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Old 06-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


I am planning on installing a set of used exterior french doors from my bedroom to my patio and am looking for some advice or tips to help out along the way. This is my first house, built in 1923, and is a smaller California craftsman style home. I have done demo work, cut and installed granite countertops from a slab, built cabinets, done electrical, etc but have not roughed in a door but the more I look into it it looks fairly involved.

The doors are each 28 x 80" and this specific room has drywall over older lath and plaster (not looking forward to the mess). There is no electrical and the siding is wood. There is one window that will need to be removed.

Here is a shot of the doors:



The exterior Wall:



And the interior Wall:



I have searched through the forum without much luck on getting all the details or finding any good sources so if you can give me any helpful tips before I jump in it would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-18-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


Do you have the jambs and threshold for those doors?
If not you've turned a one day job in to several and a whole lot more work and far more likly to leak since you'll be working with flat jambs not nailing fins.

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Old 06-18-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


+1

You better have some spot on carpentry skills if you are going to remake the frame as Joe said.

That is not your average DIY type woodworking project.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


Unfortunately only have the doors. Didn't realize the extent of the work involved and was trying to save a few bucks but looks like it will end up costing more in the long run with time.

Would you suggest getting a pre-hung door then from home depot or lowes?
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #5
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


Yes---The frame, with its adjustable thresh hold is going to make this job easier.
As Joe said--building a trouble free ,weather proof frame is advanced carpentry.

Now that the free doors are out of the picture---just a tip--sliding doors are simpler to install that french doors---if you choose a french door be patient while installing and leveling---the framing must be perfectly plum.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


Thanks again for the advice. Want to stick with the french door style since it is an older home and should fit the style better.

I am thinking of something like these:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Masonite-...1#.UcDyXvnFWuw

To make the rough opening do these basic steps sound correct or any tips?

-Cut away exterior siding for rough opening (remove siding up to the top plate to have access to put in header)
-Tarp inside and demo the drywall/plaster
-Install king stud on each side with two jack studs on each side
-Use 2 2x10s sandwiched between 1/2" plywood for header

What space do you recommend leaving around the rough opening to plum the frame on each side? 1/4" or so?
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


If you are relatively certain of your plumbs, 1/4 per side is fine.... if you're not so certain... go toward 1/2"
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Yes---The frame, with its adjustable thresh hold is going to make this job easier.
As Joe said--building a trouble free ,weather proof frame is advanced carpentry.

Now that the free doors are out of the picture---just a tip--sliding doors are simpler to install that french doors---if you choose a french door be patient while installing and leveling---the framing must be perfectly plum.
Pay Special Attention to Mike

That Frenchy has to be in the same plane and plumb and level. Take your time.

(I did my first Dutch door, and luckily just a nice guy at the yard tipped me off as to the difficulty/precision required. Came out great... but only because he tipped me off)
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Installing Used Exterior French Doors


So I am convinced to get the pre-hung doors but now comes another question that I have a feeling I know the answer to but it can save me a few hundred dollars and could be the deciding factor if I end up doing the install or get to stare at a wall rather than my deck and back yard...

I need an outswing door and all the french doors are typically inswing. For nearly twice the price I can custom order an outswing door. My question is can you reverse the frame during install to have an outswing door. I know the hinges will be on the outside but security is not a concern where I am at and I also have a large overhang and very mild weather (not much rain and don't have a heater or ac here in southern CA).

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