Custom front door install

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Old 03-11-16, 07:20 PM
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Custom front door install

I am planning to install a new double front door on my house. My current front door is a single door. The existing single door has side lights on either side and then internal spacers beside the side lights. The entire current frame is close to the width of the double doors I have. The current frame is about 1.5 feet shorter than the height of the new doors. I am planning to cut the doors down 8 inches and increase the current height of the opening 4 inches. The width of the existing opening will also need to be increased by about 6 inches.

The new doors are very heavy solid mahogany (probably 150lbs each). They were taken out of an older house. I am going to use an enginee lift to move them to the front door from the garage.

My general plan is to build a complete frame with all of the hardware in the garage. Then over a weekend rip out the current door, cut out the opening to fit, reinforce the opening and mount the new doors and frame in place.

I thought I would be able to find a video or tutorial of someone that had done something similar but have had no luck finding details about an install this complicated.

Am I crazy to think that I could rip out the existing door and install the new door over a weekend? My wife will probably move into a hotel if I have the door off for more than a night . Once I cut out the opening there will be no going back.

Is my general plan the best way to go about this? I have lots of tools (saws, drills, routers, hand tools, etc..) and basic word working skills.
 
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Old 03-11-16, 07:30 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I moved your thread to the forum that covers doors. The pros will be by to assist you.
Cutting the doors shorter and the frame shorter.... that sounds very ambitious.

A few pictures.... existing doorway.... replacement parts, etc. would be helpful. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 03-11-16, 08:16 PM
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Ambitious? Yeah. Especially if you never thought about how you will put a new header in over this larger taller opening. Or how you will weatherstrip them. Or how you will build an astragal. Or where you will get a sill and threshold. Or how you will router your slide bolts into the passive door to keep it shut.

Hope you've thought this one through.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 05:38 AM
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Brant said it. I'll wait on pictures. I am sure the comments won't change. Challenging? Even for a skilled carpenter. I would talk a client out of doing it if possible.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 02:42 PM
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Thanks for the feeback all,

After carefully looking at all of the dimensions I am getting worried that this may not be possible to do.

the current door height is 81" and the new door is 96". I was planning to cut 3" off the top and bottom of the new doors to bring its heigh down to 90". I would then reinforce the top and bottom of the new doors with steel plates to keep them from warping over time. To accomplish this I would have to reframe the existing opening to be 9" taller. My main concern is that this doesn't leave much room for the new header. There should be enought room for a 6" header but there may not be much more than that. With th new height I would make the top door molding flush to the bottom of the crown moulding.

The new doors are 36" wide each. The current opening with the spacers to the left and right of the side lights (as seen on the indoor picture) is 77" wide to the start of the moulding. This makes me think that the existing framing is about 77". On the outside the existing opening is 68" to the moulding.
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Old 03-12-16, 02:57 PM
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What makes you think you can remove your current header and leave not much more than just your top plates remaining?

Sorry, but I don't want any part of this.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 03:05 PM
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I think your not finding any video or tutorial for this because there are not to many people willing to open that can of worms. I don't think you will end up with the result that you are envisioning and would highly suggest that you keep the existing single door style you will be glad you did.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 03:21 PM
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.... and while neglected, it looks like you should be able to refinish your existing doors and make them look nice again.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 03:54 PM
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After carefully looking at all of the dimensions I am getting worried that this may not be possible to do
You are correct, this isn't possible. Normally I would comment on a project as possible with a lot of work.
I would just forget about making any part of this door opening larger.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 03:59 PM
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Main issue I see with wooden doors like you have is people wait to long to reseal it, when they do they never use enough coats, and almost always use the wrong sealer.
Check out Bristol Finish, it has 5 time the UV protection of Helmsman Marine Spar.
Drys fast enough to do three coats in a day.
Self leveling.
It's what the pros used to refinish antique boats.
Most people have never heard of it because it's sold in Boating supply stores mostly and it's also about $70.00 a qt but will worth it if you can get at least 7 years out of it if you put three coats on.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 05:27 PM
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I have clients who have non-standard openings for both windows and doors. Any reputable door manufacturer can build a door to fit your opening. I would NOT try to modify the door nor the opening to get a 10# butt in a 5# pair of pants. You won't like the results.

Marksr is our resident paint guy and he can walk you through finishing this door. But if replacement is the way you want to go, do it with a standard 6'8" tall door, leave all your support members in place and worry only with the width. I'll be honest, your door is beautiful and can be brought back to life, IMO.
 
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Old 03-13-16, 06:44 PM
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Hey Everyone,

Thanks for all of the feedback. I am taking everyones advice to stick with the existing door. I bought and installed new hardware today, which already makes the door look and function so much better.

After looking at everything on the door I think refinishing it along with replacing the glass and some of the trim pieces will make a huge difference. I striped and refinished the front door in my last house and feel very confident that the results will be nice.

Anyone on here want some gorgeous gigantic mahogany double entry doors ?

I will post finished pictures once everything is complete.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 04:15 AM
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Glad you made that decision. Our local door representative store (Jeld Wen, YKK, etc) has an area in the back of the warehouse for overstock, oops, custom orders not picked up, etc. Many of the doors back there are 8' tall. I can't imagine the need for a door that tall. Aesthetically it may look good, but practically, nope. He keeps begging me to design a remodel with 8' doors so he can make me a "deal" on them.
 
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Old 03-28-16, 07:15 AM
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Door Clear Coat

Hey Guys,

I have almost finished stripping and sanding the outside of the door and all of the trim. To keep the wife happy I did it all in place. I used a paint stripper which removed most of the original clear coat. Then I sanded for god knows how long to remove the rest of the clear coat and stain. I used an orbital, finish and detail sander. The curved molding pieces had to be sanded by hand. I am not exactly sure how many hours I spent all together because I keep doing it in off an on as I have had free time but it probably took every bit of 6 hours. I know what gel stain I am going to use but still haven't made a decision on the clear coat. Last time I used some expensive front door specific clear coat and could do the same here but just wondering what you guys recommended.
 
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Old 03-28-16, 02:56 PM
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I'd use Minwax's Helmans spar urethane or similar. It will take 2-3 coats. A light sanding every so often and a fresh coat of spar poly will prevent the work you just went thru. How often depends on the weather the door sees. Once you see the finish coat start to turn, don't wait - sand and recoat as soon as you can.
 
 

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