About how much is it to replace a garage entry door w/ installation?
September 11, 2012 10:43 PM   Subscribe

I need to replace the entry door to the garage soon, but with an extremely tight budget, limited time, an angry mother, and an asshole older brother. Help! Details inside.

Background: I am a full-time college student in a very demanding major, which leaves me little time for a part-time job, and I've had no success in landing any job. My current source of income is from babysitting and weekly allowance from my dad, who lives out of state.

I'm living at home with my mom and older brother, and none of us use house keys since we've always relied on the garage for security and entry. Since my mom is always the first to leave in the mornings, she says she always locks the door on her way out before work so that we're safe inside (this is news to me; I was just told this tonight). My older brother leaves shortly after she does, so I'm wondering if he simply forgot to unlock the doorknob today before he left.

I left the house this morning for an appointment and the door shut behind me -- coming back home only to find I was locked out. I was pressed for time as I had class soon, my homework was in my room, and an important exam, so waiting for a locksmith was out of the question. In a fit of panic, I sledgehammer'd the door knob off, causing substantial damage to the door that it is now useless and no longer closes properly. I'm a genius, I know...

And now, my mother is angry with me. I am now expected to purchase a brand new door and have it installed ASAP (ideally this weekend), and I don't have much money. All I'm looking for is a very standard garage-to-laundry-room entry door, and I found one from the Home Depot website that is inexpensive (<$100). Just as a ballpark estimate... about how much am I looking to spend with their installation fee? I'm heading over there tomorrow morning, but I'd like to see some of your guys' ideas, and perhaps possible ways to cope with this situation. Overall, this isn't that big a deal to me as we live in a very safe gated community, but my mother is a very short-fused Filipino woman who is impossible to rationalize with, and my older brother is an asshole who isn't making this any easier. If I can get this all fixed up by this weekend, I'll be a happy camper.
posted by HiphopAnonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am far from an expert on these things, but I believe you need a "fire door" between the garage and house. Make sure you get the right kind.

No idea on installation. Last time I had a door installed it cost about $1000, but it was a somewhat fancy door, and it wasn't through Home Depot (and I didn't really shop around on price because I was more interested in making sure it was high quality and done right than cheap). It might be cheaper to just buy the door and have a handy man install it.
posted by primethyme at 11:02 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh, also, I don't think most of the cheap doors will come with hardware (knob, lock, etc.) so don't forget to factor that in. And make sure you get the right size. They're not all the same.
posted by primethyme at 11:03 PM on September 11, 2012

Can this door just be new to you? If so, perhaps your local Habitat for Humanity 'Restore' may have what you need.
posted by oceano at 11:16 PM on September 11, 2012 [15 favorites]

Did you just destroy the doorknob? if so would a temporary fix like this kind of lock work? It is not a door knob, but it will lock the door. You can get ones with keys on both sides, or a key and a small knob. I have put a few in and I am not terrifically handy. The first one I put in when I was about 19. You will need a drill. The lock comes with a template that shows you where to drill the holes. Make sure you get the right bits.

You can cover over the hole from the broken doorknob with some wood, glue and drill it in to secure it to the door. Then save up and get a real door.

And you and your brother should have keys to all the doors. The garage thing sounds iffy to me, and obviously is a problem.
posted by wandering_not_lost at 11:50 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I really have to ask whether the door itself is the problem, or just the doorknob and/or locking hardware. If it's just the knob, that's a trivial fix. If it's the lockset, well, inexpensive but very doable and won't break the bank for a student. If it's the door itself, well, first thing I would look at is whether the hinges were pulled out or bent. First is fixable with some golf tees (or toothpicks) and wood glue, second possibly with a new hinge set on the same door and frame.

As above, you all should have a full set of house keys and locking exterior doors, including the garage access, should be habitual. The latter is a particularly notorious way for burglars to break in.
posted by dhartung at 12:33 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Please post pics of the door and damage - you will get much better answers that way.

Don't panic. The answers might change wildly based on pics. Everyone (including me) is just guessing thus far.


- Yes you SHOULD get a fire proof door. Yes I know those are more expensive.

- There is a whole science to "hanging" a door.

