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Old 12-31-2008, 09:04 PM   #1
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Boring a metal door?

I want to replace the exterior entry doors on a 1960's apartment building I recently purchased. I want to go with a standard metal four panel door with a top fan lite glass. I dont want to replace the whole frame becuase the frames are good and solid now but the doors are the original glass joulocy (spelling?) doors and are falling apart. The big box store is telling me custom ordering a slab only will be more than the prehung and to just buy the prehung and throw the frame away. However the standard bores in the door will not line up with my current frame. But I did found a wholesale door shop than can order the slab for about the same price as the prehung.

So my question is will I have a problem boring the holes for the deadbold and knob? I bought one of the kits for boring doorhandles which included the drill bits and it worked great for replacing the interior doors. Will this same bit work or will I need a better bit for getting through the metal?

Any other tips on installing the doors is appreciated as well.


I am new to teh forum and am loving all the great info.


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Old 01-01-2009, 06:17 AM   #2
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Bimetal hole saws will bore thru that door if you go slowly. If the door opens to a heated space, I would definitely replace the frame, The new weatherstripping is a big part of the door system.


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Old 01-01-2009, 08:11 AM   #3
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You can bore the holes in a slab metal door with a bimetal hole saw as previously stated. Check your kit and see it it is designed for metal doors or just wood. If your new door edge doesnt have precuts or a wood filler you'll also need to deal with the bolt and latch recess.

If your new doors are not foam/wood core you may run into an issue with not haing any internal supports for your locks to clamp onto so they may develop issues of coming loose. Most metal doors have a reinforcement to keep the lock from collapsing the door as it is tightened.

The other thing to check on before you start is the door type allowed.
Being an apartment building may require fire rated doors and frames along with associated hardware. The older doors are grandfathered in, but if you start replacing a portion of the opening, it may all need to come up to current code. Check with your local permit office.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. I'm in Florida so heating is not an issue. I'm worried that changing the whole frame might be a bigger project than I can handle on my own. And the current frame almost seems to be built into the stucco, I.E there is no Casing outside or trim on the interior. But I dont know, maybe I'll just give it a shot with a pre hung and change the whole thing. The rough opening appears to be 38 1/4" x 80", so I might need to do some cutting at the top.

Here's what I'm working with.
Attached Thumbnails
Boring a metal door?-dsc00040-640x480-.jpg   Boring a metal door?-dsc00059-640x480-.jpg  

Last edited by Tke635uf; 01-01-2009 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:06 AM   #5
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Ordering a metal replacement slab for an existing frame can be very tricky. There is no margin for error as the door cannot be modified width wise and restricted on the length.
For someone who has reservations about replacing the whole frame, I would suggest another solution.
The locks are the easy part.
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