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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Evolution 

I was going to use a bit of no-distraction-by-the-kids time to try replacing one of the worn out interior doors in my house. I went to the big box home supply store, got a lovely ready-to-paint, 6-panel, pre-hung door, a door knob set, and some trim to go around the doorway. When I got home a few minutes ago I was defeated by Evolution. Home-building Evolution, that is. My house was built in the early 1960s, a time of flux in home construction. When you look at a wall what you see is the drywall. If you burrow through the drywall, you get to the studs (usually spaced on 16" centers). The studs are 2x4 (or if you like actual measurements, 1.5x3.5) boards. Then you see the back side of the drywall nailed to the other side of the studs. In the evolutionarily successful home, the studs are oriented so the dry wall is nailed to the narrow side of the 2x4 (ie, there is a 3.5 inch space between the sheets of drywall). Well, Mr Odstad (the guy who did the tract housing construction in Linda Mar, decided that if he turned the studs 90°, and had a 1.5 inch space between the sheets of drywall, he'd gain 2 extra inches in each room. This innovation didn't catch on, so when you buy things that are supposed to fit into interior walls, the manufacturer assumes the wall is thicker than is the case in my house. My pre-hung door can't be trimmed down enough to fit into the skinny wall. Dang. Now I've got to go back to big-box land and return my door and door knob set and trim wood. If I find a supply of pre-hung doors that will fit I promise to show the Internets a photo-montage of my home improvement project.

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