There was once a sad, neglected shed in the back corner of a lot in the Carter Creek area in Bryan TX. The previous owner neglected this shed and now the existing doors were unusable. We pulled out the rotting double door (that was an interior door) and replaced it with a single 36″ wide steel door.
Identifying the Problem
Ok…That’s a little tongue-in-cheek in this situation. The new owner of this house has been slowly fixing things and upgrading things to suit her taste since she bought a nice older home in Bryan. Great house, nice neighborhood but like any older home it’s time for some renovation and maintenance to make it last another 60 years.
This shed, although an eye-sore, wasn’t a huge priority. Therefore, we focused on some interior improvements to the main house first. But when the owner could no longer access her garden shed because of this door, the priority level was bumped up.
We decided to replace the door with an inexpensive steel door and replace the siding on only one side of the barn. . Replacing all the siding will come at a later date.
Sometimes budget dictates the scope of work that you can afford to do. We get that. By breaking this project down we could do the door and one side now, then at a later date go back and replace the rest of the siding. We also offer six-month zero interest payment plans through PayPal Credit. Get those essential home repairs done without cleaning out the emergency fund.
New Door, New Siding, Fresh Paint
A new door, new siding, and a fresh coat of high quality paint. This job only took about 3 days from start to finish. The home owner did decide to splurge in one area; installing a Kwikset Key Pad Lock. Key pad locks allow you to use a code to unlock the door with out a key. No more walks of shame back inside to get your keys! I love them and the added convenience is worth the upgrade.
What’s the Home Improvement Project You’ve been Putting Off?
Fall is a great time for smaller home improvement projects. Let Dailey Woodworks help you get it done right. CLICK HERE to go to our contact page and tell us about your project for a free estimate.
I often hear the question, “What kind of door do I need?”
When it is time to replace a door on your home you have many options and likely many questions. Our goal with this post is to provide a clear, yet concise, buying guide to help you choose the right door for your home. We will briefly touch on interior doors then focus on exterior doors for the bulk of this post. If you’re in the Brazos Valley, we provide interior and exterior door installation and are happy to help you with your project. And of course we build and install custom Barn Doors as well.
How to measure your front door.
There are rough opening dimensions, finished dimensions, etc. Thankfully residential door sizes are pretty much standardized throughout the industry. This means it’s as simple as measuring the width of the actual door.
I snapped this picture sitting at my desk in my wife’s new craft room. As you can see this is a 24″ door.
Pre-hung vs Slab Doors
There are two options when buying a new door. Slab or Pre-hung. A slab is just the door. It may come predrilled for a lock set or it may not. With a slab the hinges must be mortised and the door trimmed to fit the existing jamb. A pre-hung door is just that, a door that is “pre-hung” on a jamb. I always recommend purchasing a pre-hung door. The cost difference in negligible. In fact, I charge more to hang and fit a slab on an existing jamb than I do to remove and install a pre-hung door. With a pre-hung door you get a full “door unit” and everything lines up straight from the factory.
Interior Doors: Hollow Core vs Solid Core Doors
A “Hollow Core Door” is hollow and a “Solid Core Door” is solid. Glad I could clear that up!
Hollow core doors are lighter and cheaper both in quality and price. You can pick up a hollow core interior door off the shelf at any box store or building center. Your house most likely has hollow core doors.
A Solid Core Door is solid. This means it weighs more, about double from my guestimation. They also cost about double. The advantages are that a solid core door will take more abuse from your three year old super hero, block sound a lot better, and will also insulate better than a hollow door. The disadvantages are cost and availability. The 24″ door in the picture above is a solid core and is used as a passthrough from my shop to my wife’s craft room. We chose a solid core for the sound and insulation benefits. We had to special order the door and it took about 3 weeks to come in and cost about double.
Exterior Doors: Steel vs Fiberglass vs Wood
When it come to exterior doors there are a plethora of options: double doors, arched doors, doors with windows… you have a lot of options. Knowing the differences in cost, quality, and maintenance will help you make an informed decision.
