Opening New Doors

Seriously, the cabin has awesome new doors! Check 'em out.

For Christmas this year my parents gifted me two doors from Nana and Pop’s house. They saved them during rennovations that were completed this year. The doors get to live on in this cabin project.

So these aren’t technically new doors. They’re better. These are doors with a history. Below are some before & after photos of the door situation on the cabin, plus a little story about the hijinx that ensued while trying to get them installed.

The Porch Door

Here’s what we were workin’ with before. A smudgey single pane glass door, secured by a padlock on a block of wood and sitting on a rotten, split log. Last summer, I couldn’t even open and close this door more than 8 inches to sneak in and out.

Here’s the new door! It’s a sliding double-paned glass door with an actual handle and lock. It’s sitting on a replaced log so it’s well supported and actually opens.

How can I call this a porch door if there’s no porch? Eventually, there will be a big patio here to watch the sunset. And eventually eventually, a hot tub. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I need water and electricity first.

In that last photo you can also see most of the logs that have been replaced. I’ll be restaining the cabin this year. After that, you won’t be able to tell the difference between new and old logs.

The Front Door

Here’s the old front door. This one never even locked. It was held shut by a piece of scrap metal inside the door. It didn’t really matter because the only thing to steal is a cast iron stove that weighs 800 pounds and a bunch of mouse poop. Behind that outer door was a busted up main door with plywood over the gap where a window used to be. So it was dark in there. Pretty rough.

The new front door was the front door at Nana and Pop’s. It has a glass window in the center, which lets in more light on the North side of the house. It’s hung square and all that’s missing is some steps!

I must add that the only thing making this project possible right now is having my parents living 10 minutes away. They hiked up to the cabin to take these photos for me. I haven’t had a chance to get out there yet this year, but the time is coming soon.

The Situation

This winter, I worked with two contractors to get the logs replaced and the doors installed. This cabin is at the end of a dirt road so getting people there safely in the winter is a bit of an ordeal. I’ve started warning my neighbors that someone is attempting to come up there so they at least have some heads up.

In the case of these doors, I woke up to a call from my neighbor saying that the people installing the doors had slid off the road and came looking for help. To make a long story short, they called their boss, brought in a skid steer and lifted the truck back onto the road. As promised, this door install turned into a whole situation. Contractors are not a very sustainable long-term plan for rennovations.

Opening New Doors, Metaphorically Speaking

Now that I’m able to work remotely and spend more time in New York, this year is going to be a turning point. It opens a new door to the scope of projects I can tackle. I can do much of the work myself and with my family, learning and saving money.

My cabin plans for 2020 were all “pandemic-permitting”, which is why I outsourced a few jobs. I was able to get some stuff done myself, but my plans were purposefully modest.

This year, I already have one trip in May planned out. I’ll be living in New York for July and August and probably the fall. You can read more about my plans for 2021 here. I’ve got some ambitious plans in the workds. If you don’t already, be sure to subscribe to get each update in your inbox. As always, thanks for reading!


Hola! If you’re new here, this is West Bluff Food Forest. I'm fixing up a cabin and building a permaculture orchard and home in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I write about the lessons I'm learning and update you along the way.

I love to hear from you, so please let me know what you think in the comments.

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