Sep 29, 2012, 10:03 AMSt Paul
Removing outer french door and replacing
I'm sure its been posted once before but I'm looking to remove my outer french doors and then reinstalling new ones along with new door frame. The current door is worn and when I tried pressure washing the door it had leaks all over the place. Any advice on pointing me in the right direction would be GREATLY appreciated.
Sep 29, 2012, 01:02 PMswschrad
1) remove inside trim. measure height of the rough opening (that's wall to wall, and header to floor, where the door is mounted.) if you don't get the rough opening right, you will never make the door fit.
2) order door.
4) when door is delivered, set it inside the garage so the wind can't blow it over and bust it. get some butyl framing tape, it comes in 4 and 8 inch wide rolls. you will need two or three rolls of the stuff. also make sure you have aluminum roofing nails about 2 to 2-1/2 inches long for the mounting plate, 2 to 4 tubes of 100% silicone caulk minimum, masking tape, floor protector material for the inside near the door. vinyl lumber 1x6 for replacement of the sill. shims -- I'm becoming a fan of the composite ones, never rot. random assorted screws, nails, etc. PVC outdoor trim to replace the existing stuff, enough to go all the way around. trust me on this one. make sure you have found the "extra flooring" that is supposed to be saved from each job, and for good luck, have some random 2x4 studs, 2x8 or 2x10 boards, and plywood about in case there is damage concealed.
5) when you have everything ready and one or two helpers strong enough to muscle doors around, remove the outside trim. using a reciprocating saw, cut through nails on the top and sides, tip the old creepy door forward to the helpers. latch it so it doesn't go wobbly like a cartoon and fall apart. pull fully forward, cut any lingering caulk that may hold it, lift out of the frame, walk it to a clear wall span, and lean it there.
6) remove the existing sill plate. very carefully inspect the insulation, framing lumber, joists, et al. it is not uncommon for an old door to have a bunch of rot under the sill and extending into the floor and subfloor. you CAN NOT put the new door in until that is all fixed. you MUST NOT put the new door in until that is all fixed. this could turn a long afternoon job into several days and a floor replacement. but to fail now is to fall through the floor some day in the future. it must be done.
7) when all is tight, solid, well-insulated without bugs and rot, and any bad wood is cut away and replaced (sistered splicing in case of bad joists,) you are ready to measure the rough opening and the new door frame again to be sure it's going to fit. if not, put the old one back in (see, that's why I didn't say sledgehammer.) you will use 1x6 or 2x6 PVC lumber as the new sill, because if you make a mistake, it won't rot. if there is more than 2 inches of airgap between door frame and house frame, split the difference using new lumber on each side and glue and screw the lumber onto the frame. retest door fit. you want room to shim, but the nails have to sink into solid wood to hold it.
8) assuming the door will fit, get the silicone and roofing nails on the outside, the shims on the inside, hammers on both sides, and get the knife and butyl weather tape ready. tucking underneath the sheathing if you can (OK to pull it a little with a flat bar) and wrapping around the house framing towards the inside, wrap so water is always forced OUT and then DOWN. overlaps at the seams. preferred method is on the package, but it will be sill on the bottom, then the sides, then the top of the framing.
8) test fit the door, see how you want to install it so it's flat on the sill, evenly spaced in the opening, and you can nail all around the nailing frame to secure it. tip it back again or remove it, and lay a lazy-S wide bead of silicone across the sill in the area where the door will fit. lay a wide bead of silicone across the front of the sill where the edge of the door will lay, about a half inch back. protect the interior floor at this time with rosin paper, or plastic sticky-roll material from possible glue oozing. run a medium silicone bead on the edge of the framing on the sides.
9) tip in the new door from the bottom and raise it up to contact the silicone all around. set the door in preferred centering position. use levels to make sure it's plumb top to bottom (not slanting into the top or bottom) and level side to side, and use shims liberally as needed to keep it there while your outside guys hold it in place. don't get sloppy. get it right.
10) nail mounting flange in several places at the corners and middle, and recheck plumb and level. when you're satisfied it's better than Mike Holmes could do, nail the whole flange on in the middle of the slots.
11) non-expanding latex foam in any gape of the opening, put on the inside trim. measure and cut the PVC outside trim, silicone edges and nail in with galvanized nails (helps a LOT to predrill holes through the PVC a little smaller than the nails) using 5d or 6d galvanized finishing nails. silicone the seams, smooth with a wet finger.
12) at the base of the door frame, silicone the frame to the sill. smooth it.
13) be gentle with the new door for a day to allow all the silicone to seal completely.
Sep 29, 2012, 01:07 PMswschrad
oh, and pressure washing has enough force to blow past just about anybody's windows and doors. wash them with a pail of soapy water and plain old hose nozzle to rinse.