We have an addition to our house that sits on cinder block and has a
small 3 foot tall door. Recently the original door rotted out at the
bottom, so its time to replace it...but I want to make sure its well
insulated. The original door is 3/4" thick plywood with some 1" thick
styrofoam board glued to it. Any suggestions on how to make a door
that's better insulated? (Or is this original way a decent way to go?)
If the block wall around the door isn't inslated there's not much advantage
to adding more insulation than you have. Your time would be better spent on
weatherstripping the door so as to limit cold air infiltration.
There are purpose-built weather tight steel door kits for applications like
that. How far above the dirt is the bottom of the door? I'd look at digging
out that area so at least a couple of inches of concrete show below the
door, and putting some gravel down for drainage. For that matter, can you
make the access way bigger, and use one of those premade window wells sold
for basement egress windows? If you go with a wood door again, anything you
can do to keep groundwater splash off of it, and keep it out of reach of
termites, will help.
As to insulation- what the other guy said- if the walls in the crawlspace
are not insulated, some stiff foam on the door panel is plenty. But if you
need more, and the wall is deep enough, and the door opens out, you can make
a jam-fit 'cork' out of the thick foam panels and some plastic whatever on
the edges, with a loop of rope on the outside to pull it into the hole as
you close the door. Hard to say without seeing the opening.
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