Moving an existing door. From opening into a room to opening out.

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Project by Joseph Garcia posted 09-11-2014 02:33 PM 1579 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A client of mine has a home in Hollywood area of Los Feliz. It was originally build in the 1920’s like many of the historic well kept homes in the well kept neighborhood. He is slowly renovating one of his three homes as he is inspired to do so. Continuing with the same type of craftsman home design using original antique pieces when ever possible.

Here he asked me to remove his guest bathroom door and have it moved to the other side of the door jam to have it swing out instead of swinging in. Thereby giving guest more room in the minimally designed space.

Since there is only room to upload six photos I will create collages to include all of the photos I took and upload them as 6 photos later.

I started by first drawing what my plan was.
Carefully removed the existing door. Being careful not to ding any door frames while moving the heavy door.
Removed the door hinges.
I bought a 1/4” thin piece of pine wood that I found at Michael’s hobby shop.
I measured and cut the two pieces of wood using a miter box and hand saw.
I used liquid nails to clue it into place.
Used finishing nails to secure it and strengthen the once weak area.
Filled the edges with wood filler.
Sanded and later painted to make it blend in.
I removed the layers of paint that were hiding the original brass accent pieces by using a strong paint stripper.
I used a small carpenter’s square to transfer the height of the hinges across to the other side of the door jam.
As well as the notch for the door lock that goes into the frame.
I first drew it on the wood using a pencil with straight perpendicular lines.
I then drilled a small starter holes where the screws would later be placed for the door hinges.
I then used a sharp chisel to marked the outside edges of where I was going to remove.
I carefully only removed only 1/4” of wood which is roughly what the thickness of the brass metal hinges.

I placed the heavy door on 6 sets of large heavy screws that I had taped together in sets of two.
I did this to give me the exact height that I needed to hold the door in place as I placed the screws back in.
It was a big help since I was working alone.
I removed the half inch door molding that meets the door once it is closed.

Placed the door back.
I used a small carpenter’s square to transfer the height of the strike plate across to the other side of the door jam.
I closed the door to make sure that the metal piece that will be going into the door frame aligned just right.
I then notched out the deepest part of the door lock first. Since it is about a half inch deep into the door frame.
I then notched out the shape of the brass strike plate where the door slides into place to lock.
Placed the brass strike plate back perfectly with just right amount of torque to not over tighten the screws.

I removed all paint from the antique door knob and metal accent pieces where the old fashion keys go in.

Lastly I closed the door from inside the bathroom and used the 1/2” door molding that I had removed earlier.
It had a unique edge that I did not want to recreate using a router table.
I placed the molding snuggly against the door and hammered in the pieces that I had waiting.
They were all predrilled with finishing nails partially placed in to speed things up.
I filled in any gaps with wood filler.
Painted a base coat of primer.
Painted with two layers of white paint.
Set a fan on it to dry faster.
Took photos of the finished project.
I was done.

Once the door was completed, I then moved on to re-create the wall details that are in the dining room to match the new ones that I created in the guest bathroom or “powder room”, primed, painted with two coats the walls and ceilings, removed old paint from accent pieces using a strong paint stripper.

-- Joseph Garcia - (323) 491-9471 - [email protected] - Finish Carpenter / Woodworker / Handyman / Draftsman / Designer

2 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3817 days

#1 posted 09-14-2014 08:14 PM

Sounds like you are all over it, great job and nice instruction on how you did it.

View Joseph Garcia's profile

Joseph Garcia

22 posts in 2129 days

#2 posted 09-14-2014 09:23 PM

Yea. Now it is on to the next project. Cutting about 40 Pinewood Derby cars out of blocks of wood for the annual Fall Fest at my son’a school. I will be using a Ryobi band saw to cut the general shapes and leaving the sanding up to the parents to do with their kids.

-- Joseph Garcia - (323) 491-9471 - [email protected] - Finish Carpenter / Woodworker / Handyman / Draftsman / Designer

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