Tag Archives: DIY

Fixing My KitchenAid Mixer.


I have allergies of all sorts and my husband is supposed to be on a no added salt diet. This means most processed food is unsafe for us. I make almost everything from scratch to accommodate this. Over the years I have found that doing it all from scratch means better quality at a lower cost, often much lower. There is the time factor, of course, but being retired, I have time. My husband bought me this KitchenAid when he found it on sale many years ago. We paid $399 at the time. I have worked it plenty hard since and purchased most of the attachments that go with it. The hardest chore is kneading my homemade breads which I make weekly. Thus, I was heartbroken when the planetary stopped spinning. It felt almost like an old friend was dead.

Rather than simply toss the machine and run out and buy a new one, I decided to try to fix it. I was delighted to find a number of excellent videos on youtube that explain how to do it. I followed the instructions and took it all apart. After some wiping away of black grease and inspecting everything, I exposed a gear that was obviously stripped. Following the instructions on line, I ordered a new gear and the grease required to repack the mechanism. I had such a ghastly time with my first ever encounter with a retaining ring that I almost gave up and had a good cry. I was finally able to get it off with two carpentry hooks.


One of my dear friends once told me when you need a tool, buy it. That way, over time, you’ll build up a nicely equipped shop and be able to do more and more. Following his advice I also ordered the special pliers required to deal with retaining ring on the planetary shaft. The hardest part of taking it apart, after struggling with that retaining ring, was wiping away as much of the old black grease as possible. The gear that got stripped had many bits broken off. These little metal bits were embedded in the grease and some of them were sharp. Fortunately, all the other gears looked fine. I went through an entire box of tissues wiping out cruddy old black grease.


I ordered the part from Amazon and after about three weeks of doing without my wonderful KitchenAid, the parts arrived. I then carefully followed the directions in the videos and put the thing back together with the new part and the new grease. I was relieved that the new grease was clean and white and washed off with wiping, and soap and water. Because it was clear/white it didn’t make much mess even though I ended up smearing it everywhere. I had some issues getting the gears to mesh properly but, with some fiddling and few crude words not be used in front of the grandchildren, eventually it worked. That part was not as easy as the video showed. I also discovered, once again, a job is much easier with the proper tool. It was ridiculously easy to get that retaining ring back in place with the special pliers. Finally, I tested the machine, except for the cover, and it spun perfectly with that old familiar hum.


Hubby dearest helped me finish up the process. That decorative metal ring around the outside is a three hand job. He finished off the job with me by helping me clean up and he presented me with a case he had to keep all the parts of my newest tool together. My total cost was $49.86 Canadian plus taxes. The new gear was the most expensive part at $24.20. Since I have half a can of grease left I can take $10 off that. I have already used the grease on some other stuff like a super squeaky door. I did not get all new gears. If I had replaced all the new gears, it would have come to half of the cost a whole new machine. According to one video, the machine is designed so one gear goes before the rest precisely so you don’t have to redo everything.

I am very proud of myself. Replacing my machine would have cost me $500-$700 at today’s prices. Many manufacturers deliberately create circumstances so you can’t fix your machine yourself. They do their best to force you throw out the old one at the first sign of trouble and buy a new one. I was delighted to find the KitchenAid people are not among them. My wonderful durable user friendly machine is back in good working order. What’s more, I now know if it dies again, I can probably fix it myself. Today was a good day.

Choose Joy


My Panty is Finished! Update #3


I couldn’t be happier with how this has worked out. I just have to say thank you again for a brilliant idea to these folks. Their idea allowed me to use an empty space driving me crazy in a tiny (480sqm) house where empty space is worse than a waste. Now if you have been following along you’ll have seen how I started the project and a progress report when things got really going. I am actually using the space now as designed and I only have a few minor additions to finish it.

We live in a rural area with a 250km drive to a big city with all those discount shopping places and access to bulk stuff. My little pantry has solved many issues for me. I designed the shelves to be short and shallow for stuff I need to access often and that I need to keep track of as far as quantities go. I can now tell at a glance exactly how much I have of things like my rice crackers. I also had no broom closet before so I designed one into the pantry space and it sure is nice to get the vacuum out of my husband’s workspace.

So what is left? I intend to install a grow light on the empty shelf with the removable shelf space and start seedlings in this spring. I plan have a go at growing some greens and sprouts in the meantime. The trap door needs another coat of paint and maybe a layer of some kind of flooring. Stick on tiles might work well. I haven’t decided on that yet. I was going to put in a pneumatic hinge lift but the door is so light and easy to move I’m not sure I should be bother. That might be more nuisance than it’s worth.