Steel Doors – The Economy Option
Steel Doors are your basic option and the cheapest option for an exterior door. At my fixer upper, we’re slowly replacing our exterior doors with steel doors. Our house is in a “working class” neighborhood and it would be a poor return on investment to spend more money on a higher quality door. If you live in a “fancy” neighborhood going with a “cheap” steel door isn’t a great idea for resale purposes. The only real advantages of a steel door are the cost savings and being readily available.
[/caption]The downsides are as follows: They dent and scratch very easily, once they are dented it’s almost impossible to hide the dent. Other flaws like “ripples” are almost impossible to see until after you paint the door. The ultra flat factory primer makes it hard to spot these imperfections, but once you apply a semi-gloss paint EVERY flaw in the door stands out.
Steel doors have their place; cost savings, rentals, back doors, and starter homes for example, but I recommend going with a fiberglass door whenever possible.
I recommend you install fiberglass doors in your home. The cost difference varies from about $75 more than a basic steel door to upwards of $2000 for a wood-look premium fiberglass door like this one:
Fiberglass doors insulate better, don’t rust, and resist dings and dents better than steel doors. It’s definitely the way to go if you want the best door for your money. (Read our blog post about this door installation in Bryan TX.)
Absolutely nothing compares to the beauty of a real wooden door. I love them. This is a door I sanded down and refinished a year ago. Which brings us to the big downside of wood doors: maintenance.
I left this picture big so you could take it all in as you were scrolling down. What an amazing door! They are also very expensive. A prefinished solid wood door and a top of the line “wood-look” fiberglass door are about the same price. Now I will begrudgingly share with you the negatives of a real wood door… As I mentioned earlier, maintenance is the biggest draw back of a wood door. With the extremes in temperature, humidity, and the blistering summer heat you can expect to refinish your wood door every 7-10 years (prices change but refinishing a door like this runs about $450).
Here is what the above door looked like before I refinished it.
For interior doors you have two main options: Cheap and available hollow core doors or expensive and special order solid core doors. Wood interior doors are also an option.
Exterior Doors have many options in three main categories:
Steel Doors – Cheaper/lower quality. Good for rentals, back doors, the budget friendly option
Fiberglass doors – Best value and quality. You simply get a lot better door for your money. I recommend fiberglass doors especially for the front door that everyone sees.
Wood Doors – Unparalleled Beauty but High Maintenance…There’s a marriage joke in there somewhere but I’ve closed the door on jokes made in poor taste.
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Right Hand or Left Hand In-swing
I’ll be honest, this still confuses the heck out of me. I’ve lost count of how many doors I’ve installed (over 100 for sure) and I still have to re-enact opening the door or draw a picture for the guy at the store. Instead of trying to explain it to you and confusing us both, here’s a diagram I found.
My Favorite Locksets
I really like these keypad locks from Kwikset. They are easy to install and have an “auto-lock” feature. It’s nice to be able to text grandma the code instead of finding an extra key.
This doorway was a challenge. The entry to an older home in Bryan, TX was a massive door that, unfortunately, was damaged beyond repair. Years of rain, Texas heat, and, most recently, a beating from Hurricane Harvey had caused the old wooden door to swell, crack, and begin to fail at the joints. We set about replacing the door and rebuilding the entryway.
My clients chose a door from our door supplier and we installed it when the door arrived a few weeks later. The old entryway had no insulation and I can imagine that in full summer heat or winter chill, you would feel the draft walking by. We completely tore out the old framing, built new framing, installed the door, added insulation, closed it back up, and painted it.
The finished result really boosted the curb appeal of this home. In fact, the homeowners loved it so much that I’m going back to replace a few more doors for them in the next couple of weeks. We originally painted the door and surround in Doe Skin by Kelly Moore but since both of the homeowners are professors at Texas A&M University, it just wasn’t right without some Aggie Maroon.