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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to replacing a exterior door with sidelights.

Existing door is 79" with a 81 1/2" (approx) RO. Without cutting open the wall, I won't know if the 81 1/2 is to the bottom of the header or if it a 2x6 tacked on to the underside of the header to reduce the actual RO to fit the shorter door. Regardless of the header, it will still involve trimming back the siding, new j channel, etc.


I normally use thermatru and selected a classic craft that the customer likes. They also wanted vented sidelights...which I've never seen before.
Beside Home Depot lines, does anyone else make a 79" door? Needs to be oak grained fiberglass, composite jambs, vented 14" lights a preference. Looking for a quality option that's a drop in and not wait forever on custom slab sizing.

If HD is the only option, how are the feather river and jeld wen lines regarding quality?
 

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You can custom order through Lowe's or HD, but that's not their bread and butter, they don't like custom, so you'll have to wait two to three weeks.

I've installed vented side lites. It was a fiberglass door from Lowe's. The side lites were casement windows.

I'm sure the 79" door can be custom ordered through any building supply, no problem.

The stock doors from HD or Lowes are decent quality. I've installed a lot from both retailers with zero issues.

I never go there for anything custom. Besides the long lead time, the people you have to deal with are not the most knowledgeable with regard to building products. If the order gets screwed up some how, you have to wait another month.
 

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You're only talking about 1/2"?

I don't know your situation and what's above your door, but couldn't you remove a 1/2" from the header giving you the 82"?
 

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jb4211 said:
You're only talking about 1/2"?

I don't know your situation and what's above your door, but couldn't you remove a 1/2" from the header giving you the 82"?
Not if it's a 2x4 or 2x6 that's already undersized.

Need more info, OP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
You're only talking about 1/2"?

I don't know your situation and what's above your door, but couldn't you remove a 1/2" from the header giving you the 82"?
I pulled the casing and cut out a strip of drywall behind the casing. I can see the side of a 2x6 sitting horizontally above the jamb. There is nearly zero Clearance between the jamb and 2x. What I don't know is if this is just a filler or if it's the bottom plate of the header. Either way, I can make any door fit. I'm not suggesting the header beam is a 2x6, it's still concealed.

I can normally set a door in 45-60 minutes. Cutting everything to make t fit will add dramatically to the time (which I don't have) and the cost to install. I would rather drop it in and roll out to the next job.


Do you remember what brand that vented door was? Masonite?

I avoid HD/lowes as much as possible, I stop there for odds and ends only. I don't think they will stock anything that matches the customers wishlist. I knew jeld wen produces 79's, I've used them on interior jobs was hoping the T/A and quality would be on point with thermatru.
 

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I honestly don't remember, sorry
I know it was fiberglass and from Lowes.

Someone special ordered it and returned it. I bought it on clearance - the door never left the store except with me.
 

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If I was doing the install, I'd probably remove enough drywall to be sure what exactly I was installing this door in.

I've seen no headers before in exterior walls. I've seen doubled-up 2x's, placed horizontally to act as a header.

It's hard to say what to do on a job I've never seen. But, whatever you do, be sure you do it right.
 

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I'm not fond of ordering custom windows and doors from HD or Lowes and I don't like Jeld Wen.

Your best bet is to go to a supplier and wait however long it takes to get it.
 

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jb4211 said:
I think he's saying that the 2x is installed under the header to either reduce the hight or act as a nailer.
Yeah, but he hasn't exposed enough framing to know for sure, like you said in the post above.

I would expose a little more framing to be sure.

Best case scenario, it's a nailer on the bottom of the header that can be removed.

Viola!

New door doesn't have to be a custom size.

Worst case scenario, you fix the header issued, have a little more plaster or patching work to do and can sleep soundly at night knowing your new door install won't have "issues" on down the line.
 

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I believe NEUMA makes an operable side lite. Masonite does not, at least as of last week when I called and asked them :).

An out swing door frame typically requires an RO height of 81.25
 

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Going to replacing a exterior door with sidelights.

Existing door is 79" with a 81 1/2" (approx) RO. Without cutting open the wall, I won't know if the 81 1/2 is to the bottom of the header or if it a 2x6 tacked on to the underside of the header to reduce the actual RO to fit the shorter door. Regardless of the header, it will still involve trimming back the siding, new j channel, etc.


I normally use thermatru and selected a classic craft that the customer likes. They also wanted vented sidelights...which I've never seen before.
Beside Home Depot lines, does anyone else make a 79" door? Needs to be oak grained fiberglass, composite jambs, vented 14" lights a preference. Looking for a quality option that's a drop in and not wait forever on custom slab sizing.

If HD is the only option, how are the feather river and jeld wen lines regarding quality?
If that is a 2x6 on the flat are the walls framed in 2x6?
If the place was built within the last 25-30 years there will be a header up there unless this place is in the middle of nowhere with no inspectors. You can just knock on the wall above the door and know if it is solid (header) or not.

Those venting sidelights are a nightmare if they do not have reinforcing in the jambs where they are joined to the door jamb. In a regular unvented sidelight/door combo the sidelight jambs are tied to the sidelight itself and then the door's jamb is tied to that. This gives a strong support to hold the weight of the door especially if it has a full glass insert.

If you are pulling out an existing door/sidelight unit and replacing it with the same I don't understand why you have to remove all the J channel and siding.

I don't know what part of PA you are in but if I order a ThermaTru door through Lowes and it comes out of REEB they do not charge for cut downs.
 

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When I order TT doors, that come from REEB, they charge $100.00 to cut it down. If it's 2 side lites and a door, it's $300.00 to cut down. Probably half the doors I install are cut down.
Look into ordering them through Lowes. I don't know if this is something with them in my region, or specific REEB plant. My stuff comes from their Allentown, PA area plant.
 

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Going to replacing a exterior door with sidelights.

Existing door is 79" with a 81 1/2" (approx) RO. Without cutting open the wall, I won't know if the 81 1/2 is to the bottom of the header or if it a 2x6 tacked on to the underside of the header to reduce the actual RO to fit the shorter door. Regardless of the header, it will still involve trimming back the siding, new j channel, etc.


I normally use thermatru and selected a classic craft that the customer likes. They also wanted vented sidelights...which I've never seen before.
Beside Home Depot lines, does anyone else make a 79" door? Needs to be oak grained fiberglass, composite jambs, vented 14" lights a preference. Looking for a quality option that's a drop in and not wait forever on custom slab sizing.

If HD is the only option, how are the feather river and jeld wen lines regarding quality?
I have only used the Feather River Exterior doors once. the glazing stop on the first one leaked. I replaced it with the same one. It leaked also. I ordered another one of the same and it came in all out of wack and i sent it back. It was a door the homeowner selected and I was out 2 extra installs as a "warranty" issue. I told them I would not install the door a third time and made them choose another brand.

this was several years ago and I don't know if their quality has improved. fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. one Bad experience is enough to keep me away. I don't install hardly anything but Pella exterior doors now.
 

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I'd just plan to pull it all apart and move the header. Give a price for that with a discounted price if you don't have to.


In my market almost all the work we do is on houses 100+ years old, so we plan on re framing from the beginning.
 

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Please do the customer a favor and don't get them anything from Home Depot. Yes a 79" door can be custom made just needs to be ordered. You should be able to get in anywhere just a custom order. Check out Provia Door
 
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