The absolute worst part of this was painting it. The space is so narrow it was impossible to paint both sides at once. Also all those shelves and supports had to be done with a brush and it was painstakingly slow. The painting took a lot longer than the carpentry and was a lot less satisfying. Fortunately Hubby Dearest doesn’t mind painting and he did several hours of it for me.

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I have only one regret. This was supposed to be my winter project and it’s only November. Hm….maybe I could do something with that disorganized disaster that passes for my work bench in the basement.

Butler Pantry Update – 2

My butler pantry is turning out to be a major project pushing the limits of my carpentry skills but I am having such a blast! Once I got the trap door in, I spent a long time surveying the space and trying to figure out the best use for the planned shelving. I have several specific needs. One I need a place to put a variety of kitchen items that I use rarely but need to keep. This includes things like my husband’s juicer he uses to make fresh apple juice each fall from our apple trees and my lovely big red turkey roaster pan I use two or three times a year. There are quite a few of such things floating about in a disorganized mess on shelves in the basement. I decided on wide shelves around the top that I need a step stool to access but given how rarely I do need them will be fine.

My second need is for more pantry space. Because we live in the country, it is a long way to any grocery store so trips to town are trips to provision and I hardly ever buy just one of anything. I also am a die hard clearance bin and sale shopper. For example on yesterday’s doctor appointment trip I found brown rice flour at half price and I bought all five small bags. Things tend to get buried on our basement shelving. I need a whole range of sizes of shelves so I can see at a glance what I have lots of and what I am getting short on when I look at flyers and plan my shopping trips. I have planned lots of narrow shelves for holding cans and boxes and bottles.

The third need is for a place to store my vacuum and some assorted cleaning aids. They have no specific spot right now. They kind of get shoved into whatever spot they fit and then get tripped over. This is especially true for the vacuum which currently resides in front of my husband’s lab desk. I need to have designated a broom closet space.

My fourth need is a place to hang my indoor light for starting seedlings each spring. The basement is too cold and the space I used last season is now occupied by my husband’s indoor pond scum growing area. The space required is long and narrow. I will need to be able to have space to raise and lower the light. However since it will only be used a few weeks out of the year, I decided to put in a floating shelf so I can use the space the rest of the year for something else. This also means I need a plug. Fortunately the wiring we put in for a second set of outdoor plugs is right nearby so it was trivial to run a wire down through the floor and our family electrician will connect it with a junction box.


With all those needs in mind I went on a careful measuring binge. I used a level and pencil to mark all the shelf lines I want and then measured again and again and adjusted. One thing I have to do is make sure there is no obstruction to movement up and down into the basement. The closer to the upstairs door, the higher the lowest shelf must go. I also used a nifty on line tool called a sagulator to plan supports and their placements. The result is a mess of lines and notes and crossed out lines where I adjusted the plan. Given all my storage and organizing needs, the space seems to get smaller and smaller. I do have a good plan though.

This also made me realize that I am going to need to put in some lighting so I can see. When the trap door is down and there is no daylight. that space is really dark. This led to a pause in the shelf construction to run wiring for a light. That is when I discovered that the farmer who added the the wall between the stair and the bathroom decided to do so using 2X4s and laying them flat to save space before putting on a 1/2 inch plywood layer on both sides. Very sturdy, of course, but that left me with the need to run wiring through the longer width of the 2X4. This turned what should have been a two cuss job into a seven or eight cuss job but it is done. The result (also waiting for the family electrician to do the final wiring) is in and looks very nice. I’ll be even happier when it has power!


And I got myself another new tool. It is a fun little thing I saw on a youtube video called a “jig” it makes nifty little sideways holes which look much nicer and work much better for inserting screws sideways. It was extremely confusing to use at first because the directions made no sense to me. However I followed them faithfully step by step and it worked like magic on my very first try. I got a fine hole and used it. Such fun!

The final space is actually starting to look like a real pantry. I tried my vacuum and it sits perfectly in the new space I made for it. I even have one high shelf in place and it is now in use for storing my electric cord. I have a long way to go before the pantry is done but I am beginning to see some real results. I’m looking forward to getting a lot of stuff in my basement off the floor and some walking space and organization created. I must say though, I would not want to make my living doing this stuff. No one would hire me at an hourly wage and if I did it as a contractor I’d starve to death. I don’t move fast.


