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Old 11-28-2008, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Denver
3,242 posts, read 8,157,678 times
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Well, moving into my first house in a few days

The front door is a hollow core one. So, I would like to replace that.

Is it possible to just find a door on craigslist that matches the dimensions and put it in there?

Am I missing something because that seem way to simple.

Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:10 AM
 
Location: Florida
22,654 posts, read 23,310,907 times
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It can be well worth the savings if the door is the same .Most doors are standard sizes .Trimming would be needed if your opening isn't.
Simple installing it depends on you. The hinges and lockset locations will probably not match exactly to where they are on your frame so you have to know how to redo them.
Many people say they have a hard time hanging a door but I've not found it any worse than a dozen other jobs.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,620 posts, read 13,911,452 times
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old_cold is quite right - door sizes are generally standard (generally 99% of the time). Another source is some thrift shops that sell things such as this (there's great one in northern PA which, of course, doesn't help you in Denver, but perhaps there's a similar one in your locale.)

I also agree with old_cold that door hanging is no worse that other DIY projects. Sometimes it's a simple as pie; other times a bit of tweaking is involved.

If you're up for a go-for-it, then go for it :-)
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Ohio
2,176 posts, read 8,680,151 times
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Hinges and lock/knob locations are pretty much standard.
Just make sure you get the right size door. Height and width are standard also.
Cut some spacing material to help hold the door in the position you want it to be.
Cut thin strips from any waste wood material you might have in the shape of a door stop.
Use the strips/spacers to hold the door in position and mark where you want to mount it to be free swinging without binding on the door opening.
If the door frame is square you probably will be able to hang it in the same hinge mounting holes the old door was mounted in and not have any problems.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Knoxville
4,638 posts, read 23,416,339 times
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"Hinges and lock/knob locations are pretty much standard."
The KEY words here are PRETTY MUCH.
While hinge position may be somewhat uniform, they can vary as much as an inch.
Hinges themselves vary all over the place. Some have square edges, others have rounded corners. The number and placement of the screw holes can vary a lot too.
The idea of getting another 36" door and being able to change it out by unscrewing and installing a hand full of screws is optimistic at best.
That said, IF you are able to find the same door (except the new one is solid core), with the same hinges, and same lockset location, it might not be that hard of a job.
It also would not hurt to have the following tools on hand, and know how to use them.
Screwdrivers
Hammer and chisel
Circular saw
some golf tees and glue (for plugging the screw holes that don't line up).
Since this is your front door, you may want to have a handyman type do the first one for you, then you can tell if you can tackle other.
You may get the old door off, and get halfway through installing the new one, and can't get it right. Then you can't put the old one back, and the new one won't go on.

It isn't that hard of a job, but there are subtle little parts of the job, that if not done correctly will haunt you forever. If you are handy, then give it a shot.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:49 AM
 
3,020 posts, read 24,813,967 times
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Default Yes, you are definitely missing something.....

Normally you do not attempt to replace just a door into another prior installed frame. It can have its own lil sets of problems. They can be problematic even if you finally get it into the frame.

You leave out the critical details. How old is the house? How old is the door?

Doors in general are standard in sizes, that DOES NOT mean yours is a standard size. You start out measuring the door. Then determine what has been used for a door frame. Old doors, generally DID NOT use the same type frames as more modern doors. Lots of older doors use a locally made frame by some carpenter. Modern doors are built with a matching frame, come preinstalled in that frame, as a complete unit. They are replaced, using the factory supplied frame. They also typically include new moldings for installation around the new frame. You may or may not use them depending on circumstances. Lots of times, those moldings are modified, trimmed or whatever to get it custom for that installation. Many cases it is not a take it out of the box, slap it in, as shippped.

Plus understand doors are not the same in how they are built. You have to specify left or right handed and if it opens in or out. It can be a sorry experience if you get the wrong style door because somebody did not understand the terminology and ordered the wrong door. Today it is not that common to attempt to install a modern door into an old frame, the results can be so, so. They never fit perfect, leak more than you like, don't look right. Modern doors are designed to seal properly in their supplied frames, they also come predrilled for locks, too include any set up desired. Such as a lockset with deadbolt above it. Everything works properly once installed as a unit.

