External flush front door construction

24 Sep 2004
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United Kingdom
I'd like to replace my existing front door, however, I'd like to be able to run some wiring within the door itself incorporating a door loop between the replacement door and the frame.

I want to match the style and finish of the existing painted flush door with a single narrow window in the centre and a letter opening beneath the window. Given the need to conceal the cable and the doors simple design I got to thinking that I may be able to make this door up myself but before I charge off and potentially waste time and money I'd like some advice as to whether my plans and choice of materials are ill conceived.

My initial thoughts were to create a mortice and tenon frame as per the image using Meranti with a finished size of 27x106mm and face this on both sides with 9mm marine ply to give a finished thickness of 45mm. I'll ensure there's sufficient timber in the lock areas and I'll need to ensure sufficient timber in the lock areas. I also thought it may be sensible to fill the voids with 25mm polystyrene sheet.

I'm concerned that hardwood lipping may not be at all suitable for an exterior door and I also wonder if should possibly use a heavier softwood frame with thinner ply covering but hoping someone with greater knowledge will advise even if ultimately the advice is not to proceed at all!

Incidentally, the existing door which dates from late 30s/early 40s appears to have been constructed in a similar way to that I've outlined. It's definitely hollow where framing isn't present but from what I can see the frame is thicker and the facing panels are much thinner (approx 3mm) and rather than a single sheet are separate top, bottom and two sides on each face. The door is North facing but is quite sheltered by a porch overhang.

Appreciate your thoughts.

Front Door plan.png
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What wiring do you want to conceal in the door and why?

If the original door is sound then why not simply remove the present covering, install your wiring in the void and then recover with new material.
Original door isn't rotten but has been neglected and is somewhat warped. It's single glazed as well. Replacement would remedy these issues.

Wiring is LV for wired doorbell push and data cable.
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Sorry, what's strange, my suggested door construction or wanting to incorporate a cable within the door? I want the cable there for a video doorbell which can't be mounted on the frame or any nearby wall. It's the construction method for the door I'm more concerned with.
TBH I'd just go for an exterior grade flush door (one with a hardwood laminboard core) and do the cut-outs with a combination of a circular saw and handsaw (or jigsaw). The concealed wires we generally handle with a long hole borer - ours is part of our Souber DBB kit
Thanks JobAndKnock for the info re door type and long hole borer. That's the route I'm going to take.

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