Can An Exterior Door Be Used As An Interior Door? - Windows and Doors - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 06-15-2014, 03:31 AM   #1
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Can an exterior door be used as an interior door?

I have an older 15 light exterior door that I'd like to use in an interior doorway. I'm worried that the interior casing may not be strong enough to hold the door. The door is alot heavier than I had expected, and our house was built in the 1950's with hollow core doors, so there will be a big weight difference. I see that I'll need to add another hinge, as the exterior door has 3 hinges, and each hinge has 4 screws. Any general recommendations? Thanks!


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Old 06-15-2014, 06:28 AM   #2
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Before you start, check the door thickness---exterior doors are thicker--so moving the doorstop moldings may be required.

Also check the height and width.

If the door will fit ,yes you can---if the door frame is shimmed properly you will be fine--if it is not shimmed at the hinges ,the casing (door trim) will need to be removed so new shims can be added--

Have you ever done this? Hanging a slab into an existing jamb is rather advanced carpentry---a new prehung door is much easier to install---


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Old 06-15-2014, 06:41 AM   #3
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Casing is the trim around the door that's attached to the wall and the door jambs.
I'm thinking you really mean the jambs may not be strong enough.
A ext. door is also thicker then an interior door and has a threshold.
It would be a whole lot easier on you if you could remove the whole door, jambs and all on that old ext. door, and remove the threshold not just the door slab.
Just trying to reuse that slab is going to involve having to build a whole new jamb because the stops, latch hole, and hinges are not going to line up.
Buying a new prehung instead should be about an hours job or less to install.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:23 AM   #4
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Making a new jamb isn't rocket science, but it is a bit more than any entry-level DIY job.

By the time you patch up or modify the existing jamb you likely could have built a new one. You're going to have to cut for the hinges and lock either way. As you replace the jamb you'd also have to at least remove/replace the moldings too. You'd have to paint any patches and likely most of the jamb to make it look right, so that's pretty close to a wash vs a new jamb.

The big challenge is cutting for the hinges. And making sure there's enough framing behind where they'll go to properly support the greater weight of the door.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Yes. Did it at my office about 17X over.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:01 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone, this was really helpful. I think I'll look for another interior door for this spot. I'm getting in a bit too deep with DIY projects right now.


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