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Old 06-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oil City, PA
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Replacing the door with ext house door?

Greetings! I am looking for some insight as to the best way to replace the standard mechanical entry/exit doors on a school bus. I know from talking to the local contractor store that I need a 30" pre-hung which will give me a half inch on both sides to trim it out. However the doors are all too short. What have others of you that have replaced the original with a house type door done? Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Old 06-09-2013, 10:21 PM   #2
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Re: Replacing the door with ext house door?

The height problem was part of the reason why we turned our two piece bifold bus door into a one piece single hinge swing door. The main reason was we could rebuild the original door as opposed to buying a special ordered door or custom building a new door. We are converting on a skinny wornout shoestring budget. Not everyone is converting to the extent we are on as tight a budget.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Replacing the door with ext house door?

Originally Posted by lornaschinske
We are converting on a skinny wornout shoestring budget.
Frayed ends too, where the plastic shrink-wrap has crumbled away? That's a wonderful chain of adjectives and draws a great mental image. I love it.

There are a few folks here whose build threads show home-made doors. One I'm thinking of is constructed from some square steel tube, maybe 1" by .060" wall, with a skin welded to it and a nice window. IIRC they used standard residential lock hardware. It looked really good and for cost it must fall somewhere between shiny new pre-hung and recycling/modifying the original door. Modifying the original has some upsides if you're not real handy with welding yet or just don't want to fuss with it. You'll be assured that the door will fit the opening just right!

I'll probably end up going the square-tube custom route on mine. I have a transit style double door: two panels each hinged at the outside edges and they swing outward from the center. This style, not having a piano hinge up the middle that I could make rigid, doesn't lend itself to re-use very well.

If you want to go with the exterior residential door, those can be had in (somewhat) custom sizes. Economics of it depend heavily on whether you're in or near an urban area where there are windows-and-doors vendors nearby so you don't have to pay shipping. I've had a few made and the cost increase wasn't much, but I did pick from a collection of standard-sized door slabs and customized only the jambs and thresholds.
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