Adding an exterior door question

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Forum topic by FredIV posted 11-20-2013 03:41 PM 1579 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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121 posts in 2355 days

11-20-2013 03:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi Gents. I’m looking to create a new exterior door to my workshop. Currently there is no door except for the rollup garage door. The garage is attached to my house. Adding a door presents a few obstacles that I would love some suggestions and thoughts on.
The framing of my garage sits on a footing or short foundation wall that is about 9” high and about 9” deep. I’ve attached a pic of the footing and the framing. This creates a problem of not having enough height for a standard 80” door because the wall plates will be in the way. One option would be to customize the door to fit that shorter opening and place the door on that footing, create a small step down into the shop. Not a huge deal because I still have the garage door to bring materials in and out of the shop.

The other option is to chop out that footing down to the level of the garage floor and install a standard pre-hung exterior door. I’m sure I would have to reinforce the chopped out section in order to set the door frame and carry the weight of the wall.
So, my question is; is it conceivable for me to obtain option #2 from a structural standpoint? Am I jeopardizing any structural obligations here? Or should I just shop for a custom sized door and go with option #1?

Here’s a pic of what I’m referring to. I would like to add the door between that one outlet on the right and the garage door.

9 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2003 days

#1 posted 11-20-2013 03:53 PM

If I understand the question right then it isn’t a problem at all. If you rent a giant diamond-saw you can cut out a 36” length of that footer wall to get your room. It will go a few months faster than chipping away with a hammer and cold-chisel.
Your framing for the door will take over any lost support because you’ll be tripling up 2×4 going up each side, and then the header going across. Google something like “frame exterior door in bearing wall” or check out a book from your library to get the correct configuration and you’ll instantly see how the load is carried. (It’s not carried by the door frame, that just sits in the pocket you’ll create.)

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View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2237 days

#2 posted 11-20-2013 04:13 PM

I see no problems following Joe’s lead, providing there is no water runoff in that area.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2402 days

#3 posted 11-20-2013 04:36 PM

Another plus to what Joe said.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View FredIV's profile


121 posts in 2355 days

#4 posted 11-21-2013 12:16 AM

Thanks so much. Would you recommend pouring another footing or foundation to sit the studs on when I build the rough opening?

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2778 days

#5 posted 11-21-2013 12:42 AM

You might have to patch the slab depending on how aggressive you are with demo, but other than that you should be okay. The structural load will be transferred to the floor via the header and studs. There shouldn’t be much of a load under the door threshold.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2003 days

#6 posted 11-21-2013 12:47 AM

If you measure the opening correctly and don’t cut it too wide, then the studs will come down and sit on the existing wall. Buy the pre-hung door, measure how big an opening you need, including shims, and cut just that amount out – no more.

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View FredIV's profile


121 posts in 2355 days

#7 posted 11-21-2013 12:57 AM

Awesome. This is what I was hoping for. Thanks so much for the great responses guys.

View firefighterontheside's profile


17941 posts in 1821 days

#8 posted 11-21-2013 01:02 AM

The typical rough opening for a 36” pure hung door is 38”. This usually gives you the right amount of space for shimming and insulating. Cut the concrete out 38” wide. Getting the bottom of your cut smooth may be a little difficult. If it’s too rough you may want to level it with some sort of concrete leveling product. Try to get it level with the garage floor. Your header should be a double 2 by 10 preferably, but you can make it whatever you need to to get the 80” door in there. The header will be 41” long. As Joe said look up some framing reference to figure out how the framing needs to be done. Shouldn’t be a problem. Enjoy.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View leeman's profile


21 posts in 1569 days

#9 posted 01-04-2014 05:42 AM

If you are not so familiar on any wood working, it is impossible for you to do such idea you want.. If that is the case, you better seek company that provides or sells exterior doors, because if not, the price of the new one perhaps is much lesser when you buy materials and create your own. A reliable site so far that I know id dealing with exterior and interior doors is , try this one, they are reliable when it comes to home furnishings maintenance including all types of doors.

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