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Exterior Doors

July 31, 2012 |

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We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

posted by Ana White

Ah the doors ... almost the last part of the Momplex not sealed in. 

The doors should have been put in a long time ago.

But you see, we built out of ARXX blocks - Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) which are basically giant hollow foam legos that you fill with concrete. And the ICFs are much wider (11 1/2") than a standard 2x6 wood framed wall.  So we will need a special door jamb to fit the wider walls.

The doors are late to go in because we wanted to DIY the door jambs themselves.  To just order the door slab, and then hang the doors on our own jambs that are 11 1/2" wide to fit the ICFs.  But after much much research, we could not find a threshold that was 11 1/2" wide to fit the wider jambs.

So finally we gave up and special ordered the entire prehung doors with a 11 1/2" jamb.

You don't know how sad I was to get a regular door with a jamb extension stapled on and a standard threshold.  I think I love DIY so much because you are in control of everything.  You aren't stuck with what you got.  You are stuck with what you built yourself.

But this Momplex, it isn't about a door battle.  It's about winning the war - getting two Moms moved into an energy efficient, nice, maintenance-free home, on a DIY budget before another winter sets in.  And we aren't about to let a lost door battle determine the outcome of this war.  

Exterior Doors

The doorways are already framed with a door buck in the ICF wall.

Exterior Doors

But we add metal flashing to the sides to give us something to attach trim to later on. You can't attach trim to the foam, there is nothing for the screws to bite into.

Over the metal flashing, we attach 2x4s to the door front, a stop block for when placing the doors in. This only works if you remove the brick molding from the doors - or in our case, ask for the doors without.

Exterior Doors

On the door hinge side, Jacob attaches plywood pieces cut to the width of the doorway to the wood bucks. The plywood pieces are attached at the same height of the door hinges.

Exterior Doors

We are ready for the door to be installed!

Exterior Doors

The doorway gets cleaned up.

Exterior Doors

And silicone applied under the threshold area.

Exterior Doors

Then the door slab is removed from the jamb. We went with fiberglass fully insulated doors and they are heavy. It's better to do these things without the extra weight!

Exterior Doors

The door jamb is carefully moved into position.

Exterior Doors

Pushed up flush with the 2x4 blocking on the outside.

If you were installing with brick moulding, you'd have to install the door from the outside.

Exterior Doors

But this method worked great for us.

Exterior Doors

Then the Ram showed me a trick.

Exterior Doors

He removed a screw from each door hinge.

Exterior Doors

And replaced it with a longer screw, screwing right through the door hinge, jamb, and into the door buck! This way, the door is being attached to the building, without creating screw holes, and putting support right where you need it - at the hinge! So smart!

Exterior Doors

What would you rather have holding your hinged door in place? The short factory screw? Or the long one attached right to the building?

Exterior Doors

As the door is being installed, the jamb is continually checked for level. If not perfectly level, door shims are added to level out the door.

In addition, more screws are added behind the weatherstripping to hide screws holes.

All the way around the door jamb.

And excess pieces of shims are broken off.

Once we are happy with the jamb installation, it is time to test the door fit.

The door is placed back on its hinges.

And the pins are pounded back in.

And the door is in!

The door is tested for fit, and if necessary, more shims are added until that door closes effortlessly.

Outside the 2x4 blocks are removed.

And inside more silicone ... 

Then the side doors are installed

And the deck doors.  Living up here in Alaska, it's a constant battle between design and functionality.  We'd love to have put full glass patio doors in.  But anyone in the Interior of Alaska will tell you, you are going to pay for it in lost heat.  

And besides, if there's a door out there that we'll still like in 40 or 50 years, it's going to be this one.

One more battle won!  

clips
annalea's picture

Hooray for Doors!

I love it when the doors go in. It always feels like such a big step!

Fwiw, I did a lot of research on security. I don't know if you're worried about doors being kicked in, but there are deadbolts on the market now that come with a reinforced metal plate to put behind the strike plate that go in with super-hardened, long screws that will withstand kicking in by even two big, strong men. If you add some super-hardened long screws (two per hinge), then you get the same effect on the hinge side, plus a door that's pretty sag-proof.

I can't wait to see what comes next at the Momplex! We're stuck at the trim stage now, living here makes it a lot harder to make headway on things like that. ;o)

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. -- W. Edwards Deming

posted by annalea | on Tue, 2012-07-31 17:54

Yea!

Just great that you'll be able to close the door on your cooooold Alaskan weather, and continue to work on getting your Moms' into their new homes.
Good for you!

posted by sgilly02 (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-07-31 18:19

I REALLY love how the super

I REALLY love how the super deep doorways look. Almost looks like my parents brick house built in 1885.

posted by Whitney Smith (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-07-31 18:42

Long screws - what a great tip!

Once again, thanks for sharing all these steps in your journey. That is a great tip about the long screws into the frame. I'm sure those are longer than the screws they provide with deadbolts!
Blessings!

posted by Brian Forbes Colgate (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-07-31 21:22
clips
Guerrina's picture

Toasty Inside, Cold Outside

These look wonderful and thank you for all the hints since I have several inside doors that don't want to stay shut now that the house has settled some! I one of these doors (6 panes, energy efficient) and it truly seals the doorway...not.one.draft. Gotta love that!

Ciao!

Guerrina

posted by Guerrina | on Wed, 2012-08-01 12:54

Looks great! I'm dying to see

Looks great! I'm dying to see a wide shot of the building now that you've come so far. I can't wait to see the next step!

posted by Amanda BW (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-08-01 13:31

Great job!!

I did the same thing with my hinges, but i replaced all the factory screws. I always overkill things, must be from loading bombs on aircraft. I love your website especially that you guys build just about everything you need or want!

posted by Quintin79 | on Wed, 2012-08-01 21:14
clips
cbeach1717's picture

AMAZING!

Everything is looking so wonderful!!! Congrats on the continued amazing work :o)

posted by cbeach1717 | on Sun, 2012-08-05 00:29

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