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Windows and Doors/exterior door replacement


Greetings Russ...I own a single family home which was built in 1950. I've lived here for 36yrs.and for the most part I've done alot of improvements & renovations over the years. I know my limits, so beyond that I seek out pro's if need be. My question is that my side door (which is the main access into the house) is in need of a "New" door. The existing door is of metal clad with glass which has a plastic grid to give it a 9 pane look. the plastic frame is cracked in several places and the door itself is in need of replacement. It is 29-1/2" x 76-3/4"..I believe in todays standards that 36" door is the min. To replace the door with a larger one of 36'' would mean a great deal of alterations to fit it because of the construction interior walls on each side of the door.I do not have the finances to hire a contractor to do that extensive job, so I am looking into just replacing the door and not the framework around it. Do you have any advice on what type of door to use? In terms of wood...metal...etc;
Thanks for your time...Ken

I usually install steel doors when I have to replace one. Yes you can buy the door without the frame, but I recommend you buy the door with the frame. This way you will have a nice tight seal around the door to save you money on heating & cooling. All the weather stripping is new and the threshold fits tight at the bottom when closed. In my opinion it is easier to replace a door that comes with the frame attached than to install a door to the existing frame. Take the old door and frame out and just slide the new door in. Put a bead of caulk on the underside or the threshold.. Buy some shims, apply them if needed. Make sure the threshold is level along with the top of the door frame. Put the level in the vertical position on each side of the frame to ensure the frame is plumb. Then caulk around the door frame and house door opening. Also steel doors will get dents in them sooner or later. That can easily be fixed by using Glazing Putty found in the auto parts stores. Finally one last thing I like to do is use 3 inch drywall screws to attach the door striker plates for the deadbolt & door knob. A three inch screw should be long enough the be able to screw into the double 2x4 of the door opening. This makes the door quite a bit more secure.

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Russell Spataro


Construction, home repair, tile, cabinets, flooring, framing, windows, siding, concrete, new construction, remodeling


14 years as a custom home builder

25 years as a carpenter

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