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Porches

Creating an Entry Door

man and window

 

 

An important feature of a three-season porch is the entry from the house. It's critical because the entry will alter the looks and layout of the room where it's located.

In most cases, an existing window or door opening will convert nicely into a sliding glass door (called a "patio door") for the porch.

 

Removing the Existing Window/Door

Hammering in supportsIt's always a good idea to put up temporary bracing before removing the window and its framing.

Remove the casing (trim) from the existing window and take off any baseboard that's in the way. Try to get the window out before tearing back the drywall/plaster to avoid accidentally breaking the window.

Use a reciprocating saw to cut nails between the window frame and the rough opening. This may be a tight fit, so gently use a pry bar to create a gap for the saw blade. Work the window loose and remove it from the wall.

 

Wall FramingExpose the rest of the wall framing that will have to be removed to create the new rough opening. This usually entails taking off the exterior siding and interior drywall or plaster to the nearest studs outside the new rough opening width. On those outside studs, the drywall or plaster must be cut or chiseled straight down the middle of the stud so new drywall can be nailed up.

Remove any wall studs in the middle of the opening and saw off the bottom plate the width of the opening.

 

Framing & Installing Entry Door

Framing doorwayMark the center of the rough opening on the floor, then measure and mark (each way) half the opening width. Each mark indicates where the inside edge of the trimmer studs set.

Frame the new rough opening with trimmer and full-length king studs. They can be nailed together, then plumbed and nailed in place. Measure the width between the trimmers to get the header width. Set the header on the trimmers and nail the header to the king studs.

Double-check the dimensions of the rough opening and make sure the studs are plumb. Run a bead of caulk (and/or insulation) along the door's threshold and set the new door frame in the rough opening. Make sure to press down on the threshold so the caulk seals well.

installing doorShim the door frame plumb and nail or screw the frame to the trimmers at the shim points. Install the fixed door in its track and fasten it in place. Then set the sliding door in its track and add the door stop around it.

NOTE: If you're putting the door and frame in as a whole unit be careful not to damage the glass and get help in lifting the door in place.

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