You can't do this on your own, so don't try. It's better to use a licensed handyman or service - for the love of god DO NOT use one of those guys that hang out in the Home Depot parking lot. Bless them, but they are not for this type of job.

- A quick google tells me fire proof doors are pricey! I did not have a fire proof door in my dad's old house - just a regular door between the laundry and garage.


I see the spot you are in. Unreasonable family. I get it.

What type of door are you replacing? You should (all seek to) replace same with same. Or rather, your family should collectively split the cost of replacing same with same.


Here is my issue:

"I'm living at home with my mom and older brother, and none of us use house keys since we've always relied on the garage for security and entry."

So. None of you use keys because the person at the top of the authority ladder, your mother who likely owns the home or represents on the lease if the home is rented, has not provided you with keys?

Hells NO is this a cost you should shoulder on your own!


My advice now is going to be unorthodox. But that is why you posted this in "Human Relations" and not "Grab Bag" or "Home & Garden."

Do all the research, present your mom and bro with options AND TELL THEM IT WILL BE SPLIT 3 WAYS - YOU WILL ONLY PAY ONE THIRD - SO THE MUST MAKE A CHOICE.


Let me tell you a few things...

#1 - You are in a gated community. This security issue can float for a few days. Your home is not wide open for thieves.

#2 - If you had keys, like normal people, this would not have developed into an issue. This is ALL on your mother. Really.

#3 - Your brother locked you out. He has responsibility under the current system of "no one has keys."

#4 - Finally, I would move to a friend's couch and/or move out entirely, rather than put up with bullshit like this. Make it work for you. This is easier than coming up with $600 to $1500 of your own money to stay where you are living with people who do not take responsibility for their shitty choices.


There are few cheap solutions available to get you out of this mess, barring pics that show the damage rendered does not require replacement of the door. The people you live with, even though they are family, are treating you like crap and taking advantage of you at this point.

Weigh your options.

In the end, they are not worth it. Sort out other accommodations, and move on.
posted by jbenben at 1:13 AM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

PS - Likely there are Tenant Laws in your jurisdiction that support the position that you are not on the hook for this cost. FYI.
posted by jbenben at 1:19 AM on September 12, 2012

I completely disagree with jbenben. You locked yourself out, you were responsible for checking that the door wasn't locked before closing it without keys, it's your problem - the brother had nothing to do with this and I assume you are saying he's being an asshole about this because he's telling you the same thing. You should move out to give yourself the chance to grow up a little because you sound pretty sheltered. My mother is a very reasonable person but I can't imagine how I'd rationalise "i locked myself out so I broke down the door with a sledgehammer" to her at all.
posted by jacalata at 1:43 AM on September 12, 2012 [19 favorites]

Yeah, if this is in a newer house and between the garage and living area, it's going to be a fire door and rather expensive. Installation shouldn't take all that long for someone reasonably competent, but it's definitely not a DIY project.

Home Depot's installations can be rather crappy, though they're probably okay sometimes. HD sells installation at a price that looks attractive, then takes a percentage off the top of that price and gives what remains to an independent contractor who does the work. Since he's being paid relatively little, he's independent but it's HD's reputation (not his own) that's on the line, he's inclined to do the absolute minimum he can get away with. When he leaves, the door might be "installed" in the sense that it opens and closes, but small cosmetic details may be left hanging, e.g. trim may not be attached, or caulked, paint may need to be touched up, etc., and you end up having to do additional work yourself or hire someone else to finish the job. I'm sure that HD's installers aren't always like this, but they definitely sometimes are. You'd be better off finding a good handyman.

On preview, I too disagree with jbenben. Your Mom and brother may have unintentionally contributed to the problematic situation you were in, but they didn't dictate the solution you chose. This is on you. I agree, however, that there's a substantial human relations aspect to this that shouldn't go unaddressed. Getting this done by the weekend puts you on an emergency sort of schedule and is likely to increase your costs, and if you're unemployed that's probably not something you should accept. You'll probably need to have a conversation with your mom that goes something like, "Mom, I've talked to three contractors and none of them had time available this week. One guy said he could probably do it next Thursday. I know, I know, but that just isn't going to happen. The other thing is that it's going to be like $750, which I simply don't have right now. The best I can do is to ask you to cover the cost, and I'll pay you back when I have a job. I'm sorry, but I do not see any other way to get this done." Don't let your mom's temper drive you into doing something financially stupid. If you are in the habit of fighting with her instead of discussing and negotiating, then learn to disengage when she starts to fly off the handle. Nothing useful comes from staying in a fight, so get out when you see one starting.
posted by jon1270 at 2:23 AM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

PS - Likely there are Tenant Laws in your jurisdiction that support the position that you are not on the hook for this cost. FYI.

