My wife has been talking about replacing our front door with something
nicer for several years. We are both strong proponents of recycling
so today when I came across a beautiful old solid oak door with leaded
glass (already stripped) for $75, I got pretty excited.
Unfortunately, the measurements do not exactly match the existing
door. The used door is 1 1/2" shorter and 1/8" narrower. Also, there
are two 2" holes drilled in it. The deadbolt hole is not even close
to where my existing deadbolt is located and it's too big. But the
latch hole matches perfectly when measuring down from the top of the
door so if I have someone build down the door frame, this could work.
Can a hole be filled in such a way that would not be very noticable
with a clear coat finish?
Can a good carpenter modify the door frame so the door will look good
and work well? What should be done about the missing 1/8" in width?
The existing internal deadbolt cover is only 1 1/2" across while the
holes in the "new" door are 2" across. I can't imagine that I could
re-use my old hardware in this situation but I can probably find a new
deadbolt that would fit the door hole and chisel a new mortise in the
jamb. Thanks for helping me see this possibility.
I can. Don't buy new hardware until you look at the old stuff. I
guess the weakness to be worried about is, would a burglar knock your
lock sideways and would that help him get in or cause him to try
Frankly I don't think burglars knock locks sideways. They are most
likely to just kick inthe door, so it's important that your dead bolt
bolt go as far in to the frame as possible, and to have a burglar
alarm if burlgarly is likely.
You can cover up the now unused hole in the jamb with copper weather
stripping, or something.
I forgot that part. :( But I don't know about the stupid burglar.
There was a news story on Jay Leno's headlines about a burglary at a
convenience store. The burglar got on the roof and cut a hole through
it, and came in through the hole and either lost hold of his rope or
jumped down, and landed right next to a cop. The store was open at
I would add a scab to the bottom edge, then put a brass kick plate on
both sides. No one will notice if you don't point it out.
Put some 1/16" shims behind the hinges. The difference will be
unnoticable. Many doors have more than 1/8" slop.
Visit a good locksmith. He'll sell you a deadbolt that will use your
old key and fit a 2" hole. Move the strike plate on the jamb to match
the new deadbolt location. Fill and paint the old strike plate
location. If the finish isn't paint, leave the old strike plate in
Short answer: No
Longer answer: You can either make it obvious*, disguise it, or cover
it up. If you patch it, it will always be detectable.
* First rule of decorating: If you can't make it match, make it stand
From context, I presume that by "scab" you mean an extension to the
door. I question if this could be made to look good. If not, it's
not really a suitable option. While I'm not a carpenter, I expect
that I can find someone who could modify the frame to fit the door and
make it look good, expecially since the frame will be painted.
Thanks. I'll check this out.
I hadn't considered this but it could work. If I can't find an
internal deadbolt that fits, I may go this route. After all, it IS a
recycled door and that's part of its charm. Perhaps NOT trying to
hide the old hole has merit.
The obvious easiest solution is (as others have noted) get hardware that
matches the existing holes.
Escutcheon plates are also a possibility.
I have no doubt I could also patch the hole sufficiently well it
wouldn't be noticeable, but it can be time consuming (read expensive if
you're paying someone else to do it). It's not what I'd recommend.
Alternatively also on the length -- possible to take some from the top
and some from the bottom -- higher threshold combined w/ weather stop
and (say) half-inch on top and you can easily make up the short.
And, of course, there's also the possible solution of continuing to look
at the salvage/recycle places until another door of the proper size does
show up. Large locales tend to have several places where such are
available routinely; one has to keep looking. If otoh this is a truly
outstanding specimen, it's possibly worth the effort.
It is almost never a matter of "if", just "how" and "how much"...
This is a good perspective to keep in mind, especially as I have a
tendency to become overly invested in a project, even when it's not
always the best approach. That's why I asked here about feasibility.
Actually, I was not looking for this door, I just came across it by
accident. Since I haven't been monitoring the market, I can't really
say if it is an outstanding specimen or not. However, I can say it's
a very attractive door at what seems to be an outstanding price and
it's pretty darn close to the right size.
re: From context, I presume that by "scab" you mean an extension to
the door. I question if this could be made to look good. If not,
it's not really a suitable option.
This is what Mr. Bell had in mind:
Extend the bottom of the door with a piece of hardwood, using biscuits
or dowels, and then cover the seam with a brass kickplate so it looks
similiar to this:
Yes, the kick plates come without the numbers.
On Tue, 19 Aug 2008 11:59:08 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Yes. that is certainly attractive. Thanks. I had no idea. Where do
you buy a kickplate? Does Lowes or Home Depot carry them?
I'm now convinced that this project is indeed feasible. I think I'll
go back this afternoon and buy the door.
re: Where do you buy a kickplate? Does Lowes or Home Depot carry them?
I assume you are not going to be doing this yourself.
I would suggest that you avoid the home centers and visit a couple of
dedicated Door and Window businesses in you area. You might even check
out business dedicated to restoring older houses. Explain to them what
you need done and ask them to recommend a contractor who they would
trust to work on this type of project.
Let the contractor get the kick plate for you - he probably has
sources for higher quality materials than what you'll find on the
shelf at the home centers. He'll probably give you a better guarantee
on his material than on materials that you hand him to install.
If I decide to hide the hole, I was told that one way this could be
done is as follows:
Plug the hole with a similar wood trying to match the grain.
Lightly sand the existing door retaining the wood dust.
Mix the wood dust with a suitable binder (he said epoxy but I'm
thinking varnish) making a thin paste.
Paint the finish over the repaired hole and feather out.
Sand and repeat.
Does this sound feasible or bogus?
The existing door fits poorly. Every couple of years I have to put on
new weather stripping to reduce heat (and cooling) losses. Here's my
chance to fix this problem for good along with substantially upgrading
the appearance of the front door.
In that case I would probably build a new jamb to exactly fit the new
door. You'll have to cut down the trim around the door and/or buy
new. I don't know how you'd finish the outside; that depends on what
kind of siding you have.
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