Installing a Steel Door in Masonry Opening

I own a home (about 83 yrs. old) with a stone foundation that is about 14" thick. In the rear of the home I have a walk our basement and would like to install a new insulated steel door. Currently there is a screen door with a pretty shotty wood frame. The best I can tell (if I were to remove the screen door and frame) I would have about 34-35" of clearance. Can anyone provide any tips on an install and if I should be looking for a specific frame type? I'm trying to maintain at least 30" of clearance (for moving purposes) and although I would rather not but would if necessary have a custom door made. Thanks.
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Just installed two steel doors in my home, front door w/storm and service door in the garage. Neither fit exactly and had to modify the wood framing. Suggest you visit your local building products store (I purchased from Menards) and pick up a brochure on the door you like. Plan on framing in the opening to accept the new door with wood (door will be smaller than current of course). If the opening is not high enough, plan on going special order as the only the threshold height is semi-adjustable - nothing else).
I would really recommend the services of a contractor as it's not as easy as it looks (experience talking - grin).

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Rough opening of a 30 inch door is 32 inches. This allows for shims etc. I would bolt on 2x4 or 2x6 or whatever jamb would work you could lead anchor, concrete screw, epoxy the bolts into the masonary and make sure the heads are flush with the rough jamb. I would plumb these level, top, plumb sides..... I would fill the space inbetween the masonary and rough jamb with good adhesive caulk or mortar mix. You could stuff insulation and or spray foam in this too. I would install a standard 30 inch door with frame to rough jamb with screws and use shims to plumb it up. I would trim accordingly. Use of a pressure treated jamb or bug proof jamb would be adviseable. It can be done jloomis

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Excellent description.
What I found in my own case wasn't that there was a problem with the width, it was the new doors where a little higher. That's where the real problems came into play. The header need to be sawed to remove around 1/2" (over 3/4" in the garage). Fairly easy on wood, but could present much more problems in masonry for the average homeowner. Reason I advised getting the door specs prior to buying is because doors today seem a little higher than those sold a few decades ago.
BTW, I prefer foam for all caulking needs. Only $5 can at Menards (might even be cheaper other places), and one can goes a long way.

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Hi, I would cut down the door first..... Lots of times, with header sizes and door companies and ease of installation, I have the door pre-made to fit............Makes life easier.......... jloomis

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I'd probably go with a 32" door mounted on 5/4" jambs and an aluminum threshold with vinyl weatherstripping bulb. I'd drill into the mortar joints and install lead anchors and bolt each jamb to the stone in four places (counterbored and plugged holes unless you like exposed fasteners). Then low-expansion spray foam between the jambs and the stone. Scribe some 1x stuff for the casings and have the casing sit tight against the stone. Prime and paint all six sides of every board before installation.
Call your local building supply house and ask how much for a custom made 32" in that configuration. It'll probably be less than you think as long as you don't ask for custom fiberglass.
R
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I've installed 3 doors in masonry openings in my home. I don't know about your specific case, but you may need to frame it out with PT wood.
The mortar around the stone may be too soft to hold anchors, so consider buying an impact drill and drilling into the stone, and use Tapcons.
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Don't you think you might end up having problems when using pressure treated lumber in direct contact with aluminum (or steel) door framing?

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Most steel doors for residential use have wood jambs.
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Come to think of it, I guess your right. Should be no problem.

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