widening door opening to move heavy metal into shop

On Tue, 6 Mar 2007 00:49:45 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm,


While you have your locksmith cap on, Roger, how do you feel about fiberglass entry (not basement) doors? I've heard that steel doors fall apart in about ten years.
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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.
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Roger Shoaf

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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. Tom

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Roger Shoaf wrote:

No such luck. This is my basement. There is exactly one 36" door. There are some windows, but none large enough to accept the machine.

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.
Thanks,
Jon
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wrote:

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 >>--
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Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

That's why I am trying to get a steel door frame.

This house cost $180,000 17 years ago. What you are talking about will easily exceed that! We'd have to have new water service put in, too!
Jon
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wrote:

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 >>--
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Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

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 find any sign of iron in the wall.

There is a large window directly over the door (both existing, and the proposed 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 the wall above is so thin, 6 - 8". He wants to put 4 2x12's across the top of the doorframe to support the footer. I haven't figured out exactly how he is going to cut the 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 the hall 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 end up looking really HOKEY to do it that way. The main shop room does have a door, and most of it is isolated from the rest of the basement space by a concrete wall, so upgrading that wall and door might not be too tough.
I do have pressurized air over water 5 Gal extinguishers scattered around the 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 sure worked on that one, but leaving the door closed and turning the heat off probably would have worked, too.

Fire sprinklers? Having a professional fire sprinkler system installed, at least to industrial standards, is REAL expensive.
I haven't seen a residential-grade fire sprinkler installation. I have a partially-built 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.
Jon
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Don't forget you need to strengthen the buillding over over the doorway. You're doubling the unsupported distance in that area. Karl

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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.
David Merrill

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David Merrill wrote:

OK, that's the end of the whole plan, then. We're talking $25,000 to install a machine I can buy for $2500. Just no way!
Thanks for keeping me from making a big mistake.
Jon
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Seriously, Jon, this is why people rent commercial building space. You could lease the space you need for a year for the cost to safely modify you home.
Paul
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On 6 Mar 2007 11:01:13 -0800, co snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.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 exhaust.)
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 outside ventilation.
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 >>--
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Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

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 steel beam in there.

Nope, no wave solder, but IR reflow. If the boards are small, this doesn't have to be a huge machine. Most commercial setups are for doing 12" square panels, 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 booth/fume hood.

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.
Jon
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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.
Jon
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Jon Elson wrote:

I'll guesstimate $4K. Let us know how it works out.
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Gary Brady
Austin, TX
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Gary Brady wrote:

Ughhh! That's a lot of money for a door! I hope my guy comes through cheaper than that. I do live in an area where costs are lower (St. Louis, MO).
Jon
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Jon Elson wrote:

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.
Jon
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Jon Elson wrote:

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/frame:     $900 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.
--
Gary Brady
Austin, TX
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