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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NCentral WI
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    13

    Default Exterior door rough opening too short

    I'm about to replace the back service door to my garage with a prehung steel door. I just went with an off-the-shelf prehung door because it's on the back of the house so it doesn't need too look nice, but the rough opening is an odd size and I'm NOT about to order something custom sized...

    The actual rough opening height is 81-1/8 to 81-1/4 at the corners due to either settling or an inaccurate level from the original builder.

    My question is this: can I safely trim away some of the 2x4 frame at the top of the rough opening even though the header sits on the 2x4, which sits on the jack studs, leaving the ends fully intact? My idea was to just make 1/4-1/2" deep slices with a circular (or other) saw and chisel out the bits to make the opening just large enough to fit the door.
    (I tried to upload a photo or insert a link to a photo, but apparently I need ten posts to be able to do that, so use your imagination I guess..)

    Since the garage floor is cement, it's not likely that I'm going to be adjusting it down any further...


    Any thoughts?
    Thanks in advance for your time.
    Last edited by parasite; 04-29-2013 at 09:28 PM. Reason: clarification.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    what you should really do is to raise the header for the door jamb. i suppose you could trim the stud but the problem that will most likely arise is leveling the door. chances are pretty good that you will have to raise once side of the door more than 1/8" - 1/4" to level it prior to securing it in place.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    the 2x4 thats under the header can be removed if its not also sitting on the jack studs.. the only reason its there is to give a nailing edge on the inside of the wall for drywall and trim.. once removed you just have to fur out the face of the header to replace the removed 2x4. its done all the time in new construction framing for odd sized windows and doors
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NCentral WI
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    It actually spans the entire width of the opening and rests on the jack studs, with the 2x10 header on top of that. My idea was to basically cut away a really wide notch in the 2x4 and leave the ends intact. It would still leave 1" of the 2x4 intact, plus each end would still be the full thickness. It seems to me that it would be no different than trying to replace the jack studs with taller ones to meet the height of the header, but a little less work(and less chance of screwing it up...)

    All input is greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,434

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    Quote Originally Posted by parasite View Post
    It actually spans the entire width of the opening and rests on the jack studs, with the 2x10 header on top of that. My idea was to basically cut away a really wide notch in the 2x4 and leave the ends intact. It would still leave 1" of the 2x4 intact, plus each end would still be the full thickness. It seems to me that it would be no different than trying to replace the jack studs with taller ones to meet the height of the header, but a little less work(and less chance of screwing it up...)

    All input is greatly appreciated.
    Did you say your header is 2x10 or did you want to say 4x10?

    With a 4x10 header, notching or cutting 1/4" off the 2x4 bellow it will be OK.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NCentral WI
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    It is a 2x10. The builder was known for making shortcuts(I found out AFTER the fact..), so it's sort of a wooden I-beam.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,434

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    Can you post a picture?

    An easy way to post is to load it to photobucket.com and post the link here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NCentral WI
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    After finding a "shortcut" to posting links, I've made the minimum ten posts to be able to link, so here goes: door frame

    There's practically zero-clearance between the existing door frame and casing. Sorry about the scribbling but I used the photo to try and figure out how to describe the situation. (forgive the insulation and foam, it wasn't my handiwork..)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NCentral WI
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    Any other thoughts before I get my saw and destroy something?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,434

    Default Re: Exterior door rough opening too short

    After finally being able to see your photo, your plan is OK.

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