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Remove and reinstall new entry door with 2 sidelights

Remove and reinstall new entry door with 2 sidelights


Old 06-05-13, 09:22 AM
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Question Remove and reinstall new entry door with 2 sidelights

Has anyone ever done or heard of this being done before?

I recently bought a door with 2 sidelights and paid to have it installed. I reviewed with the contractor what I wanted to done. He agreed and then didn't do any of it.

So you know the rough opening for the new door was 3/4" bigger then the existing opening, which I showed the contractor. I asked for the following, remove a jack stud on each side and replace with 5/4, he agreed. I asked him to add a header hanger for support, he agreed. I asked him to remove the entire sill, which I told him was partially water damaged, and replace with a single piece of material sufficient to raise the door sill .5"s, he agreed after I showed him the header was already 8" higher then the existing door opening and framed down with 2x to create the nailer for the door.

What he did: remove the jack studs and build up to 5/4. No Header Hanger. Replaced part of the sill and did a build up to give me the .5". These is almost no shimming, he said he just used the nailing flange. the only shimming he did was under the sill so about half of it isn't even glued to the sub-floor.

So I ask for any thoughts/advice on removing it to correct the structure and prevent the upper corner on the latch side from striking the jamb?
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Old 06-05-13, 05:54 PM
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No one here has seen a single picture to see why you did not just reframe this correctly instead of using 5/4, and adding a 1/2 under the sill.
Thresholds are not glued if that's what your implying. Silicone yes, but no glue.
If it's draging then it was not installed square and plumb. Often time just adding 3" screws in one of the hindges will take care of it.
Old 06-05-13, 06:41 PM
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3" screws will not usually help on a unit with sidelights. Doors with sidelights especially have to be installed level and plumb, and even then, I will usually opt to try and compensate for what is eventually going to happen... the door is going to sag a little.

So I will usually place extra shims under the sidelight and door on the hinge side which will raise the latch side of the door on top (I raise it until it's slightly out of level), and then I will usually rack the door slightly out of plumb, to accomplish the same thing (raising the latch side of the door slightly) because doors with sidelights ALWAYS sag and with the sidelights you can't really do much about it.

If your door is rubbing and you don't want to uninstall it, you probably have maybe 1/8" of wood that you can plane or belt sand off of the door itself. Unless your door isn't that type of slab. (steel skin with solid wood edge) If you have an 1/8" gap all along the hinge side you might also be able to mortise the top hinge maybe just 1/16" deeper which might help some.

You might be able to correct some of the sag in your door by shimming the jamb, the top of the entire unit likely needs to be forced toward the hinge side direction with shims... while the bottom of the unit likely needs to be forced away from the hinge side with shims. Not sure if any of this can happen without removing the fasteners in the nail fin, but you could try. Some of them have a little play.

The sidelight on the hinge side and the side of the door with the hinges likely needs to be raised slightly. My impression is that if they shimmed the bottom, the door is not really sitting on a solid foundation, which caused it to move under its own weight. It surely shut when the installer left, but quickly sagged under its own weight. I would almost guarantee the sill of the unit is not level and straight, but it's probably bowed down in the center.
Old 06-05-13, 07:12 PM
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Thanks for your advice XSleeper! I really do want to uninstall and reinstall.

I really want to fix the framing, or lack there of! I was just worried about damaging the door when I remove it. I plan to remove the protecto wrap the screws/nails in the flange and then releasing the SILICONE under the door with a putty knife. Any other advise on getting the door out and minimizing damage? Would you take the door off the hinges?

As for the framing...

I plan to rip out the 3/4 and 1/4 build up the contractor did, add a header hanger and then support under the hanger with 5/4. Everything I have read about a header hanger attached to the remaining jack and then supported by a true 5/4 leads me to believe the structure will be fine.

I also plan to remove the build up on the sill and replace the whole sill with new material. Any advice on getting it level.

Thanks in advance for any constructive advice.
Old 06-05-13, 07:56 PM
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The only reason to take the door off the hinges would be to make it lighter for you. If you do take it off, be sure to drive the hinge pins out, and leave all the screws in place. Every time you run the screws in and out, it weakens the threads and increases the likelihood they will strip in the future.

A thin putty knife should be the trick to cut the silicone behind the flange. Be cautious as you remove the unit and tip the top door out... maybe have someone hold the door as you tip it so that you can look under the door and cut any sealant... if they used any. You don't want to rip the threshold off the door... they are sometimes stuck down pretty well, so have a prybar and see if you can lift the door up out of the sealant along the subfloor. If you can, you should be good to pull it out.

Only advice I might have on the header hanger is to use a grinder and a sandpaper flap disk, and grind a little dip in the framing on both sides to accept the hanger. That way you won't have such a big swollen hump behind the drywall at the corners of the door. Those nails never get beat down perfectly flush, and that can really throw your casing out of whack. You might even need to notch the back of the drywall a little if it still seems like its creating a hump.

When you set the door back in place, note that the majority of the bottom of the door is hollow. Caulking under the door where it's hollow is pointless. So figure out where the outermost SOLID portion of the sill is, in relation to where it will sit on the subsill. Draw a pencil line across the subsill, and run a heavy bead of sealant along that line, and when you set the door in place, set it ON the sealant, don't drag it through the sealant or it will scrape it all off as you shove the door in.

For your subsill, I like to use PVC which will never rot. Box stores sell it, and it cuts just like wood. Comes in 2 thicknesses, 3/4" and 1". Before you lay that final piece of subsill (usually you want its width will equal your wall thickness... 4 9/16 or what have you, so rip it on a table saw) in place, shim the bottom of the rough opening 16" on center, and ensure the tops of all your shims are level all the way across the opening. That way when you set the subsill on there, (lay it in a heavy bead of sealant) it will be level too. Fasten it through the shims. If needed, cap the front of it with an apron, to hide the gap and the shims. I usually like to tape the bottom of the door (Protecto-wrap or similar) to help ensure nothing blows back under the door. The flashing wrap can go up into the hollow portion of the threshold to seal it. The apron mentioned earlier would then cover the protecto-wrap.

I won't even mention sill pans. They are really only needed in places where doors are subject to driving rain, especially where the cement outside the door might allow wind driven water to be blown back under the door. They have their place... just not in every installation, IMO.

I know a lot of newbies only have a 4ft level, and that it's hard to get something (that is longer than 4ft long) perfectly straight with a 4ft level. Like your subsill. So you might want to cut a nice straight 2x4 the same width as your rough opening and use it as a straightedge, and set your level on top of it. This way when you set the shims, you can be sure that the shims are all in line with one another, and level. A 78" level is invaluable for setting doors plumb... you can check all the hinges at once with it, and also use it as a straightedge to align your jambs and ensure they are perfectly perfect.

Shimming technique:

In case you didn't know, cedar shims are usually the preferred ones to use... (they cut easiest) and you place one shim one way (fat-narrow), and the other shim on top of it the opposite way (narrow-fat) to form one shim that is uniform in thickness. By sliding these two shims in or out, you get the varying thicknesses needed to level the subsill as you shim the sill 16" on center.

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