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Any carpenters here know how to fix a rotten door?

toximus

Vroom vroom
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I have a few house projects needing work, probably 3-4 weeks worth, and I had a carpenter give me verbal confirmation that he was interested in the project a few months ago so I thought it was all lined up. Well, now that it's time to start locking down the project he's not responding and all of the other carpenters are booked up (a lot of people moved to my area in 2020-2021 and I'm not the only one having this problem with contractors backing out of jobs).

A few YouTube videos later, and I'm pretty confident that I'm able to DIY it every bit as good as the pros.

The side door is the worst, the roof drips onto the porch and caused the door frame to rot. My biggest fear is pulling the door out and finding that the framing has rotted too. Then I'd have an open hole in my house all next winter and nobody available to fix it until Summer 2023.

So, if there is rot on the framing under the door, what is the right way to fix it?

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toximus

toximus

Vroom vroom
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Bonus points if you can tell me how I can keep the water from collecting between the first deck board that touches the siding. I previously spaced out the boards so it could drain, but it still collects at that spot.
 

srimes

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You won't know how bad it is until you dig, and with these things it tends to be much worse than you think at first.

Rot is cancer, the fix is to cut it out until you're back to good wood. Identify rot with an awl or screwdriver. Get a feel for stabbing good wood, then poke all around to find the soft stuff that needs to be removed.

You have more than 1 door, right? Make sure you have plywood and plastic to seal it up while you're working on it and waiting for parts.

Treat new and remaining wood with woodlife/coppercoat.
 

pagrey

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To prevent the water sitting you need to angle the first two boards in a vee. The one against the door angles down and the next one angles up so you don't have a lip that somebody will trip on. Water drains between the first and second board. A hand plane will make quick work of that if you can pull the boards. If you replace the door you can raise the sill and put a proper threshold that has a ramp for water.
 

steelhd

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AndyG

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I have a few house projects needing work, probably 3-4 weeks worth, and I had a carpenter give me verbal confirmation that he was interested in the project a few months ago so I thought it was all lined up. Well, now that it's time to start locking down the project he's not responding and all of the other carpenters are booked up (a lot of people moved to my area in 2020-2021 and I'm not the only one having this problem with contractors backing out of jobs).

A few YouTube videos later, and I'm pretty confident that I'm able to DIY it every bit as good as the pros.

The side door is the worst, the roof drips onto the porch and caused the door frame to rot. My biggest fear is pulling the door out and finding that the framing has rotted too. Then I'd have an open hole in my house all next winter and nobody available to fix it until Summer 2023.

So, if there is rot on the framing under the door, what is the right way to fix it?

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Give me a few minutes to get parked and I’ll tell you what I think is going on- Is this structure built on an elevated slab or crawlspace-
 
OP
toximus

toximus

Vroom vroom
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Thanks. Take your time.

Some background if it helps. This was built as a 3 season cabin in 1997 — nobody lived in it full time until me. There have been some quirks that I've already fixed to make it 4 season. The doors and windows are mainly what's left to do. They all ice up in the winter.
 

Zorba

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I'm no carpenter either - but what others have said still applies. Remove all the rot and replace. You won't know until you get into the job.

With that said: Replace the door and door frame with ANYTHING but wood. Fiberglas, metal, vinyl, whatever. I completely refuse to have wooden doors, door framing, or windows of any kind. They all rot eventually. If you have even vaguely high winds, I also recommend doors that open OUTWARD. The harder the wind blows, the tighter the seal.
 

WestCoastDan

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I've repaired many a door jamb and sill over the years.
Even built many from scratch.
Can you post a pic of the sill?
I can't quite tell what has rotted away from the pics, but likely a whole new jamb and stop is needed.
Like already mentioned, you can't just fix/replace the boards on the outside, you have to replace everything that has evidence of water damage.

I asked for a pic of the sill because that may be why water is collecting along the foundation.
 
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AndyG

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Most likely its a lot of wood directly on wood -

Appears to be D Log siding over osb sheathing over conventional stud framing, and most likely osb decking on joists - hopefully felt is behind the D Log siding to prevent water transfer. We like to fir out the siding for an air gap.

Osb was not as moisture resistant in 1997 as it is now. Today it outperforms plywood.

First thing I noticed is the porch attached to the unprotected osb means the osb and band behind it is getting soaked. The door is likely letting water into the subfloor at the corners too.

Secondly the porch needs to be lower- it can shed water right into the door way- even a few inches can gain you decades.

The extent of damage can be from mild water stains to soft wood to termites and all about gone- and anything in between.

The screen door and porch sheds some bulk water so it may not be extremely bad-at the same time the attached porch is transferring and trapping water - I ‘d expect the lower door jambs, door threshold and subfloor below, especially in the door corners , to be pretty bad.

Worse case - You want to have a couple of days and good weather-

Then pull both doors if it appears extensive from below, remove the porch, cut the exposed osb sheathing away and fix the band if needed and the floor decking , resheathe it , then flash the new sheathing osb with ice and water shield and roll that into the opening , and seal both lower corners with Zip Flex tape- at this point I would shield the ice and water shield with thin aluminum trim coil metal folded into the door opening and hemmed back -

Then attach the porch and use stacked washers to keep it 1/2” off the aluminum so it can breathe- it needs to be lagged to the band with 1/2 galvanized lags or comparable structural exterior fasteners -

This gap is a huge deal, especially on large decks. Houses get badly damaged by direct attached decks transferring water to unshielded framing and sheathing.


reinstall the door and possibly use synthetic casing and paint it brown , or trim it with ripped down 5/4 treated deck boards and stain to match. If you drop the porch a similar trim piece can dress the bottom where this all would be exposed by the drop. Pvc or Trutrim (made from potash is great)

If the door frame has issues - and they usually do on the bottom legs as the end grain absorbs water just like it does when the tree is alive- you have to deal with that before you reinstall. You are good enough with your hands that between us all this can get done.

