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how do i put a single french door in leading to basement?

how do i put a single french door in leading to basement?

Old 04-11-08, 07:47 AM
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Question how do i put a single french door in leading to basement?

hey friends

when my contractor finishes my basement, i plan to take out the 30" door (6 panel masonite...with 3 hinges in place) leading down the basement steps and replace with a glass french door...can it be as simple as buying a door with no hinges and lining up the existing hinges or do i need to buy a pre-hung door and rip out the old door and frame...i'd obviously rather not do this if possible

do i need to chisel out for the hinges too...or do these french doors come already with hinges....i guess they come both ways

Old 04-11-08, 08:38 AM
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A 30" french door? Each side is only 15" wide? Okay - I assume you've found one....

Trying to line up hinges to an existing frame can be extremely frustrating - not to mention the purchase of mortise templates and a router to cut out the hinge cutout. I find pre-hung doors to be simple to install... barely more expensive than slab doors, and the old frame is easy to remove also.
Old 04-11-08, 08:41 AM
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You'll probably find that the slab french door will be about
1/4" wider than the masonite door (assuming the masonite door was a pre-hung). Which would mean planing the sides, and possibly cutting the length. The slab doors also do not come off the shelf with hinges morticed out or latch holes drilled. Not sure if you can order french door slabs that way or not.

Even if you buy a prehung french door, make sure the slab width matches.

You also need to check code, doors and windows at the top or bottom of stairs have to be tempered or impact resistant glass, I believe. Just make sure the door is labeled per what your permit office requires.

Edit: For clarification...you can have a 'single' french door. A 'french' door is more about the height and width of the rails and stiles, than whether it is a single or double door. Or is it because they make them in France? lol j/k

Last edited by Gunguy45; 04-11-08 at 08:49 AM. Reason: term clarification
Old 04-13-08, 07:36 PM
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I just completed the exact same project 2 months ago after refinishing the basement and here is what I did.
- Purchased a 30" french door slab for the top of the stairs from big box store (all glass was tempered for safety).
- To fit existing door frame I trimmed off 1/4" of width using a circular saw.
- Carefully measure for the door hinges as you want to match the existing hinges for best looks and use a good chisel. (My previous 6 panel door had only 2 hinges but I decided to add a middle one for added stability)
- Once door is mounted and swinging freely I added the doorknob.

Patience with measuring and chiseling is key to a good look! Have been extremely happy with this project and still can't believe how great it looks. Only thing left to do is to decide if it should be stained or painted.

Good luck and post back with any other questions.


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