Those who follow my blog know that I like elegant but simple solutions to difficult problems. I also love to do things myself, I am a diy addict. But I also know that my abilities are limited and I sometimes need to obtain help.
Case in point, I had a screen door installed in our new house some months ago. The one that had been there before opened the wrong way (!), so I had to scrap that and have a new one fitted. The person who installed the new one was an expert and did a good job, but charged a lot. However, after he left I realized that he had not installed a spring to close the door automatically. I called him to come back and do it but he wanted an extra NIS 100 for the job, and I thought it should be included in the price. Anyway, for one reason or another he never came back. So I had to find a solution myself. My daughter has a long horizontal spring on her screen door, so I went to the hardware store and asked for such a spring.
The salesman there gave me an alternative solution, a vertical metal cylinder with a spring inside it (cost NIS 40). You attach the cylinder to the door frame and then attach an arm to the central part of the cylinder that turns. It must be turned against the spring, so that when released the spring pushes the arm against the door and closes it. I figured out how to do it, but I could not drill the holes in the door frame because it is metal. I asked my friendly carpenter Geraldo if he could drill these holes. He suggested using special screws that drill the holes themselves in metal with an electric drill. This worked well and then all I had to do was turn the arm against the screw (adjustable) so that it would spring back and then it closed the door. I added small soft patches to the door frame to avoid banging. It works very well.
Actually Geraldo came to our house to fix the doors on the walk-in closet that he built for us. We are very pleased with it, but the two doors never closed properly and then often sprang back and left a gap. I called him because I bought two magnetic connectors that are supposed to close the doors, but I could not see how to fit them without drastic surgery on the doors. He agreed there was a problem and removed the plastic pieces that prevented the doors from closing tight. Then he attached the magnets to the doors and they worked. But it is unsightly, not an elegant solution, because he inserted wooden strips on the inside of the doors to attach the magnets and also large metal clips to bind with the magnets. He agreed it was not satisfactory and he will return with the kind of magnetic strips that you find on shower doors that hold them together. To be continued.