Making your own doors ... level of skill needed?!

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Hi

Badly need two pairs of double doors in our nearly completed house ... but shocked at how much some joinery companies are asking to make & install them. One quote was £5,000 inc VAT ... Nothing particularly special about what I need - just painted 4 panelled affairs (one pair with double glazed glass panels up top) - but since both pairs are off our hall they do need to feel SOLID and reassuringly chunky.

So ... I've got a fair amount of woodwork skill ... plus I've fitted handles and latches and locks and things in the past ... so I'm trying to figure out just how hard it is to make these things yourself? I have a chop saw and a table saw / circular saw ... plus a a few weekends free!

Any advice/tips/tricks very gratefully received - especially from anyone who has gone down the route themselves ... thanks!
 
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By readymade ... do you mean like the ones you get from Howdens or the like? I've bought those before and a) they seem really flimsy in comparison and b) they are difficult to find in pairs ... and a little difficult to find a pair that will fit the existing door frames that aren't a standard width ...
 
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Since various qualities and thicknesses are available, and double doors are available, I think you mean that they are different from standard doors in size

What size are they?
 
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Well ... they are 143cm wide x 198cm high. I know 1983mm is quite a common one (6'6" I'm guessing), but that width is probably going to be tricky. Do you have a suggestion for a good quality manufacturer .. i.e. not XL etc. ... that would be good to know!
 
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they appear to be about 28" wide, which is quite normal. I expect you will want to use a cut rebate, which will lose about 20mm width, rather than a planted stop.

I can't see any reason to make your own.

For solidity, as you are going to paint them, you could use fire doors which are very substantial and 44mm thick (I do).

Mine are made by Premdor but I'm sure there are more expensive brands.

If you were going to stain or varnish them, you could use hardwood front doors. My external doors came from Magnet Trade but I don't think they sell doors retail.
 
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Its a pretty high skill level needed to make these from scratch, and a large bench is essential!
You'll need to be able to make mortise and tenon joints plus the use of a router if you want them to be decorative, maybe.
You'll also need some full size sash cramps.
I'd hunt for ready made ones which you could modify, if possible.
John :)
 
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Ok ... yes, I concede for all the hassle and heartache etc., I'm probably better off buying the actual doors off the shelf. Yes, definitely want 44mm heavy fire door types, but I'm sure as you say the sizes aren't that out of the ordinary so there won't be that much hunting about. So, I guess my question should change .... how realistic is it for an amateur to hang their own doors?!
 
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a pro will do it better and faster.

Fire doors are very tiring to keep lifting up and down to trial fit and plane, especially if you are inexperienced. I find it is hard and slow to cut a perfect lock mortice (unless you are just doing cheap tubular latches) and flush bolts for double doors. Fire doors usually have chipboard cores which are tricky to chisel out.

I very strongly recommend lift-off hinges (for all doors, but especially for heavy ones). Ironmongery Direct have them in stainless and in stainless PVD brass finish, which are very smart. Some are stamped fire resisting grade, if you need it, and are designed for heavy doors.
 
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Perfectly feasible to hang your own doors - I'm sure there's youtube stuff aplenty.
Don't over recess the hinges as they'll bind, and have some wedges ready just to hold the doors as you mark them / set them in place and so on.
Temporarily tack on some 4mm spacer material on the top of the door to help you get the shut gaps right. It will be so much easier if your frame is square!
John :)
 
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Thanks all. Good tip re: tacking on the top spacers. Think I'll give it a go ... this forum has inspired me to tackle many things, and although they've caused a fair bit of heartache, I've got to say I'm pretty pleased with what has emerged at the end of the day!
 

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