Dealing with Rotting Door Jamb

sandfarm

Joe
User
I currently have a problem where my pine door jamb has started to rot through. I've had several contractors quote a replacement of around $950 for time and materials, but wanted to know if replacing an exterior door was a thing I could do myself.

The door I would buy is pre-hung, and is most likely a standard size. I am afraid that if I did it, it wouldn't come out well. On the other hand, I am thinking that the door (if standard size) and fits a standard opening, then it should be "easy".

Does anyone have experience with this type of problem?
Are you a woodworker with a shop?
Make a new jamb and prehang your door and install.
Making a door jamb is an easy job. Just look at your old jamb and replicate.
 
Its a new house, so the frame should be square (or close to it) for the door opening. The trim work is minimal and the rot is a small amount. Im still on the fence...
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
Senior User
At $350, that’s $87.50/hour for four hours of work. Quite an incentive to get some real world experience in home repairs.
 

nn4jw

New User
Jim
We had our sliding patio door replaced a couple of years ago. The jambs were shot. The sill was rotted. It had to be stripped back all the way to the rough opening. Sills had to be replaced and sistered for about 12 feet to make it solid. The kitchen floor had to be removed the width of the door and back about 4 feet into the kitchen to make room for people to get under there to work on the sills and sister up a few joists as well.

The patio door that went in was a good one and it cost about $2400 for door itself. It has a swing out door instead of a slider. There are internal blinds. It really cut back any outside noise and of course it doesn't leak at all and is double pane insulated. The total bill ended up around $3600 and included that door, all the restoration materials and the labor. I watched every step of the process and made decisions when asked. I thought $3600 was a reasonable price for all that work. It for sure wasn't a one-man-job, especially not this one old man. There was a crew of 4 on it and every man worked hard.

You never really know what you're going to encounter until you get everything torn apart. Everyone knew there was sill damage before starting but not really how bad. The crew took about a day and a half. By myself? A lot longer and not as good a job. As the saying goes, "A man has got to know his limitations."
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
At $350, that’s $87.50/hour for four hours of work. Quite an incentive to get some real world experience in home repairs.
Ok. Now pay your help. Then pay business expenses, you know licences insurance tool and vehicle expenses, gas, ect. Now you're lucky to earn 35 - 40 bucks an hour. You probably aren't going to be able to schedule another job that day either because you don't know how much extra work there is going to be on this job. That is slightly less than the going rate here. I wouldn't want this job for that money. YMMV
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
I fixed your typo for you...
My rule of thumb as a DIY'er is:
take the estimate, double it, add one and go to the next higher unit of time. So a two hour job, realistically, will take 5 afternoons to complete.

More seriously - OP, let us know what you go with. I need to replace an exterior set of jambs myself.

-Mark
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
You're already thinking about a new door. Based on the question you asked, this really isn't the time to learn how to install a door, especially an exterior door.

I would say "pay the man". You don't want to have an adventure with the entry door to your home.
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
Senior User
Before you throw in the towel, consider any friends you may know who will be willing to lend a hapless would-be carpenter a hand to tackle this single favor - or seek a retired carpenter/woodworker (Check your local guild/club) with this widely practiced skill who would view an opportunity to offer his hands-on expertise to a willing student.

The number of men who are available to assist you are numerous in your area. I could be convinced if I lived nearby - anything to save an unnecessary expense. Just my last two cents...
 

Brantnative

Jeff
Corporate Member
For me it would depend on the door. I replaced a single wide garage entrance door myself, no problem. But when it came time to replace a sliding patio door with a French door and my main front door with sill damage, nope. Paying someone who knows what they're doing and who do it all the time is worth it in my books. And I rather pay a guy and his two helpers who have experience than a dozen neighborhood buddies who want to lend a hand for nothing more than a beer and conversation.
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
Senior User
For me it would depend on the door. I replaced a single wide garage entrance door myself, no problem. But when it came time to replace a sliding patio door with a French door and my main front door with sill damage, nope. Paying someone who knows what they're doing and who do it all the time is worth it in my books. And I rather pay a guy and his two helpers who have experience than a dozen neighborhood buddies who want to lend a hand for nothing more than a beer and conversation.
As a totally noncommercial would-be carpentry/trim worker (who did virtually ALL the work on a three-year remodel of my house), I have installed two French doors and four solid wood interior doors unaided with anyone's help. Maybe seeking others help isn't really necessarily...each to his own. I value the experience gained as well worth the pains of learning. It's just a door.
 
Well, I've thought about it, and found the door for $450. Im going to save myself the install cost and do it myself. I'll take pictures and document if anyone is interested. I've probably watched an hour or two of youtube videos and I figure it shouldn't be so bad. I've installed a sliding glass door before with second set of hands having never done anything like that before, and it is still working well (no drafts and hasn't fallen out lol).
 

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