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Old 05-09-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
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Framing Door to Basement Pit


I have an interior hollow core door leading from the concrete basement to the pit since it was originally built in the 60's. The width of the concrete opening is 44" and the RO height from concrete floor to sill plate is 78". I'm thinking of putting a 36" wide door with a custom length sized down to fit in the 78" RO. I'll tapcon some PT studs to the wall opening to get the standard width.

My problem is setting the depth of the installation. To my surprise, it looks like my sill plates(which will be my RO header) are two 2x6's stacked on top of each other. The problem is they are at the outer edge of the concrete sill such that the door would effectively be flush with the first pit stairway step which is dumb, and I can't move the stairs back without making huge rises. I would like to have more of a landing space at the bottom of the stairs. If I could just recess my RO closer to the inside of the foundation, that would leave plenty of room but I'm not sure if that's the right way to do it. The other problem is I leave no room for the upper brickmold to "flange" against the sill plate outer sheathing...that would have to be omitted and swapped for some quarter-round or something else.

The other option is to reverse the mounting such that I tip the door in the threshold from the inside. That leaves no issues with framing or stairway clearances to worry about...except I am putting a door in backwards. I'm not overly concerned about moisture since everything down there already is bone dry... it's just not a conventional way to do it.

Some pictures...






The mason jars are resting on the sill plate. The existing frame is built in front of the sill plate and not under it. Which way should I do it, and what kind of door should I order?

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