Help! Odd Size Front Entry Door

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Old 02-09-04, 01:19 AM
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Unhappy Help! Odd Size Front Entry Door

I just bought a new home 3 weeks ago, and the very first thing i have to replace is the absolutely hideous plain smooth front door that is original construction from 1958. Before i bought the house i was figuring $400-600 for a prehung steel or fiberglass front door with an oval window. So today i measure it and headed down to Home Depot, and amost fell over when i found out what this was going to cost.

I currently have a 40"x80" front door, stucco exterior, and no room to widen the opening to add a sidelight with a standard 36" door. I could probably squeze out 1" per side more room if i had to, for a 42" door. According to Home Depot you cannot even special order a steel or fiberglass front door in that size. My only option is to buy a solid wood front door 42"x80" and have them cut it down to 40". Then to finish, prehang, plus installation (because i would be petrified of installing a front door this expensive on my own, out of fear of screwing something up) it came to $1900, and that was for the cheap one , the others went as high as $4500.

Please tell me there is another way or source that could do this for much cheaper. I live in LA county California, does anyone know of any places other than Home Depot where i can get a special size door like this without having to take a loan out?
 
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Old 02-09-04, 07:15 AM
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One possibility would be finding a door at a salvage yard and reconditioning it. Might be worth a look.
 
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Old 02-10-04, 01:31 PM
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What kind of salvage yard would have old doors? I know there is salvage yards for cars, but i never knew they had ones for old building materials. What would i look up to find ones in my area?

Any other options to solve my problem?
 
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Old 02-10-04, 03:54 PM
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The good news is your door is standard height.

A 40" wide door will have a rough opening that is 42" or slightly more. One thing you could do is remove the existing front door, add a 2X4 to each side of the rought opening, which would shrink the width to about 39", then install a standard pre-hung 36" door. You would simply need to use wider trim on the exterior side, and either sheetrock or wider trim on the interior side.
 
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Old 02-10-04, 06:56 PM
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Look in the yellow pages for construction slavage yards. They can be a goldmine for old stuff with lots of life left in it.

If you can't find what you want there, lefty's idea is about all that's left.
 
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Old 02-10-04, 08:33 PM
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We really don't have any salvage yard "associations" conventions or lobby but this may help you:

http://boards.hgtv.com/6/ubb.x?a=tpc...532&m=11110915

PS: A door in good shape and in the size you're looking for should be an easy find ...
 
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Old 02-13-04, 11:09 AM
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Thanks guys! I will look for a salvagable door, maybe i can find a 42" and cut it to size, if not then i will do the 2x4's trick and shrink it down to a 36" door, i would hate to lose the extra opening though.

What are the disadvantages to NOT sticking with a custom 40" solid wood front door other than losing 4" clearance in getting things in and out of the house? Is there heating and cooling efficiency difference between wood and fiberglass?
 
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Old 02-13-04, 12:03 PM
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The impact on heating/cooling will be minimal in your part of the world.

As to getting things thru the door, I've never had a serious problem getting stuff thru a 36" door. When I build custom cabinets or furniture for people, getting thru the door(s) is always a design consideration.
 
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Old 02-13-04, 01:08 PM
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I agree with Dave on the opening size, etc and IMO that's a very viable option, however lefty's suggestion maybe your best bet as far as amount of work to complete the project. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-13-04, 08:17 PM
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Aristoi,

I understand your desire to keep the wider door. But at what cost??

You got bids that ranged from $2K to $4K, installed, and a prehung 36" door is going to cost $300 to $500, but you gotta put it in yourself. (Granted, you CAN spend well over a grand on a 36" door, depending on what you want, but's let compare apples to apples!!)

I'm going to figure installation costs at $500. (If 2 guys can't install it in less than 4 hours, you got the wrong two guys!! I do them by myself in that amount of time!)

The oval glass is going to add to the cost of the door -- we know that. (A 36", 6 panel metal prehung door at HD is under $200.) Adding the oval glass will run the cost up to about $300 or $500.

So, $500 for the door, and $500 for installing it is $1,000, for a 36" door. It's that extra width that is running your bids up to the $2K to $4K range.

How important are those extra inches, and how much are they worth to you???
 
 

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