Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Pro advice on door install on a block building.


Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-25-12, 12:50 PM   #1  
Pro advice on door install on a block building.

Ok...I've installed plenty of doors in wood framed buildings...but my wife "volunteered" me to help a friend who owns a gym in a 100 y/o block/stucco building.

She has a door on the 2nd floor that needs replacing (all of them actually...but this is the worst). Believe it or not...they are exterior doors with a particle board core and some sort of masonite veneer.

It's a 32x76 with an arch top above the door. Might have had glass in the arch sometime in the past...but that will be covered with plywood or Smartside when I'm done.

I'm planning to cut the arch frame at 82" (the bottom part of the arch frame is pretty vertical...so not a true arch) and put in a standard steel exterior door.

Not going to special order a wider frame...so will probably be building that out on the exterior. I'll probably have to make some sort of exterior threshold as well. Sometime in the past mortar was built up on the outside to help shed water.

There may be wood attached to the block on the interior under the plaster thats there now...I'm not really sure how the door is attached...no screws or nails that I could find underneath multiple paint layers.

I'd prefer to build a buck frame and mount the door to that...but it would make the opening too small.

I'm thinking Tapcons though the frame into the block...depending on what I find when I actually tear it out. I may be able to hit the interior framing if it exists.

So...any tips or hints? Questions?


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
Sponsored Links
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-25-12, 06:10 PM   #2  
Nobody? I only have 4 days before I'm in the lurch...lol.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

05-25-12, 06:21 PM   #3  
How thick are the blocks? 8"? You may can find metal casings that will wrap around the block. They will basically hold themselves in, once you force it all together. Are you going to use the old doors? I didn't quite understand if the doors were to be cut to fit or if the arch was going to be left.

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-25-12, 06:47 PM   #4  
Thanks Larry...no...this is pretty much a cheap as can be done with as best quality I can do. I think the blocks are 8"...the interior is covered with a piece of ply and the old door was leaning into the opening on the outside. I didn't have time or tools to pull off the interior stuff.

I secured the door in the opening with 8 deck screws after I cleaned out the pigeon nests.

Can't do any metal stuff...just what I can get locally from HD or True Value (her family owns that...but we can't get into special orders or anything).

Old door is junk...doing a pre-hung. Even though most houses out here are 2x6 frame with stucco..all they stock is standard jambs (4 7/16) with extension kits...I can do the extension with scrap I have or what I buy.

She has some interior doors that are just beautiful...I think mahogany...this was an old IOOF lodge building 40 yrs ago.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-25-12, 06:48 PM   #5  
Oh...don't know if the old one was a slab or not...pretty deteriorated.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
Wirepuller38's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,188
TN

05-26-12, 04:39 AM   #6  
Door Jambs Attached to Block

When we installed metal door jambs to block at a swimming pool bath house, we used Tap Cons to attach treated 2x6's to the block, and the metal jambs were installed over the 2x6's. The door openings were sized for the door installation when the blocks were laid.

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-26-12, 07:03 AM   #7  
Wish I had taken a picture...but didn't know I'd be the one doing the work when I looked it over.
Name:  Gym door.GIF
Views: 420
Size:  5.0 KB

It is sorta like this in looks...but the arch is not part of the door. It's a separate piece that looks like it was mulled to the door, though they could be all one piece. I didn't have anyway to get high enough to see for sure.

The opening is arched as well of course and that's one reason I'm just going to cut the vertical legs high enough to fit a standard door in. I don't know how I'd trim out the arched area if I pulled the whole assy out of the opening. The upper wood of the existing frame isn't too bad...it's the lower 1/2 that's in bad shape. Then I'll use plywood or something to cover whats left of the arch both inside and out.

I'm aware of the steel frames that clamp to the walls...but that's not really an option. She's on a pretty limited budget just paying for the building and running her gym.

Like I said...If I had my druthers...I'd build a buck frame and then install the door. But installing a "sub-frame" would make the opening too narrow. I'm right at 34" masonry opening now, best I can tell.

I guess it's just gonna be tapcons or something along that line.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

05-26-12, 05:14 PM   #8  
I think it is rock and hard place time. As much as I disdain the use of tapcons on finished wood, I don't see any way out of using them on a prehung frame. With 34" concrete-to-concrete, a 32" will fit with shiming on the latch side. Pre drill the holes in the frame, countersink them, continue drilling into the concrete with tapcon bit and use tapered head tapcon. Is that what you were figuring on? It will work. You'll have to putty over the head holes, and your exterior trim and interior trim may only be attached to the door frame unless there is backer, which I believe you said there was ply on the inside.

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-26-12, 05:43 PM   #9  
Thats exactly what I was thinking Larry. Looks aren't that important...function and weather sealing is. I wasn't even planning to putty the screws...just paint. I might be able to hide them behind the weather stripping to some extent. This isn't the primary entrance/exit..at least not yet. It leasds to an exterior steel staircase which is surprisingly good shape.

I don't think there's any wood except the existing frame. Since I'm leaving the upper half of the arch, and that wood seems pretty sound..I planned on just attaching plywood to it on the outside. Might use sheetrock on the inside. If the wood won't hole nails or screws I'll probably just sandwich it with ply inside and out.

