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diy'er on LI 07-08-2009 02:37 PM

anyone ever swap out interior doors without replacing the frames?
our home is a classic suburban wood frame home built in the mid 70's. It has it's original (ugly) hollow core doors. For years, I've been tempted by those $50 or $70 four panel doors (no frame) from home depot or lowe's. I know proper protocol states that when you change a door, you replace the frame, but that is a TON of work for a DIY'er with 19 doors.

Has anyone ever swapped out the door without replacing the frames? What are the odds that while the original door swings well without sticking anywhere, that the 35 year old frame is no longer plumb, and a new door wouldn't fit? Should I just abandon that dream or give it a try?

any tips from those who've already been there and done that?


DangerMouse 07-08-2009 03:14 PM

i've replaced a few doors on rentals that were beyond repair. the worst i ever had to do was shave a little off an edge.
go around and check existing frames with a square.


diy'er on LI 07-08-2009 03:23 PM

ok, now it's becoming VERY tempting! I think I will do that. Can't STAND those hollow core doors. The builders didn't even use a tack cloth before staining them... so they have these tiny stain bubbles.... grrrr. Not like I would invest one moment in fixing them up.

This would be a spring project. Right now we don't even have 2 coins to rub together :laughing: we're getting the front siding and windows done.....

Maintenance 6 07-08-2009 03:51 PM

I don't know who's protocol says you must replace the jamb to replace the door. Maybe some one who doesn't know how to hang a door? If the jamb and casings are in good condition, I would replace the door only. Check the jambs for plumb, level and square to start. Be prepared to adjust the door to fit any minor irregularity in the jamb. If the jamb has any quirks, then it will take some patience to fit up the door, but is certainly do-able.

jpelzer 07-08-2009 04:21 PM

I did exactly what you're talking about just this weekend. My doors all seem to have been replaced during an 80's remodel with those ugly hollow cores. I took the door out, popped in the new door... Too wide by about .25". So I took both doors out to the garage, placed the old door on top of the old, and marked out the cuts. In my case, they were square.

Then I layed the original door on top again and used my speed square to mark the locations for the hinges and knob. Drilled the knob, routed the hinge mortices, brought it inside, hung, everything fit perfectly. I used new hardware, as previous owners hadn't believed in masking while painting, and I can't stand those cheap kwikset handles that rattle around in your hand.

You won't regret it. A solid door both looks and FEELS better. It took me maybe an hour, and my next one will be quicker.

diy'er on LI 07-08-2009 04:34 PM

Maintenance6, you now see why I joined this forum and am loving it so... I have received a lot of "advice" from people who secretly know just as much as I do... which is next to nothing when it comes to things like this!

OK, I will definitely do this next spring. Even if it takes a couple months worth of saturdays (mixed with house cleaning and other fun stuff). I can't WAIT to get rid of those awful doors! :icon_cheesygrin:

thanks everyone!

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