Wooden storm door is IN, but lots of work!!! (pics)

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Norfolk, VA

Wooden storm door is IN, but lots of work!!! (pics)

Post by RosemaryT »

A few weeks ago, I was shopping around online for a nice wooden storm door for my front door. I priced some doors and found them to be $600 and up - way, way up.

And then, I found a new door at the old lumber-yard here in town and they only wanted $270 for a pretty nice wooden storm door. Ponderosa pine and the perfect thickness (1-1/8") to match my front door opening.

However, it came with a little surprise.

I needed a 36" by 84" door which is a fairly common size. The company had one "on the rack" which was great. The door came 85+ inches long, so the bottom had to be cut to size. Well, that was a little disconcerting but not impossible to deal with. The big surprise was ---> the door was 37-1/4" wide! It had to be cut - ripped - the whole 7' length on BOTH sides.

Man, that was not happy news. And I didn't discover it until after I had cut the bottom off the door. Seems like the lumberyard doesn't sell too many of these doors because they didn't know that either. We *all* thought these doors were shipped out, ready to put into a 36" opening.

We used a circular saw to rip the whole length of the door and it came out pretty decent - but that was nerve wracking.

I put one coat of stain and three coats of poly on the door and inserts, sanding between each coat. The hardware was $70 for the knob and $90 for the three hinges (and $50 for a new palm sander!). The varnish and supplies ran another $60 or so. So, I'm into the whole thing for a little more than $500. Not too shabby but as my husband said, I have about 11,000 hours invested in this door!

Is it just me, or does it take everyone a long time to apply all these coats of stain and poly on doors???

Before photo:

After (exterior)

Naked door (before stain)




Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:11 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Post by buffy21798 »

It looks great, you did a wonderful job!

Posts: 2386
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:13 pm
Location: My Front Parlor

Post by Greg »

Gosh that looks nice. Is that a mail slot way down at the bottom? Does you mailman complain?

Posts: 920
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:11 pm
Location: Midwest

Post by S »

Looks very nice :-) I tell ya, not a day will go by where you don't walk up that sidewalk and smile at your storm door (I still do at mine). Well worth the money & time.

1924 Bungalow

S Melissa
Posts: 6339
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:15 pm
Location: Canton Michigan

Post by S Melissa »

RMT - wow - that turned out great!! Looks wonderful on your house and I think you'll enjoy that door for many years to come. It all takes a long time - simple to understand, but long on the application. Seems that way for many things. Great job!
Canton, MI
1860 Italianate - Reuben Huston Home

Posts: 3891
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:57 am
Location: st. joseph MO

Post by angolito »

that is amazing. i am particularly happy to see not a phillips head screw in sight.

Posts: 3028
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:21 pm

Post by utopia13 »

That turned out lovely! I have that same door, painted with about a gazillion coats of white, but now I see how nice it will look with all that stripped off! Sweet! :wink:
This site has been ruined by spam. All regular forum members have moved to http://www.thehistoricdistrict.org/
Come join us!!!

ca 1916 Craftsman Bungalow

Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:16 am
Location: Sciotoville, Ohio

Post by jeepnstein »

That is a dead ringer for my original doors. Do you have a manufacturer's name? I have a door on on of the back entrances that is probably beyond repair even though I keep trying.


Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:28 pm
Location: Macon Missouri

Post by CivilWarHome »

It turned out great! We'll worth the time investment and you came out ahead $wise!
185? Italianate
Macon, Mo

Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Norfolk, VA

the door

Post by RosemaryT »

It came from Randolph-Bundy, http://www.randolph-bundy.com, a wholesaler - and it was ordered through Portsmouth Lumber, http://www.portsmouthlumber.com. I dealt with Chip Hanbury at Portsmouth Lumber.

I'm sure it can be shipped - if you want to order it.

What pleased me about this door is that it's very well constructed (mortise and tenon joints) and made with Ponderosa Pine and it has a very pretty grain on it. The glass insert is safety glass and those muntins are nice and deep and have a good profile. The four turn buttons are brass screws (slotted). For the $270 price tag, it comes with both glass and (fiberglass) screen inserts.

It's a heavy door and we went with three hinges, due to its weight. I'm a bit of a purist and even upon close examination, the only thing that betrays its youth is the "safety glass" etching in the corner of each pane.

As I said above, I was fearing that I'd pay $700 or more for a door like this. The hardware came from rejuvenation.com and required very little skill to install. That knob required only 5/8" hole in two places - NO chiseling.


Post Reply