Monday, July 22, 2013

Building an Entry Door, Part 1 of 3

After removing the old kitchen tile and installing thicker Allure Ultra flooring, our old jalousie entry door needed to be planed to fit.  Our new floor gave us a wonderful excuse to set our old door aside, currently residing in our garage for a potential future project.  However, this meant that we've been without a door for quite some time... I know.

It's been convenient to walk right into our home and not have to fumble with keys or even turn a knob.  Remember how lazy I can be?  It's left our dark, nearly windowless stairwell a little more open, breathable.  However, it's been inconvenient when visitors have to walk right in and little 3 year old daughters walk right out.  And so, we started to design and build our own entry door.

Spending a couple hours over two days, I worked on installing the door frame with hardware so it would be ready to hang when we were totally finished.

  • 2x6 - 20 ft. ($0, family garage)
  • Ryobi Wood Door Lock Installation Kit ($13, Home Depot)
  • Everbuilt hinges ($6, Home Depot, purchased last year)
  • Schlage door knobs ($30, Home Depot, purchased last year)
  • Door stop ($2, Home Depot)
$51 for hardware and the door installation kit, phew!

Hitachi cordless drill, Ryobi miter saw, Kreg Jig Jr., 2 1/2" pocket hole screws (tools already owned)


Our garage used to look like junk storage, but it's become my workshop and treasure trove of freebies.  Two 10 ft. 2x6s have been lying on the side of our garage floors for about 3 years, according to my mom.  She had some house work done in her downstairs home around that time, and it seems the handy man bought two extra boards.  I simply measured our doorway, cut the boards to size and drilled pocket hole screws in the shorter width boards and attached them to make a rectangle.

Ensuring the door would hang on the hinge
Before moving further, I needed to ensure that the door would fit in the doorway when hung and that it would have all the necessary holes for the hardware before I finished it with paint or stain.

I enjoyed chiseling the mortise, as if I was reclaiming an old practice for myself.  I fancied myself as an old-time wood worker, and then I chiseled too much and work up from that romantic ideal.  Hah.  Everything fit well, until I tried to close the door.  It turned out that the 2x6 frame I built was a hair too thick now that the door was pulled closer to the jamb.  I tried again later, to no avail.  I had to abandon my mortises.

Now, I had chiseled mortises on the opposite side of the door to fill with wood filler.  The problem with problems is that they create another problem to solve.  :/ The mortise would have provided the most support to the door, but it surprisingly was still sturdy without one.  I wasted a day, but I learned from it.  Learning #1.

Boring Holes for Door Knob Hardware

I aligned the bit, now hole saw, with the little mark the target made in the wood and did my best to drill the hole straight and evenly.  Once I went in about 2 cm, the hole itself held up the drill, without my help.

It turned out beautifully, my first door hardware hole.  And that round piece of wood popped out easily.  I saved it, you know, just in case I could use it for a project.  (Sentimental garage hoarder alert).

Then, I drilled the second and final hole.

Chiseling a recess for the lock

Installing a door stop

I purchased a $2 door stop, which came with no directions.  I stared at it and turned it around, probably looking like I've never seen a door stop in my entire life.

Sneaky door stop, you.

I used an entire  work day, okay, a couple hours from a day, to pre-install and position all the hardware so that the door would be ready to go when we were finished.

At the end of this day, I unscrewed everything, took the door off, and prepared it for sanding, for plexiglass and paint, coming next.  :)


  1. This looks amazing! You've done a great job on this, it's Awesome! Haven't figured out how to log in as "me" yet, so I've done this comment the quick way. :0) JoanneS

    1. So nice to hear from you, as usual, Joanne. :) Thank you for the encouragement. I'll keep you updated, since this was just the beginning. We couldn't find plexiglass as large as we wanted it, so we had to change our door design a little. Hope you still like it, though!

  2. This is AWESOME! Fantastic job on the door. It's so so so pretty!

    1. Thank you, Alison. This was actually the first post in a little series. We added frosted plexiglass, a bottom panel with trim, and we painted one side. It looks way different now. Hope it still looks okay, though!

  3. Yvonne, this looks great! I can't believe you built a door. Can't wait to see the final product.
    Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. :)

    1. Thank you, Sarah. :) It's a pleasure to find great blogs with inspiring, genuine content, like yours. I leave comments in places where my heart is stimulated to love.

  4. I just can't believe how handy you guys are. This looks terrific!

    1. Thank you, Katja! We needed a door, and we had an idea we wanted to pursue, so we thought it was worth a try. It turns out it wasn't too difficult, really. :)

  5. That is awesome! We want to replace our solid back door with something that let the light in more. I never considered actually making it myself though! Might have to look into that...

    1. It's not too difficult, and we saved hundreds of dollars. You can totally do it! =D


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