anyone ever have a front door replaced?

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montanagirl
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anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by montanagirl » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:45 pm

The house we bought 10 years ago is now 30 years old and badly needs a new entry door, door frame and single sidelight replaced. My husband is quite handy and just completed a wonderful new deck, though it took him 4 months.

I haven't mentioned the door project to him yet because it can wait til next year but we talked about it in the past. He seemed a little hesitant about it - is this something that should be done all in one day by a skilled installer?

Any brand recommendations?

dbltrbl
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by dbltrbl » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:06 pm

BY a skilled installer in half a day if everything is there. One suggestion make sure you get a dead bolt which is in steel frame other wise thieves may just break the frame even with security. Happened to me. Its much easier to prevent than hassle afterwards.

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DaleMaley
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by DaleMaley » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:27 pm

My brother and I replaced just the front door of our mother's new house this summer. The house was built in the 1970's. We replaced just the door versus the door and frame.......because it would have been a lot more work to also replace the frame. It took 2 of us to lift the new door into position. I spent a couple hours filling the old hinge holes with filler.......and then paint touch up. I installed the new door handle and deadbolt. We had the door exchanged in less than 4 hours.

If you are talking about a door, frame plus glass on each side.........I would think 2 professionals would get it done in less than 1/2 a day.....unless their are some unusual circumstances. I say 2 guys because I assume it will take 2 guys to lift this much weight and to jockey it into position.

My daughter and I recently changed out 5 interior doors, and frames...in less than 8 hours. The door were pre-hung, but we had to cut and install new molding on both sides also.

Good luck!
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Saving$
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by Saving$ » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:12 pm

Exterior doors can be bought prehung with door frame and trim. You can buy them with sidelites, etc.

This could easily be done by a reasonably handy person if:
1. What you are installing new matches the rough opening (the hole left by what you have removed).
2. The front door area is covered at least a little bit by a porch or other roof.

If you want to remove existing siding to put in the sidelight, or if the door is flush with the front of the house and totally exposed to the weather, I'd recommend hiring someone. In the first case, there may be framing, electrical or other things to move. In the second case, flashing and waterproofing is crucial and you must have someone who knows what they are doing.

downshiftme
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by downshiftme » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:27 pm

It's an easy job for an experienced handyman. Or, you can get the new door from a big box store like Lowe's or Home Depot and they will have installers who can (for a small fee) do it for you. They do it all in one day and unless you have a very strange complication they can do a good job. The doors are all pre-hung. Any problems and the big box will have someone put it right.

thewizzer
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by thewizzer » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:32 pm

I consider myself moderately handy and I wouldn't try to replace a front entry door. If you've ever tried to hang a hollow core interior door, it can be maddening (at least it is for me). Plus, if you take the door out and discover any rot or other necessary repairs, it can turn into quite a big job.

I had a sliding glass door replaced about 3 years ago. I'm pretty tight, but that was money well spent. It took two professionals about half a day and they were both working pretty fast. They did a wonderful job.

For something as important as the front door, I'd personally leave it to the pros.

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Watty
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by Watty » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:38 pm

[quote="thewizzer"]I consider myself moderately handy and I wouldn't try to replace a front entry door. [quote]


+1

interior doors are easy but doing an exterior door can be hard if it is not a single pre-hung door.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by texasdiver » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:48 pm

Agreed, doors can be maddening. I've done a lot of DIY repairs and home improvement projects in my house including things like hardwood floor installation but I would hire someone to install doors, especially a front entry door with sidelights. There is so much shimming to be done and you are simultaneously working in 3 dimensions. The pros know exactly how to do it right. I would be messing around forever trying to get everything straight level and vertical. Especially when the walls often aren't.

Unless you do that sort of thing for a living (and then you wouldn't be posting here) that is a job to hire out.

NorCalDad
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by NorCalDad » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:33 pm

downshiftme wrote:It's an easy job for an experienced handyman. Or, you can get the new door from a big box store like Lowe's or Home Depot and they will have installers who can (for a small fee) do it for you. They do it all in one day and unless you have a very strange complication they can do a good job. The doors are all pre-hung. Any problems and the big box will have someone put it right.

The big-box installation fee isn't so small. I got an estimate recently, and they wanted a minimum of $379, with additional unspecified costs if you have a difficult doorway and for hauling the door away. Probably better off buying the door and hardware and getting flat-fee estimates from a handyman.

