How to Retrofit New Doors in Your Existing Home

If you’re currently looking at your late 80’s early 90’s builder grade doors and thinking ‘these just aren’t cutting it anymore’…you’re not alone! Builder grade is at a much higher level than it has been in decades which likely means the doors you have now, are not as nice as the latest model home in your city. So if you’re looking to make a change with your doors you are going to need to decide if you retrofit doors into the current door jamb or if you remove the current door assembly and start from scratch.

In this blog we will breakdown the 6 factors you need to consider in order to determine whether or not you retrofit your doors or start from the studs.

1.    How Square are the Door Frames

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the condition of your current door jambs can make a big difference as to whether or not you can retrofit new doors in it’s place. How square and  level your frames are can have a big impact on whether or not a new  door (that has no warping)  will fit into the existing door jamb. If the new door has level edges, the header it is going under and the sides it is fitting within must also be level. Before deciding to order only doors, be sure to check how level and square the current doors jambs are. As sometimes it might be easier to use new materials from scratch.

2.    What Size are the Current Doors

If the doors you’re looking to replace, are standard size, replacing only the doors could be an option for you. In older homes, or homes that have been custom built, sometimes a custom door has been constructed for the home. In the event your doors are not a standard size and you would like to switch them to a standard size, retrofitting your doors will not be an option. In any event where you are changing the size of the doors in your homes, you will need to remove the frame of the door to accommodate the new size.

For context, here are some standard door sizes we see here at Riverside Millwork Group.

Ready Made Doors

80” tall by 30” wide

Stile & Rail Doors Made in Our Mill

90-96” tall by 30” wide

3.    Are the Current Doors Beveled

The beveling of a door means that the leading edge of the door is sloped at an angle. The purpose of this is to have a snug fit when the door is closed up against the door jambs. We would want to ensure that if your current doors are beveled, that the replacement doors are too.

4.    Hinge and Door Knob Locations

The hinges on the door are the element that help make the door open and close. The hinge and knob hole position on your current door needs to be replicated on the new doors. If we are providing our Riverside customers with a pre machined door, we need to be able to apply the hinge and door knob in the same position as the old doors.

5.    Door Thickness

It is important that you try and match the new door thickness with your current door thickness.

A standard ready made door or a mill made door from us typically has a depth of 1 ⅜ ”-1 ¾”. Measure the doors you’re planning on replacing to see what the depth of your doors currently are.

If you are changing the thickness of the door you will likely have to replace doorstop and hinge size. At this point you may want to consider replacing the whole door assembly.

6.    Condition of the Casing

The casing is the piece of trim that borders the doorway. The condition of the casing will impact the final appearance of the new doors you are installing so it is an important factor to consider when deciding whether or not to retrofit your doors. If your casing is in great condition and you don’t plan on replacing it for many years than retrofitting could be a good option for you.

If on the other hand, you are looking to replace your casing because of its condition or the style does not align with the new door style you have chosen, now is a good time to remove and replace existing frames and doorways.

If after reading this blog you think you still qualify for a retrofit of your new doors, talk with one of our experienced sales representatives to confirm and we can walk you through the various interior door styles we provide. If you believe you need to replace the frames in addition to the doors we still want to work with you because here at Riverside Millwork Group we specialize in home interior finishings including doors, trim, millwork, and closets!

Cost Comparison

While there are many factors to consider whether to retrofit the doors in your home, one factor a lot of homeowners like to use is the cost difference. Here, one of our team members breaks down the price difference between retrofitting a door into the current opening and compares that with knocking down the current entryway to make way for all new doors.

Retrofit Cost Example

Item Price
Hallow Core 2 Panel Door $214.22
Pre-Hang $33.34
Custom Hinge Location $80.00
Custom Lockset Location $80.00
Cut and fill for height $70.00
Undersize for width $80.00
Total (plus HST) $630.04

Knockdown Cost Example

Item Price
Hallow Core 2 Panel Door $214.22
Pre-Hang $33.34
MDF Contemporary Doorstop $22.68
Pine Jambs $60.15
Hinges $16.52
Total (plus HST) $392.01

Even with all this new information, if you’re still having a difficult time deciding between retrofitting and reframing the doorway, reach out to us to consult with one of our Inside Sales Representatives. After consulting with hundreds if not thousands of others, they will be in a great position to help.