Replacing external door: listed building

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by jonathanc, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    Got an external door to replace in a listed building. Never done this before: am thinking using reclaimed external door. Anyone got any experience of this? What are the pitfalls and what to look out for ? I guess if it’s a reclaimed solid door it can be trimmed so best to get slightly oversized and trim down for a clean edge for hinges etc

    any experience or pointers welcome!
  2. Truckcab79

    Truckcab79 Active Member

    I’d go to the council first and ask to speak to whoever looks after their listed buildings. Sometimes replacing with reclaimed even if it’s the same style and period may not be accepted and they would prefer to use new so that there is a clear distinction between what is original old and listed and what doesn’t form part of the buildings’ history.
  3. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    I am happy with the listed building issues. It’s more the experience in replacing Victorian doors with reclaimed or possibly new.
  4. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Assuming it's grade 2 listed, if you are going to use a reclaimed door, then I would suggest fitting it in a new frame in your garage/workshop first and fitting all the ironmongery, letterbox, nightlatch, spyhole, etc etc then when you turn up to site it will hopefully cut down on installation time massively. Fitting it in a workshop setting will allow you to easily get the margins right and tweak where needed by maybe planing a touch off the door or sinking hinges in or whatever, far easier to do it on a bench than wedged in position.
    jonathanc likes this.
  5. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Active Member

    I do a lot of period and heritage joinery replacement and restoration work on Grade I and II listed buildings for the National Trust and English Heritage. You MUST firstly speak to your local authority and find out who is the conservation officer responsible for your area. He/she will usually require comprehensive, in-depth plans or drawings of your proposal - which will be difficult if you don't know exactly what your replacement is going to look like. The age of the replacement door is totally irrelevant - it's all about the appearance, and whether or not the CO judges it worthy to grace your house. Even after that, and having built a customer a bespoke door in the grand style, I've had them receiving letters from these people demanding that this beautifully figured oak door must be painted a certain colour instead. You'll discover an entirely new meaning to the word 'pedantic' unless you get very, very lucky and chance upon someone who's older and wiser - most of these people are recently-graduated college kids who have all of the history and the theory, but zero real-world application knowledge. You can recognise them a mile off - they have clipboards, shiny shoes, a tie, a brand-new immaculate hi-vis, and they wear a hard hat even when they're having a bath. I've had NT projects delayed for over a year whilst conservation officers argue with Building Control over a 6-foot piece of timber. The most difficult aspect of replacing a door with a reclaim is finding one which meets the oversize requirement (bearing in mind that 'standard' door sizes didn't come in until around 1895) - and one which is in decent nick - and one with the CO is happy with. They can also take months to make a decision, by which time your reclaim is likely to have been long gone.

    What Truckcab said about clear distinction is also right on the money. One of the most ludicrous aspects of this whole farce is that the owner of a beautiful old Gothic, stone-built early Victorian railway station will 99% be refused permission to extend it using identical architecture and identical reclaimed period materials - making the addition look exactly like it's always been there - but is then highly likely to be granted permission to bolt on a vast glass and steel carbuncle.

    Any chance of a picture of your existing door? I might be able to advise you further .....
    SoManyUserNames and Truckcab79 like this.

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