I am looking to install french doors in the entry from our foyer to
the formal living room. There is an existing frame and nice trim work
around the entry, and I was hoping to be able to install the doors
inside this existing frame. Another reason for wanting to use the
existing frame is that on the opposite side of the foyer, is an entry/
frame into the dining room. We do not plan to put doors here - but we
need the frames and trim to match. The french doors I have seen at
Lowes/HD have all been pre-hung. Is it possible to do this without
putting in a new frame? If so, are there any suggestions for buying
Thanks so much.
Yes, but to get it pretty won't be cheap. You can by french door slabs, and
have a good finish carpenter hang them, install the stops, make holes in top
sill for the catches, etc. All this assumes that whatever the archway is
trimmed out in is thick enough, and secured well enough, to hang doors from,
and that you can find or order door slabs of the right size and appropriate
wood. You will probably have to go to a custom millwork shop, or at least to
a trade (not big-box) lumberyard to get the doors, and they can probably
point you to an installer. Larger cities often have a shop that specializes
in custom doors and windows.
Or if the rough opening is a stock size, you can just buy a prehung, and
carefully disassemble the existing archway, and use that trim to recase the
new door. Either way you will be doing some refinishing. If this is a high
end house, and you want it to look like it has always been there, expect to
pay for expert labor to do it. Fancy work gets fancy prices.
Chances are not good that the existing trim work is at all suitable for a
door jamb. It is probably not straight enough, level enough, strong enough,
or sized suitably. The options seemingly would be to pay for a lot of
skilled labor to build doors with a minimum of modifications to the existing
trim or to remove the trim and install a door unit. Your call.
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