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Question DetailsAsked on 3/27/2017

What to do with the front entry door?

I have a double door entry with one faux door. There is a coat closet behind the faux door and electrical in the walls so eliminating the closet and making both doors functional isn't my first choice. I have had "door experts" tell me my choices are limited. Understood but does anyone have a real world experience I can use? Pics would be great if possible. Thanks in advance all!

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Not sure what you want to do or why - so that may be your first point to clarify, because I am not sure you have a good handle on that at this point either. Are you looking for a wider single or a double door, getting more space in the entry by getting rid of the closet, changing the exterior appearance, or what ? Figure out what you want to accomplish, and that will begin to narrow your options to just a few economically viable ones typically and allow you to begin visualizing the possibilities.


If a high-end house or looking for a "show" appearance, an Architect can help with conceptual drawings and sample images and such, and a conceptual cost estimate.


Depending on what you want to accomplish - and realizing of course there are a lot of variations depending on site specifics, but assuming studwall construction (not solid concrete or brick) wall, taking a faux door out is usually (not always, but almost always) very easy to do because it almost never is structural - the door header almost always continues on over it as if it were a real door. Usually there is a substantial post (commonly 3-4 inches wide) between the two doors which stays there, the faux door is realeased from its stop strips and comes out as a panel or door unit -commonly actually "falling" out once the stop strips or brick mold are removed.


Sometimes it actually is a matching door to the "real" one just without door hardware, I have also seen ones where it had full door hardward except entry knobset and was just trimmed over with stop strip - if so, I suggest you carefully protect in cardboard and plastic wrap as a spare for your current door. You can then fill the hole with replacement wall just like the adjacent wall - taking out the closet in the process if you wish.


Or you can leave the faux door on the outside for appearance, and should be able to remove the closet on the inside and replace it with drywall or panelling to match the rest of the entry wall, maybe with or maybe without a small interior bumpout depending on how the door was set (bumpout could be disguised in a shallow shelf unit or display case). This assumes the wiring is in the "back wall" of the closet, at the back side of the faux door, not in the "sides" of the closet which presumably protrude into the entry and will be torn out (if doing that). If in the sides the wiring is commonly moveable without excess hassle, just a few hundred more $ in many cases to relocate into the outside wall assuming this is normal entry door type wiring for entry and porch and maybe flood or driveway border lights, and such - not major wiring runs for the house, which would very rarely be put right next to the entry doorway.


Another common solution (though usually not with that wide an opening) is putting a sidelight by the door - plain, etched, embossed, or "stained" glass - bearing in mind security needs. i.e., if more than about 8" wide can be broken and let someone slip inside, and also if large or on the same side of the operating door as the hardware, can be broken and allow someone to reach in and open the door. Also, if a wide window, plan on insulated drapes for it if in cold climate, because a window in that location (especially if at the head of stairs to the lowwr level) can create quite a cold draft down the stairs as well as a cold entry. Ditto to potentially being a hot spot if in A/C country and the window will be exposed to significant direct sunlight. Course, you can mostly fill in the wall and put in just a narrow sidelight window if you want.


Of course, if going for a full double door scenario, one of the first things to look into is whether the faux door is a real matching door or not (and if it is undamaged from the installation method) so whether it can be given hardware and made "real" or not - because if not getting a custom door to match or replacing the entire unit with a new double-door unit is likely going to bump the cost by several thousand or more, depending on the unit fanciness - but while you can buy double entry door units for under a thousand, more commonly people select ones costing $2000-4000, plus around $1000-1500 installation commonly for your case assuming it is bought to fit the existing rough opening.


You can see MANY examples of windows (sidelights, and a few full-size) next to windows if you google this search phrase - images for entry door with sidelight


Thousands more with the same search phrase (without the "images for" part) on Pinterest.


The toughest part of it is commonly matching the flooring (putting new flooring in where the closet used to stand) and matching siding on the outside, or coming up with a complimentary architectural finish for where the faux door used to be.


Some people even - though does not do wonders for your insulation because you are losing some insulation thickness, just put firring strips to desired "fronting setback" - or to establish the right distance back from the face of the faux door to make the new siding match up right, water barrier (like the rest of the wall should have) and new siding to suit - leaving the faux door in place buried in the wall.


Cost variable depending on your circumstances of course - but probably around $500-800 bare minimum, $800-1500 ballpark for "simple" solutions, and probably $1500-3000 if you get into a situation where you want/need to do a special treatment on the outside finish where the faux door was, or if the interior flooring cannot be matched so you have to replace all of it (assuming this is a nominal small entry, not a grand foyer). Convert to full double door or double door and large side window and remove the closet and do floor and wall refinishing and such as needed and you might be into the $3000-5000 range pretty quickly -on up toi $10,000-15,000 range with real fancy door/window units.


Sometimes a good, all-around Handyman can handle this sort of job for the simple versions, but commonly because of framing, siding, insulation, drywall, painting, flooring, etc if doing a major change a Remodeling - General Contractor (your Search the List category) is usually your best bet for a contractor.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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