Entry door from house to garage?

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Submitted by edna_mode on October 28, 2012 - 9:29pm

Hi all, we're considering a house that does not currently have direct access from the house to the garage. Does anyone here have experience putting in such a door and care to share their experiences? How much it would cost DIY or by a professional? Seems clear to use a fire-rated door, any other considerations or pitfalls?

Submitted by drathersurf on October 28, 2012 - 11:35pm.

Hopefully there is a good place for the door, say from a hall or area of a room that makes a good entry.

I did something like this. Existing door between garage and house was not properly rated (fire) and had awkward steps. The door wasn't expensive say $300. Nothing fancy, it was pre-hung, solid wood, painted it and put a nice handle/lock on it. However it needed to look like the interior doors in the house. New trim. You will need demo, framing, etc for the new entry way. Weather tight seal. Also a light switch by the door.

We also raised the level of the floor in the entryway (hence a new frame). Steps should be about 8 to 10 inches. Poured one concrete over-sized step (like a landing). It was in the order of $2 to 3k for a contractor.

Only the bathroom doors are used more than this one. We're now thinking about finishing the garage closer to an interior type area.

Submitted by Hobie on October 29, 2012 - 8:18am.

Locate gas/electric lines and determine if it is a load bearing or sheer wall. This will add a little more cost to beef up the structure. Self closer to the fire door is code and helps keeps garage smells out of the house.

Submitted by edna_mode on October 29, 2012 - 5:22pm.

Thanks!

Another strange architectural feature that I don't like is the one-step raised floor at the front door, that then you have to step down to get to the living room. I think this is trip hazard, especially if the floor is all the same color! Any notion of how expensive that is to get rid of?

Submitted by Hobie on October 29, 2012 - 9:01pm.

Gotta love the '60s! The entry landing is probably part of the foundation pour and often there are 'lights'(windows) on either side of the door which requires strong headers to support the roof.

One idea is to saw cut parallel to the wall to floor depth and jackhammer. Like a dado cut in wood. Existing structure stays intact and you build a custom tall entry door.

Guessing: $2500 cutting, 5k door, new floor?, drywall repair?...so $10k min.

Submitted by sdduuuude on October 30, 2012 - 12:00am.

If it were my house and I were ready to "do it" I would take off the drywall on the garage side first to see what I was dealing with. Whether you do it yourself or have someone else do it, you need to see what is there. If the contractor can't see it, the quote will be littered with "if this, then this, yada yada." If he can see it, it will be easy to estimate.

If there is no plumbing or electrical, it's pretty easy.

Sometimes, you can frame the whole door without disturbing the drywall on the interior side, then just cut away the drywall inside the frame after the framing is done. Sometimes, not.

After you cut away the drywall and see the project, order a pre-hung door. 1-hr Fire door w/ closing hinge is the code, I think. Dixieline will help get the right thing, right swing direction, etc. Think about which side the hinges go on.

Add full-length studs on the outside (start about 8" wider than the door size, if I recall), plus a header support inside of those. Put in the header and make sure you replace the studs above the header to keep that support in place.

Once framed, re-route any plumbing or electrical.

Then, hang the door.

Then, put in moulding around the door to finish it.

I know a framer that works for $200 a day that would do this for me (for me, not for you. Sorry) in a single day - frame it and hang it. I would finish up the moulding myself.

I could see a plumber and electrician costing two or three-hundred each.

Need a good carpenter to hand and finish the door. I do this myself so I'm not sure what it would cost.
Call it $500.

With no plumbing/electrical - call it $300 for the door. $200 for framing and hanging. $500 for finish work = $1000. Add $600 for plumbing and electrical. A "full-service" one-stop-shop contractor would probably charge you $2K or more. I like to find my own "little guys" to do each part.

As ado-it-yourself project, this would cost me about $500 in door, lumber, moulding, and paint and take maybe two weekends.

Submitted by desmond on October 30, 2012 - 7:01am.

In my ideal house I would have a larger than the standard door with handicap (lower threshold) clearance to make moving things in and out easier.

Submitted by UCGal on October 30, 2012 - 8:59am.

edna_mode wrote:
Thanks!

Another strange architectural feature that I don't like is the one-step raised floor at the front door, that then you have to step down to get to the living room. I think this is trip hazard, especially if the floor is all the same color! Any notion of how expensive that is to get rid of?

My step mom's house has this "feature". It's a 60's mid century type. It was an issue when she broke her hip and was in a wheelchair for a few months after.

My husband looked at removing that step up/down and estimated it at about $10k to make it flush. In this case - there's a matching step up on the outside of the door - so it would have been jacking out both sides of the door - and removing these weird landings on both sides.

Fortunately, she was back to walking very quickly.

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