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Replacing front door

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Joined: Jan 17 2006

We desperately need to replace our front door. While we do not need to be totally authentic (original knob and plate are nowhere to be found), we are interested in keeping with the Eichler aesthetic. Can anyone recommend a local vendor/installer who can help us in our quest?

Thanks,
Gary & Ellen

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Joined: Nov 26 2004

Don't give up on replacing your front door since there ARE readily available solutions that can provide you with a front door that is as good as the original. We just did this ourselves and are extremely pleased with the result!

This is what you need to do:
- You CAN buy a NEW Eichler Entry Door Knob/Escutcheon Kit from a fellow Eichler owner that lives in S. California. He makes them for owners interested in restoring their door to its original glory. Contact me at vonkodi At aol DOT com for his contact info. I've attached 2 pics of the kit installed, our kit "post installation" is the one with the darker front door.
- Buy a BLANK birch slab door which is sized for your door entryway. A blank will cost around $75.00. Its important that you get a blank door that is not pre-drilled or pre-hung since your door size is probably irregular, and most importantly, the Eichler Lock set needs to be offset so that the Escutheon can fit on the door.
- Remove the old door and trim the door as necessary to insure a good fit. Drill the door to accomodate the Eichler Entry Door Know/Escutheon Kit per the instructions provided by Thinkmat.

If you aren't comfortable doing any of these steps, you can usually find any handyman that could assist. Good luck!

p.s. Sorry I tried but couldn't post PICs because the Webmaster/SYSOP apparently turned off HTML which prevents pics from being posted

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

gary and ellen:

use the search function of this message board to find past threads on this topic. It's been quite popular.

Getting and installing a new authentic door is painless and inexpensive. Hire a door company to measure your opening and custom make you a slab door, made of birch. I suggest the satin nickel Schlage knob and matching hinges. Go with the Plymouth model knob as they match. After installed, paint the door with a durable, contrasting color of your choice

typical cost: $80-$100 for the door, $30-$40 for hardware, $10 for paint materials, $150-$300 for door/hardware installation

DO NOT go with a prehung unit from your local home depot. You want to minimize the destruction to your entryway.

While escutcheon plates are cool and a nice detail for any Midcentury Modern home, they are nearly impossible to find. If you want to add one later, be sure you locate your know farther from the edge so you can accommodate the 6 inch plate. You'll need to special order a longer bolt to make it work.

Joined: Jan 17 2006

Thanks for the feedback to those of you who emailed and posted your responses to our inquiry about replacing our front door. I have read through numerous past threads on the subject and feel like an expert at this point. I have contacted a local (San Carlos) company that specializes in doors and millwork, and have ordered a blank door for $75. The person I spoke with grew up in an Eichler and has done Eichler doors. I was thrilled to finally get some expert door help from someone who actually knew what the heck I was referring to when I said "Eichler." The plan is for us to take our door off the hinges and take it to them so they can mill the blank to the exact specifications of the existing door, which is actually the original, sans the hardware. I don't have the final total for the job, as we have yet to select the hardware, but it will definitely be affordable! We can hang it ourselves since the door will be a copy of the original. Not like the estimate I got from the door guy who came out and told me I had to go with a fiberglass door that would require framing modifications...all installed at a mere $500 for his labor :shock: . I was stunned. Thanks everyone for the contact info for the gentleman in Southern California who makes "new originals" of the hardware. Since there is still a chance we may run across the originals from our door (my husband grew up in this house :) ) we probably will settle for something different yet Eichler-friendly in design.

Thanks,
Gary & Ellen

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Joined: Jun 19 2006

Hello. Wondering if anyone could tell me where to find a flat slab door to replace my entryway door? I contacted my local door company and was told they no longer exist. My choices were smooth fiberglass or wood veneer. Would love to know where I could find the flat slab for my Eichler. Thanks!

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Joined: Mar 25 2005

Southern Lumber in San Jose sells slab doors and also does door 'matching' so that if you take in your old door, they will mortise the hinges and also do the cutout for your doorknob.

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Joined: Jun 19 2006

Great, thanks for the information!

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Joined: Oct 7 2005

The frame around the front door on my house needs to be replaced (as well as the front door.) Has anyone had someone do this recently in the South Bay or Peninsula? Any recommendations in general for a handyman or carpenter that would do this well. Thanks so much in advance.

Send recommendations directly to lianesf AT pacbell.net, or post in the Rec Room section of the Chatterbox.

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

@lianesf: not sure if your "door frame" is like mine, but our hinges are mortised into a support 4X4 and the strikeplate is mortised into the opposite 4X4 -- there is no "frame" to speak of. there are door stops tacked to the 4X4s, but that's about it. in our case (we'll be replacing the door this weekend, oddly) -- we'll be using a lot of bondo to fill 40 years worth of nicks/gouges and will have to cut-away/re-glue (then re-mortise) the strikeplate area which is just too beat up to save.

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Joined: Jun 20 2010

Great post! It's very nice. Thank you so much for your post.

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