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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 08-28-2016 01:05 AM 752 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 840 days


08-28-2016 01:05 AM

My wife has been asking for new dual entry doors that have decorative glass panels.
A few years ago I got a quote from Lowe’s for Thermatru fiberglass doors.
The doors were around $2K and with installation it was going to be $4K to $5K which we can’t really afford.
The price for labor is kind of ridiculous but they get it because not many people can install doors themselves.
The current doors are solid DF and in very good shape even through they are 35 years old.
I could get wood doors and trim them to fit the opening which I know could be a little tricky.
One company I know that makes wood doors is AAW. The current doors are 30” wide which is not very common and reduces the doors I can select from. Another option is to go with a single wide door and sidelights. I could probably install the prehung fiberglass doors myself with some help but I would have to rip out the framing and tear up some stucco. So I am thinking just getting the wood doors and fitting them to the current opening might be less trauma and less expense.
Thanks for any advise.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


14 replies so far

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

810 posts in 379 days


#1 posted 08-28-2016 01:52 AM

Joel_B,

I am not sure what you are asking; I suppose whether to replace the existing door and if so, how to approach it affordably.

The first option is to consider refinishing the existing doors. You said that the current doors are in good shape. This is the least expensive and least hassle option.

If you are determined to replace the existing doors, replacing the doors with a pre-hung unit that fits in the existing rough opening, leaving at least ¼” between the new door frame and the rough framing for some spray foam is the way to go. Reframing a doorway in a load bearing exterior wall is a lot of effort, expense, and requires someone who knows what they are doing. Incorrect reframing can run into a whole lot of money re-doing bad work.

If replacing the existing doors, a custom made pre-hung unit that will fit in the existing opening is one way to go. In the end, it will probably be the least expensive pre-hung way to go. The new door should be at least a 36” door, since furniture and appliances are designed with a 36” entry door in mind.

An option to satisfy the wife is to buy a pair of exterior doors and build you own frame on which the doors would hang. Then, after the frame is built and the doors hung in the frame, install the frame and doors yourself within then existing opening. If you would rather use the existing frame, having a pair of doors made to your specifications could work. Either way, some serious routing or drilling is probably required to install hardware that keeps the mostly unused door locked in place.

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Joel_B

294 posts in 840 days


#2 posted 08-28-2016 02:18 AM

Maybe I wasn’t clear, the existing doors are solid wood and my wife wants doors with glass panels that will look nicer and let some light it. If it was up to me I would just repaint the existing doors.
By reframing I assume you mean to change the size of the opening which is something I won’t be doing.
Installing the hardware shouldn’t be a problem. I have made some outside gate doors myself out of Cedar and they are doing well. If I had some doors made to fit the existing opening I assume I would need to trim them to fit as the opening is not likely to be square.
Thanks for the suggestions.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1768 days


#3 posted 08-28-2016 04:48 AM

A picture of what you have, and what you want could be a huge help to everybody. There are 1000’s of doors on the internet. You should be able to find something like what you want and post it.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 901 days


#4 posted 08-28-2016 05:32 AM

Joel—

I’ve been a finish carpenter for 40 years or so, and have installed many doors. Just last week I cut and fit a new 3-6×8-0 door into an existing jamb. It takes patience, but the basic process is fairly straight-forward.

If your jambs are in good shape—-and especially if you have a stucco exterior that you don’t want to disturb—then fitting a new door (or doors) into the existing jamb is probably your best option.

Pairs of doors are more complex to install than single doors, but definitely do-able. I would be happy to help walk you through the process.

I hope you have some tools, like a power plane, a circular saw, a router, a drill, and of course some measuring and marking tools.

You might have “limited options” if you’re using a big box store as your supplier, but if you use a door shop, the options are virtually unlimited. I’m sure there are door shops near you. Ask some local builders who they use for doors.

You will want to consider sill/threshold weatherstripping and hardware issues before you order the doors themselves.

Do you have rabbeted jambs or applied stops?

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 121 days


#5 posted 08-28-2016 06:07 AM

Depending on the style of door you have, you may be able to refinish the old ones and cut openings in them to add glass for the light your wife wants. If they are flat panels that is real easy.

