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Forum topic by boston_guy posted 06-02-2015 04:08 AM 779 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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boston_guy

144 posts in 1612 days


06-02-2015 04:08 AM

I bought a prehung exterior door to replace a very old one (the condo building I live was built in the 1920s). It was a custom order. The measurements were taken by a carpenter friend.

As always, I planned on getting 3 quotes for the job. Last week I got my first one. The interesting thing about getting quotes for a job is what each person says about the work.

This first carpenter said that my door jamb is 5 1/2” wide while the jamb of the door that I ordered is 4 1/2”. He said something about that he can work around this by adding a piece of wood.

He also said something like the casings are most likely buried in the wall.

Then he said something which I wish I had been careful to note down exactly as he said it. It was something like he will use 2” by 6” boards because you are no longer allowed to use 2” by 4” boards.

The door leads from my kitchen to a rooftop deck. He said the kitchen wall, next to the door, will have to be torn up quite a bit.

Anyway, he said the job would take the whole day and two people would be required. In other words, it’s not an easy job.

I always like to be realistic and hire someone who can actually do the job, and pay him fairly.

Since I’ve never had an exterior door installed, I’m just trying to make sure I know at least something of what I’m getting into.

Does the carpenter’s jamb, 2 by 6 boards, and casings comments sound correct?

I’d appreciate any feedback I can get. Thanks!


11 replies so far

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2548 days


#1 posted 06-02-2015 04:41 PM

Not being able to actually see the wall and door area and not knowing your codes, the best bet might
be to ask your carpenter friend.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 904 days


#2 posted 06-02-2015 04:58 PM

In my career as a carpenter I’ve installed hundreds of doors. My first reaction to your post is this:

If you don’t know how to install a door, why are you buying one without consulting an installer first? As an installer, I would want to be able to order the door to the appropriate specs (including jamb width).

But that’s water under the bridge. In answer to your question, it certainly COULD be a difficult job, taking two workers a day or more, but we don’t have enough info yet to really help.

Sounds like you need to re-frame the opening? Why? Is the new door wider or taller than the existing? Is there a challenging weatherproofing situation? What is the exterior wall finish (If the casing is “buried”—is it stone or brick or stucco or…?) Does the door swing in or out? What is the locking hardware (mortise lock, cylinder lock, ?)?

Is it possible to return this door and buy one the right size (including jamb width)?

Can you post some pic.s?

View boston_guy's profile

boston_guy

144 posts in 1612 days


#3 posted 06-02-2015 05:24 PM

He’s not available at the moment.


Not being able to actually see the wall and door area and not knowing your codes, the best bet might
be to ask your carpenter friend.

- Bluepine38


View boston_guy's profile

boston_guy

144 posts in 1612 days


#4 posted 06-02-2015 05:45 PM

The carpenter friend was going to be the installer but can’t. He’s not available. So I’m stuck with a door that was ordered for me by one installer but is going to be installed by another person. That’s part of my dilemma.

The new door, like the old one, will swing inward (the door knob is on the right, if viewed from the outside. It’s not clear in the photo). The storm door, which is coming out and will not be replaced, swings outward.

I’ve included some photos. Two are of my present door and one is the door that I ordered.

 photo IMG_3101_zpsf0pe4agi.jpg

 photo IMG_3233_zps7oneudmj.jpg

 photo IMG_3046_zps005fdf18.jpg


In my career as a carpenter I ve installed hundreds of doors. My first reaction to your post is this:

If you don t know how to install a door, why are you buying one without consulting an installer first? As an installer, I would want to be able to order the door to the appropriate specs (including jamb width).

But that s water under the bridge. In answer to your question, it certainly COULD be a difficult job, taking two workers a day or more, but we don t have enough info yet to really help.

Sounds like you need to re-frame the opening? Why? Is the new door wider or taller than the existing? Is there a challenging weatherproofing situation? What is the exterior wall finish (If the casing is “buried”—is it stone or brick or stucco or…?) Does the door swing in or out? What is the locking hardware (mortise lock, cylinder lock, ?)?

Is it possible to return this door and buy one the right size (including jamb width)?

Can you post some pic.s?

