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thundercracker 09-20-2012 01:29 PM

Pre-hung door directly into poured concrete opening?
New to the forums, but lots of great info. My house is a 1997 build, with a poured concrete foundation. My basement is unfinished and has a bulkhead leading out to the backyard. problem is my bulkhead is pretty weak- i'm pretty sure i could just rip it open with a couple of strong tugs.

1. The rough opening is 39x80, concrete on the walls and floor, wood header at the top(not sure i'm using the right terminology). I'd like to install a 36x80 pre-hung steel door in the rough opening. Can i install directly into the concrete? using tapcons or something of the like? I'm not worried about cosmetics, rather, just want a secure door, as another layer of security/deterrant to the bulkhead. i'd also like to keep as wide as an opening (i.e. 36" vs 32" door) as possible, since i move a lot of junk in/out of the basement during the season changes.

2. is this job something straight-forward enough for me to take on? I've never hung a door, but i'm patient enough to read/watch youtubes.

3. Other than a hammer drill, any other power tools required? would i be able to get by on this job, with one of those $60 hammer drills they sell at HD or lowes?

thanks for all the adivce.

joecaption 09-20-2012 05:41 PM

Can you post a picture of that opening?
Really going to need pressure treated king stud and a head piece to be able to attach the trim to.

oh'mike 09-20-2012 05:53 PM

You better go to a store and measure the actual door----the height may be a problem with a standard door---

Also check the floor for level---

If it will fit----then yes , your plan will work---you may need some filler material---synthetic wood would be nice for rot resistance--Mike---

PS---a deeper jamb might be needed---typical foundation is 8" or 10"

thundercracker 09-20-2012 10:28 PM

pics of rough opening
2 Attachment(s)
Ok thanks for the replies. i've attached 2 pics, one of the general opening and the 2nd is of the top of the opening, to show the wood at the top of the opening.

i placed my 4 foot level on the floor, and it's pretty level. both walls are level too, the right side wall might be slightly off level. but when i measured the width of the opening near the top, near the middle and near the bottom, the top may be less then 1/4" difference in wdith from the middle and lower measured widths.

as you can notice too, i will most likely have to remove the bottom 1-2 steps in order to fit the pre-hung door. ideas on how to secure the stairs (or if i should just rebuild the stairs) would be great too.


oh'mike 09-21-2012 03:58 AM

What you want to do is not going to be code compliant.

You need a 36" landing at the bottom of a stair case. Those stairs also look very steep.

Is this work going to be inspected?

Is there a way to make a vestibule and move the door three feet?

thundercracker 09-21-2012 07:05 AM

Not to code... I was worried about that. Did think about thend vestibule idea. For the more pressing issues, any ideas on how how to secure my current bulkhead door? Basic steel, crummy latch on the inside . Thanks again

thundercracker 09-21-2012 08:28 AM

found this picture at some contractor site:

this looks very similar to what i was hoping to do. i'm sure this guy's stairs aren't to code either? If i wanted to sell my house, i'm assuming that the buyer can still agree to buy the house knowing that this door (or stairs) are not to code right? i mean, there's no law prohibiting buyers from agreeing to buy a home that may not be to code due to this basement stairs?

i guess what i'm asking is if i do the door and it's not to code, would that ever prevent me from selling my home as is?

oh'mike 09-23-2012 07:00 AM

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you----that is an older existing structure---so you will be fine with the code people--(don't hold me to that!)

You look like the job is about finished----and looks fine from here----a wood bulkhead door is inherently weak and heavy----If the budget allows--investigate 'Bilco' basement bulkhead doors---nice springs and decent quality----easy enough to install,too.

Fix'n it 09-23-2012 09:33 AM

mike. that is not his door. its an internet pic.

thunder. build 2 4' walls at the bottom of the stairs and put the door in that.

thundercracker 09-25-2012 07:42 PM

thanks for all the replies. will re-assess what i can / should do. for now, i've shored up my bulkhead door with an extra brace.

will probably look to frame a wall and door 36" away from the bottom of the stairs.

thanks again!

wkearney99 10-23-2012 09:37 PM


Originally Posted by thundercracker (Post 1014393)
i guess what i'm asking is if i do the door and it's not to code, would that ever prevent me from selling my home as is?

Houses are sold every day with things in them that don't meet code. Even brand new ones. So you're certainly not going to risk being unable to sell the place with a door too close to the bottom.

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