New basement door, very old house...

Jon1270August 14, 2008

A friend has asked for my help replacing an exterior basement door in a very old house. I've gotten pretty good at hanging interior doors, but this would be my first exterior. The "sill," if that's the right term, is just a massive sandstone block, part of the foundation, 14" deep. The threshold of the existing (not original) door sits directly on the sandstone, without any wooden sill, subfloor or flashing in-between. Naturally that threshold has rotted out. The door swings in over the top step of a short stairway, and the upper edge of that stairway has degraded some as well, due to water infiltration.

I've been reading whatever I can find on installation of exterior doors, but all of the documentation I've found so far assumes that the sill and rough opening are entirely wood. Since the bottom of this opening is sandstone, and since the new door is likely to have an aluminum threshold, I'm not clear whether flashing is needed around the lower part of the opening or if the sealant that goes under the new threshold will be enough to exclude water. Any thoughts/experiences would be much appreciated.

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I would use 'Exterior Project' grade Liquid Nails. Any wooden part of the threshold should be pressure treated. Make sure the area of the theshold drains readily so water does not pool or puddle in contact with any wood component.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:51PM
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While the threshold will be aluminum, the side jambs will be wood. You should install a flashing detail that keeps the wood from contacting the stone. It could be metal or one of the rubberized adhesive products that will go over the stone and run up the RO jack studs about a foot.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 5:55PM
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