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07.05.12 / Hold the Door

The original interior hollow core doors that came with the Underdog were in bad shape. We figured we’d replace them at some point and decided to just go ahead and do it during the renovation stage. So, down they came.

We’ve been living without interior doors for over a month now. With little to no privacy in the bedrooms and the one finished bathroom, we are one big happy family! Interior doors are a standard house item that you take for granted until you don’t have them…especially when there’s a newborn in the mix. I’ve resorted to letting the boys play Wii, watch a movie {yes! the TV is functioning…more on that project to come} or mess around on the iPad while Mabrey is napping. It keeps them somewhat quiet. At least it usually keeps them from running and yelling in the hallway just outside Mabrey’s door.

Needless to say, HH and I have been scoping out interior door options and getting estimates.

The first style that we were drawn to was a five-panel door similar to this. But when I tried visualizing how several of these doors {six to be exact} would look lined up down our small hallway. I started thinking maybe they would make the hall look too busy with all those horizontal rectangles. It wasn’t enough to take them off our ‘maybe list’ but it was enough to make us consider other options.

We sought a simpler design in a one-panel door like this. But it seemed a little too simple.

Then the company that installed our new French doors {in the mudroom and kitchen} sent us a few sales brochures after we contacted them for an estimate on five-panel doors. HH was casually browsing through the brochures {I mean, really, how many interior doors can you look at before you’ve seen them all?} when a particular style we hadn’t seen before caught his eye. He immediately shoved the brochure in my face and asked ‘do you like this?’

My response? Yes! How much is it?

Of course, the sales brochure didn’t have prices listed so we had to wait until the next day to get some quotes. The first quote we received was similar in price to the single panel door above {~$115} and we were pleasantly surprised that it was in our price range. But we like to check all our options and got two more quotes from other sources. One source quoted us the same price {~$115/door} but another company quoted us $85/door. Yip to the eeee! We actually went through this same company to purchase our new chunky baseboards because they offered us the best price. We’re 100% satisfied with the quality of our baseboards and we are more than happy to be repeat customers.

So, seven of these doors {two for the hall closets, two for the bathrooms and three for the bedrooms} are on order for us. It’s the Berkley door and part of Masonite’s West End collection. We had originally wanted solid wood doors but after a little reading decided these molded panel doors would be just as good if not better. We ordered the doors in the Safe ‘n Sound solid core form. This construction type resists warping, shrinking and cracking. It’s considered an environmentally responsible choice as well. It’s manufactured with a low density fiberboard made from wheat straw which is an annually renewable material.

We’re really digging the simple, modern, almost midcentury design of the Berkley. The vertical panel gives it that extra something while the horizontal panels mimic the five-panel style we originally liked but without all the thick molding that gives a busier look. We can’t wait to see them in person which should be in about 3-4 weeks. We plan on painting them to match the trim {Benjamin Moore’s White Dove} and using matte black hardware.

As far as installation goes, HH is going to attempt to hang them himself. We got estimates for having the doors installed professionally and they came back at ~$300/door. WHAT?! $300 x 7 doors = $2,100!!! just for installation. Craziness. Of course, it’ll probably take us way longer to hang them ourselves but we’re no strangers to living without interior doors. {See the first image of this post.} And, if for some reason the project turns out to be more than HH can manage, we won’t rule out bringing in outside help. But the chance to save over $2,000 is worth giving it a go, don’t you think?

Have you ever replaced interior doors? What style did you go with? Did you DIY the installation? We’re open to any and all tips that you want to throw our way!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2 & 3) The Home Depot 4 & 5) Masonite

53 Comments

06.July.2012

We desperately need new interior doors. Two of them are falling apart and they are hollow and warped. The installation and cost have been holding us back, so I’ll be interested to see how HH hangs the doors. I believe our doors are skinnier than most standard doors and I know we’d have to replace the horribly ugly frames too.

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06.July.2012

The very first diy project we did on our own was install new interior doors. We just went to home depot and bought a kit for our router. It was super self explainitory and much easier than we anticipated. You’ll have no problems!

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06.July.2012

First, I LOVE the doors you chose. So cool and unexpected. But the cost to install is crazy! Hoping HH can do it himself. Are they hung differently than a normal hollow core door? I’m looking at ours now and it’s just on two hinges, which seems simple enough.

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06.July.2012

Much love!!!!! They will look fabulous!

