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1920s internal doors. Renovate or replace or?

(35 Posts)
fabulousathome Wed 21-Dec-16 16:23:34

We are currently renovating my parents old house prior to renting it out.

My parents were the second owners of this house, built in 1928 and Dad covered the original internal doors with hardboard to make them streamlined and then put strange almost plasticky wallpaper squares in a wood style on top. He did this in the early 1960s and they are still like that! He assures me that the house's original doors are underneath.

Having now completed a full rewire, new central heating and new flooring, the decorator is soon to give a quote to decorate everywhere, including doors. The yuky wallpaper on the doors was glued down with more than wallpaper paste and is scrubable!

Should I get the decorator to remove the hardboard, renovate the doors (strip them first perhaps) or what?

Is renovating the original doors so much work that it would be better to buy new doors? We are talking about 7 single doors here. I'd like the house to look modern but classy if poss. It will have pale grey walls with white woodwork.

Any suggestions or advice? It's a good house, or will be when we've updated, in a decent area so I want it to look nice and for finishes to be long lasting as it will be rented to a family.

I would very much welcome anyone's sugestions and opinion on this. Thank you! Perhaps I should say, the decorator is old-school and believes in maximum preparation.

HowardMoonsJazzTrumpet Wed 21-Dec-16 16:29:11

Retaining as many original period features as possible is my preference. One of the main things buyers like in period houses is original features. I know you don't plan to sell yet but you will eventually.

wishparry Wed 21-Dec-16 16:40:11

I do quite like period features.but if it's going to cost you more money you may as well just get new doors.if you wait until January sales you may bag a great bargain.also my in laws just got some lovely solid oak doors from b&q which are lovely,and they have a b&q pensioners card so they got an extra discount. (Think they only do cheap pensioner deals on a wednesday) does your dad have a b&q card?

JT05 Wed 21-Dec-16 17:12:34

Renovate! Cheap replacements will always be just that. 1928 doors have that lovely deco look, top panel and three underneath, they fit in with a modern streamline decor.

Our current house had the original renovated doors, they added to our reasons for buying.

lovelearning Wed 21-Dec-16 17:14:13

Renovate or replace or?

You may have difficulty replacing the doors.

Start renovating one of them, and take a view on it.

Santamajormummy000 Wed 21-Dec-16 17:40:19

We've renovated the original floors (herringbone parquet, lovely!) and windows (holes filled, chunks replaced and mechanisms put right, then sanded and painted chalky white, not so happy but a cheap job) in our 1906 property.
We've now finished all the work but are stuck with the original doors in a bad state because the budget won't stretch (yet!) to doing them the way I'd like.meaning sanding them back to the pale wood, varnishing them so they're the same as the parquet and replacing the glass.

They're lovely pieces of wood under all that gloss paint (and some funky 1980s oatmeal papier-mâché mixture on one of the double sets). To buy the same again would be prohibitively expensive, so I'm waiting patiently for the money to be available. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

StillRunningWithScissors Wed 21-Dec-16 17:45:02

Have a look on eBay to see how much these doors go for refurbished. They're worth a good amount. We bought a job lot of this style in need of dipping/sanding to replace cheap doors put in by previous owners.

I agree, refurb if you can. If not, look at listing them on eBay/selling to a reclamation yard.

viques Wed 21-Dec-16 17:47:07

Another vote for keep the doors. They will pay for themselves when you come to sell. Actually, have just seen you are renting, in that case put in cheap doors for tenants but keep for when you sell.

fabulousathome Wed 21-Dec-16 17:52:59

Wow, thank you for all the very speedy replies.

Mostly people seem to think renovation is the way to go so I will do that. Hopefully they won't need a huge amount of work on them as, as I said, my parents were only the second owners of this 1928 house and put the hardboard on the doors in the 1960s.

I spoke to my Dad today about the doors (he's in a care home) and he said something about 4 panel doors and now I know what he means. One at the top and three at the bottom. Looking forward to the great reveal now!

Thank you all so much.

dynevoran Wed 21-Dec-16 19:43:38

Yes please update us with some pictures. My first house had those original 1920s doors and they were beautiful. Also handles up high so children can't reach!

Our current 1930s doesn't have them and I can't afford to change the ones that are there so I'm stuck for now. So I'm definitely with the restore camp!