Magic Garage Door Opener.

I did it! I am so proud. I researched and bought my very own automatic garage door opener with a battery back up. We needed one because I want to keep my truck in the garage in winter. Plus I was worried about getting the truck out in an emergency because it takes two people to do it. I also wanted a battery back up because out in our community power loss is fairly common. I picked the Chamberlain one because all the parts for it are readily available on Amazon and it has good reviews including a consumer report report. I picked a 1 3/4 horse power with battery back up because this old garage door is so heavy. I ended up actually buying the unit from Canadian Tire because their regular price is cheaper than Amazon and as a bonus it was on sale even cheaper.


I had to make modified ceiling supports for my opener. Here I am drilling the holes before screwing one brace into place.

It wasn’t even very hard to do!

Chamberlain gave me a very detailed manual and all I had to do was carefully follow all instructions step by step as written. Admittedly, I had to go back and redo a few things where I didn’t read properly but it did finally all work. My personal tip is make sure you have the teeny tiny little master link joiner things for the track on correctly and make sure the floor is perfectly clean under your work area. If you do it wrong, the track opens at the master link and throws the three teeny tiny linker bit parts everywhere. Its really hard to find them on the floor even when it is clean and swept first. I also ordered an extra set from Amazon, just in case. Also make sure you know exactly what each part is for before you start. Everything is in the box for a reason. Make sure you know the reason before you start and it will go faster.


Here I have attached the opener to the door and I am preparing to install the braces.

A friend of mine gave me a wonderful tip a few years ago. He said if you need a tool for a project, buy it. You will slowly accumulate tools over time with little extra expense. He was so right! For this project I needed many of my tools, like the skill saw, the variable speed drill, my two step ladders and my fancy socket set. For the garage door opener I got myself a reciprocating saw with a metal blade to cut the metal braces to fit. I have wanted one of those reciprocating saws forever.


And my friend and neighbour came to inspect. (And return a nonvariable but more powerful drill of mine she borrowed.) The garage door opener worked correctly for the first time in her presence. She is my good luck charm.

(No company has ever given me any money or benefits from blogging about their products.)

My Lovely Fresh Air Intake.

In the north, we seal up our homes to stop cold drafts and save money on heating. All our windows and doors are tight with gaskets and levers designed to make them as impervious as it is possible to be in the cold north wind when the temperatures drop to -40C  (-40F). One of the unfortunate consequences of our eternal quest to keep out the cold is the air in the house gets stale. I suppose we could just open a window when it does, but then you have the cold draft, you have to recall when to open and when to close. Canadians generally get around this nuisance by installing a fresh air intake from the outside into our furnace intake.

After we got all the new windows installed, I noticed three new problems.

1) My allergies acted up when the house was closed. I am especially allergic to house dust and dust mites. While I am not allergic to my cat and dog, they certainly contribute to the dust in the place.

2) Our new windows were constantly wet with condensation whenever the house was closed up. Even with a dehumidifier running, the windows got so wet they just dripped and I was left with puddles to mop up on the window sills. When it got really cold, the neighbours watching our house complained of ice build up on our screen doors.

3) When we went to bed, I could often smell a funny sooty odour, an old soot smell, which would immediately go away if I opened the bedroom window a crack. We were creating a negative pressure situation in our tiny house and air was coming in where it could, including down the old wood stove chimney.

And then there was the radon issue. We bought one of those radon kits from Amazon to test our tiny house. The kits are really easy to do. You order the inexpensive little kit, put the detector in a main floor bedroom and leave it for a few months. You ship it off to the manufacture and about a month later you get a report back. Our little house came back at 176 becquerels per cubic metre. By Canadian standards anything under 200 is considered safe and about 200 you should consider minor mitigation and above 500 is serious business and you should move out until it is fixed. The best way to increase your radon is to have your house in a negative pressure situation. The radon gas gets sucked in. If you house doesn’t get into a negative pressure state, the radon mostly stays in the ground where it belongs. Now technically 176 becquerels per cubic metre is “safe” but there really is no safe minimum when it comes to radon. Less is always better. Another reason to be concerned about that soot smell.

It’s September now, and necessary to keep the house closed up at night because the temperatures are dropping to near freezing. We are not yet using the furnace because the house holds enough heat from the daytime and from cooking to be warm overnight. We started having that nasty musty smell and the soot smell return overnight and the windows were wet each morning with condensation.

