The Dog Days of August howl with pain when a beautiful clear fir vintage solid wood door
arrives in the shop seriously crippled by an encounter of the unpleasant kind!

A real good old timey Legacy Entry Door should not suffer such indignity!

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! O how hast this most grievous wound come to pass?

Fortunately Habitat for Humanity provides a perfect replacement salvage panel to transplant
into the damaged heritage door with complete recovery anticipated and followed by many more
decades of useful service in the dwelling of origin for this most hearty and faithful relic
of times past.

The world made whole again. Whew!

For other door repair adventures




TJ Kattermann-One man repairs and home improvements in Raleigh’s Glenwood South and the metropolitan area.

(919) 834-4833




Something I do not see very often- a commercial metal door jamb 1 full inch out of square!

The strange part?

This door jamb has been misaligned from the date of original installation
some 30 years ago and has worked more or less satisfactorily since the air seal
was not important to overall function.

Recently, however, with age, the door sagged just enough to mill a scrape
mark on the aluminum threshold and bind so to open and close the active door
without effort was a problem.

My assignment was to adjust the door back to original operational specifications
WITHOUT resetting the entire jamb.

Easily accomplished with a few shims.

Now the door works as just as it did when first installed with the lock bolt and
latch properly aligned and the threshold unmolested by door sag.

But the jamb is STILL 1 inch out of square!

I can economically fix what is broken, but not always repair everything that is wrong!


Commercial Openings! The place to go when you absolutely, positively
have to get the right answer!

Back in the good ole days, maybe the Pleistocene, I disremember eggxactly
when, my purchases were usually conducted at the Commercial Openings City
Counter which was run at time by THE TWO MIKES. ( MIKE #1 is still there
and can explain this if there are any questions.)

But, to my story. One day at the City Counter I bemoaned the fact only
old timers (yes, even back then there were old timers) knew the difference
between a right hand door and a right hand reverse door.

Not only that, but a shocking number of Construction Superintendents were
among those who could not make the distinction. This could be a critical
detail if a fella was expected to outfit their new facility with points
of ingress and egress complete with matching hardware.

Apparently my situation was not unique because MIKE #1 reached into
his desk drawer and pulled out a stack of wallet sized laminated
cards and told me:

“Don’t bother to try and explain it, just let them study one of
these cards and if they can’t figure it out then just do what you have
to do to get the right door setup.”

The cards worked! No longer was the burden on me to explain the
simplicities of right and left hand doors. With the authority of an
official Commercial Openings Laminated Wallet Card to back my assertions
I could more easily navigate the confusion and complexities of a
1990’s era jobsite!

Thank you Commercial Openings!

Hidden Termite Trails behind 50 year old door casing

Hidden Termite Trails behind 50 year old door casing

To paraphrase the famous philosopher Forest Gump, “Repair work is like a box of chocolates.
You never know what you’re gonna get.”

People ask me what is required to fix this or install that or finish the other thing.

My short answer is usually “I do not know”.

And the reason for uncertainty is the surprise that lurks just behind a board or
covered by siding or underneath a threshold –usually in the form of critter
damage or sometimes just ordinary dry rot or water damage.

Each repair is unique unto itself.

Twice have I waxed eloquent about Carpenter Bees.


Today’s picture reveals a slightly different problem — Termites!

A routine storm door installation became something of a major discovery in terms of
possible (expensive) pest control and abatement.

For first time in maybe fifty years, someone (me) pulled the trim casing off this
door frame and what to my wondering eyes appeared but a significant number of
termite tunnels.

Naturally the desired outcome for a “simple job” this is NOT.

Unfortunately howsomeever, such aggravations WILL frequently occur with houses old or new.

Such is the way of all repairs.

Normally, replacement sliding glass patio doors can be something of a challenge to install.
This particular opening was a full 8 feet wide and the doors almost exactly 4 feet wide.
(Allowances for track and hardware made them somewhat smaller.) However, in this case
one set of double hinge doors and one single door filled the opening almost perfectly.
There was no need for special order oversize glass panel doors or any custom trim
work. This solution may not work everywhere, but it certainly worked in this instance.