Perhaps your older or historic door has fallen into disrepair; perhaps you inherited a forgotten old door, or you inadvertently neglected your poor old door. Myers Constructs can work with you to evaluate your door’s condition. You and Myers Constructs can decide on a plan to repair, restore, or replace your door, depending on the extent of the damage. It is amazing what a difference a door can make to your home’s façade when it is in good shape and well-maintained.
Chris Buerkli is Myers Constructs lead carpenter, and like the rest of the team, he is EPA RRP certified. Chris has been with Myers Constructs for over ten years and is exceptionally skilled at rejuvenating old and historic doors with “some lovin’”, as they say. For example, he will preserve the original locks, knobs, and hinges wherever possible; and he will fill in old hardware holes and prime the surface for repainting or revarnishing. He will also give the door a check-up and install new gaskets and air seals where needed.
Tips for taking care of older or historic doors
Ensure all six sides of the door are sealed well with paint or varnish as this is what protects the wood from the elements.
- Touch up the finish at least once a year, and more often for south-facing doors that endure a higher level of sun exposure.
Keep your door clean of city grime, the dirt is caustic and will deteriorate the finish.
- In the suburbs, a once-a-month wipe-down is sufficient.
- In the city, a wipe-down once-a-week is optimal.
Check your door’s caulking annually
- Caulk, just like paint, deteriorates from harsh weather, temperatures, and UV exposure.
- Cracks in your door’s seals are places where water, carpenter ants, termites, and other pests can get in.
- Check all around your door for tight seams, including between the door trim and siding, around the door stop and threshold, also check for cracks in the entranceway’s concrete pads or mortar.
- Take note of the locations of any cracks and take it to Home Depot or Lowe’s and ask for some advice on what type of sealant to use, such as: silicone, mortar, or latex. Different sealants work better with different materials, so always use the right sealant.
- Caulking comes in many different colors, allowing you to have a nice finish to your door repair.
Check for air leaks around your door
Checking for air leaks is a great Do-It-Yourself winter task because it is much easier to detect the cold chill of winter blowing in around the door. Weatherstripping is very effective at blocking those cold breezes. Myers Constructs recommends the type with the metal strip and silicone gasket that you screw to the door stop. Door sweeps or air sealing thresholds are great for your DIY home repair.
You could also contact an expert who will conduct a home energy assessment and find all of the air leaks in your home.
Compare the value of new doors vs. historic doors
- A single, good-quality new door, with installation, costs at least $1,000.
- If you already have historic walnut doors, like the pair in Myers Constructs ‘Saving Old Doors’ blog, doors that are pre-hung in a matching jamb, with a skylight, hardware and installation… your doors are worth several thousand dollars.
- It is much cheaper to take good care of great old historic doors. The pair in the Saving Old Doors blog was hung when Lincoln was President.
Contact Myers Constructs at 215.438.6696 for more information and to schedule a check-up for your older or historic doors.