Update Your Home with Budget-Friendly Interior Slab Doors

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We’re Updating Our Home with New Slab Doors

We are doing a lot of home improvement projects around the house. The hallway is getting an overhaul. Do you remember that we are hacking the bedroom hallway from the HGTV Dream Home 2015?

The messiest part of the job for the hallway is done. We removed the wallpaper and scraped off cracked and peeling paint on the ceiling. For the hallway, we needed seven new interior doors. Prehung doors are pricey at $60 to $75.00 each and we don’t need new door frames so we thought of another solution. Instead, we bought new 6-panel slab doors by Mastercraft at Menards. Slab doors are just that, a slab with no doorknob, hinges or latch. The cost for each slab door depending on size was $35 to $45 each. Since we are updating seven doors, it was a no-brainer to buy new door slabs and do it ourselves.

New Slab Doors

Update Your Home with Budget-Friendly Interior Slab DoorsHere is our first haul of new slab doors plus trim for around the doors we picked up a few months ago. Last weekend we bought the last door, trim, paint and other odds and ends. This is my dining room decor these days; doors, trim, ladders, tools, paint.

Update your home with new slab doors and door knobsDOOR KNOBS: We paid $86.82 for the bedroom door knobs plus $14.99 for two closet door knobs. The thing about being under construction is that you will notice my nice white tablecloth has hardware upon it and not things that are pretty.

Laid old door on top of new door to use as a template3We removed the knobs, hinges and latches from all the old doors. Then one-by-one laid each old door on top of the new door slab to use as a template.

Used a pencil to trace the openings 2For the door knob we traced the circle openings on the new door.

X marks the spot2X Marks the spot.

Use a pencil to mark where to make the new openingsFollow the same idea marking and measuring for the new hinges and latch hole where the door bolt is.

Mark the length of the doorThe door slabs were just a tad too long. Marked it with a pencil and

Scored line before cuttingscored the pencil line with a straight edge razor knife to help prevent splintering when cutting with the circular saw.

Masking tapeWe covered the line and the door with masking tape before cutting as an added measure to prevent even more splintering. This is just our OCD extra step to make sure the cut turns out perfect.

Clamp door to table to secure it for cuttingSecured the door on all four corners with clamps to keep it from moving around while measuring, drilling and cutting.

Cutting boardOur homemade circular saw guide was made of spare pieces of wood we keep around for DIY projects. We used it to guide the saw to make nice, straight, clean cuts.


How to cut down a doorWe cut about a 1/2 inch off the bottom of the door. If your door is too long, always cut off from the bottom of the door and never the top.

Step by step to cut down a doorTada, now it’s the perfect length.


We used the Irwin Installation Kit to cut out the lock set on our slab doorsThis is the Irwin Kit template for the lockset. After it is secured in place….

IRWIN DOOR KIT to Chisel hinge area in door slabsstart chiseling

Use Irwin Door Cut Out Kit to make new hinge area on new slab doorswith a wood chisel to carve out the new hinge area.

Door Slab lock set


There ya go. That’s all there is to it!Irwin Door KitRemember that circle we traced for the door knob above? The Irwin kit has a template to drill for the door knob (on the left) and latch hole (on the right).

Drill the door knob openingIt was pretty easy to drill the new door knob hole. Tim read that the correct way to do it is to drill one side and then turn it over and drill the other side. I do recommend drilling that way if the door is already hung. I just drilled straight through with no problem.


Use an Irwin Installation Kit to drill lock set holes Drilling the lock set with the template made me nervous so I only did one and let Tim handle the rest.

Tools needed to install new slab doors

Slab Doors Installation List

Tools needed:

Plus the Slab Doors and Door Knobs we purchased at Menards. I found a pine slab door you could order from Amazon and have delivered.

It took us about an hour top per door, from start to finish, with a little coffee break here and there in-between. So updating your home with new slab doors is not only a budget-friendly idea, it is also fairly easy.

Update Your Home With Budget-Friendly Interior Slab DoorsWe are very happy with the look of the new doors. Next on the to-do list is a trip to Lowe’s. They have the best white beadboard I have found for the bottom half of the walls and ceiling.

HGTV Dream Home hallway to the turquoise bedroomHere’s another look at the 2015 HGTV Dream Home hallway we are hacking to give you an idea of where we are going with our hallway.

