Existing Front Door Demo & New Pella Install

Obligatory before and after pictures of the front door first.

The door installed when I bought the house was certainly not original construction, however, the transom seen in this photo may be original or at least much older than the door.  The frame of the transom was built into the brickwork with all wood construction and the typical slide latch lock and single pane glass.  We ripped out the entire frame, glass included but we saved the transom which is now used as a decoration in our bedroom.  See the photo of it mounted to the wall in Angela’s before after photos on her blog ourfolie: http://ourfolie.com/2015/10/10/home-before-after-part-iv/


And the after installation.  The trim is still not primed and painted but it is sealed up and looks a lot better.  At the very least, no water blows under the door when it rains and we don’t have to keep using the annoying “draft blocker” seen above.  It is a 36″ Pella Brand Solid Door, oak threshold, 6 panel style with a white interior finish and Iron Ore exterior.  The hardware is triple latch/bore (versus standard one on most doors) and is oil rubbed bronze.  The door has a built-in double pane transom.


And now on to the installation details…

The most fun part is usually the demo but this was not so much fun due to the fact that most of the fasteners were anchored into mortar or brick.  So i gave the task to the most capable man… my dad.


I didnt take many photos of the actual framing process because I was so frustrated putting it in and taking it back out to get it plumb in all directions.  The brick outline was not square and I had ordered the door custom to be installed directly into the brick with a 1/2 clearance all around.   Trying to put tap-cons in brick whilst keeping everything square was a challenge.   Finally we were able to get it fastened, shimmed, and spray foam insulated.  Took us about 4-5 hours post demo to get to this point.  Yay….


Here you will see the inside threshold and sill plate mating to the stone sill.  With double brick wythes and wood framing built on the inside, i spanned the opening.  This gave a nice place to step when entering without having to step on the sill.


Closeup of the threshold mate to the floor.  I have it shimmed to keep positive load on the door to floor at all times as the floor ran down left to right.  The copper is just that… copper flashing pan to keep any water that may get behind the door from making it to the wood.  It was formed and sealed so that water would run out onto the stone.


Exterior sprayfoam sealing.  The upper original frame is still partly intact as I intend to use part of it for trimming out the door.  This was it for the first day.


Next we worked on trimming out the outside and installing more custom jamb extensions on the inside.

Here I am prepping the door opening lintel framing so I can mount the new trim to it.  I used cedar due to its impressive decay and pest resistance.


First the exterior vertical sections.  Each board was ripped to width then i used construction adhesive for a bond against the wood to the door frame.  Attachment was completed by pre-drilling and then counter-boring holes for 4″ corrosion resistant screws.  Installed and the counterbore operation.



Horizontal section next.  Same procedure.  Glued the wood pieces together as well. I should note the frame was all pre-cut, checked for fitment, then assembled to the door before being fixed in place via screws.


Detail of the base trim.  I used copper flashing under the base to keep moisture from wicking through the stone/cement into the board.


Next I had to cap the jamb extensions.  I used a very simple trim style because it is effective and the look I want.  The caps were scribed to have an exact match to the “ins” and “outs” of the door frame opening.  Caps were glued to jambs and fastened with 16 gauge brads.  Before caps were installed, I shimmed the gap to the brick, put some fasteners through the jambs and then sprayfoamed more of the opening.



Final prouct.


Same basic process repeated on the inside.  Pine was used instead of cedar. Enough trim work already!!!


After a few days passed, we painted the interior trim and I installed the oak casing from Baird Brothers Sawmill in Canfield, OH.


The next step which really isnt a step, rather it is a reprieve from the sawdust and tools and tedius trim work to put some pretty numbers on the door.  The transom numbers were picked out by angela and are 24k gold from The House Number Lab.  First I had to find the center of the window.


The numbers have adhesive on the window mate side and a backing layer on the inside that I used to afix the numbers.  Waiting for the adhesive to set.


And the finished product!  You can also see the caulking sealing the trim to the brick and I also caulked the union of the trim to the door.


Next steps will be to  prime and paint the exterior trim; black of course.  We will color match to the door.   We are very pleased with the way the door looks but more on its performance.  No more drafts, no water, no condensation, and the air temp around the door interior surfaces is not too different than the walls or other surfaces.  I definitely recommend Pella products… a little pricey but worth it.

6 responses to “Existing Front Door Demo & New Pella Install

  1. Sam, Very nice work! You guys have been busy. Andrea is due in 2 weeks with our 4th new hiker and I just picked up a stamp, see attached.

    Take care and stay in touch,

    -David Losos



    • Hey buddy, congrats to you and Andrea on #4! I can’t see the stamp but I am going to assume you are now a PE… If so, that is awesome and makes me happy to hear! Good job.


  2. Looks good Samual for future reference you’re not supposed to shim the hinge side that takes all the weight so but it up against the wood in the other side out but it looks like you solid shims so I don’t think you will have any issues


    • Ricky bobby… You are actually supposed to shim the hinge side. You have to in a frame door if it is not level. Brick, like my situation, requires it. You place the shim behind each hinge and ensure your fastener passes through hinge, shim and into frame or other substrate. Shim the rest of the door frame at corners and multiples on the long sides.


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