- jerryminer


View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 904 days


#5 posted 06-02-2015 06:15 PM

The pic.s help a lot. You do, indeed, have a challenging project. Weatherproofing will be critical.

I understand now about the “buried” casing. Apparently the original siding was over-laid with vinyl siding, and in the process, the door casing was buried beneath the vinyl. To do the job right, there WILL be some tear-out and re-working of the opening.

You should be very careful about hiring the right crew for this project. Get references. Don’t use the low bidder. You need someone who will take great pains to keep the assembly weather-tight. You obviously have ice accumulation issues. A storm door would be a good idea, even if it is awkward to use.

The job would have been easier/better with the correct jamb width, as the swing of the door will be restricted by the wall thickness. (Or, if the door is set to the inside wall surface, the weatherproofing will be harder to accomplish). Too late to get a different door?

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 685 days


#6 posted 06-02-2015 06:33 PM

1. Under the current and last 5 code versions an egress door, (new install, primary and 2ndary) must be of a minimum height and width. A work around is the grandfather clause, where an exact footprint of the original entry that has existed for more than (X) number of yrs. ((X) may vary state to state and or town to town).

If an entry is allowed by the building dept and it is narrower and or shorter than the current code and offered models it must be custom made. In the case of this project if the existing is shorter than current models and code a current model can’t be installed, not enough room.

2. If required extension jambs can/should be applied to the interior side.

3. Likely the 1st bidder called for 5 1/4” jambs because of all the crap added to the exterior of the structure, (vinyl siding, possibly insul behind, likely original siding still in place, 1920, likely 1X barn siding as sheathing, real 2X4 instead of dimensioned lumber, maybe plaster & lath walls.

4. Lots of work to strip the exterior then replace without damage if possible let alone the int.

5. Lastly the horror show and expense of a proper install of water proofing the sill area, its a water/ice trap.

Whatever it is, I think the bidder likely may have proposed an unrealistically conservative estimate on the time and expense expected to complete the R&R. The older the building the bigger the problems, rot, lousy carpentry, too many hands touching it over 95 yrs, settling, wracking. Might be cracking red paint showing the older white coat, could also be caulking, either case it looks like the door has flexed a lot.

As disparaging as this post appears, no one can know what hides behind all that material till it’s been removed.

-- I meant to do that!

View boston_guy's profile

boston_guy

144 posts in 1612 days


#7 posted 06-02-2015 06:40 PM

Believe me, I’m trying to be very careful who I hire.

I just had a second carpenter come to give me an estimate today.

In terms of the casing, I appreciate your feedback. However, so far both carpenters have been concerned about the casings being buried from the inside of my condo, not the outside where the vinyl siding is.

My major concern is causing a leak from the door’s threshold. We just had a nasty winter in Boston. I had a leak to my downstairs neighbor one night. The leak only happened once. It was after a nasty snow storm, then we had a warm night and the ice in front of the door and the gutter above the door began to melt. Water then built up in front of the door threshold and went over it. It was then that the water entered my neighbor’s ceiling below me. But we caught it early. He only got an inch of water in a bucket.

Finally, someone suggested to me, a while ago, that I look into getting a door pan to go under the threshold. Would this be of any help?


The pic.s help a lot. You do, indeed, have a challenging project. Weatherproofing will be critical.

I understand now about the “buried” casing. Apparently the original siding was over-laid with vinyl siding, and in the process, the door casing was buried beneath the vinyl. To do the job right, there WILL be some tear-out and re-working of the opening.

You should be very careful about hiring the right crew for this project. Get references. Don t use the low bidder. You need someone who will take great pains to keep the assembly weather-tight. You obviously have ice accumulation issues. A storm door would be a good idea, even if it is awkward to use.

The job would have been easier/better with the correct jamb width, as the swing of the door will be restricted by the wall thickness. (Or, if the door is set to the inside wall surface, the weatherproofing will be harder to accomplish). Too late to get a different door?

- jerryminer


View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 904 days


#8 posted 06-02-2015 06:56 PM

No pic.s of the interior, so hard to judge, but I expect that the interior trim will be the least of the many issues with this door.