Always waterproof a structure like you aren’t going to do further work, and If possible make sure water can run off and evaporate - anything that keeps water out keeps it in- this is why non porous caulk accelerates the death of wood when it dams up water.

On a side note , new growth lumber is not as durable outside as the old stuff- not even close- so it takes a different approach today than it did decades ago to make a structure last. We have better materials in many ways, but build tighter and have to let water escape around wood of any species. Plain doug fir lumber out of oregon 60 years ago would outlast todays treated 2 to 1.
 
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Jablinski

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Before I obtained my HVACR status, I was (primarily) a residential carpenter/ contractor. I am well versed in both deck building and ALL OF THE DOORS. PM me. Ill fix it for material cost + a 6 pack. 12 Pack
 
OP
toximus

toximus

Vroom vroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
6,783
Location
Northern WI
Most likely its a lot of wood directly on wood -

Appears to be D Log siding over osb sheathing over conventional stud framing, and most likely osb decking on joists - hopefully felt is behind the D Log siding to prevent water transfer. We like to fir out the siding for an air gap.

Osb was not as moisture resistant in 1997 as it is now. Today it outperforms plywood.

First thing I noticed is the porch attached to the unprotected osb means the osb and band behind it is getting soaked. The door is likely letting water into the subfloor at the corners too.

Secondly the porch needs to be lower- it can shed water right into the door way- even a few inches can gain you decades.

The extent of damage can be from mild water stains to soft wood to termites and all about gone- and anything in between.

The screen door and porch sheds some bulk water so it may not be extremely bad-at the same time the attached porch is transferring and trapping water - I ‘d expect the lower door jambs, door threshold and subfloor below, especially in the door corners , to be pretty bad.

Worse case - You want to have a couple of days and good weather-

Then pull both doors if it appears extensive from below, remove the porch, cut the exposed osb sheathing away and fix the band if needed and the floor decking , resheathe it , then flash the new sheathing osb with ice and water shield and roll that into the opening , and seal both lower corners with Zip Flex tape- at this point I would shield the ice and water shield with thin aluminum trim coil metal folded into the door opening and hemmed back -

Then attach the porch and use stacked washers to keep it 1/2” off the aluminum so it can breathe- it needs to be lagged to the band with 1/2 galvanized lags or comparable structural exterior fasteners -

This gap is a huge deal, especially on large decks. Houses get badly damaged by direct attached decks transferring water to unshielded framing and sheathing.


reinstall the door and possibly use synthetic casing and paint it brown , or trim it with ripped down 5/4 treated deck boards and stain to match. If you drop the porch a similar trim piece can dress the bottom where this all would be exposed by the drop. Pvc or Trutrim (made from potash is great)

If the door frame has issues - and they usually do on the bottom legs as the end grain absorbs water just like it does when the tree is alive- you have to deal with that before you reinstall. You are good enough with your hands that between us all this can get done.

Always waterproof a structure like you aren’t going to do further work, and If possible make sure water can run off and evaporate - anything that keeps water out keeps it in- this is why non porous caulk accelerates the death of wood when it dams up water.

On a side note , new growth lumber is not as durable outside as the old stuff- not even close- so it takes a different approach today than it did decades ago to make a structure last. We have better materials in many ways, but build tighter and have to let water escape around wood of any species. Plain doug fir lumber out of oregon 60 years ago would outlast todays treated 2 to 1.

Wow. I'll be honest that 90% of those words mean absolutely nothing to me and that I'm about to start Googling them. Thank you so much!

If you don't mind some hand holding, it sounds like this is something I can confidently do. I'll even let you make fun of me when I ask occasional stupid questions.
 
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OP
toximus

toximus

Vroom vroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
6,783
Location
Northern WI
I'm no carpenter either - but what others have said still applies. Remove all the rot and replace. You won't know until you get into the job.

With that said: Replace the door and door frame with ANYTHING but wood. Fiberglas, metal, vinyl, whatever. I completely refuse to have wooden doors, door framing, or windows of any kind. They all rot eventually. If you have even vaguely high winds, I also recommend doors that open OUTWARD. The harder the wind blows, the tighter the seal.

Haha! Our doors MUST open inward so we don't get trapped inside when it snows. You must be from Florida or something. :ROFLMAO:

Agreed on not having a wood door. I don't want to take up the hobby of staining.
 
OP
toximus

toximus

Vroom vroom
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Joined
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Location
Northern WI
I've repaired many a door jamb and sill over the years.
Even built many from scratch.
Can you post a pic of the sill?
I can't quite tell what has rotted away from the pics, but likely a whole new jamb and stop is needed.
Like already mentioned, you can't just fix/replace the boards on the outside, you have to replace everything that has evidence of water damage.

I asked for a pic of the sill because that may be why water is collecting along the foundation.

I'll take pics tomorrow when it's light out.
 
OP
toximus

toximus

Vroom vroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
6,783
Location
Northern WI
Before I obtained my HVACR status, I was (primarily) a residential carpenter/ contractor. I am well versed in both deck building and ALL OF THE DOORS. PM me. Ill fix it for material cost + a 6 pack. 12 Pack

Have Jeep, will travel?