You can freshen up your home and make the place look new again with upgraded doors. The only problem — a new set of wooden doors can set you back a pretty penny.
Instead of succumbing to the high price tag or going without, why not make your own doors? Sure, there’s some skill required — but with a decent set of tools, some DIY experience, and a positive attitude, you can build a quality piece.
Here’s how to get started.
Always Measure First
Don’t throw away a perfectly good door because it doesn’t fit the space you want to fill. Make sure to remove the old door if you have it, and measure. If there’s no existing door, make sure you know the dimensions of the opening. The only exception is when installing a new entry in an existing wall. Still, there are standard door sizes — such as 80 inches in height, required by most building codes — to base your project around.
Choose Your Material
You can build a door out of many different types of wood. If your project calls for a certain aesthetic, it might be worth it to source a quality hardwood. Purchase a blank in a color and grain that matches your surroundings for an easy upgrade. Alternatively, if you’re building a door for your work shed, you might choose plywood. It’s good to know what you want to prevent another trip to the lumber yard.
Cut and Prep
You may choose to make the door from scratch — gathering pieces of wood, cutting to size, installing glue and fasteners, treating the wood and staining. This method may require more time than others. Consider whether you need molding around the edges of the entrance. It’s easier to match the color and grain by finishing the molding and door at the same time. Plus, you may need to use measurements from the entrance to inform how to cut the molding.
Install and Lock
You may wish to add additional features to your door before hanging. For example, say you’d like a glass window, smack dab in the center. Once all hardware is in place, hang the door in its frame and install weatherstripping along the bottom and sides. You should also install a lock or deadbolt for security. If you’re using an existing door, check the deadbolt for damage and assess the need for replacement. Many modern homes feature smart locking systems that make entry simpler and your home more secure.
There you have it — a door made for much less than a new one, plus the cost of someone to install it. Homemade doors range from ultra-simple up to craftsman-style boutique. Stay with this craft, as every door you make is another chance to improve your skills and save some money.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington