DIY Savings: Big Beautiful Doors

I was in New Zealand a week or so ago sorting out the electrical wiring issue at our rental place. I saw these beautiful doors that I had installed (ahem, yes that was me. Picture above) and it reminded me why I like doors, especially big ones. That sounds strange. Let me explain.

In our second house, we had a large lounge and bedroom on the lower level that was accessed by a really strange u-turn hallway through a concrete cave with open access to the under house (both unnecessary and creepy). We planned to relocate the entrance and divide the space to gain an extra bedroom. This would leave us with two bedrooms separated by a small lounge. It would help to increase the rent we would get for the house. To make the new bedroom, we could have put up a permanent wall with a small door, but I thought that we could make the space into a multipurpose area. We found some sliding doors on a track that could be pushed back or taken down to turn it back into a large lounge. I wanted it to be multipurpose and it seemed to work.

After that success in dividing the space, I was inspired when we bought a place to flip. It was a small one bedroom house with an L shaped lounge. I decided to put sliding doors in to be able to make an extra bedroom. I had a handyman friend install them. It made the bedroom and lounge both small, but I thought it would have to add value to the property. We had real estate agents come through to give a valuation. They said that they could not call it a bedroom because it didn't have a wardrobe (picky picky). Also because the doors opened up to the lounge they were reluctant to call it a bedroom. It might have been better to put in a wall for that situation.

You might have thought this would have discouraged me from big doors, but no. In 2015, I decided I wanted to divide a large L shaped lounge into a lounge and multipurpose room. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted. I saw some doors that looked like they would have been a good fit, but missed out on the auction (somebody else got em). A few days later there was an offer on the same doors for $180. I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but for $180 I thought it was worth the risk. What am saying? There was no risk, I could have resold the doors if they didn't fit. I managed somehow to fit the large doors into my small van.

I took on the task of installing these beauties. Having never installed doors before I turned to trusty Google for the answers. I read somewhere that it can be one of the most difficult building projects to do. I was a little bit hesitant to try, but thoughts about saving money made the fear disappear. After some careful measurements and lots of guesstimates, I finally lifted the doors up to put them in place. I am not sure if it was luck or my exceptional skills (I'm going with skills), but the doors fit in place perfectly. When I say perfectly, I mean there was no room for any error and if the frame had been out by a fraction they wouldn't have fit. They turned out to be perfect for the intended space. They are big beautiful cedar doors with glass and they look like they have always been there. Now the area has a good sized lounge and a multi-purpose room which can be used as a bedroom. We raised the rent from $2000 per month to $2300 per month. The total cost to install them was around $300. So, it was definitely worth putting in those doors.

Spurred on by my success I managed to get some similar doors for the downstairs one bedroom flat. The doors were smaller, but again a perfect size for the the small area. This could have been a bad decision as the space was small, like with the house we flipped. But, I decided to give it a go as rents had increased quite a bit. The doors were a little more expensive than the beautiful cedar ones, so I was reluctant. But I decided if I waited to get the deal of the century then I will lose a time opportunity and it would cost more. After installation of the doors, a bit of maintenance, painting etc, we raised the rent from $1000 per month to $1500 per month. Can I get an Amen! So, you can see why I like big doors.