Dec 22, 2010

Installing French Doors

Do you wish sometimes that you were able to create the illusion of bringing the outdoors indoors? If you were to break through an eternal wall and put in a pair of French doors, the effect would be just that. If there’s a patio or deck outside, so much the better.

Check with your local council to see if you need plans and approvals. This is, after all, a structural alteration. However, the council inspector may feel these are not warranted for such a minor job, particularly if a window already exists, which means that the wall, ceiling and roof above are, in fact, properly supported.

Establishing the height
Check that the height from the floor to the top of window will accommodate standard doors. You need 10mm clearance at the bottom for vinyl or cork and 20mm for carpet.

Allow for the thickness of the jamb rebate at the top plus a 10mm clearance to make sure that there’s no weight on the jamb which might cause it to deflect. If the height is insufficient, you may have to have the French doors made especially for you. If it’s too high, you can always fill in the gap.

If the door has no roofed area outside it, as shown in our example, you’ll need to construct a sill across the bottom of the opening to keep the elements at bay.

Establishing the width
The opening width, if wider than the twin doors, is not so important as you can always put in a few extra studs. But if it is too narrow, the doors will have to be made to suit.

Allow for the two jambs rebates plus 10mm clearance on both sides. Lay out the height and width of the opening full size on a piece of timber 100x50 mm. Draw in the members and measure the sizes. That done, you can obtain a price from a joinery shop. Keep the piece of timber to help you to get the framing the correct size.

If you intend making your opening wider than a window, or to increase the height of the opening, you must seek the advice or assistance of a qualified builder in case you bring the roof and ceiling around your ears.
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1 comment:

eden said...

Great tips. Love French doors.

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