Owning your own home

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  • No personal experience


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  • We bought a replacement front door because we don't really like the one we have, and it was quite cheap on Ebay.

    The hinges are on the other side, and I hadn't really considered how big a job it could be to switch over the furniture etc. on the door.

    An easier job could be to install it the way the door is currently set up - but this would mean it opened onto the stairs rather than the entrance hallway. However, I just looked up some YouTube videos of people swapping doors around, and someone with the same layout was swapping theirs to open onto the stairs.

    Is this a terrible idea? (Apologies for technical drawings)


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  • Will the door be in the way of access to the hall in your prospective arrangement? Need to check how much room you have there...

  • Is this a terrible idea?

    You live in the first floor flat? Bear in mind that if the door is opening towards you when you are at the bottom of the stairs it decreases the space you are standing in, is there enough room?

    Did you buy the door with furniture fitted from eBay? Was it second hand? Is it hollow core? If so has it already been trimmed? Does the door you are replacing have intumescent strips on it, if so does the replacement? What furniture is on it? Post some photos of the door and the opening there may be a great way to make it work.

    Sorry to bombard you with all the questions.

  • It would clear the stairs and open out fully.

    Fully opened, it would allow you to go into the hall. However, we're having work done on our house at the moment which means the hallway would just lead to a downstairs toilet and the cellar access, but the doorway the front door would block off when fully opened would be the kitchen/diner.

    Would putting up with that every day (if it's even that bad) be more of a pain in the arse than trying to send back a door I really like to an Ebay seller who delivered it from Surrey? That's the real question.

  • Questions are welcome.

    1. It's a house not a flat. It's a relatively wide entrance way - the door is 910mm and there are sidelights as well.

    2. I bought the door with furniture fitted (the old doctor's knocker and letterbox were selling points). There are no keys for the locks though, and apparently the lock is a brand which are particularly difficult to remove.

    3. It is second hand. And probably Victorian. It is solid wood, and (I thought) similar enough dimensions to the previous door. This may be where I've made the biggest mistake. Same width, 1cm difference in height (I assumed a door sweep would see to that). However, it is 5mm thicker.

    4. Intumescent strips, I believe not.

    Photos pending.

  • That joy is yet to come (hopefully ;))

  • I thought I'd added these last night:


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  • I really like the eBay door, very ten downing Street. Very nice and a bit grander than the one you have at the moment (which is also probably Victorian and which someone will probably buy off you)

  • It's going to be a fair bit of work to fit that door, and it will need painting afterwards, so I'd be inclined to switch the hardware to hang it on the correct side as it won't add that much to the overall workload.

  • Know it well. Family have a house near Reepham. Grandparents lived in Great Massingahm.
    Going through a resi extension build also atm. Wouldn’t suggest it if you know what you want. Just do bog standard job with no flare. Would not again.

  • Ok so the lock isn't that hard to change however banham locks use a heavy duty construction so the cut out in the door is likely to be sizeable but you should be able to replace the cylinder easily enough, banham will do it for you but their fitting services are spendy. Alternatively you can take the lock body off and remove the cylinder and find another euro profile cylinder that would fit.

    You have two options to sort out the height difference:

    1. Strip the door back to bear wood at the bottom then glue and pin a 1 cm strip of wood to the bottom then fill and paint. This is what I would recommend.
    2. Get a drop seal and have it cut into the bottom of the door. This may seem like the easiest option but fitting them is tricky and even if it's done properly it may not work.

    To answer your original question I'd change the way the door opens as long as there is plenty of clearance between the edge of the door and the newel post.

  • How much, roughly, do you think a job like that would cost? If I were to add the strip, fill, sand, and paint the door, how much could I expect to pay someone to change the hardware and hang it?

  • Better to paint afterwards than while it's off the hinges?

  • I hope we could sell the existing door, but the style really doesn't seem that popular at the moment. I definitely wouldn't buy it!

  • I would have thought it's best to paint it before it's hung but there are pros and cons to both (some edges are not that accessible on a hung door).

    Last time I had a new front door, it arrived painted. Then had to be sanded down along one side, and repainted in that area which was a bit of a bodge job.

  • I recently got some doors stripped and it was 25 quid delivery and collection fee plus 25 quid a door.

    There is a place in Leytonstone that is more convenient to use but is quite a bit more money.

  • Sounds like they were dipped. Fine for an interior door but I wouldn't recommend it for an external door. When the doors are dipped they take on moisture and swell, this means they will lose moisture and shrink which isn't great for draught exclusion etc.

  • I normally charge £8o for hanging an external door.

    With exterior facing doors you are better to hang the door then remove it and paint it. It is a common misconception but hanging is the process of cutting a door to size then fitting furniture, not putting it in the frame, although that often included. Its pretty easy to put it in the frame.

  • Thanks for that. Once it's hung, take it out and put it in the frame again without having to re-fit the hinges?

    I saw a video of this being done where the hinges had pins that you drop in, but I don't think that's what's on it at the moment.

  • It seems like you are caught in that diy dilemma where you have started a job which a professional could fix for you but because you started it you still want to plan or understand it. I'd reckon you'd get that problem sorted by a professional for around £400 depending on your area. It could cost more if you want replacement Banham locks instead of another variety. That is a rough estimate including locks and paint etc.

    You can try and save money by parting the job into pieces and planning each piece yourself or you might want to understand enough to do the whole job yourself but in fairness from a standing start that is a lot to learn and a fair bit of tooling.

    Maybe the DIY thread would be a better place for information if you want to understand the process in depth.

    To answer your simple question, you should hand it the way the existing door is hung. If the hinges being on the wrong side were your only issue you would be laughing. Sadly you need to fettle a fair bit to get a front door hung right and completing the decorative work is time consuming for a professional because it's a small area. If you decide to paint it when you paint the rest of the hallway and or the exterior completing the carpentry side of the job alone is closer to £100/150 and you'll have to find someone who's prepared to take on less than a days work.

    I should add that to have Banham night latch and mortice fitted with a few keys by Banham is I think around £650.

  • Love the new door. Fair few quids worth of Banham products too!

  • I'm happy to do all of the stripping, sanding, and painting myself. What I'm less confident doing is anything to do with hinges or locks.

    Apparently it's still £300+ for a replacement cylinder for the Banham lock. Would it be possible to get another brand cylinder to fit in the existing Banham night latch?

  • As far as I can tell you have the older style banham cylinder. I've picked those up on Ebay with keys and you can get more keys cut by some local key sellers. As Bobbo said they are euro cylinders, there are lots of euro cylinders available at lots of different price ranges and with different levels of key complexity.

    I think you might have a problem getting the old cylinder out without a key but I'm not a locksmith. I guess if it's unlocked it might come out.

    Maybe try the DIY thread if it's just advise on rehanging the door you need. Changing the hinges from one side to the other is not difficult with a sharp set of chisels and 30 years experience! You could expect it to be a bit more of a job if it's your first one. :)

  • Other missing components are the keeps for the nighlajtch and mortice lock that would normally be on the frame of the door. They are not universal so if your existing ones happened to line up and work you should buy a lottery ticket.

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Owning your own home

Posted by Avatar for Hobo @Hobo

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