Originally Posted by vsheetz
You are going to have to put in a header that reaches across the entire opening, so there is a fair amount of sugury and framing that is going to occur, no matter what you do. You have stucco repair to do, no matter what you do. As you said, the demo difference is not substantial.
I would put in the wider width door you want... IMO.
This is pretty far from my area of expertise, but I believe there would be considerably less framing with the 5' door. I think I can summarize the existing situation by saying that if I go with 5', the existing header should suffice and the studs flanking the windows can also stay. In other words, the only existing framing members I would have to remove would be the sill and the cripple studs. That makes some assumptions about the existing framing, but I can see some of it after having removed the window trim.
Does that change the equation at all?
Ideally, I'd probably do a 7' door, but if there's going to be a significant difference in cost and/or hassle, 5' would suffice. This is an 8' wide room, so, in some ways, the extra wall space from going with a 5' would be nice.