A:"Mom, I looked up the relevant law(s) online for our jurisdiction and they say that you, as landlord, are responsible."
B:"Huh. Your dinner is cooling in the trash. Nuke it up whenever you like."

If this were a landlord-tenant situation and not parent-kid situation, your advice would be more applicable. I agree that it would have made more sense for everyone in the house to have a key, but ...

I'd be disinclined to fight with my older brother in this situation; it's a fussy system and not really his fault you didn't check the state of the lock before stepping out. One doesn't always 'win' an argument with a family member.

A: "Bro, can I have some of that pizza?"
B:"Huh. Your slice is cooling in the trash."


Is the frame the door mounts in damaged?

If not, I'd consider getting a new firedoor that size from HD, and putting it in. (Mr. Measuring Tape is your freind)"
Unless the hivemind knows that that doesn't work well.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:36 AM on September 12, 2012

RE: sebastienbailard's idea, I'm a little doubtful that hinge placements , sizes, shapes and screw patterns are sufficiently standardized that you could just remove the door and swap in a new one without replacing the frame, but you might get lucky.
posted by jon1270 at 2:56 AM on September 12, 2012

You need a fire door (none of those on HD's website are < $100), and you need to get it installed. That door also needs a lock (sold separately).

If you can't afford to pay for it, negotiate a payment plan and adhere to it. Or put it on credit, and work on paying that down yourself.

This is pretty clearly your responsibility. You made a mistake, and you responded in a way that created a lot of inconvenience and expense. You should own it.
posted by grudgebgon at 4:13 AM on September 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

I agree that there is a larger dynamic surrounding this whole situation; splitting the cost half with you and half with mother/brother should be considered.

However, everyone is pissed right now.

Any contractor worth his license will not install a non-fire door. A rush installation will not do anything except possibly cost more.

I'd suggest not using that door (keeping the garage closed) but the usual house door in the interim.

Talk to places that are not Home Depot; a local door and window shop may have something (such as stock doors, ordered door that fell through) they can get quickly and more cheaply than a big box store, can install it as well. Or if you find one at a local habitat ReStore, that might be fire-rated and approved to be put in.

Another consideration against the "fix immediately" is that a permit may be required to do this install work (rather than repair work - again, a local, highly rated shop might be a better choice than a box store). Repair work might not require permits and inspection (again, someone willing do do this off the books is potentially risking his license).

And yes, it is extremely unlikely that you'll happen to find a door that's hinged and handed in the right direction to just "pop"back in the existing frame. I've bought and sold many a door, it is not very likely.

I like the "couch it" situation as a precursor to moving out, if, after this repair is done, they both refuse to pay for at least half and give you keys.
posted by tilde at 4:53 AM on September 12, 2012

You should be able to get a door for around $60 - $150. It probably won't be a fire door, but that's your call. I am not sure if fire doors are code, but rules for condominium residences can be very different from a standard residence.

The door will need to be drilled for a handle and lock. It will then need to be chiseled for hinges and hung. You'll probably need to get someone to do this. I've done it, but it is not easy the first time.

I'd say you are looking at $350 - 400.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:08 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

One place to look for the door is at a Builder's Surplus store. They have all kinds of stuff there, at popular prices.

You are going to learn how to hang a door. This will take you a day, and frustrate the ever-loving fuck out of you, but you're a grown-up and this is a skill you'll need in life.

You do need a fire rated door for the garage/kitchen entrance.

First, measure it correctly. Make note of which side the knob is on, this is important!

Go out and buy a pre-hung door. (you will thank the gods you did this instead of just getting a door).

Get a new lock set and then have keys made for everyone in the house, plus a couple extra...just in case. You can even buy one for the front door, install that and have them all keyed to the one entry key. Look, you're a hero!

