Old Entry Door Sill Questions...

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Old 04-14-09, 04:11 PM
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Old Entry Door Sill Questions...

I have an old Cape Cod and I want to replace the entry door. The sill appears to be just a 2x6 that's painted. The "threshold" for the old door looks just like weather stripping that's nailed to the 2x6 sill. My question is: if I install a prehung door that has metal threshold already attached, do I just put it on top of the 2x6 sill? Or do I remove the sill and replace it with something else? I'm thinking put it right on top, but the metal threshold would not extend to cover the entire 2x6 sill...so there would be a step up to the threshold. Am I making sense? Any help is most appreciated.
 
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Old 04-14-09, 04:42 PM
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If your current door sill is flat, then yes, you could set the new door on top of it, provided the height would be acceptable if you do that. But most old door sills are sloped, and the side jambs of the door are usually nailed to the sides of the sill. When you remove the old door, the old sill usually comes out with the jambs, revealing the floor joists below. This usually has to be built back up flat to an appropriate level, so that the new door will clear the floor (and rug) as it swings into the home. A piece of nose trim is usually installed over the front of your new subsill... something thicker than the exterior trim... so yes, you'll have a sort of "step" there.

You will probably want your new door to sit about 1/4" below your finished floor, if that is possible. This will give you about 1" of space between the finished floor and the door as it swings open into the home.

If you'd like more of the sill to be covered with your aluminum threshold, you can often get a sill extension that snaps into the front of your sill, and makes it a little longer. These extensions come in various widths, depending on the need. But they are often a special order part. And they do not work with all doors. Some sills don't have the "notch" in the front of them that is needed to snap on a sill extension.
 
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Old 04-14-09, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for the quick response! This is most definately a 2x6 board and it doesn't appear as if the side jambs are nailed to it. It does appear to be slightly sloped. It is, however, already level with the interior floor... so installing a prehung right on top would bring the clearance up to... well, however tall the metal threshold is. I guess this is acceptable. The threshold will be considerably more narrow than the sill, since the sill extends from the beginning of interior flooring out past the brick exterior (to provide a "lip") Wish I could show you.

The other strange thing is that the door itself is 30" x 80" but I guess carpenters didn't leave the standard 2" so you could shim. The fit is extremely snug against the studs and top. Hopefully it fits.

I welcome any other tips you may have. Thanks again Sleeper.
 
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Old 04-14-09, 05:52 PM
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The threshold of your new prehung door will probably be about 1 1/4" tall. That's about how high the door will be off the finished floor. If you think sitting the new door on top of your 2x6 sill will make too much of a "step" to go over, and you'd like the door to be a little lower, you could always remove that 2x6 and replace it with something that isn't made of wood... 5/4 x 6 composite decking... or PVC 1 x 6. Either of these would be maintenance free and would lower the door a little.

Replacing the 2x6 would also give you the opportunity to install something that is perfectly level. If part of the new subsill will show beyond the door's aluminum threshold, you could plan ahead for that and put a bevel on it by running it through a table saw on a 10 degree angle. It's always nice if the nose of the subsill has slope, even if the rest of it is level.

So i guess I'd be inclined to recommend you plan on replacing the existing 2x6.
 
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Old 04-16-09, 06:14 AM
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Sleeper... I actually found a post from a long time ago where you answered this exact question for me... so thanks twice! I was hoping to bug you one last time. I think I'm ready to tackle the door. In your previous post you mentioned installing an apron under the sill. I'm assuming that's installed perpendicular to the sill as a sort of support?? Lastly, you also mentioned that I should install the sill about 1/2" below the level of the finished flooring. This will be an outswing door, so I assume this is less critical? The only reason I ask is the rough opening height is just shy of 81". I'll need to lower the sill in order to install a standard door. Good thing is, the finished flooring is actually higher than it will be in the near future... I'll be replacing the flooring and removing the old subfloor that was sorta stacked on top of the original to create the difference in height. Make sense?

You're a great help. Thanks again.
 

Last edited by sinTAKS; 04-16-09 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 04-16-09, 05:04 PM
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Huh... well you could have fooled me! I wonder if I said the same thing both times. LOL

Yes, the apron is the horizontal piece that is directly under the sill (perpendicular yes) that supports the front edge of the sill.

Outswing door, yes it can be installed lower than an inswinging door might be installed... often you want the interior threshold to line up closely with the finish floor so that there isn't a needless step (edge) there. So if you know how much you will be lowering the floor, that will be a big help as you figure how low to install the door.
 
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