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06.July.2012

It’s so interesting that you just posted about doors because we need to replace our bedroom door which is falling off the hinges. I’m really drawn to the panels on the first door pictured, it makes it feel like an old home with good bones. While it’s not your choice, I’m sending the link to my husband now! Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

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06.July.2012

I think it’s hilarious that after all HH has done to your house y’all would even consider that he might not be able to manage hanging a door. Patience and shims, he will be fine.

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We live in a rented 80 year old house that has some pretty cool doors. None of them match but they’re all solid and have cool designs. Except the back door which is new, cheap & installed backwards (what exterior door opens outwards?!).

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06.July.2012

My husband and dad hung our interior doors in a day. I think it was 7 swinging doors and four sliding closet doors. I am sure your HH will have no trouble! It does take patience planing the doors to properly fit the old frame since older homes settle and the frames are no longer square; but after all the work you’ve done, this will be a cake walk.

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06.July.2012

I love your new doors! My husband and I are on our third remodel and we always replace the doors. We’ve both learned how to install them alone but it is so much easier to have a second person to hold shims to help line up the hinges. It looks like you are reusing the original door frame which will make installation a little easier but be prepared to have to sand and trim your new doors to fit the old frame.

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HH can do it! As long as he’s patient and thorough, it will go great! We’re in the process of installing new doors. We’re in a 1940′s bungalow, and we went with the single panel shaker doors by Steve’s and Sons at Home Depot. Every single door we ordered from them arrived damaged in some form. It was very nerve-racking. We’ve installed several doors in previous houses, but these are proving extra tricky as our house is very un-level. I feel you on the lack of doors and privacy. When we moved in mid-renovation, we had no interior doors and a newborn. The bathroom door was the first to go in, and second was the nursery door. We’re slowly getting to the rest of the doors as we have time.

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06.July.2012

I’ve rehung new interior doors and it was challenging for me but totally doable. I’m not very handy, so I’m sure your hubby will be able to do it just fine. I love the new doors you’ve chosen.

We now need to replace several door frames (thanks to our dogs) and I’m not sure I’m willing to tackle those without help.

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06.July.2012

I love those doors! We ordered doors this week – 17 interior doors, not counting the two we already hung in the basement and 2 more we will DIY on hanging tracks. We couldn’t find any deals quite that low – what a steal, especially for such a unique door!

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06.July.2012

Cool doors. Don’t hang the one on the kids bathroom it will be so much esier to work on without the door.

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replied on July 7th, 2012

Good point!

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06.July.2012

We really need new interior doors as well. Quick question – are you using curtain panels on all the closet doors in your bedrooms?

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replied on July 7th, 2012

Yep, fabric doors for the closets in all the bedrooms are on the to-do list…with about a million other things.

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06.July.2012

Perfect for your home & great price! Can’t wait to hear about the hardware you’ve selected.

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06.July.2012

Ouch $300 to hang per door. I need a new interior and exterior doors. When the previous owners swapped out the 60 year old brass hardware (with a lovely patina and design) for silver (but left the brass hinges?) the knob was painted/stuck and they just pulled – pulling off a long ragged strip of veneer down the entire door. Seriously once they knew it was damaging the doors, why didn’t they stop and cut the wood to limit the damage. AND they did the same thing to every door in the condo. 7 doors with a gaping chunk missing front and back. AND the stupid silver knobs they put up are cheap and all passage knobs with no locks for the bedrooms and bathrooms. AND a stupid passage knob for the front and back door so you have to use the deadbolt as the only lock and lock it with a key from both the inside and outside. Sorry for the frustration. Your door post touched a sore spot! The doors you picked are beautiful. I’ll be watching how HH installs the doors to see if it is something remotely that I could do.

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06.July.2012

Just a tip we learned at our house. All the door casings were in great shape and we did not want to mess with all of the framing, especially around exterior brick. The hardware store sells (but never mentioned it when I asked specifically about getting JUST the door) a template to cut out for your own hinges and to cut of for the hardware. It took the plastic template and about 20 mins per door with a wood chisel and we popped in the new hinges and hardware and hung new doors in the old casings. Never had any problems expect our bedroom…we have super soft ground here and I’m 99% sure the foundation has shifted over 30+ years. Hit is with a belt sander and never noticed it again. Hope it helps…saved us a ton of time.

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We’ve replaced our doors in the past but luckily the holes were the same so that made it easier than starting new. I love love love the doors you picked out!

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06.July.2012

we diy everything since my hubby is a contractor so yes we’ve done doors. The only tip I can think of offering is having a template for where you have to place hinges on each door. I don’t know all the specifics but it’s inexpensive and a must have according to my husband whenever he hangs new doors. I also remember the need for a hand planer for some of the doors. Good luck!

