It would take all day for a total novice to remove the original door and
frame and replace it with quite decent wood and glass complete with
sealant locks and letterbox. It should even be primed at that.
A lad at work was telling me that he had a quote from a double glazing
salesman recently for two external doors that would have had him paying
£7880 over ten years.
People actually do pay these silly prices out of fear of their own
I would rather waste my time learning how to replace and repaint a
cheap, bog standard, wooden door -ruining umpteen in the process until I
got it right.
The only thing I don't like about wooden doors is the locks that go with
them. They all require the removal of too much material from the door
and frame. The ideal is to fit two or more flush mounted back-locks and
have them and their keepers designed to look nice, or if money is a
problem, have them boxed in to mask their ugliness.
This is what you do to fit a frame:
You need to remove the old one. It should not take more than an hour. A
hammer boulster or bar and a saw can do it in a few moments. Slip a
knife down the plaster work to minimise damage.
But first you should ensure the new frame will fit. Measure the distance
between the reveals (the brick or blockwork) top and bottom and the
sides. Check the frame again (it needs to have some slack, say 1/4 of an
inch play all around) and then set to it.
Prime or treat with preservative -or whatever, the back of the frame and
put it up against the old plaster. Put a few wedges in to hold it whilst
you check for plumb and level. Get the head level and the frame as close
to the wall on the hinge side as possible without forcing it out of
plumb or bending it. Pack with wedges as required.
Check that it is level and plumb in two directions and wedge in place.
The wedges/packers should be nice fits -not buckling the frame. Drill
and screw. Check the door fits without winding or binding before putting
too many screws in. The problem with this is that most fitters insist on
putting the screws into the rebate. This is a cosmetic thing. Don't do
Place the packers so that if there is any shrinkage they will not fall
far before dropping on the screws and don't put the screws in where you
are going to mount the lock or place the hinges.
A door can be removed by knocking the pins out of the hinges. You might
want to consider putting two more back-locks on the other side of the
door to prevent thieves doing that. Another thing is that people tend to
rely on simple Yale latches. They bend open with little more than a
nudge, enterprising children can get their hands in through the letter
box and use a stick to turn the handles on them too! Beware.
Decent locks cost about £30 each. Use 5 lever locks as a minimum.
Any half competent amateur can knock up a frame for a few quid. Even so,
Id buy one purpose made with the door. A door is about £100 to £200
maximum. Say £300 or £400 at the very most for the parts including
silicon and paint.
That just leaves the threshold and shed. I forgot about them.
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