How to Install a Door Too Small for the Frame
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Joe on the line who’s dealing with a door installation issue. Tell us what’s going on.
JOE: I’m replacing my walk-out basement door and it’s an old one that was in there when I remodeled.
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK.
JOE: It’s 44 inches. The largest door that I could order now is 42 inches, so I’ve got to fill in two inches on – combination on one side or the other.
JOE: What’s the best way to do that?
TOM: You need to use a door expander. (Leslie chuckles)
LESLIE: It’s a board stretcher. (Joe chuckles)
TOM: Get a board stretcher; widen that door out. Well, you’re putting in a – is it like a regular exterior door or it’s like a Bilco door? What’s the issue?
JOE: No, it’s a regular – it’s a walk-out basement.
TOM: Alright. So what I would do – listen, what I would do is this. And it’s going inside a concrete block wall?
JOE: That’s correct.
TOM: I would get 1×6 pressure treated …
TOM: … and I would – or five-quarter like you’d use for a deck. And I would line the sides of the opening with the pressure-treated lumber. That can go right against the concrete. You’re going to attach that to the concrete and then you’re going to attach the deck to that. I mean – sorry, then you’re going to attach the door to that and you can shim in between. And then the trim may have to be a little wider than normal to make sure you cover that gap and that’s all there is to it.
JOE: Do I use like Tapcons to fasten it or do I want to glue and use Tapcons?
TOM: Tapcons would be perfect. You know, it just basically has to hold the door vertically and that’ll be fine.
TOM: That’s one of your favorite screws to use, right, Leslie? (Joe chuckles)
LESLIE: Well, I just like the attachment pieces that come with it.
JOE: (overlapping voices) They seem to work awful good. (chuckles)
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) And they really do.
TOM: (overlapping voices) And they work great.
LESLIE: And you know what I found? When using a Tapcon in like a brick or in the proper application of stone, sometimes – and I’ve seen people take some wire and they sort of fold the wire in half and put that into the hole and then you drill in and the wire sort of becomes like an additional anchor. I’ve seen all sorts of weird stuff with Tapcons; I find them fascinating.
TOM: Leslie’s a hardware fan.
LESLIE: I am. (Tom and Joe chuckle)
JOE: Sounds good.
TOM: Alright, Joe. Well, I hope that helps you out. Good luck with that project.
JOE: Yep, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.