They are in a demo mode for parts of the second floor...it's had many uses over the years. This room looks like it was used for a ballroom type thing. Has a raised platform at one end about big enough for a small band or DJ and a smaller platform at the other maybe for a singer or speaker of some sort. Raised platforms down each side just large enough for a row of tables for couples. 16ft arched ceilings. Probably very fancy at one time in the past. Had some art deco wall light fixtures that would probably sell for $50 each if they were legal for use.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

05-27-12, 06:08 AM   #10  
I love old buildings, maybe not the problems they cause, but it comes with the territory. Much of my earlier work was restoring older homes. Some with 6x16 solid sills, some with wooden peg construction. I've mentioned before, our C of C building in a former county was built in 1793. George Washington was President All the rafters, ceiling joists, etc were wooden pegged, lap jointed obviously by hand with barely a paper's width of slack in the joints. Just touching it made me feel good.

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-27-12, 09:08 AM   #11  
Just remembered something...

When I was working on her front doors that weren't closing..I had to replace a stripped screw in a hinge. Used a 3" deck screw and it bit into wood! Either that or darn soft mortar...lol.

Is it possible there is wood framing already in place behind the stucco ext and plaster int? Like I said...never messed with bock buildings before. Would it have been common for them to put a buck frame in then cover it up? Boy that would make my life easier.


Larry, I grew up (well...from 5-10 y/o) in a house built in 1870-1880 in OH. Stone/rubble foundation, think it may have been post and beam construction. The posts still had bark on them and if I remember were sitting on big shaped stones. I do remember that there were visible wooden pegs in the basement and the barn members were all mortice and tenon and pegged.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
marksr's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 42,787
TN

05-27-12, 09:15 AM   #12  
Vic is the stucco return angled or straight in? it could be that they covered the PT wood with stucco, I've painted houses in fla that were done that way.

Talking about old barns, my granddaddy bought an old farm during the depression. I don't know when it was built but I was playing/exploring in the barn one day when I was little and found a musketoon -- I thought I had a new toy until I showed my find to my grandparents - never saw that gun again


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-27-12, 09:26 AM   #13  
Mark...I just don't remember. Like I said...should have taken pics.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

05-27-12, 12:42 PM   #14  
I should think if you drove a few 3" screws where you want to put the door just to see if the stucco is underpinned with wood, you would be ahead of the game if that were the case. I would think it to be common for the door to be framed in wood and the stucco placed over it. The original door......was it nailed in?

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

05-27-12, 01:27 PM   #15  
Can't tell how it was attached...40 yrs of paint. Yeah I know...I'm not that helpful. I figured someone else would have the task.

Will know more Tuesday.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 11,810
MN

05-28-12, 01:17 PM   #16  
Tapcons on the hinges and the strike are a good method to set it in place. Some expanding foam will also help hold it in place.


Electrical AC/DC and lighting Moderator
Professional Electrician, Handyman, all around swell guy!
40,000 people die in auto accidents per year in the US. We should ban cars.

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

06-07-12, 06:47 PM   #17  
OK...door is in.....trim work still to be done...but it's secure and weathertight.

After ripping the old stuff out...I figured out what they had done.

Basically they had removed the sashes and sill from a window that had been there for 100yrs, but left the arched top and side jambs. Cut the block and concrete down to the height they wanted. Ramset some nails into the concrete (I was wrong about it being all block) to hold the framing inside the old window frame. Well..they shoulda used longer nails cause they were loose as a goose.

Day 1 was ripping all the old stuff out and busting up the old concrete under the door (they also mixed that too wet I think, it was just a powder in most areas). No power up there so all cordless tools and manpower. Only there for 3 hrs since I told them I'd need to tear it out before I knew what I'd need. Plus it gets darn hot by about 10 AM with no breeze and direct sun.

Day 2 was cleaning stuff up, raising the bottom of the window and placing the new concrete for the sill.

Day 3... Pl'd and Ramset a new 2x6 sill (threshold?) to set the door on. Finally time to put in new 2x6 framing...but I didn't have enough room to use them on both sides. Our local stores don't carry 5/4 and I needed to gain about 1/2" on one side so I used a 5/8"cedar fence board and 2 pieces of 1/4" plywood to get what I needed, screwed and PL'd together. Ramset that through the existing window jamb for a 34 1/4" opening.

Set the door and got everything plumb level and square...function is better than the doors in my house. Have a little light leakage at the bottom of the latch side, but I think its a weatherstrip issue..door is perfect with the latches and frame. Spray foamed the gaps.

Cut a piece of plexi to fill in the missing arch window, used square stop and hand nailed it. Man I wish I'd had electricity! That old un-rotted wood is HARD. I wasn't going to burn up my comp using a 100ft 14 gauge ext cord.

Anyway...it's in...just have to trim out the exterior. Not doing anything with the interior until they decide what kind of improvements they are going to make. Hopefully electric will be top of the list.

And I did this all for FREE?


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

06-08-12, 03:15 AM   #18  
And you ain't got a camera, right????

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,653
AZ

06-08-12, 05:17 AM   #19  
Well...of all my tools that are sitting in the building...that's one I didn't take....lol. I'll get some shots later. We still have the trim and some cleanup to do, but I'm taking today off.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
Search this Thread