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Monday, July 5, 2010

How did he do it? An interview with my husband

We needed Barn Doors. Who is going to build them for us?

Don't you love my stork towers?

Where did the idea come from I asked him? He is always driving. How much can you see while navigating the roads of northern Italy?

You see lots of yellow stucco buildings with red tile roofs. And you see barns with little square windows and large barn doors. He came home and knew exactly how to build our barn doors better than anything we had seen in Italy.

My favorite building and my garden

Our builder didn't want to tackle the doors. The local millwork shop didn't know how to support the heavy doors, each weighing more than 400 pounds.

My non building, business executive husband came up with a very novel idea. Not only did he hand build each door but he also had the metal fabricating shop manufacture 4 steel plates (2 for the front and 2 for the back ) each measuring 8 feet tall. The steel plates were to act as "washers".

The heavy doors were hung onto the metal plates, of course. Problem solved.

The builder sent over his workmen to study the new invention.

I have told you before, I have a very smart husband.


  1. Your place is amazing Gina - and so apparently is your husband!!

  2. That's basically how they are hung here. The lower hook part of the hinge is attached to the door opening with a plate soldered onto it, and that plate is bolted to the door frame. The big difference is that here, the door frames are made out of masonry material, which holds the weight easily. The idea is the same as what you did though, you guys used a bigger plate. Makes a lot of sense, and the doors look great.

  3. This is a perfect example of there being more than one way to solve a problem! I love it when fresh eyes look at something and bring to the table a new way of thinking! Carpenters solve problems using wood and tools, artists use paint and creativity....your husband was coming at this problem from a completely different angle and could see it in a way none of the others could! Bravo!

  4. Well, I must admit I still don't understand how he did it but as always am incredible impressed with the phenomenal home you and your husband have created. He does sound very brilliant! And your vision is just astounding. xo – g

  5. Hi Linda, Thanks for coming over. Gene tells me that he is practical and so he is. When I don't know how to solve a problem I can usually count on him to fix it for me.

  6. Hi Diana, great to hear from you. That is interesting about how heavy doors are hung in Italy. We should have had a closer look.
    But now they are in place and all is well.

    You had a bit of a scare. I hope your finger is better. Machinery is always so dangerous.

  7. Hi Theresa, your comment is right on. Fresh eyes look at a problem and bring new ideas to the table. And Gene did just that. Thanks for all of your comments. I had Gene read them and he doesn't think that he is so special, just practical.

  8. Hi Georgianna, Gene chuckled. Brilliant not but I must tell you that I think that he is pretty special and amazing.
    He saved a drowning man out of the
    Snake River,
    he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man choking in a restaurant,
    he was a passenger in a car when the driver had a seisure,so Gene took over from the passenger seat.
    Flying to Lima, Peru a passenger had swallowed his tongue, Gene is the only one who noticed and who helped.
    TODAY, he showed up just in time to help a lady who had fallen out of her wheelchair in the grocery store parking lot. I know this sounds like I am making all of this up. It is all true.

  9. Gina - your site looks great! Love the header & love the pics of your place. Beautiful! Hope all is well!

  10. Thank you Annie, and thank you for your visit. I love reading your blog posts. Such beautiful writing.

  11. Gina,
    I'm always in total admiration when i see all the work you and your husband achieved. It's simply gorgeous and amazing and oh those doors!

    And a thousand bravo to your husband...this is so clever!

  12. Hi Lala, your comments are so appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to write. It means a lot. So much fun to read your interesting and fascinating posts about your life in Spain, so far away.

  13. Hi Gina...

    Beautiful, my friend! What's not to love about barn doors? Hehe! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us for the Sunday Favorites party!

    Warmest wishes,