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06.July.2012

Love them!
Seems like such a simple thing, but not that easy, especially to replace doors in a mid-century house I think– I like the look of a panel style, but most just don’t mesh with that vibe.

Our current rental is mid-century modern (a lot of similarities to the Underdog) and the doors are a mess! Wish I could replace them, but it’s really not worth spending >$500 on a rental… but a girl can dream…

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No helpful tips at all, just had to say I’m insanely jealous of your doors. We live in a builder basic with cheap, cheesy-looking hollow doors and I hate them! OK, had to get that out : ) Best of luck with the DIY installation!

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06.July.2012

Oddly enough, I tuned to PBS last night and got interested in watching “This Old House” install an exterior door — lots of chiseling and precision cuts! After reading your post, I checked their website and found this article on hanging interior doors:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,1207944,00.html

Hope it helps!

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06.July.2012

What great doors! I have been wanting to replace our interior doors forever. And our exterior doors, too. We also are rocking the hollow old-school wooden doors. Here’s my question: did you find that they were standard width? After a little bit of research we discovered that in order to replace our doors with a more modern option we would have to entirely re-do the frames to fit. What were your original door thickness?

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06.July.2012

Love them! They look great! Erin

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06.July.2012

They have a good tutorial on Lowes how-to videos on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuV49bpZdck&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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06.July.2012

This post has me excited to browse for doors. Love your choice!

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07.July.2012

We i stalled doors in our last house, but never again! It’s actually really really tricky to get them just right (we’d assumed a template was all we needed). And after settling for a close – enough installation I started noticing how the hinge cutouts vary a lot in our other doors. In the future ut will be pre hung doors all the way for us.

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07.July.2012

We are currently building a Bungalow and choose the 5 panel Craftsman doors. They are the MDF and we really like them, they seemed to fit our style house ….we are also using the matte black hardware.
Can’t wait to see your’s hung. Ours were ordered with the casing since it was a new construction, so we let our trim guy hang them.

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07.July.2012

I never thought I’d be drooling over doors. Lovely choice!

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07.July.2012

I’ve only replaced a couple so I got to use existing hinges on the frames but chiseling out the hinge spot on the door was a bear with just a wood chisel. I’m pretty sure there is some kind of fancy router or tool that does it fast and easy (there’s ALWAYS a toold for the job) and worth getting.

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07.July.2012

I have not done it, but my husband has. And it went surprisingly well. It took him one entire day to replace one door. But he did it. Then again, he’s not the handiest person on the planet. That was just a door and no casing, which is rated more difficult to hang than a door with a jamb. So if my hubby can do it, yours definitely can!

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replied on July 7th, 2012

One thing to keep in mind though: Make sure the thickness of the new doors is the same as the old ones! We bought an entire set of new doors after the success of the first one, and they turned out to be thicker than the old ones, and therefore did not fit in the frame properly.

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07.July.2012

Not long after we moved into our new home (2+ yrs ago now!) we got a trusty handyman that we’d used on several projects at the old house to replace a few of the very old, cruddy interior doors. (The guy is a wizard, literally replacing a door, hardware and all, in less than 30 minutes!) Well, he took it upon himself to do ALL of them!

So, we’ve got nice new 6-panel doors throughout. And I took them down 2 or 3 at a time and sprayed then with bright white semi-gloss paint to match the trim throughout the house. They look terrific!

I wish that they all had satin nickel hardware instead of the shiny brass stuff, but hey, ya gotta pick your battles. I’m happy enough with the ones we’ve got since they’re all nice lever-type handles with a fairly modern, clean design.

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07.July.2012

Check out youtube – there are quite a few good videos on how to put up your doors. Good luck!

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07.July.2012

We are remodeling on old Colonial home and went with 5 panel doors. We hung them ourselves. Do you mind sharing about your baseboards and what company you went with?

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08.July.2012

Those doors are amazing! I’ve never seen anything like that – so unique. I can’t wait to see how they look in the house!

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08.July.2012

We’re no stanger to living in a house without doors….I think ours took a little over 2 years to be 100% done, although the doors have been off in the basement for over three, so go figure. But still, we made the mistake of using a guy my dad had known for years to cut the doors then hubby would just have To install. Little did we know the guy had apparently gotten into drinking heavily in the past year and every single door was mixed up a d none of them matched up right. It was a beautiful day when we finally got the last door to fit on our master bedroom!