Valuethinker
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:39 pm

caroljm36 wrote:The house we bought 10 years ago is now 30 years old and badly needs a new entry door, door frame and single sidelight replaced. My husband is quite handy and just completed a wonderful new deck, though it took him 4 months.

I haven't mentioned the door project to him yet because it can wait til next year but we talked about it in the past. He seemed a little hesitant about it - is this something that should be done all in one day by a skilled installer?

Any brand recommendations?


I believe the statistics show that the most common point of entrance for burglary is the front door.

This is a key part of your home security. The strength of the frame is important, ditto the dead bolt (we were told locks in the top 1/3rd and bottom 1/3rd of the door, or you can 'rock' the door and break it open), and bolts through the hinge side into the frame.

You really want something that only the fire department can break down.

It doesn't sound to me, on the face of it, as the home handyman job.

I'd also make an appeal now for getting a good R Value (insulation) on that door. Because you only replace these things every 30 years (we hope) and its a decent amount of heat out the door (and heat in in summer). Fit is tricky: too tight and when it swells up in summer it will stick-- we got weatherstripping around the outside to help with the air leaks.

Best practice has a 'sandwich' or thermal break to prevent cold bridging between the outside and inside surfaces.

If the door has glassed in parts make that double glazed (that should be standard) with 'low E' coating (or triple glazed). A trick I missed on our front door and now regret. If it's on the north side of the house this is particularly important. You can get R5-6ish on the glass parts of the door (a single pane of glass is R1 ie loses heat c. 5x as fast).

Another trick I would have missed. We have a south facing door-- use a light paint colour, a dark one will absorb heat and swell more, thus sticking (engineered composite wood door).

SP-diceman
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by SP-diceman » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:47 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
I believe the statistics show that the most common point of entrance for burglary is the front door.



Locked or unlocked? :)

thomase
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by thomase » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:17 am

In your case, pre-hung is the way to go. I did one once, took me about a day. Hardest part was removing the old framing, involved a lot of prying and cutting of nails with a reciprocating saw. When you install the new door, just make sure the hinges and strike plate use long enough screws to get into the house framing, for security purposes.

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Aptenodytes
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by Aptenodytes » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:01 am

thomase wrote:In your case, pre-hung is the way to go. I did one once, took me about a day. Hardest part was removing the old framing, involved a lot of prying and cutting of nails with a reciprocating saw. When you install the new door, just make sure the hinges and strike plate use long enough screws to get into the house framing, for security purposes.

I'll second this. I replaced two doors a little over ten years ago and they've worked out fine. For a third door I knew there were lots of tricky adjustments needed so I used a handyman. But for the other two I found installing a pre hung door to be within reach for a day's work.

Several brands to choose. I was on tight budget ten years ago and used steel stanley. Fine but basic. For an addition we are planning the architect is recommending Therma Tru.

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englishgirl
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by englishgirl » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:34 am

Where I live, you are supposed to get a permit for a new front door, which is not something I was aware of until I went to have the new door installed. That's probably NOT the case where you live, but I'm just putting it out there that there might be other complexities that you don't know about. [I think in my area it is all to do with hurricane codes - I think they have to be outswing doors and up to a certain strength.]

I ordered my door through Home Depot, and used one of their recommended contractors. It didn't take him very long at all - a couple of hours I think, but that was after a few weeks of waiting for the permit. Which was a stressful time as the reason I needed the new door was due to a burglary where they got in by breaking the frame of the old door, so even though I'd patched it with a metal plate it wasn't secure for a while. Also, I have an older house, and the walls are thicker than the current standard. So this means that the installer had to put an additional piece of wood in to widen the frame.

Anyway, front doors are expensive. The cost of the guy to install it was much less than the cost of the door. Yes, even at several hundred bucks - the door was something like $1200. It's not something I would skimp on unless your husband is very handy - quite handy might not cut it. Or at least, have him bring a very handy friend over to help.
Last edited by englishgirl on Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TRC
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by TRC » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:41 am

We just replaced our front door with 2 side light glass windows and 1 over head transom window. House was only 10 years old, but it wasn't propertly installed or flashed for water proofness. Had lots of rot below the door on the sheathing and into the rim joist. Original builder did not install it propertly the first time. Just had a handyman replace it - took him about 2 days. We're also in the process of building a roof overhang with some decorative pillars that will rest on the outside granite stairs to prevent water & snow from beating on the front entrance.

SteveB3005
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:49 am

.....you are simultaneously working in 3 dimensions.


Hanging larger doors is an art. I'd consider myself very handy, but this is a job I gladly pay to get done.

