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new entry door


rhpboots's Avatar
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10-06-15, 02:40 PM   #1  
new entry door

We are moving our front door. The door we are replacing it with (in a different location) is about 70" wide. We will be using 2 jack studs on each side of the header, the header will be 2 2x12s. The house is a two story house built in 1890. We are a little intimidated by this project and could use some help. The internal ceiling is a false plaster ceiling and the actual ceiling is about 2 ft above that, so we're not sure how to build a temporary support wall, and if the temporary wall doesnt support the load well enough will the floors start to sag in the 20 minutes it takes us to install the header? Any help would be great

 
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10-06-15, 03:07 PM   #2  
This is a tough one. Have you opened up the walls yet to see what's inside?

Hopefully there's not a double or triple stud in your new door opening span.


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10-06-15, 04:54 PM   #3  
No way I would do it without temporary support. For one thing, on a house that old you could run into all kinds of things that will turn a 20 minute job into an hour or two. You don't want to rush through this because you are afraid the wall will sag.

You may have one of the old houses that was overbuilt. You may have one that is marginal. You don't want to find out in an exciting fashion.

What's the outside siding material? You can fasten a temporary ledger with lags through the siding into the studs above where the header will go and then support the temporary ledger with vertical and angled 2 bys. Then you only have to patch a few holes in the siding.

It also possible, but a pain, to install one 2x12 header piece at a time, using the other space to maintain support. This would be a last resort.

Pretty good chance your studs will be real 2x4s, not the modern size. So be prepared to deal with the difference in dimensions.

 
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10-06-15, 06:08 PM   #4  
Yes, we have tore into the wall (as well as many others in the house) and at first thought that a few of the studs were double studed, but then realized it was a frame for a window or door that was there originally. So, they are all single, true 2x4s, set on 14" spacing. The house was definitely overbuilt for its time and was gutted in the 80s and was completely redone with plaster over drywall (not sure what that kind is called). The house was originally covered in tongue and groove wood siding and then vinyl was added over that, the area outside of where that door should go is a porch, with a roof about 4 ft higher than the door will be. Is it possible to open the wall up wider than we need it to be and add extra support on the outside area of the studs we will be cutting out, or will that make a difference?

 
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10-06-15, 08:00 PM   #5  
Which way do the 2nd story floor joists run with respect to the wall you want to open up? Parallel or perpendicular? What's the roof like and how is it oriented with respect to this wall?

Adding support next to the hole won't help much. You probably have balloon framing which means there's no plate between floors to spread loads. But if second story joists are parallel to this wall, then the end joist will be tied to all the studs and spread the load. Even so, 70" is a big hole; you'll be cutting 5 studs give or take.

IIWM, I'd unzip a row or two of the vinyl siding, lag on a temporary ledger, brace it to the porch, and get on with it.

 
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10-07-15, 08:04 AM   #6  
Thank you for responding, I dont think i was prepared for the questions that i would be asked. We have opened up walls and can see in between the floors to the area where we are putting a door. but, its been about a year and back then i was exactly sure what i was looking at (from inside the stair well you can see that the entire lower level rooms were re framed, ceilings lowered and insulated and re plastered) When i get home this evening i will check this out so that i can answer your questions. I dont believe the house was built with balloon framing, if it were it would have diagonal supports, correct? However, I will also check that tonight and see if i can feel the top plate in the wall for the second story. I mentioned before, there is a porch on the wall that the door will be going into and it has a roof on it. This was not original to the house, and is not a "heavy" roof. So, where the door will go has a porch roof and then noting until you get to the actual house roof. I have noticed that our house seems a bit taller than other 2 story houses around, not sure why. there is an attic above the second floor (second floor walls are not slanted) I believe the roof would be considered Hip construction because all 4 sides are slopped where the house is 2 stories (the back of the house is 1 story and has a flat slopped roof on it

 
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10-07-15, 05:52 PM   #7  
Ok, I just checked out the floor situation. Its kind of confusing, but if all of the studs/joists are the same for the entire floor than they run parallel with the wall that the door will go in

 
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10-07-15, 06:59 PM   #8  
OK, so it's not the worse case situation where the wall is carrying the full load of the second floor. It is carrying the load of the wall itself, part of the floor load and part of the roof load.

One more question, where will the opening fall, left to right? In the center of the wall, near the end, somewhere in between?

Regardless, I still wouldn't do this without bracing. If you decide to do it anyway, here's some advice: Have bracing handy, and if the saw blade pinches while you're cutting a stud, use it quick.

 
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10-08-15, 07:22 AM   #9  
The door will start about 6 ft from the front of the house, the portion of the house that is 2 stories is about 25 ft long. We have decided it would probably be best to open up a larger hole on the outside of the house and brace from the studs to make a temporary support, this seams to be the easiest/most sufficient way of support the load because of the drop ceiling on the inside

 
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10-08-15, 09:40 AM   #10  
I think that's wise. Removing a little siding above the header will also allow you to properly flash the opening, although since it's under a porch it may not be that critical. Good luck and let us know how it works out!

 
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10-08-15, 12:38 PM   #11  
Thank you, will do.. and if I can figure it out I will also post pictures

 
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10-12-15, 06:09 AM   #12  
Update: new door is in!! the trim isn't finished but everything is in place and sealed. from start to finish it took us about 8 hours this past Saturday. We weren't sure how we were going to brace the wall and decided to cut into and see how it went. We had to cut out 5 studs for the with of the new door. We cut the first one and the saw blade never pinched, nothing shifted or moved so we cut the second, no issue, and then cut the rest. There were no problems, no sagging no cracked plaster. It didn't move at all. we installed 2 king studs on the outside followed by 2 jack studs on each side of the header (2- 2x12's with plywood spacer). and used the existing studs that were cut as the cripple studs above the header. It couldn't have gone better. Thank you for all of your help

 
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