Caulked back door

Caulked back door

I installed the basement back door in March. Once the floor was set up and the walls were framed Percy, our electrician, came out to finish the basement electrical. One of the items on the list was the back door light. In order to get the electrical run properly we decided to finish the trim on the back door. I started by caulking all of the seams around the framing to ensure a good air seal.

Back door trim

Back door trim in progress

I bought PVC trim, because I don’t want to have to do extra maintenance once the house is done. I debated scribing the edge against the brick, but ultimately I discovered I could use the angle grinder with the masonry disk to remove both excess brick and excess PVC. The door is recessed in the wall because the floor slab doesn’t come up to the front edge of the wall. Because of this, our rim joist (which is 6″ x 8″) was exposed, so I needed to trim that as well. The initial electrical was just a piece of conduit, but we wound up with a standard mud ring on a 4″ box. I used the sunken PVC screws with caps, but the color didn’t quite match. We’ll be painting over this anyway to prevent UV fading.

Trim installed

Trim installed

The biggest challenge was the light fixture. The first one we bought didn’t fit because the back box didn’t fit inside the recessed area of the trim. The second light I ordered wasn’t the same size as the specifications, so it hung down too far (the door swings out). We’ll save that one for the first floor. Finally, after a lot of searching for something that didn’t stick up, didn’t stick down, and had a small enough base plate, the third light I ordered fit (if just barely). It’s a barn style light that I put an outdoor-rated LED bulb into.

Light installed

Light installed

We’re pretty happy with the end result. Having an actual outdoor light that works on a light switch is a bit of a novelty for us. The last outdoor light we had was a flood on the back porch (on the second floor) that we didn’t use much. The three different shades of white are a bit irritating, but we’ll get to that eventually.

It works!

It works!

You can see a sneak peak of some of the plumbing and electrical work that’s been going on. In this photo I’d caulked the left side but not the right (it started raining). I’ve since finished it up, but we still haven’t painted. That will probably wait until I’ve trimmed the rest of the basement windows, and possibly until we’re siding the rest of the house.

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