I really have little comment on fiberglass vs. wood vs. steel for entry
doors. The failures on entry doors seem to be related to abuse. If you
live in a real cold climate the insulation value might be a big factor.
On wood doors, how much weather and the up keep seem to be a big factor.
If you do opt for a wood entry door, get at least a coat of primer on the
top and bottom of the end grain to seal it.
I have notices that steel doors will dent so to fix them you have to get out
the bondo. Most of the problems with steel doors that I have seen are the
industrial ones. When these get banged around a lot the spot welds start to
break and then it is down hill. I used to resurrect them buy drilling and
installing lots of pop rivets.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
I'm a commercial carpenter by trade, and have installed hundreds of double
doors, and you are exactly right. Double doors without mullions suck. Drafty
and not very secure. I also wouldn't trust any door made by Stanley, but
that's only my opinion. If it were my problem I'd suck it up and order a
commercial setup with a removable mullion and hire a pro to do the cutting
of concrete. They'll have it done in an hour cleaned up and gone. You'd be
amazed at the tools they have to slice open walls.
No such luck. This is my basement. There is exactly one 36"
door. There are some windows, but none large enough to accept
And, the simple double door may be the simplest, and most
available. I'd sort of forgotten the double door scheme, with
the "extra" door having vertical latches, and the other door
latching to the extra one. No mullion. That's what I am going
to try to get.
A few other things:
Check with an architect before you start cutting the wall, have him
look at the loading on the wall above and around the door. You may
have to reinforce the wall above the door to spread the loads - make a
new cast in place header beam, or sandwich two sections of C-channel
or heavy wall rectangular tubing on each side with drilled through
clamp bolts to reinforce the header externally.
Go look at some commercial 'tip-up slab' buildings where they have
cut in a doorway later, they usually have the added-on reinforcement
headers over the doors. You can box them in and stucco over them to
make it look decorative.
And if you do it, make the hole and the doors as big as the space
will allow. If you only do a 60" set, the next piece of gear will
need the full 72"...
If this is being used as the emergency exit door from shop space,
ignore the looks and put on "crash bars". Shop work means welding,
power tools, chemicals, flammable solvents, etc. and you may need to
get out of there in a big hurry.
"Remember folks, I'm a trained professional. I know all about the
hazards of the work I'm doing. If you see me running and hollering
"Get out!" don't stop to think about why - just try and keep up." ;-)
And while we're on the subject, consider adding fire sprinklers and
full 5/8" or double 1/2" sheetrock ceiling to the basement, there are
2-Hour standards that can be easily followed. And make sure the
basement stairs door is 2-Hour rated.
If the furnace ducts are down there, consider fire dampers at the
penetrations. Etc. Bad enough to lose the shop, you might want to
keep the house above it.
--<< Bruce >>--
The door frame is not a structural member - but it does have to be
made for use as a set with the doors to keep the fire ratings valid.
You need a header over the door. The existing wall had extra rebar
placed in a big hoop around the jamb area when it was poured, and you
are going to cut that rebar on one or both sides.
Unless you want to see a six foot section of the house start
collapsing into the basement wall over the doorway, you need to
replace that header function and the wall strength. It might require
vertical steel posts on the inside surface of the wall, from the steel
header beam down to the footing, to act as new king studs.
Yeah, right, suuure. Pull my other leg, I'm walking lopsided. ;-)
Not necessarily - the residential sprinklers have improved a LOT,
they have some with thermostatic heads that shut-off, and most of them
have a smaller orifice and K-Rating than the commercial heads. We had
the water main replaced and I bumped it up from 3/4" Gal to 1-1/4"
Copper figuring on eventually installing fire sprinklers. Then I was
told 1" would have been plenty.
Hell, I'd have already done them, but I haven't found anyplace to
get the special orange CPVC piping and the heads. I'd do it all in
copper, but that's megabucks.
--<< Bruce >>--
I don't think there is a fire rating required for an exterior door.
