Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: OT - Shortening a door

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    24

    Default OT - Shortening a door

    I need to shorten an exterior, 9 lite metal clad door by a half inch or so. My son is tiling his kitchen which will raise the floor. I don't really want to rip the existing header out and raise that. I've looked into replacing the door with a recycled solid wood door, but have found nothing to suit his purposes and his budget so we're relegated to shortening the one that's currently in place. Has anyone done this before? Equipment isn't as much an issue as technique. Has anyone done this successfully and, if so, how?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Phil

  2. #2

    Default

    I think the easiest way would be to take a section out of the door just below the bottom hinge. Scoop out the foam, and fill the void with a tight-fitting pieces of plywood that bridge the joint. Clamp the door to something flat. Drill and dimple the holes for flathead screws to hold everything together. Spackle over the joint and the screw heads, and repaint the door.

    Cutting the door at the bottom might be easier, but I think dealing with the piece at the bottom for the seal would be a problem.

    Roger
    Last edited by winchman; 04-18-2009 at 03:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Beaumont, TX
    Posts
    7,102

    Default

    Strange as it sounds, what Roger said may be your best bet. If you cut off the bottom, you will have problems with the weather seal. If you cut the top, you will have to move the hinges. Taking it out of the middle makes sense and may be the easiest thing to do. But it will be difficult making it look nice.

    Another possibility would be to chip out the floor in a shallow ramp near the door to create the clearance for the tiles.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,833

    Default

    Phil,

    Your situation is not unique...

    Manufacturers make a "squared U" shaped replacement bottom for metal clad doors... perhaps you can do a Google search for them. They require no welding so the "core" material won't matter. If you have the equipment you can bend up your own replacements - nothing too special about them!

    Basically one cuts the metal clad door off at the bottom with a band saw - or portable power saw if it's aluminum - and then glue and/or screw the replacement on.

    One repair I saw was on a painted metal door. They just bent up a piece of thin sheet copper so that it was about an inch high on the sides and fastened with silicone seal and screws. This fix really looked good and the door never needed to be repainted!

    .
    Last edited by Mike Burdick; 04-18-2009 at 10:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    citrus heights, ca
    Posts
    2,117

    Default

    You will find that once the door is on a sutable set of saw horses it will be a simple task.
    I have cut down hundreds of doors . Use a saws-all or jig saw or even a skillsaw (with a blade You don't care about) Clamp a straight edge to the door and give it a rip. If You cut through the bottom piece, wich is unlikely only taking off a half inch ... jost fill with a piece of wood and use silicone to seal it.

    Most door Mfgrs allow for cutting a small amount from door bottoms as retro flooring is a comman situation. If You bugger up the look a little You can put on a door shoe to hide it.

    Steve
    a former door shop owner

  6. #6

    Default

    Don't forget to allow some clearance for the little rug most people put at the door. It's really irritating when the bottom of the door drags the rug into a heap.

    Roger

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    334

    Default

    Those doors , if they are still made the same, have a wood frame around the perimeter. Always shorten by cutting off the bottom. Just use a good sweep and seal tight.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Mercer Island WA USA
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I have shortened a number of doors and observed a number of shortened doors.
    I have replaced doors with hung doors.
    I have replaced doors with door blanks.
    I have framed buildings and hung blanks.
    I have framed buildings and installed pre hung doors.
    I have nailed trim around door frames.
    I have fixed allot of doors that were improperly pre hung at some lumberyard.
    I have made a few doors that weigh over 100 pounds.
    I have fixed allot of doors that don't fit the jam any more.

    Lots of doors, you can't tell they were shortened.
    But it is easy to spot the ones that were lengthened.
    It is allot easier for two people to get a door back up with the pins through the hinges.

    I would work with a partner.
    Take the door down and set it on two saw horses.
    I would draw or scribe a cut line
    I would clamp a straight edge to the door and use a saber saw.
    I would put the door back up.
    If more needs to be cut off, but is too little for the saber saw, I would use a die grinder.
    As the above posters wrote, if you break through into hollow core, you should fill it with wood.
    If corporal punishment for women and children is domestic violence, then gun control is domestic spying.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Many thanks to all who responded. I don't mind buggering up my own door, but this is for my son. Knowing that this is not unchartered territory eases my mind greatly.

    Again, thanks for the input.

    Phil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Before you cut off the door I would remove the trim and see how much room you have between the top of the frame and the header. You may have enough room to reinstall the door which I feel would be a lot easier than cutting it off and shorting the frame I have installed many exterior doors and have had a few where the rough in height was to short. I have shortened the header with a sawsall and a chisel. You don't have to remove the header because most likely you wouldn't be able to move it up anyway. GHood luck, but I wouldn't make the job any harder than possible.
    Chip

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •