as charming as the Craftsman. Dang it. But I decided to go back the next day (auction day) anyway. I was hoping that my dream door would have been dropped off after I left the day before. No luck. So as I was about to leave the auction, I was standing in front of the two-sidelight Craftsman and decided to give our contractor friend a quick call. See, when I originally saw this door, I thought that since it had the sidelights attached, if we tried to remove the sidelights, that it would compromise the structure/energy efficiency of the door. But after that quick call to our friend, he assured me that if each sidelight was framed out individually, he could easily pop those puppies off and install just the 36" wide door to the front of our house no problem. Boom. Done. I was sold. Well...IF the door didn't go for a million dollars, that is.

So after waiting a while for the auctioneer to make his way to "my door," it finally came time to auction it off. It was just me and one other bidder interested. But I was well aware that you only need two bidders and the price could sky rocket before ya know it. Thankfully the other guy wasn't too interested and dropped out after only two bids. I got the door for $100. I was thrilled, to say the least.

So now we're waiting to get it installed. We'll probably have our friend put it in for us. But I'm hoping it gets done soon. It's been chilly in these here parts lately! And I'm cringing not only with cold, but also the thought of our electric bill (we have baseboard heat). 

Let me show ya what I'm thinking. Actually, Mitch was the one to suggest we add something a little different when we install our door--to mix up the look a bit. So we're thinking about doing two panels on either side of the door. They'd resemble sidelights, but since we don't have the room to use sidelights, these would act like dummy sidelights, you know what I mean? It would look like this, minus the glass in the sidelights. ( many times can I use the word "sidelights"?)

See what I mean? So we'd use Azek or something similar around the door (like what we used here under our windows) to make "sidelights." I like the idea of white on the surround with a different colored door (like that black or Dragon's Breath...surprise, surprise)

Like this, but we would keep our existing light that hangs from above

Cute, right? It'd really beef up the look of our front entrance

That's what's brewing in these heads of ours lately. So, what are you guys up to these days? Find any deals lately?? It was funny--I posted that picture of the door on Facebook right after I won the auction asking how much you guys thought I paid for it and the majority of you thought I got it for like $2. I was dying laughing. I may find some deals, but I'm not that good, people! 


  1. Just curious--did you consider widening your door frame (opening?) and keeping the sidelights with the new door? If not, how come? I have no experience with these things, so I'm interested to hear how it goes. Thanks!

    1. Wish we could leave the sidelights on, but there's a wall (the wall of our stairwell) where the left sidelight is. We thought about keeping the right one, but the whole thing wouldn't be centered when looking at our house. So, yeah, we thought through those options for sure. We're hoping to get the same look with adding those faux sidelights and without having to demo anything. Fingers crossed!!

  2. Hi Kat, love this post. Keep us updated on how this goes and your progress. What are faux sidelights? Do they let in natural light? I guess not, huh? I love your door and I currently am on the hunt for a new door too. I NEED more light and while we have sidelights, it doesn't let enough light in so I want a door with windows. I like both your previous door and the one you just purchased. I'm going to start looking on CL. Also, I thought of you the other day b/c I found Have you heard of this? - great online consignment clothes for kids. Have a great weekend!

    1. Faux sidelights would be like those surrounds on the pictures up there, but without windows. We don't have the room to put in normal sidelights but we like the look of them, so they'd be like dummy panels on either side of the door. Know what I mean?

      I've never heard of but I'll have to check it out--thanks!!

  3. Ok that is crazy about frost being on the window of the old door! Bummer because it is an awesome door! But the new one will be just as charming and I love the idea of the faux sidelights. Even though it wasn't $2, $100 is an amazing deal on that door!

  4. Wow! You got yourself a regal-looking door there. It compliments the surroundings well, and is of a nice palette. I bet it's of stern material to withstand the pressures both man-made and the weather. That's all good. Thanks for sharing that! All the best!

    Joyce Roberson @ LockedOut Locksmiths


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