Adding a back door


Old 12-10-05, 12:04 PM
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Adding a back door

This is my first post, but have been around for awhile getting great info. This is a great forum and thanks for all the great information. Now I have a specific issue that I cant figure out so I finally signed up for an account. It would be very appreciated if someone could help me out. Here is my issue:

I have a project that requires putting an exterior door in my bedroom. My townhome is load bearing. I have a large window that has the same width of a sliding glass door, and the top of the window is as tall as one as well, but the window goes about halfway down the wall, with wall under the window if that makes any sence. So im wondering if this would work:

rip out the window, and the wall under the window - then just install the sliding glass door in that area.

My question I guess would be:

1. since under the window is not bearing a load (right?? since window cant bear a load), I should not have any issues as long as I leave the 2x4's on each side of the window alone.

2. is this something that would need to be filed for a permit?

3. since its a townhome, would I have to get it approved by the homeowner association?

Thanks for any help, and let me know if you need further clairification on what im talking about.
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Old 12-10-05, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Adding a back door

1. If you open it up and find you have proper framing to support the lintel, then you should be OK. If you don't have the proper framing, them you should make the changes, which could require a permit.

2. The question of the need for a permit would depend on local requirements. You would be best to find out to eliminate future hassles.

3. All associations are different. In mine, I would definetly have to get permission because it changes the exterior appearance. Not all are that fussy (could be good or bad).

Old 12-10-05, 01:26 PM
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Thanks for the response. Now you say make sure I have proper fraiming.... what am I looking for? I know how to plumb, electrical, tile, all that good stuff but when it comes to wood and walls im very unfamiliar.

One other question that would help me out is this.... the wall under windows, are they ever load bearing? Thanks again.
Old 12-10-05, 04:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,045
The window should have a properly sized header already to support the load above the window. If you aren't removing any framing other than what is below the window you should be fine.

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