Ask An Agent: Swapping Out Doors

I’m back for this month’s installment of Ask An Agent where I pose a relevant home improvement question to a real estate agent for the purpose of resale value.  And for this month’s post I got to get in touch with an old high school friend : ]Question - swapping out doorsMy Question: “Our ’60s ranch house has all original doors…and a ton of them!  Do you think it’s worth swapping them out for new ones or will a coat of fresh paint and new hardware suffice?”Answer - keep the doorsEddie’s Answer: “What a great question!  I come across many buyers who like the charm and character of older homes.  When it comes to resale purposes, I would advise my sellers to keep the originality of the home.  Buyers nowadays will either keep the home as-is or make the changes they desire after closing.

Purchasing new doors, in this case numerous doors, would not be a worthwhile investment unless it is necessary to be uniform with other upgrades in the home or if the original doors are in need of replacement.  Cosmetically, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way for resale.”

So honestly, this wasn’t quite the answer I wanted to hear (I’ve already been eying some MDF doors with some character) but it makes total sense.  Our new home has a boatload of doors.  Our master bedroom alone has five!  For kicks, let’s see just how many doors our new home has…doorsThat’s a lot of doors for less than 1,400 sf of house!  Five of them lead to the outside which feels a bit excessive to me.  After mulling over Eddie’s advice, I think I’ll go with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware to add some cohesion and update their look.

But the one door that has to go is the front door.old fashioned peepholeThis is just too creepy/obvious of a way to checking who’s outside.  The wizard is not in!

The doors do need some attention though.  They were given a fresh coat of paint without any sanding or primer and it’s not holding up well.peeling doorIt’s kinda hard to see in pictures because the two paint colors are similar enough but it’s basically peeling (you could scratch it off with a fingernail).

As an agent who’s an expert in the local San Diego area, Eddie brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying, selling, or investing in Real Estate.  Eddie has been working in the field of Customer Service and Sales for more than a decade now and thrives on meeting and exceeding the expectations of his clients.  When Eddie has some free time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his friends and family.

What would you do in our situation?  Any tips for refinishing doors?

Jennifer singature - Jenna Sue

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Lovely comments so far...

  1. This is great advice! I always wondered about this subject. Haha 15 doors and 5 leading to outside!!! WHOA! We have 1200 sq ft and I thought 3 entry doors was a lot! :D

  2. Hah, “the wizard is not in!”

  3. Is is weird that I kind of like door #12? We upgraded all the doors in our home and it makes such a huge difference. I would do it, with or with out the advice ;) xoxo K

    • Jennifer says:

      Haha, no it’s not weird being as you see great potential in everything! I’d probably give you the door, you’d work some amazing DIY magic, then I’d wish I would have kept the door :P Thanks for your take. I bet it’s one of those upgrades you totally don’t regret once you do it.

  4. We have lots of doors, too, although a few less than you. I’ve thought about at least changing out the hardware on them since it’s sort of mixed throughout the house (and brass). Even that would be a huge undertaking and not something I’m up to tackling at the moment but it’s good to hear from a professional that it doesn’t make much difference in the big picture.

    • Jennifer says:

      I know what you mean. I feel kinda overwhelmed just thinking about changing the hardware. Now I sorta can’t imagine that I considered swapping out the doors!

  5. We have started changing out our circa 1986 brass door knobs for satin nickel levers and what a difference it makes! Of course, everything is a little mismatched right now as we’re only buying and replacing as they go on sale…the front door was first ($70 off), then all the regular doors (50% off). Waiting for locking levers (for the bathrooms) and deadbolts to go on sale. A big undertaking, but worth it!

    • Jennifer says:

      That’s exactly the kind of swap we’d be doing, too—brass for satin nickel. Yes, with as many doors as we have it will be a big undertaking but I bet I’ll be pro and swapping out fixtures by the end ; ]

  6. I painted our basement door & plan on painting our 2 entry doors this summer… it is SO MUCH money to replace them all, and for our house’s location we’re pretty limited on what return for investment we’re going to get. I suggest a palm sander and some Zinsser primer! :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much for your tips and sharing your experiences, Stephanie! I just bought a small can of Zinsser primer to try it out and I have a fairly new palm sander that I can use, too. I’ll post my updates!

  7. I have 1 hollow core door in my house and I detest it. I’m thinking of adding some molding so it can blend in a bit more with the other doors in my home. Oh and I just posted on your google+ but my kitchen door was doing the same thing when we moved in. I just scraped it and primed it with zinsser 123, then painted with my trim paint. It’s been a year and so far so good!

    • Jennifer says:

      We have a couple of those hollow core doors. Some even have some holes in them. Thank you so much for your tips, Elisa! Your paint jobs looks so flawless I’m taking your good advice to heart!

  8. Instead of replacing interior doors, what about adding moulding? That way you could go as traditional or as trendy as you wanted. My doors all have the traditional panels but I sometimes secretly wish they were flat so I could add super stylish moulding.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hrm, intriguing idea! I just saw a tutorial where Jenny from Little Green Notebook did that and it looked amazing! Something to consider although I really should get around to finishing the baseboards (in my head, it’s kinda like trim, too) before moving on to the next project.

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