AccioNameChange Wed 21-Dec-16 19:46:53

Definitely restore. They should be beautiful! And from a sale (eventually) point of view that is what people pay more for.

Badcat666 Wed 21-Dec-16 19:47:40

oh god restore them!!!!!! Mine is a late 1930s build and saved up to strip all the doors and we discovered we have tiger wood inserts!!! The bloke tried to buy them from my brother (who took them in for me) as they were so hard to come by. They are a thing of beauty.

SilverHawk Wed 21-Dec-16 20:45:14

Our house, built in the same era, had this door 'treatment' too. Every single door, back and front had a hardboard panel. The panels facing the hall and landing were painted white, the ones facing the room were covered in wall paper that matched the room.
We chose to renovate and used a professional decorator to do the downstairs doors. They now look very good. We did not dip them due to problems a neighbour encountered.
Upstairs, I have done a few myself. The panels come off quite easily.
The nail holes then need some wood filler and then sanding. The sanding can be quite a job as we had layers of paint going from greens (several), brown and white. Beneath the panels was the greenish colour! (two layers). Altogether, we had eighteen panels as they are even on the loo and bathroom doors. Ho hum, eight done so far.

Santamajormummy000 Wed 21-Dec-16 21:38:15

Here's a couple of photos of ours when only the floor was done. You can see why I'm holding out to do a proper job on the doors!

Palomb Wed 21-Dec-16 21:48:57

So wrong to remove original features like this! So I vote to restore them. Imperfect originals are so much nicer than modern replacements.

You'll probably find as well that you'll have to replace the architrave as well as modern doors have the handles lowers that the old original doors (so they are accessible to children and people with limited mobility) so the door catching mechanism willl have been chisled out at the original height. Doors with that handle configuration also suit the proportions for houses with higher ceilings.

Palomb Wed 21-Dec-16 21:50:03

@Badcat666 I'd love to see a picture of your doors smile

HelenF350 Wed 21-Dec-16 21:54:36

Renovate them. It's a pain in the ass but so worth it. Modern doors are crap.

dudsville Wed 21-Dec-16 21:55:34

We have thirteen 1930's doors, only 2 other doors are random. I'm not keen on the handles, but love how high they are, and I love the doors. They suit the house. Renovate if possible. I want two doors to replace the odd ones!

OneEpisode Wed 21-Dec-16 22:01:20

You may find your dad's hardboard has protected the door all these years and once the panels are off not much needs doing at all. Back in the day the experts advised little nails I think..

Badcat666 Wed 21-Dec-16 22:08:04

Palomb I have a crappy camera on my phone but have weirdly found a pic of what could be my doors lost lost siblings on the web! grin

My bathroom door is weirdly smaller than the rest so would have been a nightmare to get a new one. I striped all the woodwork back (I still can't look at wire wool and paint remover without breaking into a cold sweat) and stained it all it so if I had gone with new doors I would have ruined how the door frames looked.

Palomb Wed 21-Dec-16 22:33:09

envy oooh you lucky thing! They are gorge!

Mine are all covered under 90 years of (mostly lead) paint!

fabulousathome Thu 22-Dec-16 01:31:52

Seems like I'm really lucky then! Hopefully they will have only one or two layers of paint on them as the house was pretty much untouched from the original when my parents bought it.

It's been fun discovering some of the 1970s wall paper that we had in the house when I was a child. Here's one of the bedroom ones. It seemed fine at the time!

LittleBoat Thu 22-Dec-16 02:16:38

I love those style of doors. We've just had to rip all ours out after having a loft conversion. Had to have fire doors instead. I was really gutted.

Just a word to the wise. I have original Victorian doors in a rental property which, prior to renting, I had lovingly stripped and oiled. 1 tenant papered over some of them!! And another painted them, badly, with emulsion.

wowfudge Thu 22-Dec-16 05:50:16

We lived in a 1930 built house which had one over three doors. Definitely remove the hardboard and sort them out. If there are rimlocks, there could be additional work to do to get the keeps in the right place so the doors shut properly.

Don't get the doors stripped. In that era the wood used was not the sort meant to be seen, i.e. nothing special, and looks better painted ime.

HelenF350 Thu 22-Dec-16 23:32:37

Badcat our doors are the same as yours. The upstairs ones are gorgeous. Downstairs ones have hardboard on them. Need to try and convince do to remove it! Problem is trying to find varnish the same colour as the rest of the woodwork.

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