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Changing Single Door into a Double French Door?


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04-06-15, 09:45 AM   #1  
Changing Single Door into a Double French Door?

Our house had a open dining room when built 10 years ago. The previous owners closed in the dining room and converted it into a bedroom. We use it as an office and my wife wants to change out the single door into a double french door with glass to open it up and let some light through. There is enough room to expand the opening to fit the new 48 inch french door. The wall isn't load bearing since it was added after the fact, so I am hoping it shouldn't be too difficult.

Here is the opening when house when built ...
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Here is what is looks like now ...
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(the single door is on the right and I want to expand the opening to the left to fit the new french doors)

Here is the new doors we want ...
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Lowes ReliaBilt 10-Lite French Solid Core (No Skin) Pine Reversible Interior French Door (Common: 80-in x 48-in; Actual: 81.5-in x 49.75 Inches)
Item #: 10764 | Model #: 10764
$359.00

Any suggestions or advice for this job? I am going to keep one side of the door in the same spot and expand the other direction ... and cut out and try to frame the rough opening to accommodate the wider french door.

 
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04-06-15, 01:04 PM   #2  
Boy, I can see why you want to open that room up a bit. It's quite a shame they closed it in like that.

Do you know why they didn't do a straight wall? It's odd that they went to the trouble to have the wall from the front door extend 6-8" past and create a nook. I wonder if it was built for the china cabinet we can see in the first photo.

It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done. You may have some issue boxing in the new rough opening without tearing down some sheetrock on one side of the wall. But with that short wall section it's easy to repair and have a good stopping point for the repainting. Other than that might be some nail holes in the hardwood where they anchored the bottom plate. I hope they didn't do anything crazy like glue it down.

How close will the 48" door come to the niche in the wall?

 
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04-06-15, 01:26 PM   #3  
Not sure why they made the nook, we put our piano in there and it fits perfect. Must have had some furniture in there, they put a closet on the other side of the wall there. Should be about 4-6 inches to the corner.

 
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04-06-15, 02:52 PM   #4  
Here are some current pics of the wall on the inside and outside of the office. The wall measures 65' on the outside and 60' on the inside. The outside wall should center the french doors well in the opening, but the french doors on the inside of the room will almost be flush to the corner with the new door and trim.
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04-06-15, 04:59 PM   #5  
My eyes are old, but I don't see a clear 48" plus room for trim molding where your existing door is located. Remember the finished door will measure about 54" including trim, and you will need a little on the sides so the door will have room to move past 90 degrees.

 
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04-06-15, 05:35 PM   #6  
It will be a little tight on one side, but I have 60" in the office. I made my cut and this is what I found on the inside of the wall.
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Last edited by apsuhead; 04-06-15 at 07:19 PM.
 
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04-06-15, 06:49 PM   #7  
' = feet.

" = inches.

I see no problem if you have 60" inside the room.

 
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04-06-15, 07:31 PM   #8  
60" = I think I will be fine on the width. Lowes across town had the $359 french door I want on sale for $323 and I found a $50 off $250 purchase code = so I only paid $273 plus tax for the door. Looking forward to this project, I really think it will open up the room and add some light. It looks like I might be able to add another stud to the existing stud on the side for a perfect width for rough opening. I will just have to cut out the middle studs and then add the stud across for a header. The door comes with plastic covering the glass for easy painting so that should help.

 
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04-07-15, 04:45 AM   #9  
Not to throw a smelly boot in the soup, but make plans for your flooring if it was not native to the original. They could have built the wall over the original flooring, but the flooring could have been installed afterwards. Just so you are aware. Good deal on the door, BTW.

 
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04-07-15, 06:20 AM   #10  
The laminate floor is under the wall, they just went over top of it when they added the wall. I figured I could take some flooring out of the closet if that wasn't the case. I will just have to fill in the nail holes.

 
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04-07-15, 09:19 AM   #11  
You'll have to remove some more sheetrock is the only issue I see. You'll want to run a stud floor to ceiling to support the new edge of the door. And of course you'll have to be careful cutting the bottom plate so you don't scuff or damage the flooring.

 
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04-07-15, 12:57 PM   #12  
Hopefully they had their brain in gear when building the wall and only used adhesive on the bottom plate. There should be no nails through laminate. You may luck out and only have to remove some residue, so be careful taking out the bottom plate if you see no fasteners.

 
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04-07-15, 05:45 PM   #13  
You might like to plan on using 3/4" ball catches on the tops of the doors and dummy handles. That way you can just push the doors open and closed to latch if you never intend to lock the doors.

An astragal on one door would make it passive (the first door you would always need to shut before you could close the other one) which would be a pain in the neck, IMO. Ideally french doors that narrow would not have an astragal so that you could push either door open first and not have to close them in any particular order.

 
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04-07-15, 06:17 PM   #14  
I think these doors do come with the ball latches built in the frame. I read the specs

 
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04-07-15, 06:19 PM   #15  
Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
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04-07-15, 09:13 PM   #16  
Picked up my doors today. Everything looks good. I checked out the dummy handles at Lowes, I will just get those and some brushed nickel hinges to match my house, they came with brass. I cant find the instructions that came with the door, it says they are included but the only instructions are for interior slab door installation instructions -not prehung. I thought I could use one long screw through the middle of each hinge when installing. Any other suggestions? Thanks for all the input so far ...

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04-07-15, 09:34 PM   #17  
Are these instructions what I need to do? How to Install a Prehung Double Door

 
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04-08-15, 03:50 AM   #18  
An excellent video. His opening was made for his frame, so try to make yours that way too with enough play for shims.

 
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04-09-15, 07:06 PM   #19  
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Just cut out the opening. It really opens up the room from the inside and out! I will add a 4x2 and a new 1x4 to complete the frame on the cut out side. Then just sand, prime, and paint the new doors before I install. Can't wait to finish this project, I think it is going to look good

 
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04-09-15, 07:52 PM   #20  
Just a few nail/screw holes
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04-10-15, 03:47 PM   #21  
Couldn't ask for better.

Before you set the doors, check your floor for level. If, for example, the floor is 1/8" out of level, you will want to lay the door on it's side and neatly cut 1/8" off one of the door jambs with a skilsaw (the high side) so that when your jambs sit on the floor, the head of the door will be level. Checking the floor before you start will save you some headaches later.

 
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04-12-15, 09:59 PM   #22  
Almost finished, just need to trim it out ...
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04-13-15, 03:25 AM   #23  
Good Job! I know you have to be proud.

 
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04-13-15, 08:46 PM   #24  
Still working on the finishing touches, every project takes a lot longer than I expect. Especially if you want everything just right
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04-13-15, 08:52 PM   #25  
Before and after ...
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04-14-15, 05:46 AM   #26  
A very nice change for an office. Good job!

 
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04-16-15, 08:22 PM   #27  
All done, I think it turned out great! Thanks for all the advice, here are the before and after pics ...
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