Friday, July 4, 2014

Only two nails....or, never assume the former owner knew what they were doing...

Only two nails held in the old back door on the Liberal Prepper's house.  Two.

Give it a good grab, and you'd have been right in.

Fortunately, the ex is working off the projects he left undone, per mediation agreement that he do so, and he replaced the door with one that had been used elsewhere. 

It needs cleaning, and it needs to be foamed around the frame, and it needs trim on the outside and inside, but it's held in with....

....more than two nails.

Never assume that the former owner knew what they were doing; obviously, this time they kinda didn't. 

Very fortuitous, this lack of nails, it turns out; gave me an idea on how to strengthen the doorway.

You see, the outside door being replaced was made for 2x6 framing.  Most modern houses are made with 2x6 lumber, and the outside walls are that thick.  The door being put in place wasn't made for 2x6 construction, however; it was made for 2x4 construction.  You find this a lot; for some reason you have to get an extension kit or order the door and frame for a 2x6 wall. 

The graphic above shows how the door frame on a 2x4 door is extended with another piece of wood.  Unfortunately, this doesn't do much for security when the extension is on the outside of the door, because the weakest spot in the door frame is that 7/8" or so of wood on the inside of the door frame between the hole for the latch and the inside of the door frame.  Go check out your door and you'll see what I mean.

Now, the door being put in place having been made for a 2x4 construction scenario, ordinarily it would be placed flush with the inside of the 2x6 door frame because otherwise you run into issues with the hinges and can't open the door all the way.  In this case, however, the door can't open flush to the wall anyway; there's a dryer and a water heater in the way.  Putting the new-ish door and frame in flush with the outside of the 2x6 construction leaves the width of 2x lumber on the inside, like so:
This is a view from the inside of the new-ish door and its frame; left to right, the color of the paint in the room (not LP's choice), the grey color of the outside of the sheetrock on the wall, the edge of the sheetrock (the white stuff), the door opening framing, the door frame and the door.  Now, between that door frame and the inside edge of the existing framing for the door opening is where that space the width of 2x lumber is.

Note that there's still only that itty bitty bit of wood between the latch and the inside of the door frame...but now there's this space.  And the Liberal Prepper has these pieces of wood.  Old wood, close grained, long enough to make pieces to put in place and screw into the door opening framing top to bottom, to be between that door frame and the inside edge of the framing for the opening.  Screw that nice old piece of wood to the door opening framing (shimming it to match the profile of the door frame, of course), and presto...the space between the latch hole and the outside edge of the frame on the inside of the door is now 3 inches.  That's a damn sight harder to kick in than 7/8" of pine...

Not a bad improvement over two nails.