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Can I get this door to fit our rough opening?

Can I get this door to fit our rough opening?

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  #1  
Old 11-11-17, 08:12 PM
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Can I get this door to fit our rough opening?

We are finishing our basement and want to replace the door that goes from the basement to the garage. We know we need a fire door. Also in case it's relevant: The door enters the garage at the bottom of a stairwell inside the garage.

Our problem is the standard door we bought doesn't seem to fit our opening. I seek advice on whether we can make it work, need to special order the right size door, need to hire a pro to worry with it (we'd like to save the money and hubby is handy, particularly with wood working), or something else.

Please see pictures of our situation here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wlialxzi8...T4zpbVU5a?dl=0

The current door was rigged up with 2" x 10"s as the frame on the sides. On the top is a 2 " x 4" that butts up to our sill plate (the sill plate's bottom is level with the 2" x 4"s bottom). The sill plate and 2" x 4" together act as the top of the door's frame.

The problem is, the door we bought needs a rough opening of 82 and 1/2" - we have 79 and 3/4" between the concrete on which the door would sit and the sill plate that is directly above the existing door. Any ideas for how to make this work?

If not, I presume we could special order a door that's shorter than this (right?), but it seems that would take about a month to get. By then we'll have drywall up - is that a problem, particularly given the location of the framing around the door inside the basement?

If we can make the height work, we'd also love guidance on the sides. For this door we need a rough opening width of 34 and 1/2". Our opening, from concrete to concrete is 35". Can we mount the door frame directly to the concrete on the sides, or do we also need a narrower door?

Thanks so much for your time and expertise!
Rebecca
 
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  #2  
Old 11-11-17, 08:29 PM
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In picture #1, what is the height from the concrete floor to the bottom of your white painted ceiling joists? (Basement side)
 
  #3  
Old 11-11-17, 08:44 PM
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XSleeper, you're so good to me today! Thanks for all the tips earlier on insulating my crawl space.

I updated picture #1 with some illustrations to help answer your question: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wlialxzi8...T4zpbVU5a?dl=0

The distance between the BASEMENT FLOOR and the joists is 85". That said, there's a slight step up from the basement floor into the garage, right where the current door is. That step is made of poured concrete. The step is also not level, in case that matters. It's 2 and 3/4" off the basement floor on the left side (the red line in the picture) and 2" off the floor on the right side (the yellow line in the picture).
 
  #4  
Old 11-11-17, 09:06 PM
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Glad to help, Rebecca.

Assuming you will keep the door hinged the same way, so that it opens RH inswing into the basement, the concrete on bottom should get cut, jackhammered out as needed, then leveled with the basement floor so that the door sits at the basement floor level. (Is the basement floor level?) This means demoing part of the garage floor as well, creating a slope down to the new door sill. You would likely need to remove a 3' x 3' area from the garage floor... that new concrete slope will have a curb on either side that transitions up to the original garage floor, and your slope down into the basement will be no greater than 1:12 if you bring it out 3'. (1:12 = 1" of drop for each 12" in length)

As far as the exterior (garage side) is concerned, its hard to tell if the piece that you have labeled "sill plate" can be cut out of the rough opening or not. We can't see what load it is carrying, if any... but I would be inclined to say that it could probably be cut out as it is only load bearing once it sits on the cement on either side of the opening. The joist above it carries the load across the opening.

As for the side width, yes, you want to get rid of the old jambs. And if the cement on each side is plumb, you "could" get by with gluing 3/8" plywood to each side... to create a 34 1/4" wide rough opening. The new door is 33 1/2" wide, so that leaves 3/8" per side for shims and foam insulation. You would likely want to secure the door with a few tapcon anchors through the jambs and shims.
 
  #5  
Old 11-12-17, 05:56 AM
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It sounds like you're suggesting demoing the garage floor AND cutting the sill plate. Is that right? Are you suggesting changing the garage floor for the sake of clearance, or because of the trip hazard (which we've been living with for more than 5 years with no problems - we don't really use this door much, as it's not how we enter the home unless it's pouring rain outside, which has happened maybe 3 times in 5 years).

We were thinking either jackhammer the concrete garage floor OR cut out the sill plate. And, we are hoping not to mess with the concrete floor. As soon as you walk through the door from the basement to the garage, you're at the bottom of a flight of concrete stairs. We don't quite have a 3' x 3' landing to slope there. That said, if we do pursue this, are we hiring folks like the guys who re-did our concrete driveway, or is there some other more appropriate specialist?

