# measuring stuff

Page 1 of 2
• posted on July 1, 2006, 10:47 pm
Today I took a trip to the Lowe's store so that I could get a replacement for a hollow core door. I also wanted to check out the windows and see what they had.
So I measured my door and it came out to be 30x79" and the windows were 34x71"
Looking at the doors, the hollow core doors were only in 30x80" My assumption is that I mis-measured my door and didn't worry about it. On a lark I re-measured my existing door - yup it is literally 30x79 and the replacement is 30x80. Did my door shrink? It certainly wasn't altered,
Now onto the windows. When I measured them I measured from the inside box. I mean the rectangular cavity that the window fits into. When I was looking at the windows at Lowe's, they are something like 36"x72", nice normal dimensions and slightly larger than my window's dimensions. Again the similiarity tells me that I simply mis-measured the window.
But if I did, how do I measure a window when trying to find a replacement?

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 1, 2006, 10:55 pm
On the door .... are you the original owner of the house? Was the door ever cut off to accommodate high carpet? Some of our doors were. Don't know about the windows but depending on how old your house is, these things do change. I've found similar situations when trying to find replacements for things in my 20 yr. old house. The spaces left in the kitchen for the refridgerator isn't wide enough for a double door (or it would be a pain to try to get it in there)....and other things. Depending on how old your house is, you may find other similar problems.
Eigenvector wrote:

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 1, 2006, 11:31 pm
6' 8" (80") is the standard for doors in the USA, my bet is that yours was cut down. doors would be more outrageously priced than they are if there wasn't some standard.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 1, 2006, 11:34 pm
Its easy to trim a inch off the bottom, no doubt it was a carpet issue....

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 1, 2006, 11:54 pm

Yeah, I pulled the runner and found out the previous owner shimmed it ~3/4 inch with some boards to make the door float above that atrocious shag carpet that was so popular in the 60's.
I should be okay, there was nice Oak flooring under that carpet so I only need a thin runner to keep out the buggies and the draft from the garage. The trick will be to countersink the hinge in the door, since it wasn't pre-cut into the door, I guess the hinge location is too variable. Once the hinge is countersunk, or I can find a thinner hinge material the door will be a nice tight fit!

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 1:07 am

Hanging a door is a mid to advanced carpentry skill. Are you sure you're up to it? Your use of the term "countersink" the hinges shows that you probably haven't done this before.
You need to mortise the hinges into the door in the exact place they were in the old door. You can only be off maybe an 1/32" or so. You can purchase a jig for a router or use various other marking tools. If you don't use a router you will have to use a hammer and chisel.
To cut the bottom of the door, you have to score it with a knife first so you don't chip the surface. And of course you need to drill the holes for the lockset and mortise the edge of the door for the latch. Also, you may need to plane the edges so it will fit right (the latch side of the door is generally beveled) and shim the hinges so the door doesn't bind.
Good luck

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 1:36 am

It's not as bad as all that. I have no illusions that my door will be a little cockeyed the first go at it, but it only has to fill the doorframe for now. The latchplate, doorknob holes were all pre-drilled, so that eliminates a ton of the variables. The hinge plates are mounted in the doorframe already, now it's just a matter of matching up the hinge plates with proper position on the door then going at it with a chisel. I think I can do the math so long as I keep it slow. All I have to do is line up the latch.
Well we'll see how it goes, if it goes bad I'm only out 21 bucks (hollow cores are cheap).

