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Doors & Windows

Exterior French Doors

Turning our attatched garage into a family room. Have it gutted and ready to start the fun part........ Installing the French Doors I purchased where the garage door used to be. The thing is there is no frame and I want to make sure we construct a frame correctly! So my question is: HOW DO I BUILD A FRAME FOR DOUBLE SWING FRENCH DOORS????

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Posted 2012-03-24T04:06:27+0000  by ohgeezzz ohgeezzz


Hi hello and thank you for joining our How to Community.


Typically exterior door openings, including patio door openings, are framed with horizontal load bearing header above the door and supporting (jack and king) studs on the sides of the door.


Your existing garage door opening is framed using the same principle just on the larger scale. In other words there should be already some type of header in place, actually I’m almost certain there’s one in place already.

So technically, depending on the height of the existing opening, you should only need top and bottom plates plus the supporting studs on the sides of the door. Remaining part of the opening obviously can get framed, insulated and enclosed with exterior cladding of your choice.


That’s about all it takes to enclose garage door opening.


However, on the side note I want to share some previous experiences I have with garage conversions and design issues you may run into.


Originally when your garage was build it was not build at the same elevation as the remaining part of your home. Living spaces are elevated so that they are not immediately affected with outdoor elements. Right now your garage floor is at the same elevation as your driveway and it is designed and built with an expectation of occasional water intrusion. That is an explanation why 9 out of 10 attached garages have elevated wall footings and sloped floors with a floor drain.


Garage conversions require approval and building permit from your local building department. I would strongly advise to apply for one if you haven’t already. Once approved, they will specify how you should deal with an opening elevation, inadequate footing and energy code.


Normally with approved conversions concrete footing is poured bellow the frost level to support the enclosure and it’s joined with existing footing. Betonite is used later to waterproof the joint location.


Hope this helps and best of luck with you project.



Posted 2012-03-27T16:06:47+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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