Exterior Double-Door replacement

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Old 03-24-09, 12:38 PM
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Exterior Double-Door replacement

Let me preface this by saying that 99% of the projects I'm involved in never use the term "feet/foot," so every time I measure for a door or window I don't think "3-0" or "6-8" etc. I'm learning, but it's still pretty foreign to me. Out of curiosity, what would you call a 35-7/8" wide door? 2-11-7/8? Or is that still a 3-0 as far as trade lingo is concerned?

Anyways, on to why I'm here.

I need to replace both slabs of an exterior double door, but I'm not sure if this is a custom-size situation, or just a size the big-box stores don't generally carry.

Each slab is ~35-7/8" wide, give or take a 1/32 or so. A 1/2" wide strip between the two slabs is used to fasten another thin strip that covers/seals the gap where the two slabs meet. I can never remember the proper term for that piece, but I think it starts with an "A"

The standard height of a door slab is 79-1/8" right? These slabs are about a half inch taller, and another (although single, not double) I have to replace is taller still.

Do they make an 80" or even an 81" door? I know I can order a custom size door, that's just more $ than the budget allows. Another option would be to get two inexpensive (not cheap) steel or wood slabs and chop the frame down, and make a slightly thinner overlap piece (whatever that thing is called ).

Any ideas/tips/suggestions/etc. on keeping the budget low, quality high, and the aesthetics nice (although that's a lower priority than the first two), would be a huge help.

Thanks!
~Jeffrey
 
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Old 03-24-09, 12:53 PM
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That would be a 36" x 80" for a 35 7/8 x 79 1/2 door. Obviously you need a bigger rough opening to to put that door in because of the frame. I'm not sure what you mean by slab. Do you mean trim?
 
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Old 03-24-09, 02:47 PM
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You'd be better off getting a new "french door" and frame. Trying to get doors to fit that opening will be a challenge. The thing in the middle of the two doors is called a T-astragal. It should have weather stripping attached to it as well as flush bolts which allow you to keep one side of the door stationary while using the other. Anything close to 36" x 80" is called a 3'-0" x 6'-8" door.

By "slab" he is referring to the individual door blanks.

Bill
 
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Old 03-25-09, 08:18 AM
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Astragal! Thanks Bill, that's been bugging me for a while, and I haven't been able to find an "anatomy of a door" diagram that included that term.

I dunno if I can find a pre-hung french door that fits the budget, but I'll give it a try.

Thanks again!
~Jeffrey
 
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Old 03-25-09, 08:23 AM
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From the sizes you listed, it's going to be a double entry door as opposed to a patio door. Not too many places will stock those, since there are so many options. Just a plain 6 panel steel double door will run in excess of $500.

Door sizes can vary slightly by manufacturer. You will need to pull the interior trim and get your actual frame and rough opening size before ordering a replacement.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 10:52 AM
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Yeah, the big boxes stock them, but not the function over form versions. They all have glass and various decorative treatments and consequently are $1000+ at the low end.

I'm still considering getting two 36"X79-1/8" 6 panel steel doors, preferably without any hardware or factory-milled hinge locations. Chop the frame down to the appropriate height, and salvage all the original hardware that doesn't need replacing. It would be a lot more work, sure... but I could do it for ~$300-$400.

Anybody see any reason why I shouldn't/couldn't go that route? Saving money is more important than saving time in this case. (I don't particularly fancy dragging around an entire double entry door assembly by myself, either! )
 
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Old 03-25-09, 11:41 AM
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Surprised they actually stock double entry doors on the floor. Most places have patio doors, which are about 2" smaller both ways. Guess it depends on the market somewhat.

Someplaces may have slabs w/o hinge cuts, but most prob are drilled for handlesets and deadbolts..at least in my experience.

Well..anyway you go..good luck with it. Let us know how it turns out.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 04:37 PM
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I was going to say that this is not a DIY project, but I think I will change that to it is ONLY a DIY project because i know of no professional that would attempt this. Not even a professional door guy would try to do what your doing, unless I knew the manufacturer, and could get replacement parts from the same company that made the original door and frame, and I knew that they hadn't changed anything in their setup since the original door was made. To much risk that something would go wrong. There is nothing worse than a home improvement that ends up worse than the original. SO............


I do wish you the best of luck with this project.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 10:21 PM
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Out of curiosity, what would you call a 35-7/8" wide door? 2-11-7/8? Or is that still a 3-0 as far as trade lingo is concerned?

3068 feet inch / feet inch (before prefit clearances). After prefit clearances = net size.

Each slab is ~35-7/8" wide, give or take a 1/32 or so.

Measure carefully. 35 13/16 would be more appropriate.
35 13/16 is sort of a standard assumption for a pair with butt hinges. It's not a hard and fast rule, because other conditions may change the net width.

The standard height of a door slab is 79-1/8" right?

Yes and no. 79 1/8 maybe the standard for some, but the height of the sill and threshold bodies establish how much undercut is required on an exterior door. Undercut is the bottom clearance. A typical allowance is sill plus threshold (body height) plus one eighth (the reason for vinyl threshold inserts).

Do they make an 80" or even an 81" door?
Yes, see above. 3068. This is a full size slab. Not prefit or undercut.

Any ideas/tips/suggestions/etc. on keeping the budget low, quality high, and the aesthetics nice (although that's a lower priority than the first two), would be a huge help.

This will be a difficult undertaking, but it's doable. Suggestions:

1. make a plan and stick with it. (Spend some time thinking it though; see yourself accomplishing every step, before actually doing them). Train you brain to train your body, not the other way around. Understand both doors and the opening as a boxes. The two of them fitting closely within the other. Gage the existing hinges for thickness. Obtain templates for the other hardware. Take very accurate measurements of the door frame and doors, including squareness of corners, and flatness of of planes. Determine if the styles are square or beveled. (My guess: beveled latch styles square hinge styles). You should be accustom to working to within +- 1/32 of an inch. If not, learn to. These steps are NOT a five minute job. These steps should take hours or days. Your plan should be written (a drawing at least), and you'll know when and if you're ready.

2. Be deliberate and accurate. Close is for fools and suckers. If speed is important hire someone who already knows how to accomplish the task.

3. Look for discount bargains second hand, overstock, etc. Your ideal doors will be stain grade 1-3/4 full slabs 3068 with matching hardwood edge styles with one style beveled. You'll b able to remove enough off the styles to obtain the net width of 35 13/16, and one style will already be beveled. Undercutting the door and re-railing it is easier than cutting the width and re-styling also.
 
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