Making front door? Building your own?

Is there any reason a torsion box couldn't work? Wouldn't that allow us to use thinner, cheaper material while maintaining sturdiness? You basically use the perimeter to install locks and hinges. Otherwise, is there a technical need for a solid wood door? (I don't question the aesthetic value of solid wood.) If we capped it with the usual weatherstripping material, would that do the job?
Is there an outstanding book or plan around that would produce a really sturdy front door without using the usual solid material?
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Security. It's pretty easy to put your foot through a torsion box. It's a lot harder to put it though an inch and a quarter of oak.
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Especially the hc doors made now. I replaced a bunch in a house, the old ones were from the 1950's. Quarter- inch clear pine ribbing instead of card- board, a full 1/8" veneer. One of the new ones was leaning the short way against a sawhorse and the wind blew it over. A hammer laying on the ground went right through it. Oh well, in Japan they've been living with paper walls for quite a few years.
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You might want to check your regional building codes as well.
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a lot of interior slab doors are really torsion boxes.
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I suppose you should ckeck your local codes on using hollow core doors on the exterior. It probably wouldn't meet muster in Florida. (wind load and impact resistance)
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If you build such a thing, I would suggest buying an insulating foam and filling the inside of the door. That should reduce heat and sound leakage. I might also weight the outside edge, just for a more solid feel.
John

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From when I replaced the window in my front door, it appears to be built this way. It's perfectly strong, as far as I'm concerned. Also loses no more heat than the surrounding walls (however, that's not saying much!)
--randy
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I have remodeled and sold a couple of mobile homes and this is common practice. The short walls that these had necessitated a shorter door and the factory just built them with a pine frame around the outside for the carpenters to work with and a few sticks glued through the mid section to keep the two layers of a wood textured hardwood from meeting in the middle. They then cut in a decorative window panel to doll it up and moved onto the next door. I wasn't impressed with the heft of the door, or the looks, and I didn't feel it provided much security.
Not wanting to put pearls on a pig, I went to the discount building salvage place and got a steel door with a dent in the bottom edge and cut it down. And put a good quality sweep on both sides with alot of construction adhesive on either side to bond the steel skin to the new kick rail I put inside.

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'edfan':
Structurally, no, there isn't. BUT! To put it simply; You ain't got much twixt you and the boogey man! I.E.; There isn't much in the way of security there! - EVEN against heavy WEATHER! All the 'high-tech' there is cannot protect you from harm (of virtually any nature) quite like a good, solid door!
MARK YOU: If a determined 'baddy' WANTS TO GET IN - he WILL! The best you can hope for is to slow him/her/it down as much as possible!
Torsion-box = great idea! - But use heavier materials!
Not everything is improved by '...leaner and meaner...'!
There is no way in hell you're going to get a 90min. fire delay with a LIGHTWEIGHT torsion-box design even with insulation internally! This would require steel realistically - and, in my opinion, this is too ugly to EVEN contemplate!
I sincerely hope this helps...
Warmly, Griz
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On 2 Oct 2003 08:15:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (edfan) wrote:
"Is there any reason a torsion box couldn't work? Wouldn't that allow "us to use thinner, cheaper material while maintaining sturdiness? You "basically use the perimeter to install locks and hinges. Otherwise, is "there a technical need for a solid wood door? (I don't question the "aesthetic value of solid wood.) If we capped it with the usual "weatherstripping material, would that do the job? " "Is there an outstanding book or plan around that would produce a "really sturdy front door without using the usual solid material?
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Actually, you raise some very good points that I'll certainly consider.
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