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Modify rough opening or simply special order custom entry door?

Modify rough opening or simply special order custom entry door?

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  #1  
Old 04-29-15, 04:36 PM
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Question Modify rough opening or simply special order custom entry door?

Seems I have an entry door slightly on the small side for stock 36" units so finding a drop-in replacement is proving a bit daunting. Rough opening is 38"x81" with a jam of 6.5" due to the brick veneer. Seems the vast majority, if not all, non-custom doors (be it steel or fiberglass) have a 38"-38.5"x82-82.5" rough requirement.

My question is; Since the brick veneer is 39.3"(w), and only on the vertical as the upper is wood framing and frieze board at 81.5"(h), I wonder if "simply" enlarging the rough opening would be a worthy option as opposed to the expense of ordering a custom door? Would appreciate insight on weighing the options and whether or not the specs I've offered even make it viable.

Camera isn't available at the moment but I can probably add pictures tomorrow if required.
 
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Old 04-29-15, 05:10 PM
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Normal 3-0 x 6-8 entry doors will require a 38" x 81 1/2" rough opening. That opening is usually generous enough for a standard drop in door unit. "Custom" doors may be different, thus the term of them being "custom", and not drop in units. Custom doors can be ordered in any size desirable. Pictures definitely would help us give better information, so whenever you can, post them, please.
 
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Old 04-29-15, 05:43 PM
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Appreciate the reply chandler!

Have to admit I've not looked at any of the builders supply stores (i.e. The Roof Store, etc.) only the big box and find width of 38" is possible to eek-out but nearly all rough height start at 82".

I'll snap some pics tomorrow morning and post.
 
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Old 04-29-15, 05:51 PM
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Do you have hardwood or tile installed at your door opening? That could have taken up some of your height. Yeah, pictures.
 
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Old 04-29-15, 06:03 PM
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It has the original hardwood flooring from the date of construction (1964). The poured concrete steps/sill is finished to the same height as flooring. I'll pull the metal door sill up and snap a pic of that also. 99.99% sure the door has never been modified. Btw, actual door size is 78 5/8" x 35 3/4".
 
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Old 04-29-15, 06:08 PM
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I have found that a lot of older doors were framed 1 1/2" shorter than they are nowadays thanks to the old sloped wooden sills and thresholds. It does create some problems, more so in a brick house than others.

A new 36" standard door with 2" brickmould will measure 40" x 83 1/4" if you are on the outside of it, measuring the trim. So theoretically, a standard door would fit, you would just be trimming the brickmould a bit on each side (rip 3/8" off each side of the trim to get it to fit) and it may not look symmetrical unless the top brickmould is ripped the same way.

I don't know what doors Larry is mentioning, because all the ones I see all require RO of 82" or slightly more. This is usually easily accomplished either by removing a 2x4 from under the header or skillfully using a sawzall to gain the extra height. But the brick on top will be a problem if it is too low. So if you could give us a height of the brick opening to go with that 39 3/8" measurement that would be helpful. If you are saying it's wood on top, then just remove that wood and it will be made smaller after the door is installed.

Additionally, you could look at other types of doors (like Marvin, Pella or Anderson) which may fit your current rough opening a little better. For instance, I know that the Marvin aluminum brickmould is smaller than the standard 2" wooden brickmould, so it might be something to consider. I don't have their specs right in front of me this minute.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 12:38 AM
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Thanks for the reply XSleeper.

No brick above the door. There's only a 9" frieze board along with approximately a 3" horizontal filler between it and the header (enough to compensate for the veneer).

I'll post pics tomorrow, err, later this morning and elaborate a bit more on what I have to work with.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 03:08 AM
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because all the ones I see all require RO of 82"
He may could have squeaked in at 81 1/2". That is why my mind quickly switched to the floor issue, which would have killed my theory completely. I usually will remove the brick mold on a retrofit, place the door in the opening and trim the brick mold if necessary to maintain the reveal at the door.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 05:37 AM
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Got you on the floor issue, I guess I was thinking of most prehungs that you would buy in a box store... 80" slab + a 3/4" head jamb + a 1 1/4" adjustable threshold = a door that's 82".

Here's a link to one of Marvin's size sheets... it says to contact a Marvin rep for sizing on doors with applied casing (brickmould) but they have 2 sizes of exterior casing... 1 5/16 and 1 5/8, so you can do the math. http://www.marvin.com/download?Pub_ID=3087

They do have one model of door that is only 79 1/2" tall to fit those short 80" patio door openings. Anderson and Pella will have those too.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 09:13 AM
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Got a chance to take a few pictures.