As for the sill plate, my husband thought of just cutting that piece out over the door frame but I was very concerned about how that would affect the structural integrity of our home - clearly our top priority. It sounds like you don't think it would a problem, but it still worries me.

As for the sides of the door frame, you're suggesting removing the existing wood, applying foam insulation, then plywood. Is that right? Then, you'd say just screw the door frame into the plywood?

Finally, am I right that other possible options (both involving having to special order doors) would be: 1) special order a door that will fit this space precisely? 2) get an outswing door that opens into the basement but with the sill plate facing the basement side instead of the garage side - then frame the door to the new wood frame instead of mounting it within the hole in the concrete. Is #2 even possible?

Thanks again!
Rebecca
 
  #6  
Old 11-12-17, 06:37 AM
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Yes, you may need to remove both... but you would only need to remove the sill plate on top if you need the extra room. If you have 82 1/2 from basement floor to sill plate, it can stay.

Removing the concrete is necessary if you want to try to use your existing door and not order a custom one, And either way, it's the ONLY way to do it safely without creating a trip hazard, which will affect the home someday when it is sold and inspected. A custom door would still have a trip hazard due to the goofy step. Plus if that concrete isn't level, that's just another reason that it needs to go. I've installed doors and windows for over 25 yrs so that is what I would do if it was my house... or for my customer.

You can hire it done if you want, but this is a diy site... and working with concrete is not that hard.

As for the sides, you would tear out the old door and jambs, glue and anchor 3/8" plywood to the sides, then install the door, then shim, anchor and foam it. The anchors for the door will still need to go into the concrete. (Tapcons are concrete anchors.) The plywood simply helps reduce the size of the rough opening so that you can more easily shim the door.
 
  #7  
Old 11-12-17, 06:54 AM
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Got it. I'll need more information on how to work with the concrete. Is that something you can provide, or should I post on the corresponding forum?

Thanks so much!
Rebecca
 
  #8  
Old 11-12-17, 07:20 AM
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Not sure what you need to know. I'm pretty sure if your husband is handy, he can figure it out. It's not rocket science. Rent a saw with a diamond blade to cut the outline of the area you will demo... rent a jackhammer to break up the pieces. Rent a mixer to mix up the concrete. Do the math to figure out how many bags you need. There are concrete calculators online too.

You won't need any forms for the edges... you are just removing material to make it deeper and sloped. The majority will slope from A to B... A being the garage floor, B being the basement floor. But as you strike off the concrete, you will pull some concrete up on the left and right sides to form a curb. The curb will be gentle at first... but more pronounced near the bottom... meeting up with the wall on each side at the bottom... forming an iscosoles triangle sort of shape when viewed from above, but with a tapered curve as it meets the slope down to the basement floor. You might want the new concrete to be 4' wide, 3' long so that the curb is outside of the 36" path you walk on. Having each batch of concrete with the same consistency will help... not too dry, not too wet. Measuring the amount of water you mix with each bag is a good way to do it, like mixing a cake.

I'm sure he can do it.
 
  #9  
Old 11-12-17, 07:51 AM
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Thanks again. I'll have to see if we have enough room to make this work on the little garage stair landing....
 
  #10  
Old 11-12-17, 10:32 AM
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Stair landing? Maybe you should post a garage side picture from farther away.
 
  #11  
Old 11-12-17, 08:58 PM
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Here's a link to the picture of the stairs in the garage area - they lead up to the garage: https://www.dropbox.com/s/r75w4jcjqbss8iq/7.jpg?dl=0

It seems the most logical thing to do would be to simply remove the concrete pad at the bottom of the stairs completely, as the last stair is shorter than the rest now. However, I fear what we may find underneath. We suspect there may be a storm drain there (from when it was likely an exterior entrance, before the garage was built there) that was intentionally covered.

Thanks,
Rebecca
 
  #12  
Old 11-13-17, 10:03 AM
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We had a contractor out to talk about it (he's doing some other work for us). He suggested just special ordering the outswing door and mounting it just inside the basement instead of in the hole in the concrete. I think we're going to go that route.

Thanks for all your help!
Rebecca
 
  #13  
Old 11-13-17, 03:29 PM
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Hope no one ever complains about that 3" step up when coming out of the basement.
 
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