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Old 10-06-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
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how to build basement door


We are working on an old house we bought. It has an outside, flat, in the ground basement entrance. The concrete frame surrounding the stair opening. is 10 ft x 45". One long side runs against the house and the other is against a sidewalk. The steel doors with extensions are too expensive, plus not being long enough. We know we'll have to build a sloping framework, but can't figure out how to build a door, which will probably have to have an overlap component on the highest side. Can someone give me very BASIC elementary instructions on how to do this and what to use. We were thinking of treated lumber for the framework and exterior plywood for the door and extension. Figure extension will have to overlap the door and may have to have piano hinge to open it crossways to get door to open lengthways. HELP!

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Old 10-06-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
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how to build basement door


What do you mean by:
1. the steel door not being long enough? -Doors have height, width and thickness measurements, not length.
2. sloping framework? -You mean it needs a threshold that slopes toward the outside??
3. overlap component on higher side? -I have no idea what you mean here.
4. extension? -Do you mean jamb maybe?
5. extension to overlap the door? -Do you mean you want an inswing door so door is flush with jamb on inside and jamb is exposed outside?
6. piano hinge open crossways to get door to open lengthways? -Doors open to the left or right, not crossways or lengthways.

3 key questions:
What size door do you want? Would a standard 82" x 36" exterior door size not work for some reason?
How thick is your basement wall? 8 inches?
Do you want an inswing or outswing door?

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Old 10-06-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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how to build basement door


I said it's in the ground - flat with the ground surface, like in the Wizard of OZ - OLD HOUSE. Doesn't go in or out, only lifts UP from framework. Framework has to be angled, so that when it rains, the rain drains down the slope away from the basement opening. The opening, as I said, is 10 feet long. Since plywood is 8 feet long, I'm thinking there has to be an overlap at the top, so the water runs down that onto the door and keeps going until it is past the opening and, therefore, doesn't run into the basement. Is any of this making sense?
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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how to build basement door


Yes, it finally sunk in. I need more coffee, LOL.

I don't think you need a "flap" to overhang the top of the door to shed water. Pretty sure you build a small curb around the door opening, and then design a lip on the perimeter of the bottom side of the door to overlap the curb. Kinda like a lid on a box.

Can you get by with an 8 ft or less door or will that not give you enough headroom?
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:48 PM   #5
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how to build basement door


The opening is 10 feet long; an 8 foot door would work, but there has to be an extension to cover the rest of the opening. I'll try and take a picture of it tomorrow and post on here. I'm not very good at describing things. Thanks for your help - it's hard to visualize.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:38 PM   #6
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I take it the steps are perpendicular to the house, - like around thirty something inches long.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:28 PM   #7
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Here's an example of how someone made a bulkhead door. You might be able to get some ideas from this:
http://video.bobvila.com/m/21319565/...khead-door.htm

I think a key part is carefully flashing the house wall so that water doesn't come off the door and frame and come under the siding or just sit between the bulkhead and the siding and promote rot.

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