Door Threshold / September 15, 2018 / Leala Melanson
Theres something about thinking and working in three planes that appeals to me. Making customers happy and feeling comfortable in their home environment makes me happy too. Nothing can compare to the satisfaction of knowing a job has been well done seeing and feeling a beautiful and properly installed door operate smoothly. In modern homebuilding techniques most housing built here in the Salt Lake City area after the mid-1960s is 2x4 or 2x6 wood stick frame construction with an exterior veneer of brick stucco or some type of lap siding. Prior to that time many if not most homes around here were built using four inch wide cinderblock (4"x8"x16") masonry walls with a brick exterior veneer. Thermal efficiency properties of new door systems have improved greatly over what was available forty or fifty years ago.
Ive learned by the hard way of experience that its necessary to remove old existing jambs carefully. If directly fastened to masonry with cut nails jambs removal may break out the cinderblock unless the jambs are cut into short manageable lengths. An out of level concrete threshold step can be ground flat by a concrete cutting subcontractor or the door threshold can be adjusted by unscrewing and repositioning in the jamb by the amount out of level. Any attached brickmold and casing must be removed from the jambs to make installation easier with shimming. Also brickmold will probably have to be ripped in width to fit the overall brick opening width and height.
Of course youre going to check the concrete threshold step for level. Carpenters never assume anything right? Measurement of the exterior brick opening overall height from threshold to lintel will be noted. Any further uncertainty about whether a house was built with masonry walls can be at least partly resolved by measuring the exterior brick opening overall width. A width measurement slightly off by about one-half inch from the nominal brick opening is a sure tip-off that youre going to be facing the direct fasten to masonry challenge. Adjust your installation estimate accordingly for some extra labor.