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Old 11-09-2007, 09:07 PM   #1
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Basement door.

Purchased a new house. It didn't have any exterior access to the basement. (only way in was thru a stairwell in the basement)

I had a pre-cast concrete stairwell installed with a hatch leading outdoors. They also cut a 40"x76" hole in the wall where the pre-case stairwell attaches to the foundation.


However It's getting cold, and I need to install a weathertight door to stop the cold airflow.

The rough opening is 40"x76". When I order a prehung door, should I get it a little smaller. The problem dimension is the 76". I can stud out the wall to ge the 40 inches down to 36".

I'm positive I'll have to custom order a door. Should I order for 75.5", or 76"



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Old 11-10-2007, 12:48 AM   #2
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I would definately order it 75 1/2 or even 75in. Nothing can be more frustrating than hanging a door in a very tight space! Remember to leave room for shimming when you narrow the opening. Prob about 1/2 to 1in on each side. And remember a 36" door refers to the door slab! (usually like 35 13/16in,) thickness of the frame adds a bit, bout 1 1/2 inch.


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Old 11-17-2007, 09:21 AM   #3
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Thanks. I ordered the door at 75 1/2 inches. I also ordered it for a 6 inch wall.

This leads to another question.

The basement concrete is 10 inches thick. The Sill is 6 inches, but it's not in the middle of the concrete, it flush with the outside edge of the concrete.

Where do I put the door?

If I go flush with the outside concrete, the door will be recessed (From the inside) and I'm concerned that this will be a pain since I'll never be able to open it beyond 90 degrees.

If I go flush with the inside concrete, I'll only have an overlap of 2 inches with the sill (header in this case). Will this be good enough to seal it?

Of course my concern with the door being not able to open beyond 90degrees may be unfounded, but since I'm limited to a 2'8" door I was trying to make it as useful as possible.

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Old 11-17-2007, 03:08 PM   #4
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IMO, the unit should be no more than 74 3/4" tall (meaning the slab of the door would be about 73 1/8"... not very tall), and that's provided the sill and head of the rough opening are perfectly level. If you plan on trimming the door with 2" wide #908 brickmould, the top brickmould will protrude roughly 1 1/4" beyond the top edge of the door jamb, so that's where I arrived at 74 3/4. (76 minus 1 1/4.)

As for the wall thickness, order the door with the maximum wall thickness that you can get. Ideally, the door jamb with extensions and the aluminum sill should be about 7" wide, the brickmould trim would make the full thickness around 8 1/4", meaning the exterior trim (and nose of your aluminum sill) will be about 1 3/4 inset from the exterior surface. Hopefully that would work with your cement pad. You surely want the interior of the door to be flush with the interior surface of the wall, and yes, it's nice if it can open beyond 90 degrees.

As far as sealing the door, the last few inches of the aluminum sill are hollow, and you can't seal that part very well at ALL. Your best seal under a sill usually ends where the jamb ends... on most doors that I have worked with anyway. They are solid until you get beyond the jamb then it becomes hollow under the sill. Sealing the front edge of the sill usually only creates a "dam" and works against you by trapping water under the sill.

Last edited by XSleeper; 11-17-2007 at 03:11 PM.
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