Thankfully we know have a good friend who does this kind of work for us and he’d be WAY cheaper than $300 a door. Let me know if you need a reference!

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replied on July 9th, 2012

A heavily drinking handyman? Yikes! A reference would be great if we end up needing a hand. Thanks!

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08.July.2012

Look for something called a hinge jig at a hardware store. HH can use it with a router to do the hinge cutouts, and it’s super easy!

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09.July.2012

Great choice. Original and I like it! Any other decor related recent purchases/ fun internet buys you have found recently?

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09.July.2012

We installed 6 new doors (just the slabs, we reused the jamb/trim) in our last home. We borrowed a router, hinge template and hand planer from a friend. The planer turned out to be really helpful as we’d have to fit the door and then do a little trimming to get it to fit correctly. It was frustrating at times though, hanging the doors, finding out they didn’t fit, taking them back outside to trim, etc., etc. I wouldn’t say my hubby is super handy but we managed to get it done. Looked great when we were finished! Planning on doing it in our new home as well!

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09.July.2012

I had to replace several interior doors when I first bought my rental house. I spent an inordinate amount of time and energy using a chisel for the hinges. If I were to ever do it again, I would definitely get a kit for a router. I’m an experienced DIY-er but just had no patience (or skill, apparently) for the chisel method. Especially since your replacing so many doors, I’d definitely recommend the router-way for your and HH’s sanity!

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09.July.2012

Our family cottage in Ontario had no interior doors for 50 years until about 7 years ago. The cottage next door was being demolished, so my dad and I salvaged everything from the light switches and wall paneling (summer cottage- not much drywall up there),the carpets to the furniture. I got three amazing modern circular caned chairs with black pin legs. We salvaged enough to build in a small bedroom on one end of the living room, and basically only paid for the insulation, ceiling pine planks, the nails and paint. So my room became the first to have a door, an hanging it wasn’t too terrible. It’s definitely a two-person job. No room but the bathroom had a ceiling even before mine, just the rafters of the cottage, and you could hear every little squeak! So my grandparents and aunt both decided to add doors and ceilings after me- but my parents’ room, kids’ room, laundry and storage rooms are still door and ceiling-less, just thick curtains for doors. My mom is reluctant to add a door because she likes the breeze, and I guess likes her curtain just fine.
I am sure HH can handle the task, with a friend and a six-pack. Good luck!

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09.July.2012

I love the doors! I tend to prefer a more traditional style but those really look like they’ll work with the rest of the house. They’re really different as well, which is nice.

The house I’m about to move into has no internal doors downstairs, I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. I might be doing a door buying post of my own sometime soon!

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10.July.2012

To hang/install an interior door like a pro: put the trim pieces on one side. Be sure to square the corners. Then drop it in the hole to sqaure it up/fasten the trim with your trim nailer. Keeps the door flush and straight.

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11.July.2012

We currently have no doors either, and just today finalized our order of a five-panel, flat panel door like your first one. My top choice would have been a similar style but three-panel door (to be less busy), but to stay with pre-primed doors instead of more expensive wood doors (since we are painting white anyway) and to stick with the millworks where we are also getting trim and base molding, that was our best option.

They will be prehung, and we noted when taking down the old doors that only 1 door had to be shimmed, so hopefully the framing is all pretty square and even to make things a little easier on us!

The door you went with is more modern than our house’s style, but I think it will look great in the underdog!

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11.July.2012

I really like all the choices that you have…can’t point my finger on which is my favorite….BUT i’d love to get a door thats all white and 60% of the door is with frosted glass and the rest is white….kind of like a “nurse” room back in elementary school…where would i find something like that?

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18.October.2013

Where did you find the Berkley door for $85? I only find them for way more $$ and we want them in the home we just remodeled and moved into. We are doorless at the moment!!

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19.January.2014

I there – I love your blog!!

we are considering getting a few of the safe and sound doors. We also live in a mid century bungalow and have two kids- we need better doors. How have you found the doors? Worth the trouble? Where did you buy the hardware for your doors. Some advice or an update would be greatly appreciated!!

BTW– we have the same front door!!

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replied on February 13th, 2014

@cheryl, I am in the same situation..mid century bungalow and have a toddler and a baby. I was thinking about a DIY fix for my flat front interior doors in a similar style above, but…wonder if I am wasting my time painting them to look like this, when I have two kids and I might want more , ahem, soundproofing later? Fine for now, but maybe not for later.

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30.July.2014

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