Last fall, we had a furnace guy come in to add ducts so some heat went into the basement. He pointed out we had no fresh air intake and he said it would make the air stale and cause our windows to fog up. He offered to add one for us for $850. We were about to head south for the winter so we said we’d get back to him in the spring. We left a bunch of messages and he never called back. His company had a big contract installing new houses on a nearby reserve and he was too busy with that to accommodate us. (This is common in a rural setting.)

In the meantime, I was busy researching fresh air intakes. Most of the pages about fresh air intakes are about selling you a particular type but I did learn how they function. The majority of them work by having little electric fans that kick in when the furnace goes on. They have a filter inside and flaps and such, many that need maintenance. Because our house is so very small, we needed something that would work when I ran the kitchen fan or the bathroom fan even if the furnace did not come on. Running the bathroom fan is enough to create that negative air pressure. There are barometric additions to the fancier fresh air intake that keep the air pressure even no matter what. They were more expensive, much more. We also use electric heat and we don’t have a central air conditioner so a lot of stuff about code just does not even apply. While we don’t have a wood stove hooked up due to insurance issues, we do want to be able to hook it up again and use it if we were to have one of those infamous multiday blizzards with a prolonged power outage that are a once every ten year event out here in the boonies. We will really need a passive system if such a blizzard happens.

During my search, I found a relatively cheap made in Canada solution. It was ingeniously simple in design and struck me right away as so very sensible. The company is called Plusaire. It’s not the right system for all houses. It does not have a heat recovery capacity. Therefore, it does slightly increase heating costs. Because of that, in our insane drive to decarbonize the planet, that means it does not meet “code” in Ontario. I calculated how much time it would require to pay off the incredibly expensive 100% heat recovery units out there versus the increased heating cost this little lovely would likely cost me. I should live so long! The Plusaire unit needs no maintenance, filters, has almost no moving parts and there’s nothing to break down. We heat with “green” hydro electric power and I don’t believe in this whole decarbonization nonsense in any case. I decided screw the Ontario code. I don’t live in Ontario and this unit suits our needs and our lifestyle in our 480 square foot (not up to code but grandfathered in) house perfectly. I ordered it. Your  mileage may vary.


Work in progress connecting our Plusaire fresh air intake. (That was not the final placement of the ducting.)

Installation was actually easy. The unit came with an installation kit and instructions. I was able to install it myself after a few questions for another furnace guy who was also too busy to do the install but happy to share advice over a beer I bought him while we had a game of pool. (He won, barely. This is another way things often work in a small town.) I bought and learned to use tin snips. I read up on how to properly use the flexible ducts the unit came with. I broke the task into five steps. 1) Cut a hole through the wall of the house to install the outside intake. (Hubby dearest assisted.) 2) Mount the unit. (Hubby dearest provided some superior male intellect for me because I am just not strong enough to hold up the box and put in the screws.)  3) Install the big connector to the intake vent. 4) Install the little connector to the warm air output vent. 5) Tighten up all the flexible duct work, make sure there are no kinks and sags, put in supports, cut off excess in the flexible duct work, and use the provided roll of aluminum tape on all the places the directions said to. By spreading it all out over five days, it wasn’t quite so daunting. It’s a good thing I don’t try to get paid by the hour because I spent about three hours each day, mostly contemplating the best way to do it and double checking the instructions and rereading on line blogs. I will need to fiddle with the damper as the seasons change. I wrote the details of that right on the metal box in permanent felt pen just in case I lose the paper with the instructions.

After the first day when fresh air was now coming into the basement, I noticed an immediate improvement in the smell down there. The musty odour I was accustomed to was gone. After I got the connection made to the furnace intake, the freshness went through the entire house even with the duct work still sagging and kinked. We no longer need to leave the bedroom window open a crack overnight to keep the soot smell (and the radon) away. And best of all, our problem with the dehumidifier running constantly and still waking up to find the windows and the screen doors fogged up is gone, completely gone. Will this continue through to -40C when the furnace runs a lot? We’ll see. Will we lose so much heat with this passive system without heat recovery that we decide not to keep using it? Maybe. We’ll find out soon enough. Because when you live in Manitoba…

EPISODE 16: WINTER IS COMING | The Rambling Ramblers

Installing a ceiling fan.

This is another older draft post from 2015 I didn’t finish that I am finally getting around to posting.

I have always loved ceiling fans because I find their slow movement relaxing and I like how they distribute the air and prevent hot and cold spots. When we saw a small ceiling fan, still in the box, donated old stock up for sale in the Renuzit store for $65 I simply could not resist. Installing it would be a royal pain, I knew that. Even so I wanted it.