View nailbanger2's profile

nailbanger2

1041 posts in 2603 days


#6 posted 08-28-2016 03:58 PM

I have to agree with nightguy, I have done what he mentions several times. It surprised me by being easier than fitting doors to a jamb.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2544 days


#7 posted 08-28-2016 05:55 PM

You said your wife wanted decorative glass panels, which should also be thermopane. I do not know if Thermatru
will sell their panels separately, but it would not hurt to ask. Finding the correct panels to please her could be
difficult. I just replaced my front door with sidelight and it required cutting out the sub floor and planing a pine
board down to 5/16 thickness to get the door to set right in the opening that sat in a rock faced wall on the
outside and cutting the sheetrock back about 1” on the top on the inside as well as redoing the side sheet rock
because the new door used 3/4 instead of 5/4 stock for the framing. I also had to add some threshold support
on the outside to keep the aluminum threshold from flexing. I was a lot of work, but it made the beautiful Lady
happy, so it was worth it.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 840 days


#8 posted 08-30-2016 01:12 AM

Here are some pictures of the doors and jambs.
I thought about using the existing doors and putting a glass panel in them, but I would want to
use double pane glass and I am not sure the door would maintain its integrity if I cut the whole center out if it just leaving the side, top and bottom rails. I also posted a picture of doors I could buy and fit to the existing jambs.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 840 days


#9 posted 08-30-2016 01:16 AM



Joel—

I ve been a finish carpenter for 40 years or so, and have installed many doors. Just last week I cut and fit a new 3-6×8-0 door into an existing jamb. It takes patience, but the basic process is fairly straight-forward.

If your jambs are in good shape—-and especially if you have a stucco exterior that you don t want to disturb—then fitting a new door (or doors) into the existing jamb is probably your best option.

Pairs of doors are more complex to install than single doors, but definitely do-able. I would be happy to help walk you through the process.

I hope you have some tools, like a power plane, a circular saw, a router, a drill, and of course some measuring and marking tools.

You might have “limited options” if you re using a big box store as your supplier, but if you use a door shop, the options are virtually unlimited. I m sure there are door shops near you. Ask some local builders who they use for doors.

You will want to consider sill/threshold weatherstripping and hardware issues before you order the doors themselves.

Do you have rabbeted jambs or applied stops?

- jerryminer

Jerry,

I have tools you would typically find in a woodworking shop and most people here have.
I have a lot of hand planes but no power plane or a circular saw. I am sure I could either buy or borrow these.

Thanks – Joel

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7166 posts in 2036 days


#10 posted 08-30-2016 01:38 AM

Cut out the 8 panels and insert your windows.

Doneski.

View jbay's profile

jbay

805 posts in 358 days


#11 posted 08-30-2016 01:48 AM

This was a solid flat panel door that I cut out the center and covered with veneer, put the glass insert in.
It’s not too hard. I think the door should be strong enough.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View bdresch's profile

bdresch

120 posts in 1067 days


#12 posted 08-30-2016 03:06 AM

I would put bevel glass in the 8 panels. Based on your signature you live in SoCal, I wouldn’t worry about dual pane. It would look better than any new POS Fiberglass or steel door. If that door is original to the house it probably ties in with the other trim and changing it out will upset that as well.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 901 days


#13 posted 08-30-2016 05:06 AM

I think you have some reasonable options:

1. Keep the existing doors, cut out the 8 panels, replace with glass and trim.
2. Keep the existing doors, cut out the panels and the center stiles and rails, and replace the center of the door with glass and trim
3. Install new doors.

I doubt that option 1 will make the wife happy, but I don’t know her.

If you can acquire a glass panel that suits (insulated preferred, IMHO), then option 2 is not bad. Cutting out the interior will weaken the door, but it should still remain as strong as a full-light door would be. No door-hanging required.

Option 3 would probably be my choice, but I’m pretty comfortable hanging doors.

Whatever option you choose, have a plan for dealing with the opening in the off-chance that the project does not get completed in a single day and you need to lock up for the night. (Pulling the existing doors, keeping them on hand and cutting in new doors to the existing hinge locations will give you a “back-up” set of doors. :) )

View mike02130's profile

mike02130

95 posts in 132 days


#14 posted 08-30-2016 12:34 PM

Pandora’s box. Those doors have got to go. First off, never buy anything or hire anyone from HomePot or lows.

Buy a 3-0 door of your dreams—check used. Use your existing jambs and trim. Make your own side lights and install the door on one of the side lights. Simple.

-- If the tool was invented after the Depression, I don't need it.

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