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Replacing door from garage to basement and inserting pet door into door

Replacing door from garage to basement and inserting pet door into door

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Old 11-14-17, 06:58 PM
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Talking Replacing door from garage to basement and inserting pet door into door

So Im looking to do 2 things here:

1. Replace an existing door that leads from the garage to the basement.
2. Inserting a pet door into the new door.

The door opens to the left inside the garage. The garage is not insulated so I would like to have a door that is insulated but keep in mind I still need to cut a hole into it for the pet door. I believe I can cut into any type of door with a jig saw. Would that be correct? Also what kind of a difference will it make in temperature if I dont use an insulated door? The garage will get as cold as the outside (or pretty close) which, being in north Jersey can easily be in the teens. I dont think the current door is insulated. I think its just an old wooden, half hollow door. The door doesnt get that cold but there is a serious draft under the door. Anyway, I guess my point is, does it even matter if I use an insulated door?

Once I get the right door (I believe the door I get cant be thicker than 2" so the pet door will fit it) I plan on cutting a hole to fit the pet door. Im not sure if anyone has done this but it doesnt seem too difficult. The pet doors are kits that come with a template to be traced on the door. Then you cut the traced area and fasten the pet door. The whole idea here is to hopefully get our cat to crap in the litter box (going through the door) in the garage.

I think I may run into problems installing this new garage to basement door as far as getting it to fit. The current door hasnt been replaced forever. I believe the frame for the door is steel. What kind of issues will I run into here?

What should I be looking for when I purchase the door if anything? Is there any special code for a door that goes from the garage to the basement?

I can take pictures if that will help.

Thanks
R
 
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  #2  
Old 11-14-17, 07:32 PM
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You will want to put in an exterior door, and yes, any exterior door will be insulated. Your main choices will be steel or fiberglass. Fiberglass may be easier to cut. But the insulation is a little beside the point if you are putting a pet door in, since they don't seal perfectly.

You won't want to cut an insulated steel door with a jigsaw. A grinder and 1/16" cutting wheel would be best... cutting one side first then flip it around to cut the other side. Measure carefully and mark each side so they line up once you cut it out. And it will fry the paint along the cut edge but your pet door should cover that.

If you go with fiberglass you would best cut the majority of the hole with a skilsaw... and finish the corners with a jigsaw. But the blade will need to be long... or it will bounce on the opposite side on the downstroke. In other words you will want the jigsaw blade to cut all the way through.

Either way, get a prehung door... and be sure it comes with an adjustable threshold. Ordering a door with the correct wall thickness is helpful. 4 9/16 and 6 9/16 are standard jamb widths but not everything in the world is standard.

Can't really give advice on what you have in there now since we can't see it. But you can post pictures and we will take a look. Is it a welded frame that is set into a cement block or poured wall? Are the hinges welded to the frame or can you unscrew them?

Some municipalities require a certain type of fire door from garage to living space... Some require a closer or spring hinges... Some require outswinging. Some don't care. Only way to know for sure is to ask your local Building inspector.
 
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Old 11-14-17, 07:43 PM
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If you drill the corners of the template, you can also use a short jigsaw bit, just have to cut from each side. It only has to be pretty close, not exact.

Here's a problem I see. Is this basement below or connected to a living space? If so you need a fire door and they don't make fire rated pet doors. If you ever sell, it will have to be replaced with a steel or 1 3/4" flat solid core wood door (the 1 3/4" meets most fire codes I believe). If you start with a steel or solid door, it could be made to meet code by removing the pet door and screwing sheet metal to both sides.

If you have available wall space, you can also cut through the wall, install both sides of the pet door separately with some wood in the wall to close up the void. Save the pieces of cutout sheetrock and it will be simple to repair later. Way cheaper and easier than replacing a door if current construction allows it.
 
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Old 11-14-17, 07:47 PM
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Most jigsaws seem to travel 1 1/4" or so.... so it would have to be REALLY short to not hit the opposite side on the downstroke.
 
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Old 11-14-17, 08:44 PM
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Most jigsaws seem to travel 1 1/4"
I ground down a jigsaw blade specifically to use to cut standing wallboard. It will only just cut through the opposite side and even leave a light mark if I go over a stud. It makes for missing wires and pipes a lot easier.
 
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Old 11-14-17, 09:06 PM
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Most jigsaws seem to travel 1 1/4" or so
Well, maybe those super duper Pro models, but my pretty nice consumer grade only has a 1" stroke and the metal cutting blade I have in it protrudes 1/4" when up, so there's plenty of clearance on a 1 3/4" door. 1 3/8" is a whole nuther story of course.
 
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Old 11-18-17, 04:50 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

XSleeper - I will post some pictures. So I will probably go with the fiberglass door so I dont have to deal with having to purchase a grinder. As far as the blade on the Skilsaw, can I just use a normal blade that I use for cutting wood?

You mention an "adjustable threshhold" on a prehung door. Is this suppose to fit into the existing steel frame space opening? Its been awhile since I replaced a door.

Gunguy45 - Thanks for the advice. Yes the basement is below a living space. But the door would be between the garage and basement. I should probably check with the loacl inspector.

Ill post pictures.
 
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Old 11-18-17, 05:00 PM
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Yes, fiberglass generally cuts like wood but with the wrong jigsaw blade it could chip. A fine blade would be best. Most prehung come with a dull that has an adjustable threshold. But there are a few exceptions, so that's why I mentioned it... so that you can make sure it comes standard with the door you buy.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 11:06 AM
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XSleeper - Here are some pictures. The jamb is some sort of metal and looks as if its cemented to the wall. So maybe this is a fire proof door? Again, the door itself is wood so Im not sure how a fireproof door could be wood.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 11:38 AM
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Doors aren't fire proof, but they can be fire rated to last a certain amount of time in a fire. A 90 minute door... for example. Regardless, if you cut a pet door into it, it is no longer a fire door.

Can't say if your door is a fire door or not. They are very heavy and filled with gypsum. If your door seems hollow or light, it is not a fire door.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 01:06 PM
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At one time (it may have changed) code where I lived called for a steel or wood door between the garage and living space. When I talked to an inspector he showed me how it was written. It was something like "If a wood door is used, it shall be a minimum of 1 3/8" thickness across the entire face of the door....". There were some other things about sealing on the top, sides, and bottom IIRC. Basically the thickness clause prevented any use of a wood paneled door as the tapered parts would be less than 1 3/8". They weren't gypsum filled either, but were solid wood using blocks in a running bond pattern.

Would seem to make sense to just use steel right? Well, lots of homes had stained trim and door frames and special ordering stain grade frames cost money, so they were mostly flat 1 3/4" wood doors. Oddly, those doors were often stained instead of painted like the rest in the house. Maybe because they took the most abuse or were just kinda ugly when painted.
 
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