Also not all installed doors are trouble free or were properly installed in the present condition. Trying to install a replacement into a problem child installation can be a real giggle. So a certain amount of experience is required in the beginning. One example, my present old shack, I replaced the front door. Everything that could be wrong, was. In fact that puppy took me all day. Normally you can do it in a lil over an hour. Some muttering in various languages occurred. Could a newbie have done the job, not a chance. You have to be able to understand the door may be a problem child long before getting into it.

Normally the way today to replace a door is, order the correct replacement in terms of size, style, etc. Doors come standard in increments of 2", as in 30", 32", 34", 36" where that is the general opening size of the door itself. Then you remove the old door, including all its interior / exterior trim, cut out the old frame, normally that is done with a sabre saw with a metal cutting blade. This gets you back to a rough opening situation similar to new construction. Hopefully some where close to a normal rough opening for the size involved.

Once the old door / frame is removed, the new door is set into place with its frame as a matched pair. Just about all doors are sold that way today. The installation is a pretty standard procedure from that point. All doors include a set of instructions, none of it is rocket science but experience still counts a lot. You can mess it up if not careful. There is a shimmng procedure and nailing sequence that must be followed. Got to get it in plumb and square, which in certain problem child houses can be very time consuming. It always can be done, the question being, how much extra effort and non-standard steps will be done.

Trying to replace a door that is not a matched pair in a frame special built for that door can quickly get many newbies into trouble. Even rather experienced folks can get challenged in certain situations. Plus the final fit may not be the best. Just the way of the World.

We also were not told if there is a storm door installed outside this front door. In some installations it can present additional considerations that must be dealt with in the replacement. It may not be a "By the Numbers", type installation. Most experienced folks will spot the problem child right off the bat. In my present front door, I think I would have walked away from the job after a quick look, sure glad I did not have to bill myself for the work.

If you do not have a clue what is required, get somebody experienced who has hung a few doors. Maybe posts some pixs here, so we get a better idea of what might be involved.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,434 posts, read 47,292,824 times
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I wonder why you have to ask if you can find a door on Craigslist if you can just go type "door" into the Craigslist search box yourself. Anyway, you got all good advice here. Everyone was right.

But why buy some one elses junk when so much modifying needs to be done to make it work? By modifying I mean if the hindges, lockset or striker dont line up. And like others have all said, chances are 50/50 at best that they will not line up. Then when they dont you will have to become an artist molding weldwood into the old hinge and striker plate holes to cover them before repainting.

You can buy an entire prehung steel entry door from any of the big box stores, lumber yards or window and door specialty stores in your town for about $100 for a plain ol steel door to one that has a nice ovel stained glass insert for under $300. You can buy prehung entry doors for $2000 and up but if you were able to afford that then you would not be asking us for advice.

All doors come in standard sizes. Generally a front door by most all local codes should be a 3/0 door. That means 3' and 0". The next size down would be a 2/10 door but that is a special order size....the next one is a 2/8 door which means 2' and 8". All standard doors interior or exterior will be 80" high and that will only vary if the home is real old or some fool modified it from the size they bought.

The door jambs vary betwen interior and exterior so rather then measuring your door and buying a prehung based on that size, I might want to remove each leg of door casings from the inside and measure your exact opening from the framing. Removing the casing will expose the framing studs. I hope Im explaining this good as it is hard to put some actions into writing. Bring these measurments to your local lumber yard or window and door specialty store. They can take it from there. I really would not trust the orange or blue store to know what door to sell you because they are just minimum wage kids who now as much about home construction as you and I know about doing open heart surgery.

Hope that helps you..........
Good luck....
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,242 posts, read 8,157,678 times
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Wow! I really had no idea there was so much to this. Well, there isn't that much but it seems like buying used in this case can be a major pita.

I was looking online at home depot and no idea I could get a prehung door with a little glass in it for $300.

That really sounds like the way to go !

Thank you all for your advice.
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 11,029,165 times
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A front door is a big deal. We replaced ours back a few years ago and there was trouble! we ordered from home depot and the manufacture dimensions were off a little. not a good thing when your door is off and the new one doesn't want to fit! we were using a contractor(not from home depot) Home depot didn't want to honor anything since we didn't use their contractor. I went round and round with them, the manufacturer etc for almost a year. not a happy situation. I would recommend having someone come and measure everything for you and ordering, using their contractors etc. this will provide you with the best recourse should there be a slightest inconsistency.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:17 PM
 
20,823 posts, read 62,313,881 times
Reputation: 40088
<shrug> I've replaced a few doors. The biggest problem was painting. YMMV
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