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You Hit The Jackpot !!!

Posted by Jay J on January 5th, 2000 10:30 AM
In reply to Oak Entry Doors by TP on January 5th, 2000 09:54 AM [Go to top of thread]


You hit the jackpot! We had double entry, full-oval, oak doors made by Super Millwork, through Home Depot, installed 2 years ago. No, we don't have side-lights but other than that, I can speak from experience.

Don't hold your breath with HD's est-time-of-delivery. Our Northern Oak doors were 'cut'in Ohio, assembled in Quatemala (shipped via container ship), and 'finalized' at Super Millwork. In all, it took 15 weeks; NOT 10. (We would have had them in 12 weeks had our doors not 'missed' the ship. Go figure! Guatemala?!)

Let me tell you what we did. Our installer didn't want them finished because if he nicked or scratched them during installation, he said we'd be upset 1) because he damaged them, and 2) you'll never get an exact match on 'the fix'. So, get them UNFINISHED.

They came pre-hung based on ROUGH dimensions supplied by the installer. IF you are doing this yourself, you need to find out from HD how they measure your doors for installation. If you do it wrong, you'll end up in a jam of trying to return the doors and in getting replacements. So, I suggest a pro do the measuring and installation.

Talk to your installer about the threshold AND the interior flooring in terms of how/will they match up with each other? For starters, we have concrete steps, hence, the threshold is sitting on TOP of the top step. Thus, you can't install the pre-hung door 'flush' with the top step. (The inside was just fine. There's a 3/4" 'lip' between our FINISHED, foyer floor and the top of the threshold. You just have to be a little careful when you go outside so that you don't TRIP down the first 2 steps to the landing.) The lip is 'avoidable' if 1) the new threshold can be 'lowered', or 2) you get new, 3/4" solid flooring installed AFTER the doors are put in.

DON'T get them pre-mortised. If the installer has to 'tilt' the door one way or the other, the lock-and-mortise won't line up. Let the installer do the mortising.

DO NOT get the stock door hinges. They only come with 3 hinges, and each hinge has 3 screws. Have them install 3, ball-bearing, 4-screw hinges instead. (Yes, you'll stil have 3 hinges but they'll have 4 screws in them.) The weight of the door will, over time, pull out of the jam. Enough so that the lock doesn't work right any more, or it scrapes, or whatever. Make sure you have a STRONG, rough jam.

Some other input ... Find an installer that installs wood doors. Don't use someone that installs garage doors or closet doors, and so on. Our installer's MAIN forte was entry doors. If your door gets direct sunlight, they will only be guaranteed by Super Millwork for 1 year, and possibly not at all by the installer/finisher. (We have a 5' porch over-hang and get some direct sun in the winter only. And we face DUE south, unobstructed!) You may want to consider storm doors. If you get direct sun, the doors and the finish will bake inside them if you have storm doors. BUT, if they get little or no sun, storm doors will DEFINITELY extend the life of your door and finish! (IF you need a recommendation, e-mail me directly.) HD will deliver the doors for free if the purchase is over $2000. If you can protect the doors until they're installed, do so. The packaging from Super Millwork is NOT meant to protect unfinished doors from the weather. A week after the doors are installed, have them finished. Mine were finished w/o having to take them off the hinges. They got 1 coat of our custom-mixed stain, and 2 coats of Spar Marine Varnish. (Our finisher was a retired painter who does this kind of thing for 'side $$$'. The installer didn't finish the doors.) In a few years, should the doors need to be refinished, I'll use Liquid Sandpaper and re-varnish.

I've rambled quite a bit. The key points are: Make sure you have the properly sized dimensions before ordering. Get the doors UNFINISHED. Get them PRE-HUNG. Get them UN-MORTISED. Buy the BALL-BEARING, 4-SCREW hinges. Read the WARRANTY. Consider Storm Doors. Get an expert installer. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this job to a DYIer. (If you mess up, it WILL cost you.) As for locks, we bought the Baldwin Lexington Mortised Lockset with Emergency Egress. (It was a HECK of a lot cheaper buying it off the WEB than even at Home Depot or elsewhere!) IF you need more info, e-mail me directly.

If you lived in SE PA, I could recommend a guy who worked-on/installed doors in 7 out of 15 homes on my block! He is the best and was worth the $$$. If you need more info, e-mail me directly. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J

330 South Service Road
Melville, L.I., NY 11747
Ph: (516) 777-3535
Fax: (516) 777-3537

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