We’ve been putting in the attic floor I-joists, but since that’s not done yet, I’ll wait to post about it and instead write about what we did finish: the master bedroom french door. I took off yesterday and Mike S came down for try number two. This time the weather cooperated and we got to work cutting a big hole in the back of the house on the second floor. I admit, these projects go a lot more smoothly and with a lot less frustration when Mike’s here. In addition to his expertise, he brought a telescoping aluminum work platform that sits up on two ladders, that made the exterior portions a lot easier.

We did some calculating as to the height of the finished floor, which was complicated by the fact that the second floor joist at the back of the house is about ¾ of an inch higher than the others. We wound up cutting back the floor boards and cutting out that section of joist, since it was going to make everything else that much more difficult. He cut the studs at the top of where the header was going in and we pulled everything out all the way down to the top of the header over the first floor sliding door. In balloon frame construction, you don’t stop when you get to subfloor. I built the 2×6 header (a polyiso foam sandwich for thermal break) and we fit that in, we put in the new king studs that don’t actually go anywhere (again, balloon frame), then fit in the header and jack studs under that.

With that sides figured out, we cut the sheathing back to line up correctly, put the cripples and sill plate in (doubled 2×4). We put ice and water shield on at the bottom instead of just house wrap, then finished everything else with house wrap. Since we’re putting exterior foam on the house, we need to build everything out. In this case, that meant putting some ½ inch of polyiso onto 2x4s, and screwing them to the outside of the door opening all the way around.

Installing housewrap

We put down a plywood sill on top of the edge and the plastic sill pan on that. I covered everything on the outside with Zip System tape, which I’ve come to like more than the WeatherMate tap I used on the first floor. With everything taped up, the only thing left was to put the door on. This time around I made sure to order stuff with nailing fins, and so once we got those folded out, installation went fairly smoothly. I got the perimeter screwed in all the way around and then put some more tape over the fins.

Door installed

As with most of these window and door projects, all the reconstruction and flashing meant that it took all day to do, but it’s looking good, even though there’s no deck yet, so we can’t use the door. It does mean we could crane or forklift in material if the opportunity presents, and the thought of not hauling subfloor or drywall or whatever in and up the stairs a sheet at a time is appealing. I glossed over some details, like removing my silly downspout across the back of the house, the random holes we opened up in the sheathing and had to repair, the patchwork of housewrap that resulted from running out on the last stretch with less than a foot left, and the second floor windows finally arriving in the middle of the day. Hooray for that, it means we can finally get the outside done and finish the porch!


One Response to French Door Installation

  1. Lee Marie Lumpp says:

    Very Cool! Good job!

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