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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in the mid 1960s there were a few housing developments built here where I live. My best guess is these were mostly starter homes for folks on tight budgets and built by local contractors who owned the land and did the subdivisions.

I do a lot of repair and replacement work in both of these developments and keep running in to size issues where entrance doors and sliding glass doors are concerned.

For instance, a customer wants a new slider right now and I am baffled. A standard slider is 72" X 80" and available just about anywhere. I just measured the one needing replacing and it is 71" X 80 with absolutely no wiggle room at all. Can anyone explain this issue?

I also run into issues with replacement entrance doors that are 78 inches high and must have been special orders back then or just a cheaper way around for the original contractors. Installing a new casement door becomes quite a difficult task at either opening the hole to accept a standard door or trimming the doors and the casement down to fit.

I was around 14 back then and just don't get why contractors cut corners like this and sure would love to hear how others here deal with such issues if you ever run in to them.

I know I can special order the slider I need but the one place I deal with can only get a 71" wide slider in white and I need it to be brown to match others in the home.

ANy ideas or can anyone shed some light on these issues?

Gary L
 

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There is a bunch of that kind of housing here (in Mid-west). Most of that stuff was built here by a company called National Homes. Talk about ticky tacky. Those homes I'M sure were the catalyst for the early folk song by the New Cristy Minstrels called "Little Boxes".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Charge Accordingly for sure but which way do you go? Cut the door and case down or open the hole?

Good call on the "Little boxes" tune because this is exactly what these homes are. No frills and corners cut in every way possible. So where in heck did these contractors find such odd sized doors and where can we find them now so as to avoid the Special Order garbage and the added expense?

GaryL
 

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Charge . So where in heck did these contractors find such odd sized doors and where can we find them now so as to avoid the Special Order garbage and the added expense?

GaryL


If they were in fact made by National Homes,they are long out of business.If memory serves,they had their own production facility to produce those goods. I'M afraid you will have to custom make them or pay through the nose to have a supplier provide them.
 

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Hootenanny...Pete Seeger with his head thrown straight upward, singing to the angels

Looks like you are the same vintage as me ! :thumbsup:
62 - going on pure attitude.

Finally got to see Seeger with Guthrie live - at Pine Knob Music Theatre (famous venue in my home town) - 25 years ago - and even then, Arlo was grey and Seeger old. But - wow, just WOW.
 

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I run into this all the time. I expect it on old doors, but doors 2 years old with new framing at the time baffles me. Some manufacturer is putting out a budget line that's 78". Widths aren't actually standard, either - I see them 1/4" or more off on "standard" doors. I do a lot of cut down and a very little custom fab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Hey, I resemble these remarks, 62 in April and about ready to hang up my mobile tool bag.

Think I saw all those groups back then and the site of the Woodstock Festival is not 10 miles from my house. Too bad I got that CRS disease!

GaryL
So, Woodstock was in '69. I was busy with a gang, running a Sunoco station, working in the shop, drag racing, motorcycle racing, fighting, partying hard, banging keyboard some weekends for some rocker bands, all the while the world going to hell in a handbasket, with friends dying from drugs, dying from "Nam. Looking back, I would have chosen Woodstock.

C'est la vie, C'est la guerre ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was in my senior year of HS and already signed up for the USN. Working in a Catskills hotel near by. Guests could not get to the hotels, the NY Thruway was a parking lot. All the roads around here were impassible. The Natl. Guard sent choppers to all the hotels to pick up food meant for the guests that could not get there and delivered it to the festival site in Bethel where food and water were at critical levels for such a crowd. Me and a pal went on a chopper to make sure the Hotels serving trays got back and never did see those trays again once we got there. Party time!

We both got fired, our parents were highly POed but one of the State Police at the site was a close friend of my dads and let them know we were OK but stuck after the chopper took off without us, dodged a big bullet there.

The real story from one who was there, What a complete disaster! Rain, mud, garbage, no food but lots of people having a blast with great tunes. It took over a month to get this area back to normal afterwards. The site is reopen now as Bethel Woods and lots of good concerts are held every summer.
 

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I'm doing a remodel right now that is exactly the same. There is not 1 standard size door in the entire house. But this house was built around 1910.

I told the HO straight up, "It's gonna cost you to order custom size doors, or cost you to have me reframe openings". Is what it is.

I wasn't around in the roaring '60's, but I do know that the standardization of building materials has been an ongoing process. There was a time when, if you wanted a door, you built it on site, and the size was up to you.

These days, builders are like installers or assemblers of various prebuilt products, than true "builders".


But I digress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm doing a remodel right now that is exactly the same. There is not 1 standard size door in the entire house. But this house was built around 1910.

I told the HO straight up, "It's gonna cost you to order custom size doors, or cost you to have me reframe openings". Is what it is.

I wasn't around in the roaring '60's, but I do know that the standardization of building materials has been an ongoing process. There was a time when, if you wanted a door, you built it on site, and the size was up to you.

These days, builders are like installers or assemblers of various prebuilt products, than true "builders".


But I digress.
I have to agree we are more installer/assemblers today than in the past. Time is money and if we can buy a pre hung, pre drilled casement door and fit it in a hole, all parties save some work and cash. No customer of mine would be happy paying me to build a door and case on site unless they desire a very special door and have deep pockets. Even then, most of us would farm out the door itself to a cabinet shop with the tools and space.

I do not like cutting into a door header to open the hole so a pre hung case will fit. Most times I have no real idea of the headers size or condition until I get in it. For this slider I need to be a max of 71 inches wide, the thought of opening that width the extra inch to accept a standard available replacement is easy on the surface but leads to lots of additional interior as well as exterior trimming and the O/S temp is ten right now. I am caught between a rock and a hard place trying to do the right thing for my customer that won't brake the bank. Add to this the desire to match color and material to other existing sliders in the room and now you know why I asked the questions.
It seems we all run in to this stuff and there is ways to get through these issues but all of these "old school, cost cutting" past practices come back to bite in the end. Too many times I quoted a two hour job and ended up finishing eight hours later after seeing what is behind the walls.
 

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I do not like cutting into a door header to open the hole so a pre hung case will fit. Most times I have no real idea of the headers size or condition until I get in it. For this slider I need to be a max of 71 inches wide,
http://reviews.homedepot.com/1999/202339612/masterpiece-71-1-4-in-x-79-1-2-in-composite-white-left-hand-sliding-patio-door-with-smooth-interior-reviews/reviews.htm

I would find that 1/4" somehow, some way. Or...

Pay $1200 for custom sized units, or $1200 for Gary's labor to reframe/finish to standard R/O. Either way, 20 years down the road, the next HO will want your hard work replaced again...

Only this time, your grandson can pop in a standard sized unit.
;)
 
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