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 2:35 am
Well that wasn't so bad. The door closes, the latch engages, it isn't totally cockeyed, and I have a new cat door to boot!
I'll definitely have to go over the bottom hinge when I have a bit more time, I cut it too high and now I have to alter the inset for the frame. The latch edge of the door is a bit too snug as well, so I'll shave that too - but it ain't much, maybe a couple thou is all.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 3:36 pm
Eigenvector wrote:

A couple things before you start changing hinges. First, its probably best to keep the hinge location that you had, since the door frame may be mortised (countersunk). If it isn't, you can get non-mortise hinges (hinges that are made to be used without mortising). If you do use mortise hinges, be careful that you don't go too deep, because the door could bind. Also, make sure that your knob and strike line up.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 1, 2006, 11:41 pm
Eric in North TX wrote:

Yeah, I'm trying to replace the entry doors in my home and they're all 84" doors. Try finding those at a local store.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 1, 2006, 11:51 pm
cas wrote:

7-0 entry doors are quite common and any quality distributor should have no problem at all. That, of course, doesn't mean a HD or Lowes will have them in stock, but I'd be surprised if even they didn't have at least a few in a larger market store.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 1:57 pm
dpb wrote:

I thought I'd find more of them since there are a lot of old homes where and 7' doors are very common place. The HD guy told me to install a 6-8 and put a header in to make up the gap (I was there with a friend, I don't go HD). Lowe's said they could special order them from Pella but I could order them myself and get the same deal.
Back to the op, I've seen a lot of doors trimmed at the bottom so they'll clear the carpet.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 12:48 am
Eigenvector wrote:

How old is your house and what are the actual dimensions you measured? Your house may not have standard size windows to begin with.
But unlike doors, windows come in a huge variety of sizes. It could be that Lowes just doesn't stock a window that fits your opening exactly. But they can likely order one for you; you just have to choose a window that comes in sizes other than what they carry. (I know this because I'm in the process of ordering some Pella wood windows through them now; they come in 1/4" increments so you can get pretty much any size.)
It sounds like you measured your window correctly. The only potential problem is the sill. Most older sills have a built-in slope (I guess for water runoff) and so it matters whether you measure the front or the back. You should be measuring at the front, where the opening is smallest. (Just remember that after interior sashes and sash trim is removed, the replacement window frame has to fit into the smallest part of your existing frame.)

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 2:41 am

I measured 70x34 and one 90x46, but it sounds like I already mis-measured them. I measured from the inside of the house, not the outside - so right there is 2 inches of frame that I missed - which would account for the differences

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 2:06 am

I've has a similar problem. I measure my penis and get one dimension, but my wife insists it is much smaller.
Your door was probably trimmed at the bottom. Very unusual to find a 79" as stock.
As for the windows, take another look and be sure you are measuring the full size, and not hidden by trim. Years ago, there were a lot of odd ball sizes, but for the past 50 or so years, there have been standards.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 7:27 am
On Sat, 1 Jul 2006 15:47:53 -0700, "Eigenvector"

Just cut off the bottom of the door. If it has a built in weather strip, cut off the top before you place the hardware.
For the window, you might have to get a custom replacement (expensive).

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 10:44 am
Eigenvector wrote:

In another post you indicated "keeping the draft out from the garage." Does this mean you put a hollow door to a garage? Certainly against code and definitely a fire hazard issue!
-- John Ross

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 3:27 pm
I can replace damaged items with like items correct, or do I HAVE to update to code when replacing existing parts to my home? The hollow core that I am replacing was the original.
I believe I somewhat understand what you mean by fire hazard, although what would code compel me do to - replace with a steel door?

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 3:54 pm

Was it truly original or did the previous owner replace it? Code aside, do you want your family protected by a hollow core door or a steel door? Sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than saving a couple of dollars even if the code may allow it.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on July 2, 2006, 4:06 pm

Well actually at this point I'm more interested in the actual wording of the code requirements. No I don't want to burn to death in a fire, but I also don't want to turn my house into a bank vault.
A cursory look at the energy code, fire codes, and mechanical codes and I didn't find any reference to requirments - other than a vague reference to a door being able to survive 1 hour. Obviously a hollow core wouldn't survive 30 seconds but the reference that I found was couched in the form of a suggestion rather than a requirement and it wasn't even coming from the code commission.
So I'd like to know where you learned that the door has to meet a specific requirement, if only so that I can learn for myself and not turn my house into a deathtrap.