I looked specifically for a steel joist or rebar, and I absolutely can't
any sign of iron in the wall.
There is a large window directly over the door (both existing, and the
wider one). So, the roof load really is not coming down above the door.
The contractor who looked it over wants to rip out ALL the concrete above
the door, as the height from the top of the doorframe to the footer of
above is so thin, 6 - 8". He wants to put 4 2x12's across the top of
to support the footer. I haven't figured out exactly how he is going to
concrete so the ends of these 2x12's will be bearing on the concrete,
but I think
that must be part of the plan.
Umm, there is NO basement stairs door! The basement stairs are in an open
area off the entryway, part of the main hall of the house, and open to
by the bedrooms and the living room. It would take MAJOR modification
of the entire interior layout to wall off the stairs. I think it would
looking really HOKEY to do it that way. The main shop room does have a
most of it is isolated from the rest of the basement space by a concrete
so upgrading that wall and door might not be too tough.
I do have pressurized air over water 5 Gal extinguishers scattered
place. They are timed-out commercial extinguishers. I have only used one
once on a fire in the oven caused by a buildup of turkey grease. It
on that one, but leaving the door closed and turning the heat off
have worked, too.
Fire sprinklers? Having a professional fire sprinkler system installed,
to industrial standards, is REAL expensive.
I haven't seen a residential-grade fire sprinkler installation. I have
homemade fire alarm/suppression system, but was thinking about a dry pipe
water system for the garage. The rest of the house would get a CO2 system.
I don't know if I will ever get around to finishing this system.
DARWIN AWARD: Forklift Safety Video
Confirmed True by Darwin
March 2000, Australia | It just stands to reason, one should
follow safe practices while filming a safety video. But the
52-year-old owner of a machinery and equipment training school
violated that rule of common sense while filming a forklift
With the cameras rolling, he was thrown from the forklift cabin,
and crushed. Subsequent investigation fingered the culprits
responsible for the fatality: driver error and high speed over
varied terrain, coupled with an unused seat belt.
His final safety demonstration was the most convincing of his career.
Moreover, if you live in an area with building codes, building inspectors
and building permits you are going to need to go talk to the local building
inspector about your plan. What you propose involves structural
modification to the building. There are very specific and well established
engineering requirements for the header members over door openings in order
to safely support the building above. Not to imply that your plan is not
doable, only that it must be done safely, for your protection and the
protection of others that occupy the building now or in the future. If you
do live in such an area, failure to comply may subject you to legal
penalties including tearout and redo of the work. Incidentally, I found
affordable copies of the local building code for sale in the bookstore of a
local community college.
On 6 Mar 2007 11:01:13 -0800, co email@example.com wrote:
It doesn't have to be the end of the plans, but the job has to be
done right - even if you don't go through all the permits and
inspections, you have to think it through as if you did.
And a lot of that stuff can be done on the cheap if you don't have
to pay for the expensive special equipment.
The bare minimum you need to do is to reinforce the wall over the
old door NOW, before you cut the new doorway and remove the existing
cast-in-place header beam. Scab a chunk of heavy 2X8 C-channel on each
side, drill through the wall and huck-bolt it together with a dozen
1/2" - 3/4" bolts or chunks of threaded rod. Two sections of smaller
channel down to the floor on the inside, and a small baseplate sitting
on the footing with a few Redhead anchors to make sure it won't move.
Then you cut out the wall, pop in the new door frame, square it up,
grout behind the frame, place the threshhold and hang the doors. Trim
out door hardware, Finito. And it's not going to cost $25,000.
You're operating a surface mount pick-and-place machine - that means
you need a wave solder machine, and that's going to involve a large
heat source and will need outside ventilation.
(The concrete cutting guys will need to pop a few more holes in the
basement wall for vent intake and exhaust grilles, unless you go up
through a bedroom closet or convenient void space to the roof for the
And there are solder resist masking screen printers and other stuff,
also working with chemicals and solvents... Flammable Solvents and
the furnace and water-heater pilot lights do NOT mix, and the
intermittent ignition on the clothes dryer is almost as bad. You will
have to wall off the utility areas and provide them with separate
Basic fireproofing would be 5/8" sheetrock on the ceiling and any
exposed wood partition walls. Taped and mudded - paint optional but
suggested so it can be cleaned.
