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Replacing a window with french doors

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  1. #1
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    Default Replacing a window with french doors

    I was hoping to replace my double windows with a double french door set and I wondered if people thought that possible. I read about other people doing that on here and am hoping I can too

    1st Picture shows inside where I have moved the old kitchen from back wall to side wall to free up opening for door

    2nd picture shows 'header' over the window - quite substantial and I believe sized to take the load above

    3rd picture shows heavier uprights at the end(s) of the window which I believe takes the load.

    What do people think? Would you be confident of knocking out the window and replacing with a doorway? (hope so - its taken me nearly a year to move the kitchen out of the way )
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails house-002-small.jpg   img_6129-small.jpg   img_6133-small.jpg  

  2. #2
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    .....sorry, obviously the pipework will be removed first - once the plumber has rerouted the pipe outside the house.

  3. #3
    Oink! Oink! pawnhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattwilliams78 View Post
    What do people think? Would you be confident of knocking out the window and replacing with a doorway? (hope so - its taken me nearly a year to move the kitchen out of the way )
    Of course, so long as you don't touch any of the supporting studs at the side of the window, then you can remove everything up to the underside of the large beam up under the roof. This would give you higher doors, and much more light than the existing window.
    In my house I've installed a set of bi-fold doors that are *2.5 metres high.

    What I would do though, is install an appropriate sized LVL beam, as high as possible, going right through from your window to your back door. Then rip out the whole wall, and install a big set of bi-folds.

    * Edit (Originally I typed 1.5 high, instead of 2.5 metres. I'd have to be a dwarf. )
    Cheers, John

    Short Stack (my son's band)


  4. #4
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    From what I can see from the pictures, there is no lintel at all? It appears it is just hardwood frame held up by the studs...seems it lasted a long time now...but I would put a lintel right through too.

  5. #5
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    oh, ok. I may have been hastey.

    I have already covered those studs above the window in plasterboard (with R1.5 insulation behind just for the sake of it) but left the studs below exposed so I can swap over the doors. Its not the end of the world to rip off the plasterboard and put in lintel but I would rather not. How would I install it? Punch holes through the wall and Acroprop the wall up each side?

    If I can get away with it I would rather just straight swap out the window for a door. You may not be able to tell from the photos but the timber bearer above the window is 100mm as opposed to the 70mm studs and its keyed into the 100mm studs at each end of the window so it seems quite substantial. The house was orginally built by the old builder that lived there so presumably he knew the window would be there when he built it and spanned it accordingly? Is there a way that the central upright of the window is taking a load? It appears not as there is about a 10mm gap between that bearer and the frame to square up the opening.

    pawnhead - love the idea of ripping the whole wall out but sadly our kitchen is tiny at the moment and so my plan is to enclose that little area on the right into a pantry 1.2m x 1.2m (or could serve a number of other purposes in time such as laundry (currently outside) walk in wardrobe when the space becomes a bedroom or, if I can possibly shoe-horn such a thing in, the smallest ensuite in the world.)

  6. #6
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    Matt.....the current setup (no lintel) is no longer considered appropriate. But fear not.

    As has already been said you can whack in a lintel. It need not be LVL as F22 KD hardwood will be fine...we've had it specified throughout our reno as new lintels....185x45 comes to memory but memory is unreliable.

    First thing to bear in mind is the size of the door unit you are putting in. I'd certainly recommend the pre-made product available from Sydney Woodworkers www.woodworkers.com.au at Brookvale - our double doors (2 x 600mm, single pane) cost us just under a grand including the jamb & door hardware...and fully built costs not much more.

    The size of the door frame will decide the complexity of the opening construction. If the window opening is wider & taller than the final door opening then you are good to go. Especially if the new lintel can fit under the existing window lintel. Then all you'll need to do is fit two new studs (90x45 MGP12 pine) each side (one to support the lintel, one to go to the old lintel) between the bottom plate and old lintel with noggins back to the original hardwood frame.

    If the opening is bigger then you'll need to rebate the new lintel into the existing frame then insert the two new double studs to support the lintel & (this time) the top plate. And then nogg all that. Once that is done then and only then can you remove the unwanted parts of the frame.
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

  7. #7
    Oink! Oink! pawnhead's Avatar
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    I didn't notice that there was no lintel. I thought the shadow above the window was a big beam, but I didn't look close enough and I can see now that it's just a hole through to the eaves.

    Don't worry about buying a lintel.
    Just get some heavy duty hoop iron strapping, and fix it from the top of the studs at the side of the opening, down to the centre of the window head framing timber (the one you say is 100mm), like so;



    If it hasn't gone anywhere so far, then the hoop iron will make sure that it stays where it is. It basically forms a big tension truss the depth of the wall section above the window. It's restricted to the tensile strength of the hoop iron, so don't get the thin perforated stuff. The thick heavy duty stuff would just about lift up a car I reckon, and with the two of them there you could park your car on the roof and it wouldn't collapse. Of course it wouldn't do your roof tiles any good if you could get it up there, but I reckon you'd have no worries hoisting out a big engine with a block and tackle on it. It wouldn't budge.

    If you can, then it's best to poke it up past the top plate and wrap it over the top, nailing it down from the top. You'll have to pre-drill holes for the clouts, or punch holes with a hardened concrete nail. Also, leave them long at the bottom, and wrap them under the bottom of the head framing member once you've pulled the window out, then nail them up to the underside of the beam that's there. They'll be less likely to pull the screws or clouts out, (or shear the heads off) if their fixed that way. Put a nail through both of them where they cross over each other at the bottom. You could chop them into the framework so they're flush with the face, then they won't cause your plasterboard to bulge out over them, but I usually just belt the clouts in with heaps of force, so it buries the strapping flush, just by deforming (squashing) the timber a little bit.

    Stretch them tight by nailing one end off, then driving a 3" nail through the hoop iron, with the tip located in a spot a bit further (10mm) than where it's position would be. drive it in on an angle, bend it over and strike the corner of the bend. The more you drive the nail home, the more tension it puts on the brace. When it's nice and tight, nail it off with clouts and remove the bent 3" nail. Make sure that you haven't lifted the roof up with this method, before you nail it off.
    Or you could drill holes and put tensioners on them. They also may lift the roof if you tightened them too much.
    Cheers, John

    Short Stack (my son's band)


  8. #8
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentButDeadly View Post
    First thing to bear in mind is the size of the door unit you are putting in. I'd certainly recommend the pre-made product available from Sydney Woodworkers www.woodworkers.com.au at Brookvale - our double doors (2 x 600mm, single pane) cost us just under a grand including the jamb & door hardware...and fully built costs not much more.
    We had french doors in our previous house and I still miss them. Lovely, livable feature.

    If ready made french window units can be made to fit they will almost certainly be cheaper and less risky, stressful than having custom units made.

    One little suggestion, if the option is available, is to pay that little bit more for thicker woodwork and double glazing in the windows. The extra insulation adds more to room comfort than the increase in R-value would suggest.

    Cheers

    Graeme

  9. #9
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    Speaking as one who has made this mistake, if you're in a windy locale or regularly use a heater or A/C, make sure the doors are built with a designed-in weatherseal.

    If you think this fits your situation, don't take no for an answer. It's very expensive replacing doors and windows - do it once and do it right.

    woodbe.


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