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Minnesota Gal 05-26-2007 11:43 AM

Rebuilding a jam for an antique front door?
Hi all,

I have an older home (built in 1037) that had been stripped of much of its character by a former owner. One of the remuddling projects he completed was tearing out the original front and side doors and replacing them with $119 specials from Menards (you know the ones, lightweight metal with the little sunburst thing on the top). So... through a long and somewhat funny course of events I ran across a neighbor who was in the process of tearing out his antique front door and I talked him into giving it to me, along with the piece of the old jam that had the lock strike plate (I think that's what it's called) and the other parts of the hinges. The door is so similar to the original one at my house (I've seen pictures) and I would really like to refinish it and have it, and a new top quality storm door, installed and functional in my house.

I know that this kind of carpentry work and heavy lifting is outside of my realm of capability. I can handle the refinishing, but I'm hoping to get some recommendations on what kind of professional might be able to successfully build me a jam, and install the two doors. Also, is this a viable project? I really hope so, but if not, I'm not really out anything as I got the gorgeous antique door for free. Does anyone know roughly how much I could expect to pay a professional for this project?

I'd really appreciate any thoughts you all might have, thanks in advance!


AtlanticWBConst. 05-26-2007 12:12 PM


First off, I think you must mean your house is either from 1837 or 1937. As 1037 would probably be a little too old. :wink:

What kind of professional? Generally not a ''handyman for hire" type. The majority of these lack the skill level for such a particular project.

You want a bonofied legitamate CARPENTER....A real carpenter, not a painter who thinks he can do carpentry or a guy who is a self proclaimed carpenter because he has cut and nailed some things....

Do your research and look for ''carpenters''. Interview them and check references. Get several quotes.

(Example: We do our own carpentry, but for such a job, by the sounds of it....we would utilize this: we have access to a complete 2000sf wood shop with state of the art equipement and an expert to boot - for when we have some really specialized custom work or precise woodwork duplications to do.
(This expert doesn't leave his shop and do installations, most carpentry shops are the same) So, we would bring the door to him and consult, then have him fabricate a custom matched and stained door jamb and threshold. Everything would be bored and matched precisely at the shop. Then traansferred and installed at the job location for a custom seamless fit.
Result: The door would look like it was there when the house was built and would close, swing, lock, latch, seal and operate flawlessly)

Minnesota Gal 05-26-2007 12:42 PM

Thanks so much for your input - and yes, the house was built in 1937:) Any thoughts on how much something like this would run, even a ballpark estimate?

AtlanticWBConst. 05-26-2007 02:38 PM


Originally Posted by Minnesota Gal (Post 46342)
Thanks so much for your input - and yes, the house was built in 1937:) Any thoughts on how much something like this would run, even a ballpark estimate?

Entry door installs are not cheap. They require alot of additional work beyond the install labor itself. Usually there is carpentry work on the exterior around the door. Interior side around the door and work on the flooring adjacent to the door threshold.
The door itself may require additional work to ensure it's proper fitment.
What about door inswing direction? Does the replacement match the inswing direction?

An experienced carpenter is going to charge you in the ballpark of $1200 - $1600.00 for the install itself. The additional materials and the work required to fabricate, stain & poly the replacement jambs could add anywhere from $400.00 to as much as $1000.00 to the job.

Honestly, the best price you will find from an experienced carpenter is going to be from a retired guy that does small side jobs.
Sometimes guys like this will do a job for time and materials.

bofusmosby 05-26-2007 10:53 PM

I like your idea of using the old doors you obtained. I am in the process of restoring my old house, and right now, I am in the process of installing an old screen door that would have been on my house when built. Its the details that make a difference. I personally would have to try the job myself (lack of funds), but from what I have seen with the screen door I am working on, if I had the money, I would definately hire a professional. You only have one shot to get it right, and I would not trust my ability. Good luck with your project.

Minnesota Gal 05-29-2007 10:57 AM

Hi again,

Thanks for ringing in. I'll have to do some shopping around and get some quotes, I like the idea of finding a retired master carpenter, otherwise I'm not sure that it would be that great of an investment. Those Menards doors are painful to look at though...:(


RemodelMan 12-01-2007 08:26 PM

Seasoned carpenter available
I happen to live and work in and around the twin cities as a professional carpenter with numerous refernces. If you still are in need of an antique, used, custom or store bought door installed, perhaps I can help.

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