I have been hanging onto a few random doors for a few weeks. Some are leftovers and some were collected between Point-A and Point-B while photographing doors. I figured I’d save these for a week when I had nothing to offer, but the discovery of the random door I featured at the top made me decide to share them today.
Without knowing much about the doors I’m sharing, I thought I’d spend a little (of your) time explaining the details inside the doorways where we find our doors. Of course, this only applies to traditional wood-framed construction.
We understand the door’s job. Open to allow passage and close to seal out weather, prying eyes, bad guys or just to provide some quiet. Of course, those of us who comes to Norm’s place every week also like them to be beautiful. On the other hand, the structure around the door is not always well understood.
Doorways are holes in walls. In a simple, non-load-bearing wall, the sides of this hole need to be plumb (vertically level) side-to-side and back-to-front and level at the top. It also needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the door. Most doors are hinged, meaning that one side of the door must be well-secured into the structure of the building. Sliding doors need that support to be overhead. In that case, they are similar to doors in load-bearing walls.
If you open a hole in a load-bearing wall, you have to establish a pathway for the weight above the hole to be transferred to the solid structure beneath the door.
Ultimately, all the weight of a building, and everything in the building must be carried to the foundation of the building.
The images below are of the doorway I am building in the partition wall in my garage. This wall is not a load-bearing wall, although I am hoping to add some support to a storage area above the garage that runs from the front to the rear. On the other hand, I will be hanging sliding pocket doors in this opening, so I have to provide a means to support those doors and let them travel easily. That requires an opening that is plumb, level and strong.
The weight above the doorway would normally be supported by wall studs 16″(41cm) on center. In the absence of those studs, a “header” carries that load. The ends of the header are supported by “jack studs,” each attached to a “king stud” that runs from the bottom plate to the top plate. Above the header, a series of “cripple studs” support the top plate where the original studs would have been. Headers are sized to support the load above them, and in the case of sliding doors, the weight of the doors below.
If you want to see more interesting doors, and less technical gobbledygook, head on up to Norm Frampton’s website where each week lots of people look at the doors Norm is sharing and leave links to their own doors.