Not only did I replace the steel door between my living room and sunroom with a lovely salvaged (and greatly rehabed door), but I also had a vision for a new front entry door.
The door that was installed when I moved in was also steel – but it had an etched-glass design inset into the center (it may have even been a cross? I blocked it from my mind); nonetheless, it just wasn’t my taste at all. I really liked some doors from basic big box stores, and I had budgeted myself $1,200 for something new and handsome. Someday I hope I can install a pretty arts-and-crafts door, but the ones I most coveted didn’t really suit the American Foursquare style of my home. I was about to surrender for a solid steel door (which I would have painted to taste) when I found this gem at a new salvage shop around the corner from my house. In typical Emily fashion, I snapped a photo with my phone and asked for a tape measure.
My dream door (solid wood with leaded glass diamond detailing along the top) was a mere 3″ too short, but the appropriate width for my doorway (which, FYI, is the best thing to hope for while hunting for old doors). The owners of the shop recommended me to a local handyman who was experienced in re-framing doors. After a short meet-and-greet, I hired him and entrusted him with my new entry.
He showed up with a buddy and spent a (surprisingly!) short time uninstalling the existing door (which I sold for $50 on Craigslist to offset the cost of the new door) before prepping the doorway for the new frame. I watched on from a far at how they went about their efforts, impressed at how quickly they were able to custom-fit and seal the new door. The new one works better than the old one! I had a new door in approximately 3 hours!
The odd thing about the existing door is that some previous owner actually decided to cut into the frame in order to install the 83″ door (hence, 3″ taller than the door I wanted to buy), so it was an “easy” matter of rebuilding the existing frame. Picture this: the storm door was 80″ but the entry door was 83″. After the install, both doors measured 80″ high.
The overall costs? $175 for the door, $240 for labor, and $30 for paint (because I splurged for Behr 2-in-1 exterior and saved on tinted primer).
Very pleased with the outcome of the new entry (and the money still left in my bank account), I proceeded that very afternoon with painting the door (and the existing side door, and the door off the back of the sunroom) a crisp plum color (which selected to eventually go with my updated siding). Also, I’m happy to report that I can afford a nice, all-glass storm door for my front entry. While I wouldn’t attempt installing a main entry door, I’m told a storm/screen door is easy enough to do yourself. That’s for a future post.