It’s no surprise that Colby and I are both big fans of saving money where we can while renovating our house. We’ve done it all to save a buck…bought cheap fixtures from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, picked up items from the lumber yard bargain bin, painted flea market finds for cheap, and have accepted hand-me-downs from friends and family. We’ve learned that renovating really doesn’t have to be that expensive. But one of our most shameless, money saving tricks that we’ve used on four occasions, is purchasing a door slab instead of a pre-hung door.
We can often find door slabs in the “bargain bin” at our local lumber yard for $15-$25. The same door bought new and pre-hung (with the door casing) can cost anywhere between $150-$200. As Leonard’s mom the trained psychologist says….yikes! And it costs us a max of $50 (more like $25) to convert a door slab into a hung door. We’ve already amassed about a $500 savings by purchasing door slabs! Imagine the number of beers you could drink for five hundred smackers! And yes…I still count money in terms of beers. But don’t get me wrong…hanging a door slab is not easy…kind of like being Leonard (from Big Bang Theory). But that’s another post for another day. We’ve got a “How To Hang A Door Slab” coming at you next week, but before we get to that, it’s time to get schooled. On what makes up a door. I thought a little anatomy of a door lesson would be a nice little reference for the construction heavy “how-to” post.
I have learned alot in our nearly three years of DIYing our own home. Who would have known that when we first started that I had no idea what the different between a Phillips and flat head screwdriver were?! Or how much fun impact drivers are! But now I (of all people…not Colby…the man who sells doors) am going to step through the anatomy of a door with you. Colby nearly choked on a chicken bone when I brought up the topic of lock rails the other day!
What makes up a door is actually pretty simple. It consists of panels, three rails (top, bottom and lock rail…the lock rail being the level for installing a door knob). The best door slabs to buy are the solid wood doors, not the cheap wood veneered, hollow core kind. You know…the cheap ones that we all had in our first apartments?! A solid wood door slab is nice not only because you can stain it, but also because it’s pretty easy to trim a little here or shave off a little there to make the door fit your space, unlike their veneer or composite counterparts. And doors come in all kinds of sizes and configurations (two panel, four panel, six panel, etc.) and styles (flat panels, hip raised panels, straight or curved tops, etc.).
The door framing part is where installation gets tricky and it helps to know the right terminology. For a long time I didn’t know what the difference between a jamb and casing was. And that jamb isn’t something you put on toast. Let’s start with the easy parts…the hinge. Typically, three hinges attach the door directly to the jamb. And the jamb is attached directly to the studs/framing around the door opening. Layered on top of the jamb is a piece of wood called a stop. Stops are either an additional piece of wood, sometimes decorative, attached to the jamb or the jamb/stop is one solid piece of wood (aka…the stop is routed out of the jamb). We tend to go the “add another piece of wood to the jamb” route. The final piece of door anatomy is the casing, otherwise known as trim. The casing is the last piece to go on and covers the gap between the jamb and the wall and gives the door opening a nice finished look.
So to recap…a door is made up of panels, rails, and stiles and don’t put jamb on toast. There…I think you’re an interior door pro now! Or at least you sound like one! That’s the important part in door installation anyway.
Pssst…Happy almost weekend everyone! Colby and I are both SOOOOO excited to tackle some projects that have been on our list forever and a day! Like finally finishing the bathroom! Booyah! Stay tuned for bathroom details…not to be confused with bathroom detail. Anywho…what’s on your to-do list this weekend? Any fun DIY projects? Or are you laying low? Kind of like we did last weekend upon our return from Puerto Rico!