Generally "non standard" sizes are used where something happened in
the planning that precluded the use of a "standard" door. I've seen
"prehung" doors modified, as well as "slab only" doors being modified
to fit into modified "jam kits"
Take a look at any door manufacturer's site, Jeld-Wen, for instance.
All of their doors come in widths sized in an even 1" increment. You
won't find a 23 5/8" or 28 ½" in the lot.
Somebody screwed up the rough opening and accommodations had to be made.
How many doors this size are in your home? That could be a clue as well.
| Thanks Snag one, appreciate it, but let me ask this - are builders cutting
| these doors down from 24 inches wide, to something less (in my case 23 5/8
| inches)? My guess is no they are not.
I'm afraid your guess is wrong. It's just as Terry
Coombs said. Doors typically come in sizes at every
two inches. Even hollow core doors can be trimmed
a bit for height and width. They generally have
wood around the outside. A door replacing an existing
door often has to be trimmed, especially in old houses
where one side of the door frame can be 1/2" higher
than the other side.
The typical way to get doors is by ordering through
a local lumber yard for items in the Brosco catalogue,
which is a supplier that will deliver stock items to lumber
yards within 2-3 days. (Home Depot actually has
better selection at better prices, but it takes *weeks*
to get anything through them.)
If you can find a Brosco catalogue you can see the
way doors are typically sold. The options depend on
the door, but the typical option is 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34,
or 36" wide and 78 or 80" high.
You don't need a table saw to make a good cut. Just
clamp a straight edge onto the door as a guide and you
can cut it with a circular saw.
What you have, hollow core 6-panel, is almost certainly
masonite (junk, but they look pretty good... until someone
kicks a hole through them) that came pre-hung. If it's
23 3/4" that's probably a 24" door, but you're not likely to
find the exact same thing sitting around a lumber yard or
in a Brosco catalogue. Your options are to buy a stock
24" wood panel door or find a place to order a masonite
panel door. In either case, expect to do some trimming
to fit, and unless you find exactly the same brand you
may have to settle for slightly different panels. (Wood,
for instance, will probably have more relief than the
masonite version.) If you can find the brand and exact model
you might be able to order a 24" replacement at Home Depot.
You may or may not be able to get just the "slab". (Not
Having worked in the window and door business in the past, yes,
builders are cutting down standard doors to make them fit, Custom
doors are MUCH more expensive (and in most cases, it is still just the
standard door cut down - but cut at the factory instead of on-site)
This is particularly true of the "styled" doors - the ones that look
like raised panel doors. They don't make non-standard dies to press
non-standard panel sizes - they just cut down the styles
I hope everybody who has replied to my query can read this, because I sincerely
appreciate everyones input, thoughts, etc. You have all, collectively shed much
light on this isdue and as a result I, and everyone else is much better for it.
I have a much better understanding of the workings of this faction of the home
building industry. I have acuired a 24 in wide door and am cutting it down.
The thing that bugs me the most is that we purchased the house new, from a very
reputable builder in Maryland who has a long and distinguished history. The
house is solid. Couldnt figure the door issue, but it appears as though its
just one of those inditry quirks, and a stick built house I guess can exacerbate
these things. You guys rock! Thanks so much! :-)
| I have acuired a
| 24 in wide door and am cutting it down.
One last thought: Check the fit after cutting the
width and before hinging it, to make sure you don't
also need to cut the top at an angle. In a new house
that shouldn't be necessary, but frames can get
out of square.
23 5/8 inches is almost exactly 60cm. Is it possible that that is a
standard metric-sized door? I understand that some parts of the USA
started moving toward the metric system, but then the whole thing
fizzled out. (My wife was trained to teach metric conversion. Her late
mother said that if she could get used to the crazy US system when she
was in her 40s, all Americans could get used to it if they learned it as
| 23 5/8 inches is almost exactly 60cm. Is it possible that that is a
| standard metric-sized door?
Not likely. I've never seen such a thing. (Nor do
we have $2.50 nails to replace 6 penny nails. The
system has been in place for a long time and would
take a lot of trouble to convert.)
| I understand that some parts of the USA
| started moving toward the metric system, but then the whole thing
| fizzled out. (My wife was trained to teach metric conversion. Her late
| mother said that if she could get used to the crazy US system when she
| was in her 40s, all Americans could get used to it if they learned it as
I've never understood why we *need* to convert,
but it has become a problem with imported cars,
hardware, etc. European hinges in the US often come
with directions only in metric. Two sets of tools or
bits are often needed. There's something absurd about
getting directions in 3 languages but without native
Awhile back I accidentally bought a dual tape measure.
I had to throw it away. One edge of the tape had metric,
so I could only measure using the other edge. That
doesn't seem like a big deal, but it turned out that it was.
I actually keep a VBScript on my desk to convert
between F and C, so I know what those wacky Brits
are talking about when they claim to be having a
"brutal heat wave". :) Despite seeing C temps for
years, I still have a hard time getting used to it.
It's not enough to merely know how to convert. One
needs to get used to it.
ddb had written this in response to
OK...Let's make this simple. Having just cut down about 15 of these very
same doors (six panel hollow-core), from 80" cut down to as small as 76",
let me say this:
1) Any so-called contractor leaving open ends on a door is not a real
contractor. Don't pay them. Don't hire them. Don't let them on your
2) If you're cutting the door down by 3/4 or less, you can cut the bottom.
Don't cut the top.
3) Contractors habitually don't cut the top because (a) if you've got a
pre-hung, you'll leave a gap, or (b) if it's a replacement slab (you're
just replacing an existing door and keeping the old jamb and stop) with no
hinge or handle cut outs, they'll measure top-down to get hinge placement
on the door vs. the ones they'll route or chisel out on your new door.
However, this isn't a hard-and-fast rule (see #4 below).
4) If you've got to cut down more than say 2 or 3 inches, and you feel
that the 'balance' between the door panels is too wacky from top to
bottom, you CAN cut the top and bottom. However, you're going to have to
chisel out a new hinge placement to ensure you don't leave a gap a the top
of the door. In the case where you're replacing existing doors, buy a
'slab' door with no hinges and handle cut outs, and buy an inexpensive
Irwin doorhandle/hinge install kit at Home Depot and a good, sharp, 1"
chisel. It worked perfect for me.
To cut down a hollow door more than 3/4" and make it right, this is what I
* Measured the offset *carefully* on my circular saw to the outside of the
blade, in my case, 1 12/32".
* Clamped a straight-edge to the top or bottom of the door that I wanted
to cut. This was measured off at Offset + the amount I want to shorten the
* Cut the door with the circular saw. I ended up with a cut end with the
entire solid plug sandwiched between the veneers of the door.
* Used table saw to line up the plug to trim *just* the veneer off. Worked
awesome every time. I set it so I could literally peel the last bit of
veneer off about the thickness of a piece of paper, so I knew the plug was
* Spread wood glue on inside of door where plug will go. Wipe with finger
to get even coat. Do the same on the door plug. Insert. Clamp for 30
Done. I've done both bi-folds and interior doors with this method, and it
works awesome. I have a 1962 basement+main with original doors at 78",
plus a new basement reno that is 80" standard with a lower ceiling in my
laundry taking it down to 76".
PS: If you need to cut the door lengthways to trim it, use a table saw and
get a friend to help you handle it through. Don't use the circular saw
method for that ... too slow, and if it's not perfect, you'll notice the
tiniest imperfections lengthways, whereas at the top and bottom, you don't
notice any small stuff at all (like saw blade marks).
Your 'contractor' is an incompetent buffoon. Sorry...I've had one of those
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As Dennis said,
1) Any so-called contractor leaving open ends on a door
is not a real contractor
I am not a real contractor either but I sure wouldn't do that. If the
door looked OK after the cut and hung I would have taken the paneling off
the cutoff piece which would leave the wood "filler" piece, put some glue
on it, slide it back up in the opening and clamp for a few hours. Heck,
might even get away with not clamping and just put some brads in to hold
it till dry. Probably never see them. Especially if they get painted.
Too bad you don't have the cutoffs???
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