How to shop for a reclaimed door

Diagram showing how to determine if door swings left or right

A new door can be an easy and affordable way to redecorate, increase your home’s energy efficiency, or provide a quick fix for when your kiddo busts through your old one. Unfortunately, purchasing a new door can be costly –  even for a basic style. Luckily, we live in the type of community that values reuse and helps keep our inventory stocked with a wide variety of doors in different styles and colors. Whether it’s interior or exterior, basic or unique, we can help find a reclaimed door that’s right for you.

We’ve put together a few easy tips to help you succeed regardless of this is your first or fifth time shopping for a reclaimed door.

  1. Interior or Exterior: Are you looking for an interior or exterior door? Almost any door can work as an interior door, but not as an exterior due to exposure to the elements. Interior doors are often thinner, lighter, and typically hollow. They don’t have heavy insulation like an exterior door and will wither away from the weather. Exterior doors are commonly made of solid wood, metal, or fiberglass, and are rugged enough to face the outside.
  2. Type of Replacement: Are you wanting to change the look, or are you wanting to change the size of your door? If you want a different look, but want to keep the same size, you’ll only need to shop for the door itself. If you want to change the size or shape, you’ll need to replace the frame, also known as the jamb. Changing the size and shape of your door requires you to remove the door and jamb and may require you to change some of the wall’s framing. Always consult a professional before making any alterations to wall framing.
  3. Size & Measurements: Measure everything before going shopping. Reclaimed doors come in all sizes, shapes, and thicknesses and if you’re changing the look of your door, you’ll want to choose a door with the exact same measurements. You’ll need to measure your current doors length, width, and height before shopping.
  4. Swing: What direction do you want your door to swing? Doors swing in or out; to the left or to the right. It’s best to choose a door that swings the same way as your old one.That way you don’t have to make additional modifications like swapping the hinges from one side to the other. To determine which way your door swings, stand facing the door so that you can pull it open towards you. Place one hand on the hinge and the other hand on the door handle. It’s important not to cross your arms. The hand that ends up on the door handle determines the swing. For example, if your left-hand is touching the handle, it is a left swinging door.
  5. Hardware: Will you need a new knob set or lock? Our reclaimed doors come without hardware. This gives you the opportunity to customize the look of your new door or check if your hardware will fit. Make sure the new door has holes that are compatible with the old mechanism – many newer doors are tubular, while reclaimed doors are more likely to have a mortise. If you’re looking for new hardware we sell individual parts like spindles, hinges or knobs as well as full complete sets. It’s important to install hinges and a strike plate accurately to work with the doors swing pattern.  

Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to answer your questions. Check out our Facebook page to see some current inventory. And remember, unless your old door is broken, it can be reused! Consider donating your old door to The RE Store for someone else to use.