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.