In the past I have always hired an electrician to it. That was inevitably a multicuss job for them and more than once I had to have them back in because it did not work properly. I decided to give a shot myself. I have learned a lot more about electrical work since the last time I had a fan installed.

Projects like this are best handled with a lot more time spent planning than doing. I think that’s the biggest mistake I made in my early days of Doing It Myself. I’d just start and find myself missing tools, having to take things apart and put them back together again and often stuff just did not go. Since then I have learned that planning is the most important of doing.

Mount the bracket - Install Ceiling Fan

I started with with you tube videos on the topic and a video from The Home Depot. I love it when people put up clear easy to follow do it yourself videos. After watching three or four I felt this was indeed a doable job.   You put all the parts together, connect all the wires correctly and then it goes. Next step was to read the manual. I find I have to read the manual through carefully about three times checking my understanding as I go. Certain things stand out and stick with each reading. Even after that I have to consult the manual on each step along the way. Also inevitable is that you hit snags and have questions come up as you do.

My first problem was the manual clearly specifies you need to have a proper outlet box designed specifically for a ceiling fan. It must be able to hold 35 pounds of weight. (My fan is a small one. Most of them are a lot heavier than that and many are very heavy. Now the question is do I use the old outlet box or tear it out and buy a new one and instal that? After much more research on line I discovered that the old fashioned outlet steel outlet box I have is rated for 50 pounds of weight assuming it is properly installed. I also discovered this old fashioned steel box was installed by first building a wooden box of two by fours around two sides and fitting them into the corner of the joist further increasing its capacity. This gives a four sided box. This is the old fashioned way of doing things.

The new plastic boxes don’t require all that effort to install. But the new plastic boxes cannot be used for more than 7 pounds of weight. So the old fashioned way would seem to be the right way for when, some 40 years later, someone comes along to retrofit something. Everything in this old house was done right and done with love and attention to detail. The very well installed steel outlet box is just one of many examples I have come across. These old houses were built to last, often by the people who would live in them or their neighbours who would be around to complain to if the job was done wrong. So things tended to be done right. Nowadays a stranger arrives, slaps together a whole development and sells off the houses and vanishes. No one thinks about retrofitting or what will happen 40+ years later.

Permits and regulations | City of Vancouver

I digress. Having established that the old steel box can hold the fan with about 15 pounds or a 30% safety margin I began. Ceiling fans have a safety cable you attach that the whole unit can hang from. This allows two things. First you can don’t have to have someone standing and holding the dang thing while you connect wires. Second you have something so if the whole thing does give the fan shouldn’t hit the floor. So my first job after getting the old outlet cover off was to put in a special screw for the purpose of hanging the fan by the back up cable. (Not all fans have it. Some have a cup the fan sits in instead as in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVL4FdMyCfo)


Next following the directions, I got the motor part hung. There is an upper housing that is just decorative that hides all the wires and such from view. Connecting the wire meant another pause to check on line. You see, my house has some old style thick copper wiring with red being the hot wire and black being the neutral wires and the ground is bare and attached to the steel box. All the wiring arrives on site in a long steel encased conduit. In the wiring diagram for connecting the fan that came with the manual, black is the “hot” one and it is for the fan motor, white is neutral. There is also a blue wire for the lights. There were three possible configurations for the switch. One can have an on off switch for the fan, a separate light switch and a dimmer with that. (Hence all the wires.) However the simplest of the three diagrams is to join the light and motor fan hot wires (black and blue) to the hot wire from the house (red) and just have power off and on and adjust the light and motor using the manual switches at the motor. Since doing it any other way would involve tearing up walls to reinstall all the wiring, we are going with the simplest configuration.

Connecting the wire has to be done properly. I learned from reconnecting my solar panels and my macerator pump. If the connection isn’t right you get trouble. The worst trouble is with the loose connection that lets some power in but makes the electricity have to jump over a space. That leads to heat and that leads to fire. I made  a poor connection while extending the wires on my macerator a few years ago. In rewiring my macerator I created a “hot spot” and while I did not burn myself, I sure gave myself a real scare when I was handling the wire and it was hot. The plastic electrical was partially melted. Because of that scare I had previously researched about the connecting wires. My preference is twist nuts. I used them for connecting lights and fans in outlet boxes and I had the correct sizes and types. When connected properly the nuts are solid if you give them a yank and all the wires are buried in deep with no bare wire showing.

