Q: My youngest brother stayed at my house for the weekend and at some point, somebody kicked a hole through the bathroom door. All the way through! Is there any way to repair it? – Stacy in Hampton Beach, N.H.
A: On a temporary basis, just for privacy and safety, you can patch the damaged door by attaching a piece of plywood to either side using wood screws. The plywood should overlap the hole by at least an inch on all sides.
However, you’ll need to replace the door completely, once you have the time and the finances. That your brother’s friends managed to knock a hole through it means the door was probably hollow, which is common for interior doors. It will be less expensive to replace than a solid wood door. Also on the plus side, you can replace it with the door of your choice.
Another option is to replace the entire frame, allowing you to purchase a prehung door.
Replacing the door properly will take a little bit of skill. If you’ve done some basic carpentry before (using power tools, etc.) you can handle a door replacement. Otherwise, you may want to hire a contractor to do the entire door replacement. Ask for a written quote before agreeing to any work.
Before heading to the home-improvement store for a replacement, measure the height and width of the door and take those measurements with you. You’ll need the new door plus – if you want to completely replace the hardware – new hinges and a lockset (which includes the doorknob and latch). You also can use the old hardware to save money.
If you plan to replace the door yourself, plan ahead. Online videos can give a great visual overview of the task.
HOME TIP: If your door scrapes the floor slightly on opening and closing, place a piece of sandpaper on floor where it rubs and open/close the door across the sandpaper a few times.
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