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replacement exterior door...ez for novice?


luckydriver's Avatar
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10-12-11, 08:25 AM   #1  
replacement exterior door...ez for novice?

my only door experience is taking a garage door out and replacing with a prehung door, bulleting into the concrete , building up the walls etc.

but replacing a standard exterior door seems ez as pie..measure (mine are all 36), unscrew the hinges and then put the new door on.

is it really that ez? i have 2 rear doors that dont have to be the best or fanciest, just solid half lites and i'm happy...what am i missing? the old doors are wood and in winter you can see thru the crack to daylight and it's time to stop trying to weatherstrip and do something better

i do have my window guy giving me an estimate for my large front door assembly and i asked him to price out one standard door as well, but i'm pretty sure he's gonna come in higher than the 200 or 300 you can get at a big box store. how much. i wont know until i hear back

 
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10-13-11, 11:27 AM   #2  
If it's not a prehung entrance door, then you have to mortice the new door, in the exact places, where the hinges are located. In other words, the new door has a flat edge. There are no cutouts for the hinges. The position of the hinges is not standard. The door knob may require similar work.

That's why I like prehung.

 
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10-13-11, 12:29 PM   #3  
ah i knew there was a catch. but sounds like prehung means a lot of ripping out of old stuff and other carpentry too

 
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10-13-11, 02:37 PM   #4  
Actually, a prehung requires LESS carpentry than a slab in most cases. Most have brickmold installed, or you can buy kits precut for 36" doors. Carefully remove interior trim and reuse. Pry bar, hammer, level, shims, screws and nails should be about all you need. Maybe a sawsall to remove the old one quicker, but not absolutely required..oh..and a tube of caulk for under the sill and the exterior..


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10-13-11, 05:13 PM   #5  
What gunguy said is correct but there is a catch with that too. The width of the new prehung door frame is probably an inch less than the old door. So some pine has to be ripped to compensate. It easy to slide the new prehung to where the brick face meets the opening but then there is a lot of work on the inside. Some people remove the brick face & put the door flush to the inside. Then rip the pine to compensate for that lost inch & replace the brick face.

 
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10-13-11, 05:38 PM   #6  
i'm dealing with permastone on the outside and plaster on the inside..i guess the only way to really see what is behind the trim is take it off and look but sounds a bit more complicated and almost that the only way you can figure this out is to rip it out and see

 
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10-14-11, 05:46 AM   #7  
When it comes to exterior doors IMO replacing a slab is easier than replacing with a prehung. No trim or siding issues and no fussing to get the jamb level and plumb.

However, it is critical that the existing jambs are plumb, level and square and that you are very precise when mortising the hinges. Mortising jigs are reasonably inexpensive and the mortise can be made with a router or even a dremel tool. Hinge mortises can also be cut with a hammer and chisel.

 
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10-14-11, 06:19 AM   #8  
Pre-hung Exterior Doors

Another "rat in the wood pile" can be the way the threshold is installed on the new pre-hung. Sometimes the new one will not be at the same height as the original. I ran into this when I replaced my front door.

 
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10-14-11, 06:25 AM   #9  
Luckydriver: Either way, prehung or slab. There is a certain amount of precision that goes into each. I've always done prehung. It just happened that way. I can see the advantages & disadvantages of each.

In your case, I would try the slab & if you can't do it, buy a prehung.

 
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10-14-11, 10:11 AM   #10  
If you go with a metal door slab - make sure the opening is square and the right height and width. You can't trim metal doors but just a tad, if at all. Sometimes on older houses they just made the door to fit the opening. In that case you'd need a wood door so you could cut it down to fit. If you go with wood, be sure to seal all 6 sides!


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