1920's/1930's front door

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1920's/1930's front door

Postby Lydia » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:44 am


I'm nearing the end of renovating a late 1920's/early 1930's property and want to replace the PVCu monstrosity that is our front door with a replica of the original design.

I have a photo of the house as it was in the 30's, so the design isn't much of a problem. It's a typical 3 wooden panels on the bottom 2/3 and 6 small glazed panes following the lines of the panels on the upper 1/3, the top 3 panes being slightly arched.

Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone had any top tips or could recommend any suppliers?

I've had a look at a few that make new, both oak and hardwood (any recommendations for a seaside environment?), but the quotes have come back as several thousand for supply and fit. The top one being ?3500, which I find is a bit excessive... although maybe it isn't!

Architectural salvage is obviously the alternative, but would you consider this to be a reliable source?

Or... there could be something that I haven't thought of! Any suggestions would be welcome.

Many thanks!
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Postby James » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:08 pm

I haven't seen your house or the photograph of the original door...

But ?3,500.... !!! I should think that a good joiner could almost do it for ?350 in oak.

Personally, I'd go for salvage. You might find one on eBay for a tenner or so, but you might wait a bit for one of the right size. In my view, don't be too particular about finding an exact copy. Go down a street of 20s/30s houses and they'll all have different (but similar) front doors. Doors, fireplaces, bathrooms - all extras for the first purchaser to choose to his own taste, just as we now choose the kitchen and bathroom style in new builds.

Fitting will take a couple of hours, absolute tops, so ?50-?100, plus new locks (?50).
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Postby Simon TL » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:00 am

I think James is being a bit optimistic on his prices but he is in the right ball-park.

On a new door... imagine how many days it would take to make - so that will be say ?150-?200 per day (giving say ?35,000 pa gross pay) - plus the workshop overheads... so we are on our way to ?1000, and then plus the cost of the wood. You may find someone doing it more out of love, but I would work on these as commercial rates.
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Postby Lydia » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:23 pm

thanks for the advice/info!

I too would expect supply and fit to be between ?500/1000, but the 3.5k quote left me smiling! It really is a simple design after all.

I'd like to try and hunt down a near-as-original one, because the house comes with a history: it was bought new by my grandmother's aunt and has been inhabited by the elderly ladies of my family every since (well, up until me!)... so still has ALL the original features, including up until last year, 1930's wiring, lead water pipes, no insulation and a perplexing damp problem.

http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/album_f ... 1368730134
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