Replacing exterior door that isn't prehung

crashballSeptember 30, 2012

I am remodeling our kitchen and we figured now is the time to replace our ancient door as well. It's exterior but opens to an enclosed porch. We'd like to replace it with a prehung door but we don't want to disturb the interior casing. I've heard replacing these older doors can be a pain since the newer prehung ones don't necessarily fit well. Any one have experience in doing this? Is the process really any different if it was already a prehung door? I may need to build up the threshold, but really my biggest worry is damaging the existing interior casing. Else I'll have to be very careful removing it so I can reuse it when the door is hung.

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columbusguy1

Why are you taking the hard way first? Measure the actual door itself, and see what you can find either from stores or salvage shops...no need to alter the jambs or casing if you find one the same size. You may have to put the hinges at different heights from existing ones, but that is far easier than replacing the jambs as you would with a new pre-hung door.

Old doors come out of their openings by removing the hinge pins...piece of cake with a little prying from a screwdriver if they are painted.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 6:09PM
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crashball

We rather have anew energy efficient door in its place. It's been painted so many times it'd just as easy to replace then to strip and repaint. It has a glass pane that is half of its height that is cracked and a pet door that just lets in streams of air during the winter months. We aren't looking to restore, just replace with something new. We are ripping out everything in the kitchen so now is the time. If our only option is to remove and reinstall the casing we will. Just being a simple craftsman style casing with a header cap, would replacement molding be easy to find if I were to damage it during removing?

The jamb With the strike plate has also been altered enough times already where I don't think a replacement would work well without alterations to the jamb.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 6:20PM
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columbusguy1

Any holes from the strike plate can be filled with a new piece of wood, and new ones bored for the new locks. I'm not saying repair the door you have now--I'm saying replace it with another the same size without the jamb part. You will save not only time and aggravation, but money as well.

There are lots of very good doors out there in salvage and antique shops, and they will be more fitting and cheaper than a new pre-hung unit. New does NOT mean that it is better--it means it is mass-produced of inferior materials to those from the old days. If you want to get something that works with your style house, without spending unnecessary wads of cash, then an older door in better condition than your current one is the way to go. Weatherstripping is what actually provides a good seal in a door opening, more than the door itself. Doors today are mostly hollow-core, made up of pieces of wood all glued together, or they are metal made to loook like wood. Either type is wasting your money which could be better spent on another aspect of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 8:48PM
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brickeyee

Get a flat door of your liking and add weatherstripping as desired to the jamb.

It is not all that hard.

You can also carefully remove the casing molding it re-use it in almost every case.

Pry it of gently, then pull any nails through the back.

A 'flat door' does not come bored for the lock or mortised for hinges.

You do those to match the old work.

Make sure you have some wood on the new door for trimming and planing to the opening.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:27AM
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technicolor

You would be in wonderland seeing the many old doors available for replacement. Measure you door and go on a venture through some architectural resale places. "Restore" would be one and have heard about "Forklift". Solid wood seems to me to be far more insulated. And would allow you to fit any oddities by some shaving down. Hinge placement as above suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:35AM
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kashka_kat

In shopping for a door to my porch Im encountering guys who think you're doing some incredibly difficult thing by hanging a door (not a pre hung) - like it's brain surgery or something. I suspect these guys just dont have a clue about old houses -they blithely explain how I should remove the old jambs and mess around with shims to get it the new one to fit in the old opening and I'm like.... HUH??? Doing that exponentially increases the complexity and difficulty. Kinda like the guy who has a few cracks in a plaster wall and thinks the cure is to remove all the plaster and drywall everything.

Where I live the selection of vintage doors isnt good - there are door builders who can make doors to any specification, wood or fiberglass. As others have said you can get a good seal other ways - besides various strips to go around the jamb, have seen some things that go on bottom of door + attach to threshhold.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 9:59AM
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