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I had a full glass non-vented storm door over my existing entry door for several years. Due to the heat build up, the entry door starting warping and peeling. I found out that the manufacturer strongly recommends either a vented storm door or no storm door at all since a non-vented storm door can cause the warping/peeling I'm seeing.

In response, I removed the full glass storm door since it was old and of poor quality anyway. We've then decided that we just want to replace the front door. We're looking to replace the front door with one of the same size. We've already found a model that appears to be exactly the same size as what we have now.

  1. Do I really need to replace the entire frame, or can I just replace the slab?
  2. If it's better to replace the door and frame, how would I go about doing that given what I have available in the pictures below? I have trim on my entryway with holes from the storm door removal. I cannot tell if I should be removing that metal trim and replacing it completely, or if the new entry door I purchase will come with trim to replace what I have now.

I'm trying to avoid hiring a contractor to do this work, but I'm not sure how involved or complex the work will need to be. I want the final outcome to be neat and clean, but the existing trim is giving me pause.

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  • Appears to be and the same size, are two different things. The door fits/attaches to the door frame, so the exact same size door should fit. Trim is usually just to make it look nice.
    – crip659
    Commented Oct 14, 2023 at 22:04
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    nothing to do with heat, just a bad pant job, probably no primer used. redo
    – Traveler
    Commented Oct 14, 2023 at 22:41
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    Is the door itself actually warped? If not, it might be a lot easier and cheaper to simply sand and refinish the existing door. Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 0:34
  • The middle piece that frames the glass is already warped, so sanding and refinishing alone won't be enough. We're committed to getting a new door as we're tired of the existing door anyway. Does one usually replace the outside white trim as part of a door installation? If not, how do you handle the existing trim that has holes in it? Do you just replace that "capping" separately?
    – jm_
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 20:37
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    Changing a door in an existing jamb isn't rocket science, but it's not trivial either. If you take your time and have sharp tools, it can be done well. Regarding the very outside cladding, one usually changes that -- try to find a gutter fabricator that'll make the pieces for you. Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 13:34

2 Answers 2

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If you're asking this, you probably don't want to take on replacing the front door frame and all. Here is a DIY step-by-step on Family Handyman. Keep in mind that write-ups like this always make things look easier than they are. If you're redoing the door frame, you have to redo interior and exterior trim and flash everything properly so there are no water leaks. It's tricky and probably not the best introduction to door installation. If you screw up, you might end up with a rotted sill.

Replacing the door in the existing frame is still finicky but much less risky: if you screw up, you can just put the old door back. Here is This Old House on youTube where they replace the slab. (Again, they always make it look easy. This is to give you an idea of what steps are involved. Take with a grain of salt and your mileage may vary. As recently came up, This Old House does occasionally cheat a little...) In a nutshell, your new door will almost certainly not fit the old frame and you'll have to cut the edges to make it fit. You'll also have to cut out mortises for the hinges, bore holes for the locks, etc. But again, you can split this over multiple days because if you're not finished, you just put the old door back on the hinges.

The holes on the trim where the storm door was installed can be filled with putty. This is a hack, but I installed mirror film on the inside of mine to reduce heat and it does help. You can have it professionally done if you don't want a hack-job like mine.

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If you intend to reuse the jamb, here are some key measurements to check: Opening size - width, height, depth of the jamb (or make sure you get a door that is the same thickness)

Door hinge spacing and size - if you get a door slab that is already routered out for hinges.

Door handle bore size and spacing so the handle and deadbolt strike in the same places as the existing door.

Also check the style of weatherstripping on the existing door jamb. Some older doors have the overlapping metal channel weatherstripping which is going to be less common.

If you order from a millwork shop/door shop, they should be able to advise you on whether a particular door slab will work. If you order from a big box store, you will probably be on your own as far as making sure things fit properly.

Regarding the trim on the outside, if it is a metal trim of some kind, it's unlikely to come with a new door slab, and would have to be ordered separately.

If you buy a whole new prehung door you would have to replace or reuse the interior trim and any trim on the exterior. Finding a door slab that will fit the existing opening would be the cheapest and simplest option, but may limit your choices.

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