Anyone Ever Swap Out Interior Doors Without Replacing The Frames? - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:37 PM   #1
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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?

thanks!

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Old 07-08-2009, 04:14 PM   #2
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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.

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Old 07-08-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
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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 we're getting the front siding and windows done.....
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:21 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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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!

thanks everyone!
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: anyone ever swap out interior doors without replacing the frames?


We have some old doors that need replacing and I have heard of a "jig" that you can place on a new door and then use a router to cut out the area for a hinge. Assuming you replace the hinges but keep the door frame. Also is there a similar "jig" for the hole to place the door knob?

Thanks
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:28 PM   #8
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Re: anyone ever swap out interior doors without replacing the frames?


Yes

http://www.greatlakespowertools.com/...FYSKswodZqEOYg
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:32 PM   #9
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Re: anyone ever swap out interior doors without replacing the frames?


i do it a on a regular basis when clients want to update the doors but dont want to change out the jambs.. sometimes we cant change the jambs without the finished floor being effected

i woiuld check the jamb for level and square first before swapping the door. you can get a pretty good indication how much work will be involved .. you might only have to shave a 1/8" off the new door sides or the bottom.. or you might have to scribe both teh top and sides for a irregular jamb..
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:30 PM   #10
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Re: anyone ever swap out interior doors without replacing the frames?


We find it to be less work to install the whole door than rout for the hinges. So, yes, I have replaced just the slab but not for many years.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:01 PM   #11
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Re: anyone ever swap out interior doors without replacing the frames?


it can be more work to just switch the slab.. but you have to pull all the trim.. the jamb often have to patch the wall from damage removing the trim plus cut the baseboard back if the casing is wider or replace with new longer stuff to meet the casing.

also new doors still have to be cut most of the time in older homes as they were framed out to recieve a 78 " door as opposed to a 80 " tall one
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:07 PM   #12
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Re: anyone ever swap out interior doors without replacing the frames?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelzer View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
i do it a on a regular basis when clients want to update the doors but dont want to change out the jambs.. sometimes we cant change the jambs without the finished floor being effected

i woiuld check the jamb for level and square first before swapping the door. you can get a pretty good indication how much work will be involved .. you might only have to shave a 1/8" off the new door sides or the bottom.. or you might have to scribe both teh top and sides for a irregular jamb..
AS Pelz and Woodwork says.... Yes.... All the time.....probably 100 or more.

My area in Colorado was peppered with hollow core flat (no panel) crap doors. (As was my home)

I usually replaced with a filled core (not solid wood... but there is no difference except cost) often from the BB when they have a sale,

The filled core slab is a lot quieter/heavier/and you can get different panel configurations... and still not expensive.

As Pelz and wood say, just jig up and do it. I'd do 5 or 10 doors at a time... carry them up to the shop.... use them as a template for the new slab.

Hardware mortises can be cut easily with a Jig (maybe $30 with router bit) and hardware lock holes have a very easy jig also that is probably 10.(My porter cable jig uses a couple of small nails to position it... I found it easier/faster/accurate to pre-drill a small guide hole.Just and idea)

Painting is probably the most time consuming part... I hang them on a chain clothes line and spray them with an airless.

It's easy, and I think a vast improvement over the crap builders doors.

"And as Pelzer says"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." When you have your router set and tools layed out, you can pound them out.

My only problem was getting rid of the old slabs.... (I'm sure not on our garbage man's x-mas card list)

Good luck
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