Yes to the pan. Practically a necessity. Talk to your installer.

Can you put some kind of a heated mat to melt the ice outside? I live in sunny Calif. so I have no experience with ice damming, except in theory, but I see you have an issue. New door will not solve it.

View boston_guy's profile

boston_guy

144 posts in 1612 days


#9 posted 06-02-2015 07:18 PM

Ghidrah,

My Rough Opening is:

34 1/2” by 73”

My door size is:

32” by 70”

The condo building was built in the 1920s. If I understand you correctly, is it okay to keep my current door size?

Below are 2 photos of the door taken from the inside of my condo. They show the walls that are next to the door.

 photo IMG_3250_zpsznzj4ohn.jpg

 photo IMG_3248_zps8maofsk7.jpg


1. Under the current and last 5 code versions an egress door, (new install, primary and 2ndary) must be of a minimum height and width. A work around is the grandfather clause, where an exact footprint of the original entry that has existed for more than (X) number of yrs. ((X) may vary state to state and or town to town).

If an entry is allowed by the building dept and it is narrower and or shorter than the current code and offered models it must be custom made. In the case of this project if the existing is shorter than current models and code a current model can t be installed, not enough room.

2. If required extension jambs can/should be applied to the interior side.

3. Likely the 1st bidder called for 5 1/4” jambs because of all the crap added to the exterior of the structure, (vinyl siding, possibly insul behind, likely original siding still in place, 1920, likely 1X barn siding as sheathing, real 2X4 instead of dimensioned lumber, maybe plaster & lath walls.

4. Lots of work to strip the exterior then replace without damage if possible let alone the int.

5. Lastly the horror show and expense of a proper install of water proofing the sill area, its a water/ice trap.

Whatever it is, I think the bidder likely may have proposed an unrealistically conservative estimate on the time and expense expected to complete the R&R. The older the building the bigger the problems, rot, lousy carpentry, too many hands touching it over 95 yrs, settling, wracking. Might be cracking red paint showing the older white coat, could also be caulking, either case it looks like the door has flexed a lot.

As disparaging as this post appears, no one can know what hides behind all that material till it s been removed.

- Ghidrah


View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 685 days


#10 posted 06-02-2015 07:41 PM

That’s why one of them wants to add 2X6; they need to pad the R/O in for the narrower door.

It doesn’t matter whether the casing is buried in the walls or not, all they need to do is create a kerf cut along the 2 walls with a multi purpose tool and a couple new wood cutting blades. When the new door is placed the new casing will be wider and butt up to the cut off.

I can’t make out whether the existing casing is 3/4” or 5/4; ensure it matches the existing to cover the remaining trim buried in the wall. At worse, save a paint chip if it’s chunked from the wall and take it to your local Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore for a color match.

-- I meant to do that!

View boston_guy's profile

boston_guy

144 posts in 1612 days


#11 posted 07-14-2015 02:57 PM

I eventually found a very skilled carpenter who also does siding and roofing.

He finished installing my new deck door last Friday. He advised me to keep my old storm door for it would protect the deck door from the elements. Also, since my door is not standard size, if I wanted a new storm door, it, like the deck door, would be custom ordered (meaning more money). He took my storm door to a store and got new screens and glass for it. So I can use the screens in the summer and the glass in the winter. He also got new hardware for it (knob and closer). I think I will be painting my screen door white.

Anyway, I now need advice on how I should seal the narrow gaps between the drywall and inside door trim (this was not part of the carpenter’s contract). I figured I could do it myself. Before the carpenter put in the door, he put in quite a bit of door insulation from a tube. He also put in a lot of flashing under the new door threshold.

I was planning on using joint compound between the door trim and drywall. But before I do this, should I stuff the gaps with regular insulation, the type you get at Home Depot or Lowes that comes in a roll? Or should I use something else? Or is this not the way to go?

I’ll really appreciate any feedback.

Below are some photos to give you an idea of what I’m trying to do.

 photo IMG_3362_zpsydoiscjx.jpg

 photo Drywallgap1_zps91kzudz6.jpg

 photo Drywallgap2_zpszlrospvs.jpg

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