Some months ago I posted this pic of my side door, the bottom of which
had been ruined by watering nearby shrubs. I tore away loose stuff,
looking for ways to repair rather than replace.
Among the NG replies was one which said it would cost me more to fix
it than replace it. I always believe the last person that tells me
anything <g> so I inquired about replacement. The bid I got from a
door guy was about $340?
On second thoughts, I don't see why I should spend $$$ I can ill
afford, doing away with a perfectly sound door.
I am thinking about glueing (sp?), screwing, nailing, attaching
somehow, a piece of metal (or lumber coved at the top) that would
bridge the eroded portionm and possibly filling in underneath with
If it is anything close to a "standard" door, the door panel itself -
without the frame, should be available for around $100 - significantly
less if you look around. I got an exterior steel door for my shed -
brand new, scratch and dent, from the manufacturer's warehouse for
$20. Often available at the Habitat Restore for 35 to 50 - less for a
used one that needs some sanding and paint.
Possible, yes; feasible, depends on how much you value your time, your skill
level and what tools you have. The door guy gave you a decent price.
If I were going to fix it and if it isn't a steel door, this is what I'd
1. Take door off hinges and lay it across a couple of saw horses
2. Take off pet door
3. Determine thickness of damaged skin, set saw blade to that depth and make
a guided horizontal cut a couple of inches above bottom of pet door.
4. If the bottom rail is as bad as it looks I would remove it as well as the
cut through skin. If it has to be removed, I'd just remove the skin from
both sides to facilitate removal of the rail...cut vertically along inside
edge of stiles, connect those cuts horizontally. The skin remaining on the
stiles would have to be chiseled/ground off.
5. Make and put in a new bottom rail that is wider...wide enough to extend
an inch or more above the cut you made in #3. You can lock it in place via
a couple of long screws into it through each of the vertical stiles;
alternately, use 1/2 inch dowels, just drill through, glue in dowels and cut
6. Get a piece of marine ply of the correct thickness and size for the
skin(s), glue it to all structural parts of the door (stiles & bottom rail).
Smooth edge of old & new skins with Bondo, prime, paint. You could use
exterior fir/pine for the skin(s).
I used stainless steel sheet as the fill-in for mine and it's lasting like
what seems like forever. Use 2 sheets & put a few vertical bends in it for
added strength. The trick is mounting it reliably: I used a couple pieces of
pt lumber on the door to mount it. Still serving fine.
How do you justify using these two phrase about the same door?
"the bottom of which had been ruined by watering nearby shrubs"
"a perfectly sound door"
I'm pretty sure that by definition a door with a "ruined bottom" is no
If you have the skills to do a long lasting repair of the exisiting
door, then you probably have the skills to replace it yourself.
A new door should cost way less than the $340 you were quoted. In
fact, I'd question the quality of a door that could be bought and
installed for $340, unless the install was very simple. If that's that
case, then do it yourself.
If you don't have the skills to do a long lasting repair, then you are
just wasting your time (and money) and will end up spending the cost
of the repair plus the replacement cost later on.
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