a 30" door is not a 30" door apparently

Friend of mine asked if he could borrow my router, because he needed to replace a door in his house. House is recent construction, doors are hollow core "six panel" doors apparently made of pressed poop and fail. He bought a similar door (from HD) the same nominal size and just wanted to rout the mortises for the hinges, because being mass produced prehung doors they used radius-corner hinges.
The old door measured 29-7/8" wide. The new door (Jeld-Wen) brand measured almost 30-1/4" wide. FAIL FAIL FAIL. Of course I didn't have a plane in the trunk of my car.
On the upside, while the old busted door appeared to have the outside frame made of MDF, the new Jeld-Wen door, despite having the same flimsy (understatement of century) facing, used real pine for the structure.
I personally would have been tempted to spend the $$ and buy a real solid pine paneled door, but then the doors in the rest of the house would have looked like shit in comparison...
nate
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OT: I am _now_ firm believer in using 36" doors everywhere when building. I remodeled (total floor plan change) and reused the old doors - 28" thirty years ago. Wife now disabled and can't manuever her wheel chair through those narrow doors.
Harry K
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Well, I'm a little annoyed, although it is my fault somewhat for not measuring the door against the opening before starting to prep it. (I'd thought that my friend had set it in the opening to make sure it fit, but apparently not.) However I am appalled at the cheesy construction of these doors... there's several doors in the house with evidence of damage from just having been slammed by kids (or perhaps angry adults,) although it's hard to get pissed at the kids because without seeing them do anything it's hard to say whether they're being particularly abusive or not, these things are SO flimsy. They make the hollow core veneer doors that were popular a few decades ago look positively robust by comparison.
nate
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N8N wrote:

How old is the house? Doors sizes were not always standardized, and often built on-site.
Yes, you should have measured! The dimensions are the first thing you write down, then whether it's RH or LH for hinges, then if they swing in or out.
I guess the order of operations is not important, obviously. But believe me, after I saw a professional I was helping pick-up the wrong door (even knowing the measurements)...
Well, that's something else to measure/inspect at the supplier too. I don't trust stickers implicitly now when the consequence is a ~~ R-e-a-l-l-y ~~ rotten day.
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re: "However I am appalled at the cheesy construction of these doors"
A couple of years ago a friend moved into a ~$200K home that he had had built. He asked me to put a cat door in the door that lead to the basement. I asked him if he was sure that he wanted me to cut a hole in a brand new door - what would that do to the warranty if I screwed it up? Are you sure you don't want to ask the builder to do it?
He decided to ask the builder about it and his answer was: "Let your friend do it. If he screws up the door, I can charge you less for a new door than I would have to charge you to put the cat door in myself."
Considering how simple the job was, I was surprised to hear that...until I cut the hole in the door.
The "6 panel door", complete with wood grain, was made of pressed cardboard. There was a wooden frame, but the entire field was basically paper. Even the interior supports were made from corrugated cardboard set on edge for strength.
I have no doubt that just about anyone could punch a hole in one of these doors with very little effort.
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This house was built less than two years ago and cost considerably more than $200K. Doors are very much as you describe save for these ones didn't even have a "wooden frame" the structure was all some sort of engineered processed wood pulp food product. Hence my shock and awe. Whereas I can get the real deal paneled doors at the architectural salvage place for about the same price, but there's obviously travel time, issues finding the size you need, finding ones that exactly match, painting, filling all the old mortises and making new ones, etc.
nate
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It should be noted that $200K where I am might get you the same house as "considerably more than $200K" gets someone where you are.
Many years ago I was living in an $90K house in Western NY. My brother, who still lives in my home town on Long Island came to visit.
I asked him what my house would sell for back home.
"$350K - $400K in my neighborhood, well over $500K just a couple of blocks away."
I visited him recently and I was amazed at how little $700K gets you on Long Island these days.
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Oversized is no problem, just use a straight edge and a circular saw to trim it to the actual size you need. There's usually a couple inches of solid wood around the frame for trimming to width and height. Even if you have to trim a few inches off the bottom, you can cut a filler strip of solid wood to fill the gap. I did that last summer at my in-laws.
If the door is already prebored for locksets, I would trim the door on the hinge side to avoid problems with the locksets. Then cut new hinge mortises.
Anthony
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On Sun, 15 May 2011 20:14:47 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:

Hmm, I thought the Jen-weld ones are normally clearly marked with the dimensions & rough opening? All their exterior ones that I've seen have been, anyway - perhaps the interiors are different.

Yeah, I think they're engineered lumber rather than solid pine, but it's still a bit better than MDF (what we used to call custard wood in NZ :-)
I've got a couple of Jen-weld exterior doors here; the first wasn't too bad (in "you get what you pay for" terms, anyway) but the other was very poorly assembled - I'm still kicking myself for ever loading it onto the truck. I've never messed with their interior stuff, though - there are probably less parts and therefore less to screw up :-)

Most of our interior ones are solid and well-built, with big old pinned hinges on them and those nice old latches that take the huge keys, but there's a complete mixture of four-panel and three-panel ones. At some point I want to learn how to make my own so that I can make them all look the same (and hopefully someone makes reproduction latch assemblies, because they're all getting pretty worn now)
cheers
Jules
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