If you have a small entry door or single patio door, installing a wider replacement may be a good idea. It can also be a lot of work, because you will have to do a lot more than just remove the old door; you will also have to support the structure, remove framing and rebuild the opening. In addition, you will have to remove the exterior finish. Here are some tips to help you make your door opening bigger for a larger door installation:
1. Removing Exterior Materials Around The Door Opening
The first step for enlarging the door opening is to remove the exterior finish around the door. If it is siding, you can mark the siding and cut it for the size of the new door. You may want to leave a little siding in case you need to make adjustments later. For brick, you will want to remove brick around the door opening, a little more than the opening. If the brick continues above the door, you may want to remove mortar and install steal support before you begin removing brick.
2. Removing The Old Door And Interior Trim Materials
Once you have removed the exterior finish, it is time to remove the door. You will want to start with the interior trim and then remove any insulation between the door. To remove the door, you can use a reciprocating saw to cut any nails, and a nail-punch to remove nails on the exterior by driving them through the casing. There may also be screws in the hinges that penetrate the wood framing to adjust margins. Remove the door from the hinges and remove these too.
3. Preparing Temporary Support For Loads While Reframing The Opening
Once you have the old door out of the opening, you will need to support any loads while reframing the opening. This can be done by building a deadman, which is used as temporary support. Use 2" materials to nail to the ceiling, and then cut posts under the boards. Fasten the top and bottom to ensure that deadman does not move. If you want to protect flooring, build the support on a piece of plywood and fasten it to the wall rather than the floor.
4. Removing And Reframing The Larger Door Openings
With the support in place, start cutting the sheetrock out the size of the opening. If you are able to get a whole sheet off at a time, this will be better for framing and patching in the sheetrock once you have finished building the opening. To remove the old framing, use a reciprocating saw to cut all the nails loose. You may want to reuse the materials, so try not to damage it or cut it shorter when cutting nails. The supporting posts can be removed and a new header (beam above the window) can be installed. For larger openings, you may want to use an engineered beam to support loads. Measure the opening from corner to corner to ensure that it is square and nail all the pieces back in place.
This is the work that you may need to do to install larger doors in your home. If you need help with the installation of new doors in your home, contact a window and door service and talk with them about preparing your home for new doors.