Update Your Home With Budget-Friendly Interior Slab Doors

SimbaOn a personal note, this month we lost our long-time best buddy of 16 years, Simba. He had kidney failure and we miss him dearly. He set the tone for treat time for himself and our dog Anya. I have to make a conscious effort to give Anya treats now. Simba’s favorite place to be was the bathtub where his main goal was to manipulate you to turn on the water faucet so he could drink from the stream. His nickname was Simba-Do and Mister.


Some other projects we did on our house this year are the transom window entryway and

DIY Recessed Wainscoting wall from scratch

recessed wainscoting wall

Sue on Housekaboodle

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  1. Hi Sue. I love your projects. The Wainscoting is my favorite. Sorry for the loss of Simba. Thank you for sharing your wonderful page.

  2. Hi and I am happy to hear you’re going to update your old doors too. It is so refreshing to have the new doors so you will love it. You’re right that I did not go into detail on the trim and thank you for pointing it out as it did not cross my mind since the doors were so up front in my mind at the time. We are doing the ceiling now and I’ll be sure to include the trim for that if I can. Have the nicest rest of the weekend Batya.

  3. This is a wonderful project. I love how you described it. It made the whole task nice and simple. There is one little part missing though. At the beginning when you showed the doors you bought for the project you also show the trimming to put around the new doors. I was hoping you would show how you installed that trimming also. I Have the same kind of old doors and will update soon. Thank you so much for the step by step explanation. :0)

  4. It is soo nice to hear from you Bonnie and thank you for such a nice compliment too. We do miss Simba and our daughter thinks like you in that he will be with again one day too. I love your description “house adventurers.” Have a great rest of the day.

  5. How good, comforting actually, to see you in my email this morning! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen one of your posts. Your hallway is lovely and the tutorial on the doors is much appreciated. However, I’m sorry to read about Simba. It sounds as though he had a wonderful life in your home and it’s my belief that he’ll be with you again one day. Family is family; the number of legs is irrelevant.

    Hope to see more of your house adventures soon!

  6. Great article and thank your for your advices.
    I plan to change my kitchen door this winter, it will help me a lot.

  7. Thank you for such a sweet comment. We put up some more doors this weekend so I feel like we are making progress. I will for sure be posting when the hallway is completed.

  8. We lost our sweet cat about a year ago and it was so hard – so sorry for your loss. Your hallway is looking amazing. Love that you did the doors yourself! Can’t wait to see more – happy Sunday!

  9. It’s odd to not have a cat in the house, but it has been the hardest on our daughter. Hey, thanks for the great encouraging words, we drink that up like Kool-Aid.

  10. So far so good on the hack. We are thrilled with the progress so far on the hallway and hopefully the ceiling and lower walls will turn out and look as stunning as the Dream Home.

  11. Our daughter has been devastated the most about Simba’s passing so thank you for saying that about him. I love getting up in the morning and seeing new trim, doors and fresh paint and we are enjoying this project most especially.

  12. Thanks for the positive feedback Cyndi, it means a lot. We put up some more trim today and I’ll do a post on the hallway when it gets done. 3 more doors to do yet and one set of storage doors I need to find special knobs for.

  13. Hi Julie, I love getting feedback on our projects, so thank you, thank you. All this doing it ourselves is rewarding, but the projects take longer to accomplish.

  14. Simba is such a beauty, Sue. I’m so sorry to hear of your sad news. I’ll bet Anya is missing him, too. Your new doors look great! We added those same doors in our house, but decided we weren’t skilled enough to install them ourselves. Kudos to you!

  15. What a project and what a difference as you look down the hall – no? Sorry to learn about Simba – they leave such a hole in your heart when they go!

  16. Aww Sue I am so sorry for your loss of sweet Simba! Pets are not just pets they are family too. Your doors came out incredible!Love the look and that you saved so much with getting the slab doors. I just love seeing your DIY posts! They are very inspiring.

  17. I’m so sorry for your loss. Pets are such a great part of a family. The doors look fabulous and such a great cost saver to go with the slabs. This hack is turning out stunningly cant wait to see the final reveal.

  18. God bless Simba’s little soul. So sorry for your loss Sue. I love the doors! You guys made it look so easy too. Great job as with all the work in your home. Can’t wait to the hallways!

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