Building Exterior Door Frame...

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Old 08-05-05, 12:17 PM
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Building Exterior Door Frame...

I'm going to build a frame for my new (old) exterior door slab. My jamb will be 6 1/8 inches wide to match my old construction walls.

The original door frame was built of 1 inch (actual thickness) material. Is it common/necessary to build exterior frames out of thicker material?

The thresholds I've seen at Home Depot & the like are all under 6 1/8 wide. Any suggestions on somewhere to purchase a wider threshold, or a way to make one?

I'm just looking for ideas at this point. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,

Brian
 
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Old 08-05-05, 04:07 PM
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When you say "threshold", I'm guessing you are referring to the sloped door sill. The threshold is the wood or aluminum piece that is installed directly below the slab of the door as a weatherstrip or simply to cover the transition between the door sill and your floor.

You can make your own sloped door sill out of 2x10 if you have a table saw. The type of wood you use is up to you. Standard framing lumber, PT wood, would work, but both are soft, and unless you round the top front edge, it will eventually wear down from foot traffic. An oak sill would be much harder, but would also cost you an arm and a leg.

Regarding the jamb sides, usually they are thick because the door stop was notched into the profile. This is a safety factor as well as a strength issue. Someone could easily kick in a door frame built out of dimensional lumber. You could make your jamb from 1x, but you would have to install a 1/2" or 5/8" stop inside the jamb. You also need to think about whether you're going to put a storm door on this opening, and figure for that. Storm doors need 32 or 36 wide 80 to 81 tall, and work best on face trim that is 1 1/8" thick.
 
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Old 08-05-05, 06:28 PM
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I am referring to the sloped sill. I now understand the difference between the sill and the threshold--thank you.

I've been doing more research since I first posted, and I've found a few companies that make sills and various types of jambs. There are a lot of nice options; however most are at standard sizes (4 9/16 or 6 9/16 wide).

I'll definitely go with a heavier (thicker) board stock for my jamb. I may make the sill out of wood; I had been leaning towards the aluminum extruded type, but again I'm stuck with standard sizes, plus I think it might look out of place on my 100-year-old home. This door is under a porch, so I'm not overly concerned about water.

Where would I find thicker board stock... can you order it at a home center such as Home Depot or Lowe's? I know they don't stock it (typically stock 3/4).

I'm building a transom into the frame above the door. It's going to be sweet, & can't wait to get started. Thanks for the reply,

Brian
 
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Old 08-05-05, 08:20 PM
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I really can't speak for Lowe's or HD, since I don't purchase lumber there... but what you want for your jamb and face trim is probably 5/4 (five quarter) lumber which in reality is about 1 1/8" thick. It closely matches the thickness of the trim on homes from that era. If it's going to be painted, it would be worth your while to prime and paint all sides (backprime) of every piece you install. It will make your paint job last a lot longer, and is something easily done by a DIY'er, but overlooked by many contractors.

Your project sounds cool. If you need anymore help, let me know.
 
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