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Dan-Fl
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by Dan-Fl » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:18 am

Morning
Had 14 openings replaced by professionals this summer. One was a back door. It took about 2-3 hours and was done with skill. It is a fibreglass door and is excellent in looks, and wonderful in terms of heat and cool transfer. Get a door that will not have to be replaced again. This door and frame is fiberglass and synthetic materials that will not rust and rot and termite resistant.
Dan-Fl

likegarden
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by likegarden » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:20 am

We just had a rear entry door with storm door installed by Home Depot, took 2 guys half a day. The sales price was only applicable to 4 inch walls, we have 6 inch walls, needed to be ordered. We like having 3 locks there, back yard is also fenced in. I do fix ups in my home for many years, would not try to do entry doors. Home Depot does good work.

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magellan
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by magellan » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:27 am

TRC wrote:We're also in the process of building a roof overhang with some decorative pillars that will rest on the outside granite stairs to prevent water & snow from beating on the front entrance.

IMO, this is an important point. Unless the door failed for obvious reasons, you really want to do some investigative work and correct whatever caused the failure.

Roof overhangs and porticoes will obviously help a lot, as long as they're well built. With most rot issues, it's all about controlling how the water sheds off the house. With doors, splash-back off the landing is a very common problem. Many contractors will tell you that it's not a matter of if water will penetrate the exterior. It's a matter of when and how much. Often the easiest long-term fix is to divert some water away from the door with a properly installed gutter or a roof mounted rain diverter. Unfortunately, these can have their own maintenance issues, so in the end, you may have to pick your poison.

Jim

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:43 am

Just on materials we went with an 'engineered wood' door, advised this worked best from a moisture/ expansion point of view (less change in size than a straight wood door). House is about 110 years old, previous door may have been an original reworked (single pane glass).
.
In a traditional area, non wood doors (metal or fibreglass or plastic) just look odd and cheap. So do very modern doors, our style is 'mock Victorian' and we are pretty sure several neighbours went to the same source to replace! You do not want a door too distinctive from your neighbours if you care about resale value.

I wish I'd been more on the ball about the thermal efficiency aspect, in retrospect.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by carolinaman » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:23 am

Yes, a pro can easily do in less than a day unless there are unseen complications like damage or rot. If your husband is hesitant to do it, I would advise getting a good contractor to do it. Getting a solid and secure installation of a front door is really important.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by tomd37 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:27 am

Two years ago we replaced three main doors in our home; entry door with one sidelight, hinged patio with glass insert, and rear entry with glass insert. We used a local door and window company who uses Provia Doors (info at http://www.proviaproducts.com). Lots of door options are available. We used the Legacy Steel at the front and the Designer Patio Steel 2-Lite for the patio. The rear entry door and the patio door all have Low-E clear glass inserts. The sidelight on the front door also has Low-E glass. We used Schlage lock products all keyed to the same key by the manufacturer. The installation took two and a half days and they ran into several problems with the eighteen year old door openings, but quickly resolved all issues. Don't let anyone tell you it won't be a messy job as any cutting of the frame opening can be very messy and dust invasive.

Not a job for a homeowner in my opinion, even an experienced handyman. Doors can be very heavy (front steel door itself weighs 86 pounds without frame and sidelight).
Tom D.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by rocket » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:42 am

A big mahogany door with glass makes it difficult. A HEAVY door is much harder to install. You must use long screws (around 4 inch) to hold up the weight.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by MathWizard » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:31 am

Yes, I replaced an entry door just 2 years ago. Went from a wood door to a steel door
for more security.

This is one of those tasks that are not that expensive to have done, and involves security,
so unless he really wants to do it himself, getting it installed is not that big an expense.

I'm generally one who wants to tackle projects, but if my wife is concerned, I'll hire someone.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by montanagirl » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:36 pm

Thanks everyone...my husband knows how to do a lot of things but he likes to work at his own pace. Hopefully he'll punt on this like he did with the roof, even though he used to do roofing as a college student.

I'll bet there is some rot, too. He replaced the wood under the entry when he built the front deck but the door frame looks awful, chunks of wood missing like some dog used to scratch at it.

I wonder how they deal with complications if they have to come back a second day - ? Hang visquene or put the old door back in or what?

MathWizard
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by MathWizard » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:14 pm

I wouldn't expect them to need a full day.
Heck, I replaced one in a day, and I ran into problems requiring me
to redo the entire rough opening, sides and top. My wife helped, holding
things in place while I fastened them, but I'd expect this to be a two
person job, or one person with some device to hold things in place
while they are aligned and fastened.


