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Old 01-06-2009, 02:10 AM   #1
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French doors


We are moving into our new home in a few short weeks. It was a foreclosure, but built in 2006. Unfortunately, someone decided to kick in the French doors and take the appliances. My question is, can we replace the door part of the french doors without having to rip our the casing (is that what the part surrounding the doors is called??) and replace the whole darn thing?
I don't know the terminology of it all, still learning, so please bear with me!

Thanks for any advice and guidance.

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Old 01-06-2009, 06:24 AM   #2
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Essentially, it sounds like you are asking if you can replace the door slabs. while leaving the frame/jambs in place.
It sounds like these may be an exterior entry door arrangement. If so, you are better off installing an all new arrangement, in order to get a safe, secure and weathertight set-up.

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Old 01-06-2009, 07:27 AM   #3
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Depending on the manufacturer, I would say probably. I am assuming there was no damage to the jambs or hinges???? If there was any damage, twisted hinges or cracked wood, replace it all. Only consider one with a better locking mechanism. It is impossible to have a thief proof door, but you make them consider hitting a different house.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:53 AM   #4
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Yeah you should just be able to change out the doors with new ones. You just have to make sure that the new ones are the same size as the old ones. Assuming your jamb wasn't moved out of whack from being kicked in, they should technically just go right it. But if they are even an 1/8" too big, they may not work right. But a little work with a sander or hand plane, or even a circular saw you can get them perfect in no time.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Depending on the manufacturer, I would say probably. I am assuming there was no damage to the jambs or hinges???? If there was any damage, twisted hinges or cracked wood, replace it all. Only consider one with a better locking mechanism. It is impossible to have a thief proof door, but you make them consider hitting a different house.
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Originally Posted by sausagefingers View Post
Yeah you should just be able to change out the doors with new ones. You just have to make sure that the new ones are the same size as the old ones. Assuming your jamb wasn't moved out of whack from being kicked in, they should technically just go right it. But if they are even an 1/8" too big, they may not work right. But a little work with a sander or hand plane, or even a circular saw you can get them perfect in no time.
If the doors were kicked in, they are most likely exterior door, and not interior wooden doors (which are much easier to replace, along with alot of forgiveness in the fitment.

If they are exterior doors, they "may be" another material other than wood (Fiberglass/metal)?

If they are wood doors, the slabs will have very low tolerances for fitment, with little forgiveness and little play. Couple that, along with the need to properly align the hinge mortises, bore the knob arangement/strike plate and deadbolt. Also adding the required weather stripping, and you are getting beyond the new guy to average DIYer project. I have seen experienced trades people screw these up.

The only method that may work, is to attempt to order the same manufacture's door. The only problem with that, is manufactures change their lines pretty consistently, and matching up to the existing frame doesn't alwas happen/work.

My point is, that by the sounds of this, it is not your typical novice DIY job. For the costs of purchasing the door slabs from the manufacture, the Owner may be better off, doing a total repalcement, that aligns properly.

Their concern is if they have to replace the casing/door trim on the interior and exterior.
That will be the easiest part of such a project, over a newbie (which they obviously are), attempting to install slabs: Measure/cut/bore-out/aling/hinge/etc, and align it all to an existing frame.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #6
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I don't know your exact situation but you may be able to replace the entire assembly easier than trying to fit new doors in the existing casement. You might be able to get the old assembly out by only removing the interior door trim and sliding old assembly out to the inside of the house. Just remember, the key to doors is to keep them plumb, square and level.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. Here is a picture of the damage to the door. This is a picture from inside the house. The doors open into the house off the back patio. It closes fine, etc. I'm not sure how they did it. What do you think?
Attached Thumbnails
French doors-frenchdoordamage.jpg  

Last edited by Tethered Cat; 01-06-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:17 AM   #8
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If that's the extent of the damage, then I would rteplace the wooden astragal on the idle door, rather than replace the entire set of doors. Even if you have get one milled to fit by a cabinet shop, it would be less hassle than a full replacement. At the same time, I would install some reinforcement behind the strike plate(s). Looks like the deadbolt wasn't thrown or the damage would have been much greater OR it would have taken a lot more effort to get in.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
If that's the extent of the damage, then I would rteplace the wooden astragal on the idle door, rather than replace the entire set of doors. Even if you have get one milled to fit by a cabinet shop, it would be less hassle than a full replacement. At the same time, I would install some reinforcement behind the strike plate(s). Looks like the deadbolt wasn't thrown or the damage would have been much greater OR it would have taken a lot more effort to get in.
That is definitely what I'd do. Also, you might consider putting longer screws in the strike plates.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
If that's the extent of the damage, then I would rteplace the wooden astragal on the idle door, rather than replace the entire set of doors. Even if you have get one milled to fit by a cabinet shop, it would be less hassle than a full replacement. At the same time, I would install some reinforcement behind the strike plate(s). Looks like the deadbolt wasn't thrown or the damage would have been much greater OR it would have taken a lot more effort to get in.
Based on the provided pics, the damage does not "appear" to be that severe.
I was thinking the same thing; replace the damaged parts and reinforce the damaged bolt locations. This may be done with a plate that wraps around the interior, side, and exterior of the door. These are sold at all big box home improvement stores.

To the poster (FYI): The astragal - is the portion of wood, which runs vertically on the edge of one door (Floor to top of door), and overlaps the other door (opposing door of the arrangment), on the interior side.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:54 AM   #11
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Thank you again!

(Extra thanks for the explanation of the term!)

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