Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Not Build a Wall Into a Door

When the back hall was originally built, probably around 90 years ago, it was standard practice to build the floor larger than the roof so that the walls tilted in at the top. No, no, no. That's not true. But, it happens to be the way our back hall was built. 

We, of course, weren't aware of the problem until after demo. Our contractor poured the new concrete foundation wall to be both square and within the outline of the roof. As you can see in the first photo below, that means that the new construction at the east wall will have to be built into the kitchen door. The plywood is the subfloor and the darker siding to the left of the door is where the original wall was.

Here are the steps that we took in order to Not Build a Wall Into a Door:
1. Remove door.
2. Remove affected flooring.
3. Remove door jamb and adjacent trim.
4. Narrow the doorway by filling in some 2x4's (we were able to do this from just one side).
5. Reattach door jamb to the new studs (we took the easy way out and left the header as is).
6. Build wall.
7. Cut down the door (we took off 4").
8. Re-hang the door.

The kitchen door prior to building the 
east wall (which will be on the left).

The kitchen door and new east 
wall at the end of the day.

Removing the one tile involved.

After the doorway was narrowed by 4".

The trim, door jamb and one tile have been removed.

Two new studs serve to extend the 
wall and provide structure for the 
door jamb to be reattached.

The door still needs some encouragement to close properly, and we also have to put the hardware back on. It's possible that the hinges need to be replaced. We will cover the mess on the kitchen side with trim. It will look a little wacky, but not out of place for this house. We may also remove the remaining tiles beneath the door and replace the threshold with wood. All in good time.

This process took many hours, it wasn't super easy and there were many curse words involved. However, since we have a functioning door and a wall under the roof we'll go ahead and consider this one a success.

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