Asked on Aug 13, 2014

How do I extend this door?

by Prichinna
I have these wonderful old doors, they are the right width, too short. How do I make them work?
  43 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 13, 2014
    Build in a transom over the door...just box it in and add glass.
    • See 1 previous
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 15, 2014
      @Prichinna The transom would go at the top so you would not have to move anything! In fact, you could fit a strip at the top of the door (leaving just a tad of space for expansion and contraction of lumber in heat and cold), use tiny molding to attach it to the 2 sides and the top of the old door frame. Then glue on some of those decorative pieces found on furniture on the panel (you can get these at big box sores)! Paint everything white. Or you could paint it a decorative color and write a pretty word on it like "WELCOME". On the outside, paint it the same color as your door and put your house numbers on it! You are limited only by your imagination!
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Aug 14, 2014
    How in the world did that happen?! Easiest way is to get another door that fits! The Habitat for Humanity Restore has a lot of doors, and a lot of other things too! Local contractors here take all kinds of stuff there.
  • Christy Henne Christy Henne on Aug 14, 2014
    5 inch putty
  • Darla Darla on Aug 14, 2014
    I wonder if you could put a filler board in the top of the door frame?
  • Marianna Marianna on Aug 14, 2014
    The transom idea is awesome!
  • Ann Foglia Ann Foglia on Aug 14, 2014
    We had a few"high water"doors due to removing wall to wall to expose the hardwoods underneath. You can take the door down add a strip, repaint etc., a lot of work, but in our case, they matched the other doors in the house.
  • Lezlie Lezlie on Aug 14, 2014
    Yes, transom....with stained glass.
  • Gradmama Gradmama on Aug 14, 2014
    Stained glass, or clear colored vinyl would be nice to capture the light coming in, and it could look like part of the original door opening design. Glass block could look nice too.
  • Ang Ang on Aug 14, 2014
    you can also add a peice of wood and mosaic it . would be charming:)
  • Gooche54 Gooche54 on Aug 14, 2014
    Our local home improvement store has a section of slightly damaged doors of varying sizes that range in price from $1 to $20. I'd start there.
  • MamaSita MamaSita on Aug 14, 2014
    I like the idea of stained glass or glass block above it. Transom's are awesome. Don't try to extend the door with wood to make it look like part of the door as that will just look shabby. 1/4/ or 1/8 inches can be "fixed"..anything else needs more creativity.
  • Pete Wells Pete Wells on Aug 14, 2014
    If you add a filler section to the door, raise the door and add it to the bottom where it won't be as noticeable..but the best solution is to find a door that matches and fits the opening..Habitat ReStore is a great source..a transom will require major framing alterations...there may be sources other than a 'big-box' store for new doors as won't find a perfect replacement w/o doing some luck!
    • Carol Carol on Aug 14, 2014
      @Pete Wells adding a panel to the bottom will raise the door knob to an awkward height.
  • Boards & Beams Boards & Beams on Aug 14, 2014
    An old rustic piece of wood might be nice. One with lots of character. :)
  • Jim L Jim L on Aug 14, 2014
    Frame the space and leave it open. Looks good and great for air circulation. I've seen this in house new plans and it lets light and air circulate.
  • J Rolen Highland J Rolen Highland on Aug 14, 2014
    What about using a window that opens down like they used to have in older buildings?
  • Karen powell Karen powell on Aug 14, 2014
    Make a transome window . Make the fream all the way around to meet the celing. Its perfect.
  • Lisa Schneider Lisa Schneider on Aug 14, 2014
    frame it out and fill it in or trim it out according to your own style.
  • Katie Pepin Katie Pepin on Aug 14, 2014
    If you don't want to do anything to your door frame, which I suggest you don't unless you know you will never sell the house. I would make the changes to the door itself. As mentioned here the space could be to let light flow thru. Or at least appear that way. I have experienced doors like these over seas. Even in the rest room in a home, had a window with frosted glass. Seems strange to you, because you are not use to seeing it. If you sell the house, the next person would only have to purchase new doors, if they didn't like the light at the top of the door. Just a thought
  • Elizabeth S Elizabeth S on Aug 14, 2014
    Transom! Maybe find some lovely old stained glass? It doesn't HAVE to be operation, but that would be a plus for air flow.
  • Donna Broussard Donna Broussard on Aug 14, 2014
    you need a door that fits that doorway.
  • Terry Smith Terry Smith on Aug 14, 2014
    • See 1 previous
    • Terry Smith Terry Smith on Aug 15, 2014
      @Centrd THANKS
  • Bibi Sweet67 Bibi Sweet67 on Aug 14, 2014
    Just make the door frame smaller and sheetrock the top.
  • Centrd Centrd on Aug 14, 2014
    Definitely a transom window...but in your situation you need to take the molding and/or glass all the way to the ceiling...should be an inexpensive carpentry job. I'd get a window that opens for air circulation but fixed glass works too. Would add a lot of value to your house. Honestly, any other solution is problematic...adding length to the door at the bottom, messes with handle placement. But adding at the top will look strange. Here are some photos of transoms.