Some things I've taken note of are:
1. The header by design looks to be something I could do relatively simple height adjustment. The header and exterior trim could be raised to gain the additional 1" - 1.5" of needed RO.
2. If I wanted to install a new storm/screen door matching the height of a new taller door it should be possible to notch the frieze board. Whether it would look acceptable is debatable.
3. The concrete sill in its entirety is sloped. I expect this will require fashioning a wedge base onto which the new sill would be installed.

Getting back to #1 above and something XSleeper hit upon. Not having seen the header construction I assume it's a double 2x4. Using an 82" RO door would mean pretty much removing half the header (one 2x4) or, keeping to best practices, actually raising the header. Consider this an area of caution? Guess I should cut a slot in the drywall and take a peek at actual construction.

I was also thinking like chandler in regards to the bickmould. My intention was to remove it at the outset and later rebuild (extend jam) by trimming the door with PVC before installing a storm door.


Really appreciate any of my misapprehensions set straight as most projects aren't time constrained while working through the unknown but having a hole in the front of the house is not one of them, also only want to buy one door. ;-)


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Old 04-30-15, 10:24 AM
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Good pics. Yes, if you want a storm door I would definitely get a standard sized door. Sometimes you luck out and they put a flat 2x4 underneath a larger 2x10 header (or similar) so just cutting out the flat 2x4 gives you the additional height needed. Larry is spot on with the adviuce to remove the brickmould, center the door, then reinstall brickmould last, trimmed to fit as needed. And yes, you'll need some kind of shim/wedge for the bottom. My choice for that would be a piece of PVC (Azek) planed to the right angle since PVC will never rot.

I'd suggest you order a door that will be the correct wall thickness for your wall. (wall thickness = the wall width from interior drywall to exterior sheathing) That way your sill nose will be wide enough for your storm door sweep and your strike plate and hinges will be flush with the interior wall. If you do make your own jamb extension be sure you can get an aluminum sill nose extension for your door's aluminum sill. Not all doors have the option to add one.
 
  #12  
Old 04-30-15, 11:20 AM
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Appreciate the reply XSleeper!

Just cut a slice out of the drywall and it's clear to see there's at minimum a 2x8 sandwiched header (could be 2x10's or more). This should be more than enough to allow for removing 1.5" or so for fitting a standard 82" door. Doing this will open up a whole range of stock door options.

Oh yeah, my plan was to go with a 6.5" jam. The extension/trim I am speaking of is replacement for the brickmoulding and that which the storm door would be attached. Speaking of storm door; Anyone have an opinion as to how it would look aesthetically if the required 1.5"-2" notch were to be cut out of the frieze board for swing clearance?

Use of PVC for the sill wedge is a great reminder. Not sure why that wasn't forefront in my thinking.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 01:26 PM
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Is the present door even utilizing brickmold? I can't tell. Looks as if the storm door is attached directly to the casing. If the frieze board is cut with precision, it may not detract from the overall looks, but do it as a last resort, planning on sanding and finishing all the edges properly. Multimaster time
 
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Old 04-30-15, 02:53 PM
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Hey chandler. Thanks for the reply!

Not brickmould per se, looks to be just some dimensional trim added for purpose of installing the screen door.

I'm really conflicted about whether or not to install a storm door. With a NW orientation it does get a lot of mid/late day sun and glass would have the door taking a heat-beating. Conversely I do like the idea of screening it for half the year and enjoying the breeze. If I do install I'd definitely want to choose one with the same dimensions as the entry door and, if I raise the head jam and go with the standard 82", that would require modifying the frieze board. I'm not really liking that idea but seeing as it is near the end of the run and at an intersection with "the other half" of the house it may not stand out (as you said, if performed with precision and finished properly).

Looking through Lowes and Home Depot these Steves & Sons Doors look to be just about the only stock doors to fit my application (38" x 82" x 6.5"). The local builders supply (The Roof Center) carries Therma-Tru Doors same as lowes and ProVia Door which I've not checked into yet.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 03:03 PM
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To be clear your wall thickness would probably be measured from the drywall to the back side of the existing storm door frame (which usually accurately represents the back of the trim and the outer surface of the sheathing). 6 1/2" seems too wide, but I'm not the guy holding the tape measure. LOL

A door that's got a little wider jamb won't usually hurt anything... it may even help to cover up some of the old caulking on the brick once you're done.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 03:28 PM
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XSleeper, now you ARE the one with the tape measure!

