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GWIZ2260 04-01-2006 09:29 PM

Installing french door in poured basement
My contractor informed me that I would be responsible to install our french door into our 8foot poured concrete basement. Rough opening for the door is 60X80 inches. My contractor stated he would leave a complete opening (top to bottom) of 66 inches. This would provide enough space for 2 2X8's on either side of the door, for a nicer look. The basement is 8 feet high. Where can I find the information on how to properly install this door, as I have hung doors before, but am leary of this as this basement will soon have a modular home placed onto it, and I want to make sure the door install is done correctly. Or would this be recommended to contact a pro? Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.:confused:

Square Eye 04-01-2006 09:54 PM

A french door is harder to install than a regular door. If I were you, I'd fasten the first 2x8 to the wall and then attach the second 2x8 to that. Double check your rough opening before you fasten the 2x8s. You may have to plane them to get some room for adjustment. Also, check your rough opening for plumb, level and square. When you get the 2x8s set, set the door in place and check the alignment of the doors with each other and with the frame. If I have to use shims to get the door racked into adjustment, I shim it in the corners as the frame will bend and not give you an accurate adjustment. After I've monkeyed with it until I'm satisfied with it, I nail it in place from the outside through the brick moulding. Then I go inside and shim it in place at the hinges. Then I shim it at the top where the top pin will latch. Finally, I drill the threshold, and the floor if necessary, for the bottom pin. If you have trouble aligning the door in the frame, you may have to shim the door panels in place within the frame. Your final "fine tuning" adjustments can be made by changing the shims and tightening/loosening the screws at the hinges.

Tom in KY, oui, I do install french doors!

GWIZ2260 04-02-2006 06:32 PM

more ?'s
Thanks for the reply. I understand all of what was stated, however, am still concerned with the header above, and then will be needing to completely frame in to the top of the basement. Any recommendations on header size? And is anything else necessary other than framing in the door, ie: lintel, etc. to prevent water intrusion. Sorry for all of the questions, just want to do this correctly...:eek:

Square Eye 04-02-2006 08:49 PM

I'd buy a 12' 2x10 or a 2x12. Cut it in half and nail the halves together. Use carpenters glue (Liquid Nails or Max Bond) if you want to. I'm not convinced that it would help if it gets wet. It seems to me that carpenters glue would make nice places for water to accumulate and possibly rot or mold. If you do use it, seal the top edges with it. I'd run the first 2x8s up the wall all of the way to the top of the wall. Then the second 2x8s could be cut to 80 1/2" to 81. They would then support the header. Just like the cripples on each side of most doors. Use a 2x8 across the bottom to keep the frame around the door all flush. Later on, you can fill any gaps in over the header. If I knew what you were going to put on the wall to finish it out, I'd be able to tell you what I'd put on the door for flashing. For now though, I'd use brick flashing. It goes on like tape and sticks to the brick moulding and up the wall. It's about 6 to 8 inches wide.

Where is everyone else? Surely I'm not the only one with advice for GWIZ!

Tom in KY, I wish I had some pictures to share with you, I just don't think of pictures when I'm doing that sort of work.

inspectorD 04-02-2006 08:58 PM

I'm here hucklberry!!
Sorry folks I've been sick with sumthin the kids gave me . Your doin fine Tom.Just remember not to use a copper flashing with an aluminum sill. Caulk everywhere and try to build a little shed roof for the door. They tend to last longer that way.

Tom in KY... carry on...


GWIZ2260 04-03-2006 02:30 PM

Thanks to all!
Thanks for everyone's assistance, do appreciate it.:)
Think I can handle this now, feeling more competent now...
Just scares me to be working with the concrete, used to working with stud walls. Here is my plan: Have contractor leave a 67 inch wide opening in the wall, which should give me 1 3/4 "wiggle room" to plumb the door in the opening (anderson french door pre-hung should be 59 1/4 inches in width), 2 2 X 8's on either side of the door, for total of 65 1/4 inches, leaving the 1 3/4 inches to plumb the door. If this doesn't sound reasonable, please advise...
As for the door, it will be sitting flush with the interior (so the doors can fully open). From there I will build the header and finish the framing. Still am a little uncertain as to the best way to prevent water intrusion, but the brick flashing sounds as though it will work, but am concerned on appearance. Guess I just realized, I will have to put something on the outside of the framing as well! :eek: Think I will just put some sheathing and siding down to the door, along with the brick flashing.

Square Eye 04-03-2006 02:50 PM

Aluminum coil stock bent to fit will seal the water out best. You may be able to use a metal brake at the lumber yard when you buy the coil stock. Although, the best way to do this is to hire a siding guy to wrap the outside. A good siding guy can perfectly fit and seal and give you a smooth professional finish. It's a quick job for him, it might take you all day. Lay a few lines of caulking on the floor thick enough to contact the threshold cavities to seal the floor to the door. Check the caulking job regularly to make sure it stays watertight. Setting a door back in a wall exposes so much of the floor that it is sometimes hard to stop the water from backing up against the door and leaking into the house. When the floor is poured, you might want to cut a small ramp down into the floor to drain the water away from the door. 3" wide by 1/2 to 3/4" deep on the outside edge would make a difference.

Let us know how it turns out.

inspectorD 04-04-2006 05:54 AM

one more thing.
Before the guys poor the floor . What I have done is to attach a piece of Pressure treated at the opening of the door at the floor level.This creates a permanent lip in the opening in case of backed up water.
This way you create a good way to divert water under the door that gets in. You also get a better way to fasten the bottom of the door sill to the floor.However I would recommend stainless steel screws at this connection.

Basically use a 2x8 set into the opening flush with the floor when they poor it. You can put some stainless screws in at this point to anchor your wood to the concrete before it dries. Then connect some temp screws into the board that holds back the concrete in the opening making sure it is level.
This is so simple to do and it is easier to chip wood than concrete if you have an issue down the road with the door not working .

Dont forget a little roof over the door, this saves alot in the long run. The door stays protected and does not get as beat up.

Stay dry. :cool:


GWIZ2260 04-14-2006 09:33 AM

Uh Oh
Well, contractor will be pouring the COMPLETE RO for this door on Monday, 4/17/06!!! What would be recommended height for the pour now? Should I have it at 82 inches and only put in a 2X8 horizontally? Or do I need to build a complete header with the wood boards laying vertically? Please advise, any assistance will be appreciated.... Thanks. :eek:

Square Eye 04-14-2006 04:38 PM

If he pours the header, you will have less to worry about,

if it's right.

82 1/2" is pretty standard. You're door requires a different height, 80". If you ever change it out though, you may need the extra height. I would probably form the openeng 84" high and use a double 2x8 across the top.

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