When we bought our new house, we inherited not only several styles of doors, but several styles of door knobs and molding! All this was ripped out before we started working on the floors, but once those were done it was time to do something about it, especially since most of us weren’t thrilled with not having doors on the bathrooms!
IronFish and I were definitely on the same page here. We both love the American Craftsman style, but that isn’t available in our town. Plus, the layout of this house really suited our family. We just wanted to make it our own and give it a cohesive look.
I knew the doors were going, but I guess I never took pictures of all of them specifically. Think mirror, flat core, solid wood 6 panel (those ones were actually nice) and hollow core 6 panel doors. Then there were the door knobs. The only thing they had in common was they were all gold tone originally, but not so much any more.
When deciding on doors, it’s much easier to install a pre-hung door than to fabricate a slab door. The difference in cost is worth it IMO, we were able to
get all the doors hung in just two days, I think we would have been looking at only getting 2 a day done if we had to fabricate them for the openings.
Since there was still a need to be budget conscious, and we were going to be painting the doors white we saved money selecting solid core doors over solid wood. Additional money was saved by using hollow core doors on the closets since there was no need for sound barriers on those. Selecting doors all by the same manufacture, made sure they all match and now that they are hung, you can’t visibly tell which ones are hollow and which are solid. We also ordered and had them delivered by a local lumber yard, as they came in with the best price.
Good thing we finally have a garage!
I’m not going to show you how we installed them because there is already tons of information out there for that, PLUS, I was often the one inside the dark closet with the nail gun while IronFish was on the outside checking for plum and level, not really designed for good pictures. I will say, make sure you check for hidden nails or screws that may be holding the door into the frame otherwise you might be spending a good half hour trapped in a closet….. I won’t tell you how I know this!
Doors are in; on to the lumber pile!
Every door and window had to be trimmed (we had new windows put in) as well as all the base molding in the whole house! In our old house, we used corner rosettes and fluted molding to trim the doors. I was ready for something completely different in this house!
The base molding was simple 1×6 pre-primed pine. For the doors and windows we found this great post on craftsman style trim. This gave us a great base for figuring out how we wanted to do ours.
Here is how we changed it:
- We used pre-primed pine since the factory finish priming makes it so simple to paint
- Using 1x8s we cut plinth blocks for the base of the vertical trim
- We reduced the cost and simplified the headers by using two 1x4s
- The middle piece is cut exactly the width of the door plus the two verticals (that we had previously installed)
- The top and bottom piece was cut exactly one inch longer and marked a half inch in from each end
- Setting the table saw up to two inches, we then fed the longer piece of 1×4 through
- Since 1x4s are not exactly 4 inches, more like 3.75 inches, we ended up with a 2 inch strip (top) and a 1.75 inch strip (bottom)
- The lines were already marked on both pieces, so we lined the full 1×4 (middle) up and nailed it in place with the trusty nail gun
- Repeat with the top piece!
- Mark the back of the finished header with the room and side of door it belonged to
- Repeat the process for all windows and doors!
Obviously, we had a few doors (or windows) that were smack against the wall, so we only cut the second 1×4 a half inch longer, or the same length for the few doors that couldn’t extend past at all. We took measurements of an area we knew the nail gun hose would reach, then made all of those headers, brought them all in and nailed them in place. Then we moved on to another area the hose would reach.
Just keep working
It took us three evenings to do all of the doors and window headers. Another 4 evenings and so many tubes of caulk I lost count to caulk all gaps and fill all nail holes. THEN we finally started painting every door and window (we did the base moldings before we moved furniture into the house).
The process was definitely long, but so worth it in the end! There was a good length of time when we didn’t have door knobs, the day I finally gave up on finding knobs that I wanted, I ordered basic brushed nickel knobs. A few minutes later, I found another option: EXACTLY what I wanted! Thank goodness the first ones were returnable! The perfect ones were a bit more expensive, and I contemplated if it was worth the extra money but a quick group text to my mom and all my sisters resulted in a unanimous decision, that I have never regretted even for a split second.
Icing on the cake!
Every time I walk through a door in my house, I still love the finished results!
Affiliate links are included in this post to items similar to what I used.