Natural light is rare in the typical long, narrow storefronts in turn of the last century down towns. Downtown Faribault is situated mostly north/south, so we get a fair bit of sun morning and afternoons. At one point in time, the shop had huge floor to ceiling windows in the back. These let light in to the store back in 1878 when the building was built. Some time since then the windows had been boarded up and a solid door was put in. Yesterday we had a new door installed in the back. It's a step in the right direction to correcting those actions.I have to say it's pretty amazing what a window back here does. The light from the back is easily seen all the way to the front of the shop. It's also nice to be able to see the parking lot and what's going on out back. The new door is also hugely more efficient in terms of efficiency. The low E glass combined with much better seals and installation make it much less drafty. Curtis and I originally thought that we would just install the door ourselves. Curt has hung doors in the past, and is much more proficient in carpentry than I am. That was three weeks ago. After looking at the new door for that long it was apparent that it just wasn't going to happen. We called Darren Viland, a carpenter in Faribault and he and his brother came to do the install. The door has a set of blinds built in between the panes of glass. This will let us block some of the hot summer sun while still letting a lot of light in.
I have to say that I am glad we called them. Watching skilled workers in most trades is something to see. Their professionalism and attention to detail was very noticeable. Many times during the morning Curt and I found ourselves watching them saying, "Yup, wouldn't have known to do that..." This happened a lot. I'm not a carpenter. Here's the end result from this morning. It is the first outward looking step to getting out back entrance up and in shape. We now have something out back to distinguish the shop from the other drab buildings facing the alley. This is the first step of what I hope will be many to rehab our back entrance. There are others planned, but I am not sure on the time line for many of them. This is an important start though, and one that has already made a huge change for the better.