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metal door frames

Postby nightmare » Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:41 pm

Im in the process of moving into a new house where all the door frames are metal, my old house was the same and i hated it. I have a few friends who are joiners and they point blank refuse to replace the door frames with wooden ones for me because because it would mean ripping up the floor too. The thing is the house needs new skirting and doors anyway so i was thinking that i might be able to get them sort of boxed in or something and just get narrower doors, my joiner friends have screwed theyre faces up at this idea too. Im totally clueless about these things but i definetly want rid of the metal frames so any advice on the best way to go around it would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby Oddbod » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:44 pm

Hi, I think I would tend to listen to your joiner friends, they can see the situation and probably have darn good reasons for suggesting you should leave well alone.

(Must admit I can’t quite see why the floor needs to be ripped up)

Only thing I can think of is that you can paint metal, would that not make it look a bit better?
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Postby nightmare » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:59 am

Apparently theres a metal bar across the bottom of the frame that runs under the floor so i can see why that would be a problem but my lovely new skirting arrived and someone had the bright idea to paint it white to match the cove that was already up so i'll probably end up painting the frames and doors to match. Don't see much point in shelling out for wooden frames and doors when im stuck with a big white skirting board :roll: Thanks anyway.
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Postby Buzzer » Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:58 pm

I too have metal door frames in my 1955 ex-council house semi. I WILL be replacing them because they look ugly and dated, the hinges are industrial sized and new doors will never close properly!
I just don't believe the metal bar thing. There would be no reason for needing this. These one piece metal frames would have been used to make them quicker and easier to fit and having a metal bar under the floor would have made the job slower. After all, the house wouldn't have been built around the door frames! From my experience, tradesmen try to avoid hard jobs when they can get paid the same for doing a straightforward one, especially if they are friends as they feel obliged to give a discount or do it for free.
I have just stripped the paint off one of mine and there are no fixings and they are flush to the floorboards/concrete floor. I doubt they will come out in one piece so i would suggest cutting out an inch strip from the header and jambs and levering these out.
If a job needs doing it's got to be done, even if it is a bit tricky. In older houses all jobs seem to end up tricky!
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Postby consumer » Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:42 am

Regarding metal door frames: I have a 1950s ex-local authority flat. I had to change some mortice locks on the wooden internal doors and found that the frames were metal when I made the mistake of trying to enlarge the box that receives the deadbolt.

Not only did I blunt a brand new high quality hardened metal drill after drilling just one hole but using an angle grinder was extremely hard work.

They must have made these frames from the type of hardened steel usually used for bank vaults, so be warned.
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Postby robocog » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:12 pm

Apologies if this is an old posting being dug up, just found this site...

Also got metal doors here
(50's ex council POW build!!)
We have got rid of 4 in the house
(pantry,kitchen/dining room, living room/hall and living room/dining room doors)

They are a bit of a nuisance to take down, but not too bad
Just take your time, found that flexing the bottom out and wiggling it back and forth tore the edges so came out in 3 pieces

Ours were anchored in the walls with horizontal steel strips bonded into the brick coursework, so can only assume the house was built round the doors..big crowbar and flexing tears/snaps em with patience

Nothing under the boards tho , so only 3 sides to take out
We have only replaced one of the doors since (as 2 of the walls they were in no longer exhist ;-)

on the one we have replaced with a standard wood frame we had to angle grind some of the wall away to make the opening std door size (bout an inch in total, lots of dust!!)

Only done it on one door and decided the others will stay and just get painted :-)

Time, effort, dust mess and costs to replace have put me off doing the others

Been working on the one in the kitchen and have stripped the paint off it and as the metal is a silver colour so have brushed finninshed it and it now matches the rest of the kitchen appliances now, I think it looks OK
Not sure what the missus will say when she gets home :-O

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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:26 pm

Quote: "can only assume the house was built round the doors.."

Quote: "After all, the house wouldn't have been built around the door frames!"

- Buzzer - thats exactly what they did! just after the war, building materials were in relatively short supply and there was a desparate need for housing. many of the houses built in that era with the metal frames were prefab - made cheaply in a factory, walls and all, complete with doors and windows already concreted in. then they were shipped on site and thrown together, the walls just bolted to eachother with door frames already in situ.

this would explain why, in some cases the door frames are four-piece and would have a bar under the floor. as the walls were already complete and the floor went in after erection the bar at the base was lost.

you can take them out but they are a royal pain. the reason many tradesmen turn this type of work down is because its difficult to price, the end result often not entirely satisfactory and leaves them out of pocket. who in their right mind wouldn't turn it down?
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