Be sure you have all the tools, hardware, foam, caulk and trim that you'll need. You'll need trim on both sides of the door. Again, buy the premeasured stuff, you don't want to start your first big home improvement project by dealing with a chop saw. (Maybe later, those things are the bomb!)

Paint it, and have your picture taken in front of it and post it here.

You're now a DIY stud.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:31 AM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Is it possible to board up the broken door (for security) and use the front door while this is getting fixed? I'm unclear on why the front door isn't part of this equation. (I'm also unclear on how having an unlocked garage door was secure in the first place. Are you all using garage door openers instead of keys?)

If it's possible, that could give you some time to organize and save you a bit of money.

It might also help you in dealing with your family in this situation if you stopped blaming them. (Mom locking the door to go to work, brother not unlocking it after.) None of this is their fault, and if you've been telling them it is that might explain some of their anger.
posted by Dynex at 7:12 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm with Ruthless Bunny, but I've got three concerns:
  1. We still don't know what all is really broken. If this is just a matter of replacing the knob and lock, then you don't have to worry about re-hanging the door. If you've torqued the hinges, then you may need to rework how they screw into the frame (in which case I pre-emptively withdraw my "you don't need a pre-hung door" advice below).
  2. I believe that IRC2006 R309.1 says that the door between a garage and a living area needs to be at least solid wood with a minimum of 1 5/8" thickness, or a solid or honeycomb steel fire door. Your local jurisdiction's code is probably derived from this or something similar, the point is you want some fire resistance between your living areas and garage. I'd go hit your used building materials vendor (Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, we've got a place at the dump that re-sells building supplies at our dump, Recycle Town, etc) for a solid wood door. In my area (northern CA, just north of San Francisco) I'd expect to pay about $35 for a used door (and a couple o' hundred for a new one). (Disclaimer: I'm just a homeowner, not a contractor, though I have done several fully permitted and inspected projects, including a new building from digging the foundation trenches myself.)
  3. Replacing the frame with a full-on pre-hung door, as Ruthless Bunny suggests, is indeed the easiest way to do this, but my experience with doors has actually been really lucky: If things haven't just fit, a little work with a chisel to cut the hinge mortises has been fine. Including for the super heavy solid mahogany front door.
In short: Don't panic, this stuff isn't that hard. Don't forget to buy a pack of shims, if you don't use it for shimming the frame you'll use it to hold the door in place while you're screwing other things in. Yeah, you're a college student, that's a strike against you, but many college students still manage to retain the logical thinking necessary to figure out how mechanical elements fit together; I've got faith.
posted by straw at 8:27 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's a photo of the damage: http://i46.tinypic.com/v5zkuv.jpg

Yes, I royally fucked up that door. My previous attempts at chiseling it off with a flathead screwdriver to localize potential damage to only the doorknob area were fruitless. While the door can close, it doesn't completely so that the deadbolt lock no longer works. We've lived in this house for almost 20 years, and there's always a guard on-duty at the gated entrance of the community. Security isn't too big of a concern for me, though I will take extra measures once I replace the door as far as locks and keys go.

I don't have a problem with personal responsibility, and believe me when I say I'm not trying to be difficult here, but I'm really failing to see how this is entirely 100% my fault when we never lock that door except at night. When we leave the house, it's shut (not ajar), so expecting the doorknob to be locked honestly didn't even occur to me since that's never been the case. With the way our house is built, we've always entered through the big garage door out of convenience. I'm not trying to toss the blame on them, but part of me feels as if, at the very least, my mom was an accomplice. But regardless, I was the one who executed the damage.

Skimming through the posts now, Jon1270's, "Your Mom and brother may have unintentionally contributed to the problematic situation you were in, but they didn't dictate the solution you chose. This is on you." I feel is exactly right.

jbenben, while I appreciate the advice, I don't think it's *that* serious. I'm living rent-free under my parents' roof so taking any sort of legal action would be ridiculous. My mom, who works very hard, is understandably upset; it's just that when it comes to conflicts, she (and my brother) operate more on their anger and have the tendency to be hard on me as I am the youngest child. My older sister (middle child) and dad, who are the most level-headed of the family, are not here to act as the voices of reason when my efforts in rationalizing with mom and brother are useless. Now my brother, who just turned 29 and is still living at home, has always been my harshest critic (he deserves his own thread entirely). When I confronted my mom last night when she came home from work to explain the door, he came down shortly after with obviously no intent other than to witness my death sentence.

