How to remove a window and install a door?
Any room in your house with an exterior wall could have an exterior door. However, adding a door to a home is a serious structural consideration. Cutting into the wall of a home means you need to know what’s inside the wall first. If the wall is load-bearing, contains plumbing, or has been wired, then special steps will need to be taken to make your exterior door a reality.
You can install most types of exterior doors, but there are a couple that requires special attention. For the most part, these come in pairs: one opening into the house and one opening to the outside. But there is another type of door that requires special consideration as well. It is a double-hung entry door. While most exterior doors open 90 degrees (at an angle), double-hung doors open outward and inward at the same time (90 degrees). Double-hung exterior doors are not always used on homes, but when they are, they can cause serious problems for the installer or remover.
The first step is to determine what’s behind the wall. Start by knocking on the wall. If it sounds hollow, there isn’t much inside. If you hear a dull thud, it’s probably studs and insulation – in which case you should have a licensed contractor perform the installation so you don’t risk damaging any of your home’s structure. The same applies if there are two walls: if the second one sounds hollow, you can probably open the existing door and add another one into the existing wall.
If you’re adding exterior doors to a room with a load-bearing or non-load-bearing wall, you’ll need to cut into the wall and install framing so that your new door won’t pull apart the rest of your house. The framings are called lintels, and they work much like window frames but look different and have more purposeful shapes. Lintels can come from home improvement stores or lumberyards, anywhere from $15 to $250 depending on where you live and the size.
The first step is to remove the existing door frame. You should have a workable diagram of what you’re going up against before starting this process. Looking at a diagram before removal will help you see if there’s anything inside the wall that may cause you to rethink your plan. The diagram should have detailed measurements, which will guide your cutting in the next step. Take the door frame off of its hinges and lay it flat on the floor. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 6 inches on either side of the door to make room for the new framing and insulation .
Now that you’ve got enough room to work, take a circular saw — once again, use a sharp blade — and cut into each side framing piece facing inwards, about 3/4″ out from the edge. Make sure that you’re cutting into studs. If there are none, leave at least a 2″ gap. This will ensure that you have enough room to install the lintel and cut into the studs with the saw.
You can use a hand saw, but the circular saw is safer and more precise – I found it easiest to use my hands in this process rather than try to cut through something with a hand saw. The first cut should be no more than 1/2″ into the side framing piece. Next, on either side of where your saw blade is resting, make another 1/2″ incision through the side framing pieces as close to their edges as possible.
Things You Need to Know About Converting a Window into a Door:
• The post is spaced at 1″ on center.
• Use a tight-fitting weather-stripping while you are nailing in the frame. This will create a water tight seal around the door.
• Install a 6-inch wide by 3/4-inch deep notch into the side of the door frame to accept the lintel. This area of the door frame is called “the spring”. It assures that your new door will seal and operate properly with no movement from outside air pressure inside your new room.
• Once you have the door frame plastered (it goes on just like paint), you can install your interior wall covering. You can choose from sheetrock, drywall, or plaster.
• You may also want to consider installing a new door style as well. This will allow your existing style to be kept as is or you could choose a new design that looks more like an external door rather than an interior wall .
These are some of the tips how to remove a window and install a door. Hope you will use them with your house.