  • Sharon W Sharon W on Aug 14, 2014
    Why not create a cat pass-through on the bottom with some wood cut into the shape of a "mouse hole" to let them come and go without having the door actually open. I'd put a little door on the back so you can latch for privacy when they start to drive you nuts though in the middle of the night.
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on Aug 14, 2014
    maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't do anything to it at all. Good airflow. Would be better if the bottom of the door were also an inch or so above the floor. But a non-permanent fix would be to make a box that will fit in the space and fill it with something you love. For me, twigs in a random pattern come to mind.
  • Colleen Colleen on Aug 14, 2014
    I like the transome window above the door,it will add more light to the room and if you make it so it opens then more air flow between the hall and room.
    • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Aug 18, 2014
      @Colleen My thoughts exactly. However, the space is pretty small. Another idea would be to add a piece of frosted glass or plain glass with a stencilled design on it.
  • Lesa Lesa on Aug 14, 2014
    Okay curiosity kills the cat...but how did that happen...I usually have ideas, but all I can say is buy another door new or used.
  • Prichinna Prichinna on Aug 15, 2014
    To answer some of the questions, I salvaged 4 of these gorgeous doors, complete with brass hardware to replace my cheezy luan builder doors. The doors are from my family's home being torn down and not only are of excellent craftsmanship, but have sentimental value as well. The width fits, the bottom is the problem. The hardware and knob fit when the door is raised to the top. For purposes of gravity, I was only able to capture a picture of the door sitting in the placement in which you see it. I love the transom idea, but I would have to move all the hardware, which all works where it is right now when the door is raised. Plus there is only a 4 inch gap when all is said and done. The glass of the transom would only be about 2 or 3 inches at best after framing.
    • See 1 previous
    • Prichinna Prichinna on Aug 15, 2014
      @Centrd Thank you! I think I will end up adding a strip of wood to the bottom. I think that is the answer. And yes, that is a key hole. Thanks for all the advice.
  • Pete Wells Pete Wells on Aug 15, 2014
    Simplest solution is to raise the door, it is easy to move the hinge recesses and strike plate for the latch, and you'll find the gap at the bottom much less noticeable than the gap at the top...
  • Centrd Centrd on Aug 15, 2014
  • Centrd Centrd on Aug 15, 2014
  • Sheila D Sheila D on Aug 16, 2014
    To keep the integrity and craftsmanship of the doors and will also add light to the area, I vote for transoms.
  • Diane Arnold Diane Arnold on Aug 17, 2014
    I saw once where someone used two thin tension rods and some sheer fabric and gathered it across like a valance. The light and air flow was there and was quite pretty and very inexpensive and easy.
    • Ronnie Ronnie on Aug 17, 2014
      @Diane Arnold Thanks for making that comment. Because I am so stealing the idea.
  • Ang Ang on Aug 17, 2014
    that pretty dowel and frame is really nice and would add air flow too . I may steal that idea . centrd
  • Ang Ang on Aug 17, 2014
    i would love to see the finished project prichinna
  • Ronnie Ronnie on Aug 17, 2014
    Perhaps an old shutter painted in your favorite color or distressed. Also, how about a sign on each side of the wall coming down to the edge of the door, such as an antique sign or one you make from recycling a picture frame. You know EXIT, ONE WAY, or as would be appropriate in some cases Mental Ward ~ LOL. Looking forward to what solution you choose.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Aug 18, 2014
    I had this problem exactly. The carpenter laminated a piece at the bottom. After it was painted, you can't even see where the piece was added.
  • Sheila D Sheila D on Aug 18, 2014
    I think we all forgot ask--will these be interior or exterior doors?
  • Andrea Shea-Smith Andrea Shea-Smith on Aug 19, 2014
    I would have a stained glass window made for the space above the door to the ceiling. I would have the base of the window on a piece of recycled wood beam. The door would then fit and the light coming through the stained glass would lighten up that hallway beautifully. Just my opinion. ;)
  • Jennifer Jennifer on Sep 08, 2014
    I like Andrea's idea and was going to suggest something like decorative glass of some sort Of course that's a little more expensive than some of the other ideas given by others. I think it all depends on where you use this door. For example, if it was to enter the laundry room, I would go for something far more casual like some burlap curtains across the top. But if it's for an entry way into the dining room or living room, I would then opt for the decorative glass.
  • John H. Sierra John H. Sierra on Sep 09, 2014
    YES, I did the same thing, Get a 2x4 White Pine wood and cut it to the same size ,next have a Nail the bottom and some wood glue , than sand and Paint it to match DONE!
  • Denise Denise on Sep 04, 2015
    Or, to keep it simple, get a piece of glass cut to fit. Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a decorative wood piece, like flower medallion with scrollwork on each side, or whatever your taste. Paint it, glue to glass.
  • Sheila D Sheila D on Sep 04, 2015
    Location may decide for you what treatment to use. Does the door open to another room or is it an exterior door?