Author Topic: Front door replacement options  (Read 441 times)

GuloGulo

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Front door replacement options
« on: August 02, 2018, 11:00:51 AM »
My front door really needs to be replaced. However, it's 36"x84", which looks like a non-standard size. I have lots of questions:
  • Should I keep the taller 36x84 size or size down to the standard 36x80? I'm leaning toward keeping the tall door. Sizing down would require filling in the extra 4" of wall above the door with drywall (on the inside) and stucco (on the outside.) I've never worked with stucco. Also, the top of the door trim would no longer be level with the top of the window trim, and that looks stupid. On the other hand, I'm not seeing many options in the 36"x84" size. Am I missing something?
  • Should I buy pre-hung or buy a slab door and hang it? This is assuming the door stays the same size, since I would definitely get pre-hung if I was shortening the door. I'm leaning towards slab since the opening appears to be square, level, and undamaged. On the other hand, I've never hung a door and apparently it can be tricky.
  • What material? I'm thinking fiberglass but open to other opinions.
  • Can you add a 1/4 lite to a door? What about a dentil shelf? The current one has both and it works well with the vibe of the house. However, I can't find a door like this in the correct size and am wondering about getting a simpler door and just adding them.

affordablehousing

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Re: Front door replacement options
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 11:08:53 AM »
I feel like if you got a good solid core exterior wood door, you could make all the modifications you want. If you don't mind adding trim around the window it should be pretty easy to put in an opening for a window, put in the window, trim around it and add your dentil molding below.

lthenderson

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Re: Front door replacement options
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 03:54:37 PM »
36" x 84" is more common for commercial building exterior doors. A quick search of Home Depot online shows 63 to choose from but most seem to be solid and sheathed in steel. There are a few with windows.

I would NOT go with fiberglass. They warp in the heat, get brittle, and are not built to last. I would much rather have a solid wood door or a metal sheathed door than fiberglass.

GuloGulo

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Re: Front door replacement options
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 09:34:40 AM »
Thanks for the help folks.  I'm now thinking I'll get a 36x84" solid core wood slab, and add a window and dentil. Is there anything I should watch out for with used doors?  There are some nice salvage places near me that I'll check out.

Papa bear

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Re: Front door replacement options
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 12:14:38 PM »
36" x 84" is more common for commercial building exterior doors. A quick search of Home Depot online shows 63 to choose from but most seem to be solid and sheathed in steel. There are a few with windows.

I would NOT go with fiberglass. They warp in the heat, get brittle, and are not built to last. I would much rather have a solid wood door or a metal sheathed door than fiberglass.

Curious on the hating on fiberglass.  They have held up much better for me on my rentals and other houses. 

Any links or info I can read on that?  I'm in a moderate climate area so we don't deal with extreme Arizona type heat.


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lthenderson

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Re: Front door replacement options
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 12:35:53 PM »
36" x 84" is more common for commercial building exterior doors. A quick search of Home Depot online shows 63 to choose from but most seem to be solid and sheathed in steel. There are a few with windows.

I would NOT go with fiberglass. They warp in the heat, get brittle, and are not built to last. I would much rather have a solid wood door or a metal sheathed door than fiberglass.

Curious on the hating on fiberglass.  They have held up much better for me on my rentals and other houses. 

Any links or info I can read on that?  I'm in a moderate climate area so we don't deal with extreme Arizona type heat.


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I too live in a moderate climate but still have them warping and aging fast on southern exposures. If it was in an alcove so it was protected from direct sunlight, you might get better results than I have. Also, the last one I replaced with a solid wood or metal one was about 15 years ago so technology may have improved somewhat.

Fishindude

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Re: Front door replacement options
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2018, 08:15:45 AM »
Custom sized doors are not a big deal.  Any reliable lumber yard (not Lowes or Home Depot) will be able to order a door that fits your opening size, with all the options and accessories that you want.   I'd either go with fiberglass or steel clad.

CptCool

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Re: Front door replacement options
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 08:47:54 AM »
I agree with others - shouldn't be hard to get a non-standard door. You can easily customize however you'd like. You just won't be able to stroll into home depot and grab one off the shelf. I would shy away from solid wood unless that's what your current door is due to the weight.

For prehung vs slab, I would recommend prehung. It makes the install go much smoother/faster & you have a perfectly sealed door that way. Just need to fit/shim into the opening. If you have a slab you have to route or chisel locks, hinges, etc onto the slab that takes more time than it's worth in my opinion