Anyway, I appreciate every one of your replies and will continue taking every suggestion into consideration.
posted by HiphopAnonymous at 9:01 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

You need a couple estimates on this. See if you can find someone who specializes in small repair work. It's usually tons cheaper than having HD come in. Make sure you get at least three estimates, and ask what they'll be doing in their repair. My S-i-L had HD come out and half-ass a repair where her husband had hit the corner of the house with the motor home. Later found out that what they did leaked and wasn't up to code anyway. Due diligence.

Also, pro tip: breaking a window is cheaper.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:07 AM on September 12, 2012

Well, once consolation, your door isn't a steel fireproof door, so it's going to be lots cheaper!
posted by BlueHorse at 9:09 AM on September 12, 2012

I looked at the photo - it's easy!!

So you damaged the hole and the some of the wood, but it's all localized. And all on one side. The frame, hinges, are fine. You didn't puncture the door (looks like solid wood). the hole looks and will be ok on the other side right?

Sand away all the dings you made. Fill with wood putty and smooth over. Repaint the door.

Buy a new lockset and a 'Lock and Door Reinforcer" to go with it. Sorry I can't do the link, but the Home Depot shows that are about $22. (search on those words - they have many types and sizes). All the materials (sanding block, putty, paint, lock and reinforcer) should be less than $100 all together.

Good luck.

ps: OR screw a metal plate over the whole thing and tell your family just to use the deadbolt that's already there.
posted by Xhris at 9:44 AM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

While the door can close, it doesn't completely so that the deadbolt lock no longer works.

What's stopping the door from closing completely? If a hinge or strikeplate is bent, maybe you can just replace those. Or if it's just a slight problem, you might be able to sand/file down whatever edge of the door is scraping against the doorjamb.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:02 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh! That's no big deal. No need for a new door. Sanding, putty, repainting, that should be fine.

Get a new entry lockset. Any big-box retailer will have a new knob and deadbolt in the same package, bonus, they'll both use the same key, AND there will be keys!.

Or Get one of these, Look, no key!

This is an under $100 fix that you can easily do yourself.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:56 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Nth'ing that your mom and bro should help shoulder some of the cost; and seeing the pic - can you get the door to close so the deadbolt works? Just screw a piece of plywood over the hole and tell them the deadbolt is now how it gets locked. Tell 'em that's your solution. Period. End of discussion. Let 'em stew with that for a while.
posted by at at 12:33 PM on September 12, 2012

Ruthless Bunny, I thought about suggesting one of those as well - however, if there's a significant family dynamic, a re-programmable door increases the chances of someone intentionally changing/disabling codes.

Looking at various sites online, it seems as though there is no putty/filler that can repair a commercial fire door and have it remain rated. A DIY repair might open the homeowners to increased liability in event of a fire or other insurance claim event. This talks about fire door glazing; another thing to verify for fire door repair/replacement is local code - does it have to be 30 min, 1 hour, 2 hour, 4 hour? I think in Florida we were supposed to sell minimum 2 hour doors.
posted by tilde at 12:36 PM on September 12, 2012

Talking to a former co-worker, she notes that at least in Florida, you can't buy a fire door that is not prehung in a jamb, full stop. It might be personal preference/bias though, because I only remember handling orders like that. But a prehung replacement door is a lot easier to handle, without needing to level it, drill hinge and hardware holes. She's also never repaired/had her installers repair a fire door with physical fire door damage as shown.

The material your door is made from is called Masonite (they also make hollow core doors of that material, and yes, that's the same material used in many clipboards!).

Again, a DIY repair might open your family to increased liability in event of a fire or other insurance claim event. And heck, even if it did "work" to prevent damage for the same amount of time as originally rated for, the insurance company likely can reject the claim based on uninspected repairs of something as vital and required as a fire door.
posted by tilde at 12:52 PM on September 12, 2012

So a little more searching about and the internet seems to agree that the current version of the IRC amends my 1 5/8" wood, or solid or honeycomb steel fire door, with a 20 minute fire rated door (I can't tell if the "self-closing" requirement made it into the 2012 code, it was out of the 2006 code, and seems to be overridden by many local changes) . 20 minutes is not a full-on fire door, so looking to the 1 and 2 hour doors and the details of them is massive overkill.