If you are concerned, I would ask up-front:

I expect the door to be installed and secured. Trim can be done the next day,
but the entry must be secure. What will you do if there is a problem?

Don't hire someone you don't feel comfortable with.

SteveB3005
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:12 pm

Hang visquene or put the old door back in or what?

Just tell them what you want. Visqueen might be ok if you're out in the county somewhere, but in the city or burbs I'd think as a matter of course for a front entry they would cover it with plywood, and if not I'd stress it.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by jasonlitka » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:44 pm

I looked into having the front door on my home replaced late last year but ultimately decided against it due to high cost (wood door w/ glass at top, double sidelights). A few weeks back I stripped all the old paint off the door, filled the dents and scratches, repainted, rehung it so it was straight, replaced the lockset, and replaced the storm door with a new full-view glass door (double pane). It looks and feels like a brand new door but at a fraction of the cost. Lots of work though.

Bad pic, sorry.

http://i.imgur.com/GOfgY.jpg
Jason Litka

SteveB3005
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by SteveB3005 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:02 pm

^ Based upon my vast experience with the paranormal, I believe there is a leprechaun spirit trapped between the entry and storm doors of that house.

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jasonlitka
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by jasonlitka » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:58 am

SteveB3005 wrote:^ Based upon my vast experience with the paranormal, I believe there is a leprechaun spirit trapped between the entry and storm doors of that house.


Nope, just my reflection (and I'm 6"3).
Jason Litka

montanagirl
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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by montanagirl » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:15 pm

jasonlitka wrote:I looked into having the front door on my home replaced late last year but ultimately decided against it due to high cost (wood door w/ glass at top, double sidelights). A few weeks back I stripped all the old paint off the door, filled the dents and scratches, repainted, rehung it so it was straight, replaced the lockset, and replaced the storm door with a new full-view glass door (double pane). It looks and feels like a brand new door but at a fraction of the cost. Lots of work though.


Huh, looks great...our door is this weird metal-on-wood composite and the metal is warped and dented.

The frame has big chunks out of it like it was eaten by termites, but probably due to a pet. But possibly it could be salvaged, and then we'd have just a new door to worry about.

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by jasonlitka » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:13 pm

caroljm36 wrote:
jasonlitka wrote:I looked into having the front door on my home replaced late last year but ultimately decided against it due to high cost (wood door w/ glass at top, double sidelights). A few weeks back I stripped all the old paint off the door, filled the dents and scratches, repainted, rehung it so it was straight, replaced the lockset, and replaced the storm door with a new full-view glass door (double pane). It looks and feels like a brand new door but at a fraction of the cost. Lots of work though.


Huh, looks great...our door is this weird metal-on-wood composite and the metal is warped and dented.

The frame has big chunks out of it like it was eaten by termites, but probably due to a pet. But possibly it could be salvaged, and then we'd have just a new door to worry about.


Thanks.

There were a ton of light scratches and some fairly large "dents" in this door as well (previous owners had dogs), the worst of which was around 1/4" deep, about 1/4" wide, and about 3" long. That's part of the reason I decided to repaint rather than stain once I stripped all the old paint off (the filler said "stainable" but I wasn't sure that would be true). Once the wood filler was in and sanded you couldn't tell there were ever marks. I even rebuilt a few of the edges where the wood had split off.

The large expenses we were looking at were first, the two sidelights, and second, I was insisting on a solid wood door. If you can figure out how to replace just the door, and go with something without glass in it, this will be a few hundred dollar project. If you need to replace everything then you'll be into it for thousands (I believe the quote on my front door was $6500 including labor for two hull-height sidelights and a new door with a glass bit at the top).
Jason Litka

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Re: anyone ever have a front door replaced?

Post by Toons » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:50 pm

caroljm36 wrote:The house we bought 10 years ago is now 30 years old and badly needs a new entry door, door frame and single sidelight replaced. My husband is quite handy and just completed a wonderful new deck, though it took him 4 months.

I haven't mentioned the door project to him yet because it can wait til next year but we talked about it in the past. He seemed a little hesitant about it - is this something that should be done all in one day by a skilled installer?

Any brand recommendations?


I have had 2 front doors and 2 storm doors replaced by Lowes ,no complaints materials and labor very reasonable :happy

http://www.lowes.com/Windows-Doors/Door ... oor&rpp=16
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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