Once the main housing was in the rest was easy. I added the fins and the light shades and then we were done. It worked! Three years later we are still enjoying the benefits of a lovely ceiling fan that keep the air moving. In a small house stale air is a constant issue so the little fan is lovely to have.

New Storm Doors

In our continuing effort to make our little house on the prairie into a snug warm place for us in winter and a cool welcoming place is summer we recently installed two new storm doors. Inner doors are always solid and often steel with insulation to keep out the cold winter. The storm door is the outer door that faces the elements.


Old screen door that was falling apart due to water seeping into the underlying particle board, freezing and expanding in the winter. Some of the plastic parts also broke in the cold as harsh prairie temperatures makes many plastics brittle.

We call them screen doors because they include screens so that in summer you can leave the heavy protective inner door open and let the breeze through the house while keeping insects out. We also call them storm doors because another function is to keep the wind during winter from hitting the inner door. This dramatically increases the insulation value of the inner door. For those of you from southern climates a screen door is normally a light flimsy thing, often made with pretty wood work and scrolls. Such a door would never make it through our cold winters. Snow would get in behind the screen and pile up and prevent the door from opening or closing properly. The wood would freeze and swell. Particle board is commonly used in construction of outer doors but it just can’t take our winters. Water gets in and freezes and expands and turns particle board into fragile misshapen crummy stuff in short order. The weight of snow can also break flimsy doors. Storm doors need to be sturdy and made from materials impervious to extreme cold, extreme heat and both wet and dry conditions.

I wanted was something with as much openness are possible to let lots of light and air in. When we were in the south we were drawn to the pretty white screen doors with decorative scroll work and lots of openness. I also liked the feel of the security doors we saw all over during a trip to Mexico. These doors open the whole doorway while providing security.


Both doors are entirely impractical for our harsh climate but I was pleasantly surprised to find a perfect storm door for my tastes. It was light and open for summer with windows the entire length and a drop down screen. It was made in Canada with no flimsy particle board to get wet and fall apart. These doors were aluminum and steel and tempered glass construction perfect for our harsh Canadian climate.


The doors are made by AluminArt. One of the nice things about their doors is they have a wonderful warranty. If you mess up on the installation they will repair or replace the door or the part. That made it even more attractive. We haven’t installed a storm door before so we that helped us to decide. One thing I really liked was the dual closure system. There are pump closers on top and bottom. This makes the door quiet and yet feels so secure. You can’t slam this door. They came with underside door sweepers so that there is a nice flap to keep the wind out on the underside where the door meets the house. In addition there is a nice steel kick plate to protect the bottom of the white painted aluminum. I added my own additional layer of weather stripping and we rescued the chain back up from the old doors.


We found these doors when we were out looking for flooring. We didn’t buy them right away. Our lack of unlimited wealth means we have to stick to a budget. The budget meant the doors would have to wait. It was a good thing we did wait. After we had finished the flooring, we were in the same store to pick up some hinges and we went to admire our future doors again. We found out they where on sale for 20% off. It was also no tax days. Good and Services Tax (7%) and Provincial Sales Tax (8%) always add a substantial chunk to any purchase. This “no tax day” sale saved us a total of 35%. There’s budgets and then there are time to break out the credit card and go for it. This was one of those times.


With the screen down half the door is screen.

Installing the doors went more smoothly than I expected. I watched a couple of videos on youtube first and then I carefully read the detailed Aluminart instructions.  I was fortunate in that in spite of the poor quality of the preexisting doors, the previous owner had done a great job of installing them. Everything was all square, plomb and right. We simply had to remove the old hardware and supports and put the new ones in their place. It was not hard work. It was just tedious and demanded attention to detail. I took out a lot of screws and and put a lot of screws back in. Up down, in out, lots of drilling, lots of muscle. It took me about 12 hours to get the entire thing done. If I made my living that way I expect I could get it down to two hours per door. I sincerely hope I never have to!


Door had dual latches so even though our dog knows how to open the upper latch she can’t open the lower one.

With the doors open we can see out to both our decks and have a lovely view of our yard. We were delighted how much more light the house has in it now.


Our dog and cat seem to really like the doors. They can see out anytime they want to.

One more step to making our little house our perfectly lovely home. I still need to do some painting around the disturbed trim. I have some touchups to do. I have the stuff…. well do you ever get everything right in a house?

No one associated with Aluminart or the retail store I purchased these doors from gave me anything of any sort for saying these nice things about the doors in my blog.