Which is how these various pressboard masonite doors get called into play. Basically, avoid skinned hollow core doors and wood panel doors (where the panels are thinner than 1 5/8" on the sides). Having seen the picture, I'm now solidly in the "patch it with plaster" camp, something like Durham's Rock Hard plaster putty will stick nicely and will have better fire resistant properties than the original door.

I strongly doubt that if there's ever a garage fire that spreads to the house that an insurance company would make an issue of a repair like that: there are going to be so many code violations in your average house, most of them put there by licensed contractors, that if insurance companies played hardball like that there'd be no point to buying policies. This is about giving people in the house a few extra minutes to escape in the event of a garage fire, and plaster putty will fulfill that role just fine.

(As a homeowner who thinks he actually knows one or two things about code but is probably wrong but who's run across enough inspected work done by licensed contractors that's clearly wrong that he's not above offering an opinion.)
posted by straw at 2:18 PM on September 12, 2012

I agree with straw completely. Your picture really looks like this is a combination of cosmetic fix and lockset replacement. And for god's sake don't ever let Home Depot install anything, anywhere, ever.
posted by werkzeuger at 5:36 PM on September 12, 2012

Excellent -- After reading every one of these posts during some down time, I've decided I will do the sanding, putty plaster, and lockset replacement. Yes, this is largely a cosmetic and lock fix. A thousand times cheaper than having the entire door replaced. With the suggested idea of patching it up, I could probably have it done this weekend. Fortunately I found a tool rental place nearby that charges $18/day for belt sander. All the photos and videos I've seen show doors that are detached from the wall completely, but that won't be an option in my case, so my new question is: Will I be able to safely sand the door without having to remove it?

Luckily the putty is also cheap, and I do have enough cash for a new lockset. Once my school obligations are out of the way by Friday noon, I'm starting this repair and hoping I can be finished by Saturday afternoon at the latest.

Thanks all! I will update.
posted by HiphopAnonymous at 5:54 PM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

HiphopAnonymous writes "All the photos and videos I've seen show doors that are detached from the wall completely, but that won't be an option in my case, so my new question is: Will I be able to safely sand the door without having to remove it?"

You can but I can't imagine why removing the door from the wall isn't an option. All you need to do is drive out the pins holding the two hinge halves together using a flat screwdriver and a hammer or a good size nail and a hammer. The belt sander will be much easier for an inexperienced person to use if you can lay it flat. And it'll be easier to paint.

However for such a small job you'll be better off with a palm sander and you don't risk gouging the door. You can probably buy a cheap one for near what it will cost to rent the belt sander if your rental place doesn't have palm sanders. But they probably will because they are common for dry walling.
posted by Mitheral at 8:15 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah...a belt sander is a good way to remove a lot of material, quickly.

Think palm (or orbital, or "random orbit") sander. Start with 80 grit, then 150 or so, end with 220.
posted by werkzeuger at 8:22 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, a belt sander will cause more problems than it solves. I say this as a guy who owns a stable of sanders, including an over $300 random orbital sander: Buy yourself a sanding block that will hold the sandpaper, and sheet or three of werkzeuger's recommended 80, 150 and 220 sandpapers and do the sanding by hand (and 220 may be overkill). In a pinch, buy a block of wood and some spray adhesive instead of the sanding block. Really, there won't be that much material to take off.

And what Mitheral said about removing the door. Set a nail under the bottom of the hinge pin, tap it gently with a hammer, pull the hinge pin out. Do the bottom one first, then the top one, and the door comes right off. If you can't pull the hinge pins out, just open the door and unscrew the hinges. If you didn't do this ten years ago to invade your brother's bedroom back when you were teens, you've got a much better relationship with your siblings than I had when I was young...
posted by straw at 7:46 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

By the way, I second Ruthless Bunny's suggestion to get a digital lockset. I've had one for 6 years, and it has avoided similar problems of key/no key.
posted by Ardea alba at 6:01 PM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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