Ed Pawlowski says...
> Is it a detached garage? Is the door visible to
> neighbors? How much do you care about the appearance?
It's an attached garage. The door is on the side of the
house, behind a privacy fence, so it really doesn't matter
what it looks like.
> If you want a really nice job, a new wood door will do
Ok, so my assumption was wrong that the main problem is
that the existing door is wood. It appears from what
everyone is saying that an actual solid wood exterior door,
properly primed and painted, would hold up pretty well. The
existing door is just the wrong kind of door.
I just have major misgivings about changing out the entire
frame. On the outside there is stone half way up the door,
and above the stone is some particle board siding that's
pretty fragile. But the frame and hinges are still really
solid. So I'd hate to have to change out the frame when the
only reason for doing so is to allow me to use a steel door.
As someone mentioned, I think HD would sell me a solid wood
exterior door for around $80, but I don't have the gear (a
router, for example) or the experience to cut the hinge
mortises, or the holes for the hardware. But the guy gave
me a price of $150 for which they would do all the cuts. I
would just have to measure everything VERY carefully. Then
all that would be left for me to do is mount the hinges and
hardware, and hang the door, plus of course priming and
So with delivery that would probably cost me $200, which is
still half what they would charge to install a pre-hung
steel door for me, and it would leave the framing intact.
If that door would hold up to the weather, maybe that's the
best way to go. I assume there would be no veneer that
I guess the only remaining question is whether the solid
wood door would be too heavy. But you know, the existing
door is really heavy itself - maybe a lot of particle board
or plywood or whatever inside. So maybe the solid door
would even be lighter than the current one. I know that the
lid of my Yamaha grand piano, which is plywood, is a lot
heavier than the same size Steinway lid, which is made of
planks butted together. I guess all that glue is really heavy.
Thanks for everyone's comments.