--<< Bruce >>--
There IS NO header beam. This place was built CHEAP! it is a panelized
construction house. The pre-made panels are tilted up and nailed together
at the site. The central beams are lowered into place and then the roof
panels are set on them. I am positive there's no beam over that doorway.
There might be some rebar in the very center of the wall that I can't detect
with a magnet, but I am positive that I could have detected any sort of
Nope, no wave solder, but IR reflow. If the boards are small, this
to be a huge machine. Most commercial setups are for doing 12" square
that's why they are so big. I do have a setup for ventilation.
I've already done this. I put a 3" hole through for may paint spray
No, the solder paste has very little solvent in it, we won't use
masking, and the
cleaning can be done in the fume hood.
Maybe. Another look at it shows only about 8" of concrete above the door.
Right above the area where the wider door opening is wanted is a 3-bay
casement window. That doesn't allow much roof load to be transferred
through the wall in that area, anyway. Maybe that's WHY the door is
in that exact spot. I'm thinking that the heavy steel doorframe is all the
support needed there. But, I probably don't want to widen the door opening
any more than I need, so a 5' door would be better than a 6' door.
Anyway, I have a friend who is a major rehab and renovation contractor
coming over to look at the job and give me an estimate. He does this sort
of work all the time.
First contractor is basically a carpenter, so his choice was all
wood, putting 4 2x12s in place of the very thin remaining
concrete above the door to support the main floor. A lot of
work, and leaving the whole doorway weaker than the cast-in-place
steel doorframe. But, he was overloaded, and couldn't take on
the job. He referred me to another guy I know, used to be a
plumber, but has now gone into gen. contracting. So, he's a lot
more familiar with the concrete end of things. After much
fussing and hitting the same brick walls I was hitting getting
anything in stock or nearly in-stock, he found some double steel
doors with steel frame pre-hung for $900. He wants to do it
quick, so he's going to rent some super-duper diamond saw that
can cut the 8" thick wall all from one side. But, that rental
will cost him $400 (or maybe $450). And, he's going to need an
assistant - good idea, a ton of concrete is too much for even one
really BIG guy to handle. Total bid $2500 - Ouch! But, it will
be worth it, and it is going to be done right.
Oh, he's going to install a steel lintel tied in beyond the width
of the new doorframe before cutting anything. That should
support the concrete over the door.
Next brick wall, I call a shipper recommended by the seller of
the machine, they ask "do you have an account with us?", I say
"no". They quote $3400 to move the machine! When I make gasping
noises, they say "well, maybe you'd be better off renting a
U-haul." but, then they say I should call one of their local
sales reps. I get a call back from her this morning, and she
gives me a tentative bid of $819 for the same move. Ah, yes,
just open an account with them and you get a 70% discount! Gee,
I'd open an account with Wal-Mart and the local grocery chain if
they'd give me a 70% discount, too! Where do I sign up?
Now, all I have to do is line up a rental forklift and I've got
all the bureaucratic hoops jumped through.
Sounds like you've got it covered. Let's analyze his bid. I would
guess the job would take about 3 days to complete.
Door lock: $50
Equipment rental: $400
Helper x 3dys: : $300
Dump fee for concrete: $100
Paint for door: $35
Total of known costs: $1,785
Contractor's take: $715 or $238 per day
Out of this money the contractor has to pay his overhead:phone, gas,
truck, tool wear and tear (lots when you're busting up concrete),
insurance, permit(if applicable), cost of the estimate (sounds like he
spent some time on it), personal income tax, etc., etc.
If the job takes 4 days, his take goes down drastically.
This is why I plugged my number at $4K. I don't think he'll make much
money on the job. Let us know when it's all done whether he was happy
the way it turned out.
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.