Help with Doors

Old 02-14-05, 09:06 PM
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Question Help with Doors


I am new to this forum and new to home ownership! I need to replace three doors in my house. Two of these doors are on my first level. One is for the bathroom and one is for the pantry. The rest of the doors in the house are six panel doors and are painted white. My question is what kind of door should I get. Should I get a pre-hung or shoud I just get the panel? Which is easier to install and how do I go about this?

Secondly, the door from my garage to my basement is pathetic. I recently locked myself out and was easily able to shoulder myself into the house. What kind of door should I get to provide better security. In addition, should it be a pre-hung or just the panel. I am desperate for help!

Thanks in advance.
Old 02-15-05, 05:12 AM
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If you just replace the slabs, you won't need to replace the surrounding jamb and trim. If it still looks ok, then maybe that is the way to go. But it's probably fairly difficult for a do-it-yourselfer to mortise hinges and get doors to swing properly- it just depends on your skill level. When you get a prehung, the door is already on the hinges, which is the hardest part of replacing a door, in my opinion.

measure your door opening and see if it is a standard size, first of all. Standard sizes are 28", 30", 32", 36", and the most common height nowadays is 81". Also, you must decide if you want hollow-core doors (cheaper) or solid-core doors (more expensive). You can tell which you currently have just by the way the door feels- heavy or light.

Regarding the door you could force your way into, that might be an easy repair. The latch plunger is the part that goes into the strike plate when you close the door. It has 2 moving parts. One closes on the strike plate and goes into the hole to hold the door closed. The other piece, right next to it, is a little half-moon shaped piece that is much smaller in size. This piece should NOT go into the strike plate hole when you close the door. If it does, you can move your strike plate back, and fix your problem. It might save you a few hundred dollars. That little half-moon piece is a security feature on all keyed entry doors, which prevents them from being forced open in the manner you described. If you forced it open with your shoulder and broke the jamb, well, then I understand why you want to replace it.
Old 02-15-05, 07:11 AM
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To improve door security you can reinforce the strike with long (3" or longer) screws. To reinforce the latch side you cand buy kind of a shoe that wraps around the door from one door knob to the other. You can pretty much bust through anything short of a commercial metal door.

Prehungs are much easier to install. The only downsides are that it's more to paint and you need to remove and reinstall the trim. Don't forget to carefully cut the caulking with a sharp blade first. If it's in good shape you can reuse the casing.

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