Among the first handful of post-move-in projects we tackled at the new house (a.k.a. Kirkwood Manor) was to replace the back door.

The house came with a plain wooden slab door on the back with a very large doggy access door thing that had an annoying metallic rattle anytime the door was opened or the wind blew. This door was hinged to open inward from right to left, which required lots of swing space into the breakfast nook off of the kitchen.

Outside of that was a really clunky, painted, wrought-iron & mesh screen door, also with a huge cutout at the bottom for the previous owner’s large dogs. This (to us) hideous screen door had a retro, almost Middle Eastern vibe and, especially with the doggy access, looked bad, bad, bad. This door was hinged to open oppositely – front left to right outwardly. So getting out into the backyard was a convoluted “Get Smart” style maneuver that I could not, would not (yeah, been reading Dr. Seuss) handle.

So, we replaced this mess with a single, full-glass, “French door” style door – with the divided mullion bars inside the double-paned glass. This new door is hinged to swing left to right outwardly so it frees up space in the breakfast nook. And the big expanse of glass also makes the nook feel twice as large.

The new “out swing” door was a special order item at McCoy’s Hardware, but the price really wasn’t that much more than a more traditional, inwardly-opening door and it makes such a huge difference, especially since we’re in & out that door constantly on the weekends.

Here are a couple of shots of the new door as it was nearing completion:

French door (Inside) French door (Outside)

We also did a slight refresh of the pergola covering the patio in the back of the house. Since we anticipated spending lots of time poolside, I wanted to update the appearance and protect the unfinished wood against the elements.

We started with this:

Pergola - Before

…and ended up with this:

Pergola - After