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Old 04-05-2013, 10:53 PM   #1
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


Need some advice from the pros on here. I work from home, and my wife is due with our first child next week. As such, I need to soundproof my office, which is actually in our formal living area.

My initial thought is to install some french doors on both sides of the room. I live in Houston, however, and constant foundation movement is a given - especially in a 40 year old house.

A few questions:

1) Are there any special tricks for dealing with doors in movement-prone houses? Are there any special installation procedures I should follow to ensure I can "tweak" these doors in the future? I don't mind ripping the moulding off in a few years and having to reshim if that's what's necessary, but if that's the best route then are there any special things I should do (etc...).

2) The width of the current doorway in picture 1 is 69 inches. Is it feasible to put sidelights & smaller doors in this opening, or will that be too much stress on the jamb? Given the height (96") I assume I'll need a horizontal sidelight on top.

Door 1 - current dimensions are 69" x 96"







Door #2 - Dimensions are 61" x 81"



3) Do you see anything that sticks out and causes you worry (aside from the messy desk).

Thanks in advance. Never installed french doors before and I've never had good luck with contractors.

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Old 04-06-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


Why the French doors? If your really trying to "sound proof" that's an odd choise for a door.
A soild wood door may a better choise.
Unless you order a very expensive custom made door you going to have to do some simple reframing to fit a door in those openings.

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Old 04-06-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


I think if I lived where foundations moved around I would think about moving my family somewhere where they don't. That being said, you can install french doors, just use screws to mount them so you can remove and adjust down the road.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


with french doors you would want some type of exterior application where the door is sealed around all edges including between the doors and at the floor or else what you are trying to achieve will not work....
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


You're not going to 'soundproof' using french doors but you would certainly cut down on the amount of noise that carries out of the room. Wall-to-wall carpeting would help absorb sound too. Bear in mind the swinging doors have to go somewhere, so be prepared for where they'll be sitting when in their typical position.

From the looks of it you'd also want/have to frame in the opening a little to allow for molding around the frame of the doors, on the hallway side. The size of your existing moldings visible to it would determine that.

1 week til delivery? Cuttin' it close there? You definitely want to get this done now, or you'll be waiting at least 3-4 months.

Don't forget, you'll also be doing some painting and the smell might be bothersome.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:56 AM   #6
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
I think if I lived where foundations moved around I would think about moving my family somewhere where they don't. That being said, you can install french doors, just use screws to mount them so you can remove and adjust down the road.
Let me be clear - I'm not over a sinkhole or anything like that. But, in this city of 5 million people, we do often experience drought & torrential downpours in varying years, and the expansive clay soil can move the foundation about an inch from one side of the slab to the other. That's not enough to worry about from a structural standpoint, but it can be a PITA from a door perspective. I'll have to shave a few doors ever 1-2 years, and I'm trying to plan ahead with these to make it easier (or possible avoid that).

Re: the "soundproofing", I realize these won't turn my office into a recording studio. I'm really just wanting a bit of privacy and I think french doors will look good in this part of the house.

Thanks to all who have replied thus far. I'm still all ears if anyone else has any suggestions.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:47 AM   #7
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


There's not really any kind of door that's going to be any better than another when it's installed a structure that's unable to remain stable. Maybe a pocket door would have a little more leeway, but that's only because they have a rather loose fit anyway. The size of the opening you have, along with the small size of the front part of the wall make it an unlikely fit for a pocket door setup. Which I thought about before posting my original reply.

I think you might be over-thinking the door issue. Just put up a pair of french doors. One suggestion, don't go 'overboard' on the glass style if you choose glass. Nothing screams 'reduced resale value' like someone's very specific choices of door glass or style. And I'd stick with painted (white?) doors rather than trying to match the existing front door wood. That'd just make that small area look even smaller.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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Interior French doors on a home that will likely see foundation movement


Quote:
Originally Posted by ogtrader View Post
Need some advice from the pros on here. I work from home, and my wife is due with our first child next week. As such, I need to soundproof my office, which is actually in our formal living area.
Are you soundproofing so you don't hear the baby? Soundproofing so the baby doesn't hear you? I know my wife through fits with our first child about how it had to be absolutely quiet, but she got over it with our second.

The bigger problem is how to lock the door to keep the 2 year old out. If you're doing french doors make sure they open into the space so you can prop a chair up against them. :-)

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