Until, of course, I noticed a few days ago that I large chunk of wood had fallen off where the two doors meet. Leaving a big gaping hole for snow, mice, general cold air, etc. Guess I’m going to have to take care of it this fall, which is going to be tough, since I need warm-ish air to repaint new doors.
Well, I looked into a couple of options — there are a couple of manufacturers that make a modern equivalent of those old fashioned cellar doors. One, Bilco, is sold at Lowes, Fleet Farm, and my local hardware store. They make a polyurethane version in one size (of course, not the right size for my opening), and some steel, weatherproofed doors that come in a variety of sizes and are fairly customizable. Unfortunately, though, the doors themselves cost about $600, and I would need two “extension plates” that go on the right and left of the doors, which cost $72 each. This is turning into a $750 operation, without taking installation into account.
The other option: rebuilding the wooden doors. We estimated that this would be a lot cheaper, probably only $100-$200 for wood, hardware, foam insulation, etc. They could even last as long as the steel door. My wonderfully handy boyfriend offered to build some new basement doors for me (or install the steel ones), which helps me out a LOT. I think it’s looking like we’ll go with the wooden ones, pretty much based on cost. Of course, as it gets to be later into the fall, there is a third option: repair the doors enough to get through the winter and then redo them in the spring.