Reusing a Door to Replace a Door.

About: relaxed pic

The back door of our house desperately needed replacing, The door is a non standard size 75 inches by 29 inches, so narrow that when we got a new fridge we had to take the handles off of the fridge to get it through into the kitchen. Buying a custom sized door was out of the budget. The photos show the original backdoor, the "new" door and the New back door.

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Step 1: A Door Is Found.

I had been searching for a replacement door for a few years, and literately found one right next door. My next door neighbours where having a yard sale after they had had some renovations done on their house. The door is solidly constructed out of Fir with one single pane window. They asked $50 for it which I thought was fair. Carried the heavy door home and started to plan how to reuse it.

Step 2: Preparing the Door

First the original glass has to be removed safely.

I cut through the paint that was over the molding that was holding the glass in, then using a scraper and a hammer, I pried out the molding.

Note: While doing this I was wearing gloves, part of one of the gloves you can see in one of the photos.

Step 3: Preparation Part Two

With the glass safely removed, Time to tackle the door knob/lock.

I removed the Knob and lock mechanism.

The lock mechanism was the old skeleton key type which because of its shape was a bonus for filling in the hole.

I filled the hole with a scrap piece of 3/4 inch plywood which I glued in place, after the glue set, the plug was trimmed.

Step 4: Down Sizing and Constructing the Door

Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures of this. Something about using a Skilsaw and a camera at the same time is not a good plan.

The neighbours door was 32 by 80 inches. I cut 4 inches off of the bottom, about 1 inch off of each side, and about 1 inch off of the top.

Next I cut a 3/16inch thick piece of plywood to cover the 3 panels on the lower side of the door (see picture) drilled two holes over each panel that the plywood would cover (the holes went into the plywood). Then using low expansion spray foam filled in the spaces of the three panels on the inside part of the door, the holes in the plywood are so that any excess foam could escape. The plywood was fastened to the door about every 4 inches with 2 inch long wood cap screws. The plywood and the rest of the door was then primed with an exterior latex primer.

The window I used was one that I had originally installed in the old back door. The window is double glazed with an integral screen. I had to take it apart to remove it, so this was a good time to paint the outside part of the frame. I used Rust-O-leum Coffee Brown, That is good for metal or plastic.

That done, the original window hole (on the new to me door) only had to be lengthened a bit to accommodate the window.

The outside of the door was then painted with an exterior latex brown paint.

I then fitted the door to the door frame (with the window not installed yet) using the original hinges. I then measured for the door knob and latch. Removed the door, installed the door knob which is a combination latch/deadbolt.

I reinforced the striker plate area and deepened the hole for the deadbolt part.

Installed the door, did some minor adjustments, also installed a door closer which is installed to the reinforced/insulated lower part of the door. The door closer was screwed into the stile part of the door between the top panel and the lower two panels.

The window was then installed and adjusted for proper fit. Then I used some low expansion spray foam to fill any voids that where with the plastic trim.

Step 5: The Completed Door

To complete the installation, new weather striping was installed.

The reason for the door closer is that we have cats that love to escape any time they can, so the closer helps to keep that from happening.

This will be the third winter for the "new to us door" and it is holding up and performing quite well!

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