Home Repair

picking out a "new" antique door

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Hi Guru! We need to buy a new front door, as ours is warped (We're sure it is the door, and not the frame) and lets the weather in (not ok when winter comes!). We want to go to the salvage yard and get a new one- the doorway is for a 34" door, which might be special ordered, but I prefer to get something more authentic. How do I pick out a "good" one and what should I be looking for when I go, other than the correct size?

Karen Smile
Make sure it in not coming apart at the seams (the joinery is tight). Also make sure it is not warped, you will end up with the same problem! Take the door and prop it up with the bottom on the floor and the top on a saw horse. (It will kind of look like a ramp you could drive your lawn tractor up on at this point). Now stand at the saw horse end and bend over so your eyes are looking down the face of the door. Make sure the top edge of the door is parallel with the bottom edge. If they are not, the door is warped. You should also look at where the hinges and lock go to make sure there is no rot or broken or split wood there or you will have to repair it. If the hinges and lock locations are not in the exact same places as your old door they will have to be relocated. The hinges aren't too bad but if the knob is off say 1/2" you need to see if you can move it easily or not.

Note... If you have trouble 'sighting' the door to see if it warped, take a straight 2x4, cut it into 2 / 4' pieces, and clamp them even with the top and bottom of the door. (Now you will have to lay the door up on 2 saw horses). When you 'sight' the door it will be much easier to see if the edges of the top and bottom 2x4's are parallel or not.

Did you get all that?
Got it! Thanks Guru!

Karen Smile
your welcome!


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