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Replacement doors

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by BrowningBAR, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Now that my stove situation is finally settled, I will begin replacing windows, doors, and figuring out solutions to the draftiness of this stone, basementless, old home.

    The first thing I want to do is replace the two sets of french doors, the main front door and the two additional doors that each were used as front doors at some point in the long history of the home.

    The doors I want to tackle first are the french doors and/or the front door. Lowes has several options that match pretty damn close to my existing doors and seems like a pretty good price. Any experience with Lowes doors?

    Any one know of other providers that offer replacement doors at economic prices?

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  2. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    We ordered a Pella Fiberglas, prefinished door from Lowes 4 years ago. They were great to deal with and we had no problems. I checked the website and it looks like they don't sell Pellas anymore. I have heard good things about Jeld Wen doors which they do sell. Good Luck!
  3. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Is your attic airsealed? That fixed my drafty doors.
  4. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Browning, what year was your house built.. and about how old do you think the current doors and windows on it are?
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Around 1741.

    The Doors look like they were re-done 20+ years ago. The front door has some rot on the door and the frame work that causes leaks and prevents the door from sitting flush around the door frame.

    The two sets of french doors have some rot as well, and have gaps that let air in. A lot of this is due to poor installation. Much like how the ceder shake roof rotted due to poor installation (the ceder shake was laid right onto the plywood which caused rotting in less than 20 years).

    The two doors that are in the living room and kitchen contain single pain glass and sit poorly in the framework. I've sealed those up pretty well and do not cause nearly as much leaking as the front door and the french doors. But the single pane glass doesn't do much for the insulation.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    No it isn't. The attic is a problem as well, but the doors are obviously in need of repair and are causing a huge problem. The attic is adding to this, but the doors are a bigger issue at this point. But yes, the attic needs work as well.
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Did you have them installed by Lowes, did you do it yourself, or did you have someone else install the doors. I am wondering if Lowes installers are okay or should be avoided. Thanks for the reply.
  8. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Go to Service Magic.com. Its a service that as a contractor I subscribe to also. To belong, a contractor has to be licensed, and insured. You can also see customer reviews and rating before you hire.
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Browning-

    Yea, I thought I recalled your place was older than mine.

    Are the french door in an addition or original part of the home? If its an original opening it might be what was sometimes called the "coffin door" - a wide door or double door around the side of the house for use when somebody "expired". What the house probably had originally was a double paneled or board and batten door in those locations. And sometimes exterior doors were made by nailing an interior panel door to a board an batten door on the outside to make a double thick door.

    Are you looking just for something cheap to fit in the hole, or are you trying to restore the place historically?

    2 years ago I replaced my 80s (guess) replacement exterior doors with new wood doors by Simpson. I had a buddy of mine who is a restoration contractor help me with the install. If curious you can take a look - http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=24714. To give you an idea that front 6 panel door was $800 and the 9 lite rear was $1200. With the hardware, paint and a couple days labor from my buddy the project ran about $3k. If I were to do it again and be historically accurate I would actually go search for a real 19th century vintage old growth mortise and tenon door at a salvage yard... the veneer on this new one is already cracked from the sun in spite of 5 coats of paint and I doubt I will get more than 20 years from it.

    This is just MHO, but I wouldn't trust ANY big box store installer. My dad works at the Orange and the insider stories impress me even less than my interactions with those places as a customer.


    I'm going to be good and try not to get on a rant about windows either. If your windows are real wood sash windows more than 40 years old or so I can give you lots of reasons why restoring them and investing in storms is much better in the long run than replacements (subject I am passionate about, as is Danno and I'm sure he will show up here soon and then we will gang up on you he he he ) Oh i guess I did rant :oops:
  10. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    My wife and I installed it (and we are stilled married :eek:) . I really don't know much about the Lowe's installers.
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Wow, never heard of a coffin door. Now I want one just so I can threaten guests with it when they get out of hand. "Bob, if you keep that up, you're gonna be leavin' through the coffin door."

    But, the French doors are in the "gallery." The gallery connects the enclosed, renovated summer kitchen to the rest of the house and the gallery acts as a main vain to connect all portions of the house together.

    Historically isn't needed as this section of the home was renovated. The style is traditional, but not historic for this section. The exterior wall of the entire gallery is glass. Each glass section needs to be replaced, but the doors are the bigger issue at this point. You can see how the gallery looks in the attached photo.

    Yeah, I know. I've heard the same thing. I was probably just fishing for positive reviews to rationalize going with their installers.

    Yes, most of my windows are probably 40 years old or so. I do have storm windows, but the bastards are still so very drafty. I'm not touching the windows yet for this very reason. I want to have some easy victories with tightening this place up with new doors and address the attic issues. I also have air leaks coming from the floors which is a problem as I do not have a basement or crawl space. Not looking forward to addressing that problem.[/quote]

    Attached Files:

  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I might try that. But, my past experiences with Service Magic have not been good. This is more on the service than it is the contractors that sign up with the company. The way they pass leads to the contractors seem poorly managed.
    PapaDave likes this.
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Interesting room - not at all what I had expected you place to look like - very Victorian feel to that room. neat.

