Window to Door

Old 05-31-07, 04:43 AM
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Window to Door

We want to remove an existing window and make it a door. The window is on the gable end of the house and currently the window looks out onto an exclosed porch. We want to open the window to a door and have access to the porch from the living room. I need any instruction on how to accomplish this.
Reno Mom

Assuming the window is wider than your door, this is no problem. You would first open up the interior by removing the drywall below the window, to find out if you have any electrical running through the wall that needs to be moved. Then you'd remove the window, and remove the window's subsill and any cripples below the window that are in the way. You'd frame in the rough opening with two 2x4's on each side below the existing header. Once you have the rough opening, you'd cut out the sheathing with a reciprocating saw.

If the window narrower than the door, the only thing you'd need to do different is add a header over the opening, which would either mean removing the existing header that is too short, or adding a new one where there currently is none.

Rough openings for doors are usually 2" larger than the slab of the door itself. 36x80 door = R.O. of 38x82 (roughly). Sometimes you need to raise the door up a bit higher because of the thickness of your floor coverings. You don't want the door to drag on carpet when it opens, for instance... or catch on a throw rug that you've laid in front of it to wipe your shoes on.

Last edited by twelvepole; 06-01-07 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Duplicate Post
Old 06-01-07, 07:51 PM
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Assuming that the width of both windows is wider than the door you plan to install, it should just be a matter of cutting out the 2x4 between the windows, installing a header, and supporting the header with jack studs that bear on the sill plate. Since it is a gable end, it probably is not bearing much weight, but you can always take precautions before removing the 2x4.

If the doorway will be wider than the windows, it will mean cutting out additional 2x4's next to the old windows, and making a longer header that connects to the next studs over.

The existing dividing 2x4 (and any other 2x4's above the window) will need to bear on top of the new header, so they will need to get cut off at precicely the right height, so removing all drywall above the windows all the way to the ceiling may be a good idea- it will enable you to see the framing structure before cutting the studs, and installing the header. It often works well to temporarily bolt a long 2x12 across the existing 2x4's (above the cut-line) to hold them together as you cut. It also helps to temporarily hold the dead load until the header is in place.

If you couldn't find your other thread where you asked this same question, it is right here:

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