Framing a door

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by tim-diyer, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. tim-diyer

    tim-diyer New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    IA
    I am currently doing some work on my home (built in 1885). They previous owners put in a door, but did not build a fram for it. They bascially cut out an opening and slapped it in. So, unlike other projects they did, I am starting somewhat from scratch. I now know that my house was built with a balloon frame style. Is there something different or special I need to do in order to build the frame for the new door? It's a prehung 36" door. I was planning using two 2x10's with a 1x8 sandwiched inbetween for the header. I was going to build it to the next exising studs (for my king studs) on both sides and then put in double jack studs next to those. Any input is greatly appreciated.


    door.jpg
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    A couple of things that you need to take into account is that the studs there are not the same dimensions as any of the studs you will find on today's market, and that the standard 4-9/16 door jamb size will be too small in a house that uses those studs and lathe & plaster walls.
  3. petrie

    petrie New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I would think 2x6 header would be adequate. You got nothing now and it hasn't sagged. Maybe you can rip some strips to even out the door frame and the studs. I'd take a look at a black and decker diy frameing book. They tell you how to deal with ballon frameing vs platform frameing for various remodel jobs.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If the frame is secured to the studs on either side and it is plumb, what is your problem? Apparently it is NOT a bearing wall and even if it were, a header over the frame would be cosmetic, not functional.
  5. tim-diyer

    tim-diyer New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    IA
    I have learned that the lumber used is actual size 2x4 and 2x8...etc. My concern is that the studs on each side of the existing door support the weight of the ceiling joists, so both sides are supporting weight. I just don't want to hack those off and have it sink on me.
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    You can use post jacks to support any load that might be there while you rework the framing.
  7. ankhseeker

    ankhseeker Member

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    Location:
    California
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    My question is, "why rework the framing" in the first place. It looks good just the way it is. Jack studs, headers, etc., are just to provide an opening for when the door is installed. Yours is already installed.
  9. tim-diyer

    tim-diyer New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    IA
    I need to "rework the framing" because as I posted originally, I am putting in a larger door. The door in the picture is about 26" wide. I'm putting in a 36" so it will extend past the current opening into at least two of the studs that are supporting ceiling joists.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The way that wall is constructed, the studs you need to revise are NOT supporting the ceiling joists. They are 'helping' to support the horizontal beam, and it is substantial enough that it does not "NEED" their help. If you are just making the opening 10" wider, it should only "impact" one of the studs, so just do what you need to in order to make the new opening, and do NOT worry about the roof falling down.
  11. tim-diyer

    tim-diyer New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    IA
    I'm just too unfamiliar with this type of framing and so are many other people I've talked to. Mentioning balloon framing seems to send them into confusion mode. Seeing the studs directly below the joist made me think that it helped to support it. That's been my biggest concen is that, sure up to this point, there's been no sagging, but cutting into more of what "looks" like support - I didn't want to have a problem all of a sudden. So the studs that are on the left side of the door are what I can attach my header to? If so then I will only be cutting into the studs to the right of door to make the header long enough.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Balloon framing is a very old technique, but if I remember correctly, the walls are continuous from the foundation to the roof and the floors are attached to them, as opposed to our common method of building a wall, placing the floor structure on top of it, then putting the next wall on top of the floor and so forth.
  13. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    +1

    +1 (one Plus one is too short here to post)
  14. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hmm, I did not see that in the original post that you were installing a larger door. My Bad.
  15. DougB

    DougB Member

    There is not a lot of difference between balloon framing and our current 'platform' (stick built) framing.

    Balloon framing was popular because of the availability of long boards, and it didn't require as skilled carpenters.

    The 'studs' in your wall go from the first floor - all the way to the roof - the horizontal board (near the ceiling) is called a ledger board. The floor beams (of your second floor) hang off this ledger.

    To make the door opening larger - I would put in a double header above the door - to bear the weight of the cut studs. Have the double header span from an existing stud on the left - and go all the way to the next existing stud on the right - past your new larger door opening. Then all you have to do is add a stud to properly frame the door opening. Tie this stud to the bottom plate and the new header. If you want to beef it up - you could put some horizontal bridging between the new stud and the existing stud on the right.

    I find it easier to use screws. You can get 'engineering' grade screws http://www.grkfasteners.com/index.php/en/products/r4 at HD. Don't use long drywall screws - they are brittle.

    One thing about this kind of home: Since the studs go from the bottom plate all the way to the roof, there is a path for fire to readily travel from floor to floor. Consider installing some firestop material - foam, stuffed fiberglass, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  16. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    4,122
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    OK - I'll say it since we have not touched on the subject.

    Ballon Framing was banished because of fire code issues. If you are out and about framing in your old home take the time to infill any cavity that would allow smoke and fire from a room below to easily jump up above.

    Those old wall studs look like old growth Fir,

    I would bet the framing style the first guys did would be just fine for the new door. Assuming there is no point load above it.

    Found this picture online of what a door looks like if it is framed from the beginning properly...

    [​IMG]

    A nice new 2"x6" header would be great if you wanted to rest your car above the new door :)

    [​IMG]
  17. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Max, you are a man with many words. Welcome to the group
  18. dhagin

    dhagin builder:anti-builder

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    oahu
    Balloon framing, though less common today than in years past for residential construction, is still common on non-residential projects - commercial, institutional, industrial, etc...

    If you're cutting a stud, then you'll need a longer header to carry the load from above. The size of the header depends on the size of the load from above. How many floors and ceilings, in addition to the roof is above that door? What roofing material do you have? :)
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