Finishes prep

It's getting down to the wire. Last week I had a talk with the foreman about finish hardware and he asked me to bring the hardware on site. I told him I'd put it in the basement for him.

Exercise room full of hardware

So Noel and I brought over three carloads of light fixtures, door hardware, cabinet hardware, and a few plumbing fixtures, and I arranged them in the exercise room (which seemed most out of the way of the tilers and everybody else) with blue tape marked with room names/numbers coordinated with the plans. Also each piece is marked with the room and where in the room it goes. Because a little over-communication is better than not enough information.

Also, we had a little kerfuffle over the elevator doors. I mentioned this in passing a couple weeks ago and got a lot of "Wait, what?" comments so I guess I never mentioned it before. Basically, I drew the elevator with doors opening in ways that made sense to me, but it turns out that they can't change the direction the doors open. If an elevator has two doors (as ours does: one on the south side and one on the north side), the doors on both sides must be the same swing.

The best way to think of door swing is to imagine standing in the doorway with the hinge side at your back, facing the other jamb of the door. If the leaf of the door opens to your right, it is a right-hand door. If the leaf opens to the left, it is a left-hand door. The elevator had to have right-hand doors on both sides.

So I'd bought hardware for the elevator to have a right hand door on one side and left-hand doors on the other side, and that was not going to work any more. Fortunately, I had not bought all the hardware, so we shuffled things around and it turned out that all I needed to do was only buy right-hand hardware for the remaining doors and we would be OK.

(Handedness in hardware only matters when you are using hardware that is not symmetrical; in our case it only matters for the accessible lever handles we are using in the addition and basement.)

With that in mind, I spent some time going around the addition and basement and marking every door with blue tape and a note about what hardware it needs:

Marking the doors

This way the contractor can do an inventory of the handles we have and let me know if additional handles are needed and what kind.

We have a few types of handles, too. For the laundry closet there is a dummy set (non-operating, for the second leaf of the door that the operating side latches into), and each bedroom has a privacy set, plus the set opening from the bay window bedroom into the elevator is a privacy set so the elevator entrance can be locked off if somebody is sleeping or just in need of privacy in that room.

I have a complex set of feelings about privacy locks. I didn't live in a house with easily locked doors until college, and with good housemates and good boundaries they are basically unnecessary. I mean, we had locks with skeleton type keys in the house I grew up in but we kids didn't have the key and weren't allowed to use it, and anyway the locks were quite old and stiff and locking yourself in could last quite a bit longer than you were expecting if the lock jammed up, so that was something we only tried maybe five or six times (for science!). The sign that a room was occupied was that the door was closed, and you always knocked before opening a closed door. Likewise, you didn't just close a door for no reason: doors stayed open by default unless you needed privacy (if you were using the bathroom, or if you were going to sleep, and not even always then). So I work just fine in a house with no locks, and Noel and I have lived for many years together and with housemates without needing privacy locks.

But it seems like a lot of people don't have any of those boundaries: their way of seeing if there is somebody on the other side of a closed bathroom door is to try the knob and see if it opens which is just SO surprising to me. They can't help it; that's how the system works for them and they just have a hard time adjusting to my system. So because of the people like that in my life, I do like having privacy locks on the bathroom doors. And I've recently started putting them on bedrooms, as well. Not because people go barging into bedrooms in our house on a regular basis, but because for people who grew up with family that just opened doors willy-nilly I've been told that having a functional lock on the bedroom door is very reassuring.

Again, not how my family is, not how we live right now, but when we have people visit us, I can get how it might not feel very reassuring to have a non-locking bedroom door if you constantly expect people to try the door. And it didn't cost enough more to be an issue. We don't have to use the privacy locks. It does feel a little weird to know they are there, but I doubt having locks on the doors will transform us into a bunch of boundary-violating crazies.

Which is a lot of words to say that we put privacy locks on the bedroom doors. The front bedrooms, as in my childhood home, already had locks but mostly non-functional as old locks are, and because we are replacing the hardware on those doors we will now have functioning locks (also on the closets! Because that was how they were done originally for whatever reason; thank your lucky stars you weren't a younger sibling in Victorian times). So we'll be able to not only close doors but lock each other out all over the place.

posted by ayse on 05/11/17