We've had an on-going problem with the door between the garage and the house. This particular wall has settled, and the frame around the door is no longer square. As near as I could tell, it was no longer possible to seal the door -- there was a visible gap between the door and the frame near the door handle. In addition, the heavy wooden door was having problems with its surface -- parts of the veneer have chipped away.
So I decided to replace the door completely. Both the door and its frame. I checked on the web about how to replace doors, and figured it was probably something I could do, but we use this door several times a day, and it would really be better to make sure it was done right. I first checked with Lowe's and Home Depot to see what sorts of doors were available. Home Depot had a nice one -- a steel exterior with a small window. Doors and frames come in several sizes, so I needed the right sizes to get the right door.
I had been real pleased with the work that Dillo Construction did on rebuilding the gable on the back of the house, so I contacted them. They agreed to do the work to install the door. $600.00
I ordered the door from Home Depot, on 7 Dec 2008, for $284.21. It was delivered on 18 Dec 2008. It's a white steel door with a "fan" shaped window at the top, with hinges and frame.
The replacement process mainly consists of taking off the old trim around the door, removing the door and frame, putting in the new door and frame and putting on trim.
So one problem was the trim. The old trim may not fit or may be damaged in removal, so I needed to have new trim available. The trim in the house is not standard, so I had to have some more trim made. BMC West Millwork can do that, so I had them run 100 linear feet of trim. That should give me enough for any future projects. This was $526.10. I took in a piece of the existing trim, and they made more in a red oak.
The next problem was the hardware. It would have been possible to take the door knob off the old door and put it on the new door, but instead, we got a new door knob, switching to a nickel finish with a lever door knob. I put that on myself. $48.40 from Home Depot, 23 Dec 2008. We selected a Kwikset Tustin Satin Nickel handle.
The result is very nice. I've been meaning to paint the door, but haven't gotten around to it.
(Update. The latching mechanism for this door broke, November 2018, effectively 10 years later. But I was then able to replace it with a Kwikset Interior Door Latch for $6.47 from Home Depot.)
(Update. Again the latching mechanism broke, July 2023, less than 5 years from the previous problem. Again replaced by Kwikset Interior Door Latch for $6.47 plus tax, bringing it to $7.00. Home Depot. In taking the broken piece apart, there were two little springs inside that broke, so the latch could be pulled back to open the door, but was unwilling to spring back out as the door closed.)