Welcome to Little Red’s Reno! This is where I roll up my sleeves to get handy round the house. My coastal home is a dated 1970s weatherboard that needs a total upgrade.
And what better place to start the reno than with the front door?
The aim was to replace the original faux Victorian door and get rid of the banging brown aluminium screen (my pet hate!)
The aesthetic reason was to upgrade the street appeal and let more light into the living area.
The practical reason was to change the access to a keyless lock. No more worrying about losing the keys at the beach!
MY NEW DOORWAY
To buy a new doorway and have it installed by a door retailer was going to cost more than $3000.
The old door wasn’t my style but was in good nick, so I decided to shop online where I hoped to find a seller who’d be willing to swap, or at least take away the old door.
So I took the measurements to find a similar size, hit the Home & Garden category of Gumtree and came across this beauty! A brand new merbau door, ready to install and be painted.
The seller was Cath (above right), the Gummie for Taree Recycled, who sent me extra pics of the door and different styles of sidelights, so I was assured it was a one-stop shop.
I’d planned to DIY the installation but when I went to pick up the door, umm, couldn’t even lift it. Chris the owner (above left) offered to have one of his carpenters deliver and install (yep, he was the fastest chippie on the block!).
Along with the new 1.2m-wide door and sidelight, the chippie brought spare timber to rebuild the frame.
For $100 I sold the old door and hardware back to Taree Recycled to join the other items they sell on Gumtree. Everyone’s a winner!
MY DESIGNER MAKEOVER
On a recent trip to America I bought some groovy house numbers that remind me of midcentury Palm Springs and inspired the design of my new entrance. Actually I’m going to invoke that retro style for the entire reno!
To install the frame I measured up, started the holes using a drill bit then changed to a driver for the screws. Always helps if you have good tools and this Bosch PSR Ergo Drill is so light it’s easy to use with one hand.
DIY TIP: Don’t skip drilling pilot holes so the screws go in easily and accurately for a perfectly straight install!
I chose orange to pack a punch and painted the front of the house in tradie white to make it feel clean and fresh. This is my fave colour, called Madras by Porter’s Paints.
DIY TIP: Make sure you choose exterior paint with UV protection to prevent fading.
Then I tidied up around the door, installing trim where the frame didn’t quite fit into the wall and painted everything surrounding the door in an exterior matt white.
DIY TIP: Paint the door jamb step in a hardwearing gloss designed for trims.
My twist on Midcentury style
While I was looking for patio furniture on Gumtree to match my door I came across some other great finds.
These planters with established plants came as a pair for $100. I bought them from Penny, who was moving to New Zealand with her Kiwi hubby and, while they were taking most of their other lovely pots, these were just too heavy. Picked up some green-thumb tips too!
It’s nice to be greeted by lots of colour! It turned out that Gummie seller Lucy lived just around the corner and was happy to take $25 for this brand new doormat. She was moving back to the UK with her young family and hadn’t even taken the label off. The original tag says it retails for $69.
I bought the keyless lock ages ago when I started planning the new porch. It retails for $249 but you can buy a similar one for about $150 on Gumtree.
COSTS FOR MY NEW ENTRYWAY
New door, jamb and sidelight with delivery, install and removal of old door
Gumtree $1090 (including $100 for the old door)
Retail $3490 (including door hardware)
One outdoor designer chair
One planter with established plants
Retail about $245
Brand new doormat
Never-been used, new keyless lock