    If your windows are 60s or 70s vintage they are not as valuable as 18th/19th century originals but even so the wood will probably be denser and more durable and the joinery of better quality than all but the most high end replacements today. It may still be a cheaper and longer lasting option to have them refinished and weatherstripped and replace only the storm with airtight modern units. Harvey Tru-Channel are very inexpensive and tight, other options are Larson and Allied (expensive but nearly invisible and used on a lot of museum houses).

    A very informative documentation on old window work Ive shared before that might give some ideas:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vze7aq8e/homewindowrestorationwork/index.html
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The windows themselves might be older. But, I do not think they are 18th/19th century. I know the framework has been updated at some point. I've caulked the hell out of them to minimize leaks. The window by the stove in the Kitchen was the worst. I've jammed an amazing amount of caulking, weather stripping, refractory cement, and spay insulation into that area. Greatly improved the issue, but if both kitchen windows and door would be replaced the performance of the Encore would greatly increase.
  15. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    We sorta had a wall of windows like that & while it looked very nice, & gave us GREAT view of the lake we live on, they were on the North side of our house & the winter wind howls directly at them after crossing the ice. Way too freekin cold. I sucked it up this summer, jacked the floor above & pulled everything out. I restudded (2x6) sheathed wired & insulated (5.5" in the walls & 1"Hi-R outside) & added two new 36Hx54W Anderson Terratone Vinyl Clad outside (wood inside) double double-hung windows & a new Stanley (36x80) entry door. This will be the first winter with those mods & hopefully MOST of our pellet-supplied heat will stay IN the house. What I removed, two double-opening French doors, a 54Hx72w bay window & a 36Hx72wdouble double-hung window, were ALL Pella & IMHO, were garbage that I paid premium prices for.
    ScotO likes this.
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I can not budget in that much right now. But I am looking into sliding doors as opposed to the french doors due to the issues that french doors have. Sounds like you did it yourself by the way you described it. What did it run you and how much more would it have cost if you had someone do it for you? I ask so I know what to budget for in the future.
  17. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Yep, I did it myself, with a buddy. I am a licensed carpenter & he does remodelling for a living. Took us 4 10-hour days to do all the destruction, jacking, reconstruction & the window & door installs. The costs were $1800 for the (2) Anderson Windows. The Stanley entry door & the storm door were about $400 combined. $300 for 2x6s & sheathing another $200 for the insulation. Wiring wasn't much, because i used what was there, I just shut the breakers down & disconnected everything, & then re-wired pretty much in the same locations. The length of the wall we replaced is 40'...Roughly $3k...Round these parts, labor is 1.5 x material, so if your wall is close to the same length & you do the same mods, this at least gives you a rough guess as to costs.

    Uhh... Add another $125 or so for the sheet rock & screws...(doh!)
  18. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Thanks.
  19. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'd love to see pictures of that place, both inside and out. I love colonial stone houses! As for your door search, have you considered talking to any local Amish craftsmen about building a set of doors that would match your home? The local ones around here do a phenominal job, and it is really reasonable costwise. Just a thought. And, as Woodgeek mentioned, how 'airtite' is your attic, and/or the ceilings on the top floor of your house? May consider getting that tightened up, that would help alot with the draft issue. Maybe expanded foam insulation.......just some ideas.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The doors I will be replaces are pretty traditional looking and I can find them in most locations. I am looking to the Amish for a garage, but I am still trying to organize our thoughts on that as to what is really needed for that project.

    Here are a few photos of the house.

    Gallery:
    gallery.JPG

    Gallery before we moved in:
    gallery.jpg

    Exterior of the house about five years ago before we put on the new roof and before the first stove was installed (also before we removed a lot of overgrowth and the fence):
    farmhouse.jpg

    Living room before we removed the built in cabinet to put in the Heritage, which is where the Defiant will sit once I am done repainting a few spots on the chimney and back wall:
    PICT0105.JPG

    Kitchen. To the right of the rocker out of frame is where the kitchen fireplace that holds the Encore and where the Intrepid used to be.
    PICT0010.jpg

    Dining room:
    PICT0013.jpg

    Summer Kitchen, before we moved in. This is where the 30 will site in a few weeks and where the Vigilant and Defiant have been previously:
    summer kitchen.jpg

    Five and a half foot tall snowman:
    100_0655.JPG
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    That looks beautiful, BBar! That's MY kind of house!
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is some sort of cools stuff BBar.
  23. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful and drafty!
  24. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Second that - beatiful house browning. You should come join us at OHW and talk houses sometime.

    I like Scotty's idea to get custonnm door made in Amish country. They will probably make itout of solid wood with real mortise joinery, last a lot longer than anything factory made.
    ScotO likes this.
  25. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    OHW?

    Old House W? ? ? ? ?

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