How to replace old eave interior doors-keeping it simple

SparklingWaterNovember 14, 2012

Hello, this is a cross post with wood working due to time constraint. I live in a 1940's colonial which has one back bedroom with slanted ceilings. I wish to ask for your suggestions on a simple but sturdy solution to replacing the old sliding doors to the closet space under the eaves.

Below are pictures of two of the doors needing replacement. The doors in place are solid 3/4" plywood and heavy! They slide wood-on-wood along a runner in the bottom, which in the second picture, I pried off in the back. The doors are not all equal in size but 3 out of 4 are ~46 1/2" H x 32" W. The 4th door is 46 1/2" H x 31" W.

A handyman carpenter will replace these doors, either using the plywood and cutting it down or using alternative, less heavy wood/other. We prefer two doors on strong side hinges meeting in middle with small knobs. He is suggesting using same wood and one door but we don't think that is possible due to weight of wood, strain on hinges, and needed room to swing door open. Another idea would be pre-fabricated bifold but there is a size difference.

Would you offer your insight here? To keep labor down, allow for proper swing out, and make it sturdy to stand test of time on the hinges, what do you suggest? We do have a large lumber supply company near by. Thank you for your recommendations.

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keep the sliders you have and add some small casters tot he bottom for them to roll on.

keep the sliders you have and hang them on rollers from the top.

Either way should make them easier to open.

Alternately, get some prefabricated bi-fold doors as you suggested and have your handyman/carpenter trim them as required.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:08PM
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thanks, sdello. I think we're going for the last option.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Well, I'm back to square one on these four atypical size bedroom eave doors (46.5" height x 32" width as interior measurement of hole). I hoped to replace them with non custom, not overly expensive double doors (rather than one sliding door) which swing out from the middle.

I've checked Lowes and Home Depot. Lowes has some 80" x 32" hollow doors of various consistency. This would mean having to cut the door to 45" (what a waste) and then bisect that piece to make into two meeting in the middle. Bifold doors come in 32" width but I don't see how you can cut them to 45 some inches height given the fold. And the lumber company said they only make custom on this.

I wish I could find some interior eave size doors. My problem can't be all that uncommon as a lot of homes have a slanted roof. Any other suggestions? I hate to start working again with that heavy plywood already there. The painter didn't sand the previous brown semi-gloss paint before painting the door white with BM White Dove semi-gloss and thus you see I started scraping the white all off to sand it because as it slid along the slider the white paint curled up and removed itself. I've crow barred the slider to enlarge its width by brunt force, which has helped some.

Any other ideas here? I'm all ears. Thank you for any help.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Go to a real lumberyard and stop looking in HD or Lowe's. There are many door sizes available thru wholesale millwork houses than box stores can even think of. Have them order hollw or solid core wood doors cut down in height and reblocked, have them hung in jambs for sides and use a portaseal or q-lon stop all 4 sides. These should not set you back more than a couple hundred a unit and available for pick up or delivery in a week to 10 days. Box stores like HD and Lowes are ok for what they have on the shelf which is standard size standard option products but they really are clueless to anything outside of the box. When I worked in lumberyards that had a mill shop I sold this type of set up many many times with great success.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:28AM
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Thank you millworkman. I appreciate you gave specifics in discussing how to approach new doors as well as general ball park figure. It's such a pretty room, I want to do these doors right and know what is there is just wrong. This gives me specifics with which to start a conversation with the lumbar yard.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 6:27PM
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And the doors I am referring to would be double doors. You can use magnetic catches and dummy knobs.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Thanks again. Saw your note about weather stripping too. Magnetic catches, hah would never have thought of that. My son was big into magnets as a kid which on occasion posed a problem when I vacuumed. I suspect with your specifics the lumber company can help me and I can turn to one in the city for a second quote. Plenty of lumber companies here. Truly appreciate your help. I'm re-insulating the eave space btw.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:12AM
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