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Replacing a Basement Door for Free

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Replacing a basement door for free, and changing out the old door knob and door hinges.

You would think that replacing a basement door would be a simple weekend project, right?

You would be so wrong because, in this house, no project is ever quick or easy.

This one took us 3 months to finish. Yup, we started way back in January.

We didn’t work on it the whole time, but it did take a lot longer than we thought.

new basement door with new glass door knob

This is where we began.

picture of outside of house and windows

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The interior basement door is in our small living room so we have to look at it every night when we watch tv.

It really doesn’t look all that bad in the photo but it was. The dog/cat door was big and bulky, chewed up and glued shut.

old, dirty basement door with pet door

The inside of the door was plain old nasty.

I think the previous owners locked their dog in the basement and it chewed and clawed the door.

You can also see the lovely pink spray foam insulation. Insulation is a good thing and has its place, but this stuff is everywhere in our house.

All I know is that whoever sprayed it certainly did a thorough job. Yikes!

inside of old basement door

The first thing we had to do was to remove that ugly door.

Both the door and the frame had metal stripping around them, to make a good seal, so it all had to be removed too.

After we removed all of the metal strips, we had to scrape the old, chippy paint and repair all the holes.

closeup damage of old basement door

We had planned on buying a new door but found an old one in the basement that fit the opening of the doorway.

That was a huge bonus but…

There’s always a but. 😉

The only problem was that the door was a mess. It needed to be scraped and sanded on both sides before it could be painted.

Even after we sanded and painted the door it was far from perfect but, when you have an old home, nothing is perfect.

old door sitting against garage door

So, instead of looking at the ugly door, we looked at an open doorway and 2 boxes for 3 months.

The boxes were our idea of a cheap baby gate to keep Finn from following us into the basement.

living room view of basement door opening

Finally the “new” door went up.

The fit isn’t perfect because the doorway isn’t perfectly square but, as I said…

Old house=nothing is perfect.

new basement door with new glass door knob

I tried to recycle everything when I could, including the hardware, but it just wasn’t salvageable.

The door knob was old but not original glass like the others in the house and the metal door hinges were caked with paint.

I replaced the old broken knob with another one from Nostalgic Warehouse and it matches the glass door knobs I installed in the bathroom.

I can’t tell you how much I love them.

new basement door with new glass door knob

We had to modify the door a bit to get the new door knobs to fit.

Luckily the new door knob plate covers the ugly holes.

hole in door where old glass knob was installed

I think it looks so much better than it did before. Like it’s been here all along.

new basement door with new glass door knob

I’m so glad that we found this door in the basement.

Finding a new door that matched the others would have been tough, and expensive.

small potted plant with doorknob in background

See our tips and tricks we learned replacing our 70 year old glass door knobs.