When a homeowner discovers a rotted door frame, the first instinct is often to replace it. But in many cases, that’s not necessary. Repairing the rotted area is often a viable and less expensive solution, as long as no major structural damage exists.
Just as important as the repair, however, is identifying the source of the rotting and addressing that problem. There may be flashing or drainage issue that are causing water infiltration. The lack of an overhang or a storm door could also be contributing to the problem. A skilled carpenter will not only repair the rotting portion of the door; he or she will identify the source and make recommendations to fix the problem.
If just a portion of the door is damaged, you can have the damaged piece replaced. For example, it’s very common that only the bottom part of the door frame is damaged due to water infiltration. A carpenter can cut away the rotted portion and replace it with what’s known as a Dutchman, which is a wood patch or filler. In most cases, it’s a good idea to use the same species, pattern and color of wood.
As we mentioned, the carpenter should identify the source of the problem and make recommendations for keeping the water out permanently. Water infiltration is a serious issue because the water can seep down and damage your foundation. That’s a far more expensive repair, and it’s one you don’t want to face.
If the damage is minor and you’re a skilled DIYer, calling in a professional might not be necessary. You might be able to replace just some of the damaged portions and repair the others with exterior wood putty. If you’re replacing the brick mold, be sure to pick one that is resistant to water damage.
Depending on the extent of the damage, repair usually costs anywhere from $100 to $400. The average is probably closer to $200 to $300. This assumes that the door itself is in good condition and does not need to be replaced. In most cases, what’s more expensive is addressing the source of the problem. When there’s evidence of water infiltration, you could spend several hundred dollars more to install a storm door or awning. Overhangs can get really expensive, depending on materials.
When the damage is not caused by water infiltration, you’re in better shape. Often, door frames are damaged by pets or normal wear and tear over the years. In that case, repairing the door is all that needs to be done (and maybe training your pet).
Below are some door repair prices by locations:
|Average Price Paid
|New York City
Watch this video to see an example of how you can DIY repair a wooden door that appears unrepairable.
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