Somewhat between outer and inner surfaces of the screen door jam.

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Old 04-30-15, 03:34 PM
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OK, I gotta ask.....why is that sheetrock hanging in oblivion like that?
 
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Old 04-30-15, 03:43 PM
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Isn't that how it's done?

Actually that's the side of a picture frame hanging on the wall. Think of it as a brain teaser!
 
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Old 04-30-15, 08:05 PM
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Assuming that's the edge of the door jamb that your tape measure is hooked on, that's a 5 1/4" thick wall.

Larry... I think that what looks like sheetrock and a big shadowy gap is actually just a painted portion of the jamb... next to the angled copper fin weatherstrip that's nailed to the jamb every few inches. (at least that's what my bifocals see... lol)

The exterior casing (or brickmould) will add another 1" to 1 1/4" once you add it, but you do not order the door as a 6 1/2" wall thickness. It's 5 1/4".
 
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Old 05-01-15, 03:45 AM
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Aah, twisting the screen a little, I do see the run of tacks holding the metal strip in place. Wow, haven't used them in a few years
 
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Old 05-01-15, 07:58 AM
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Really want to thank you fellas for the valuable insight!

@chandler
Oops! I wasn't looking at your question from the view point in which XSleeper identified the answer. I feel such a goob but glad he was able to ID it properly and clarify.

@XSleeper
Based on your observation, as can be seen in the attached picture, I removed the screen door frame and it's clear it is a strip of wood trim (extension) added to the jam.

This now raises a question - I've not ever seen a 5.25" jam as an option, only 4 9/16", 6" (very rarely) and 6 9/16". Since I'm still trying to stay away from custom order should I be looking at 4 9/16" and simply add my own extension jams and sill? On the other hand, now that I'm thinking of omitting any storm/screen door what would be the negatives of using a 6 9/16" jam (brickmould removed and appropriate trim install)?

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Old 05-01-15, 09:56 AM
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If you can get a 4 9/16 jamb and 1" aluminum sill nose extension, I would do that. You may need the sill nose extension or you may not. Then add any jamb extension on the outside before you apply the exterior casing, which will need to be at least 1" thick if you (or anyone else) ever plan on putting a storm door on.

The drawback of a 6 9/16" jamb is that its just way too wide... once you add the exterior casing it would then be at least 7 9/16" which is bringing it really close to the face of the brick which is just odd. That brick already looks narrow the way it is, I wouldn't want to bring it out much farther. Also the wider the door the higher the nose is going to be off your concrete sill. That will create a tripping hazard. Other thing you could do to lower that concrete sill is to get a cup grinder (and a respirator) and grind off the upper raised portion of that sill. The more you grind off, the lower the door would sit, so you'd have less of a lip in front that way.
 
  #23  
Old 05-01-15, 11:12 AM
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Thanks XSleeper, great info there!

That all sounds very logical. Another big advantage in choosing a 4 9/16" jam is the much wider selection of models available.

I also was thinking about diamond grinding and lowering the concrete portion of the sill (already have 4 1/2" grinder and cups). Before doing that I'd have to see how thick the supplied sill is and whether or not it would lend itself to modification. Currently the wood flooring is at the same height as the concrete which would dictate I either trim the flooring to clear the unmodified sill or rabbet the sill if thick enough. Could probably go as low as 1" and still allow the door swing to clear the existing carpet. Heck, that would even be close to allowing for no modification of the upper jam. Another couple positives of leveling the concrete would be nixing the need for placing a wedge beneath the new sill and no mods of the frieze if I were to install an outer door.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 12:15 PM
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It may not eliminate the wedge but at least the wedge should be quite a bit smaller. The door sill will not be something you will want to modify much. Your door sill (adjustable threshold) will be about 1 1/8" thick on the interior side. So if you lower the cement sill by 1/2", (levelling it and taking off 1/2" of slope) the door should still clear a 1/2" thick rug when it swings open.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 12:48 PM
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Thanks ever so much for the fruitful replies XSleeper.

Based on the insight you and chandler have provided I expect this install should go fairly smooth. I'll source the pre-hung, install the jam extensions then pull the old door and make any required mods to the RO and sill. Should be doing this a couple weeks from now and will be sure to post an update with pics.
 
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