Turning a door into a window and building a small deck for direct backyard access-which to do first?

Hi there,
Long story short, I live in a condo building on the first floor. The backyard in this condo building is deeded to me but I currently do not have direct access from my unit to the yard - I have to walk through a common basement to get to it. I am in the process of getting building permits to turn one my large bedroom windows into a door and build a small deck and stairs so I can walk straight out of my bedroom to the yard.
I have friends who have offered to build the deck part of it (they have done this sort of thing before) but have no experience taking out windows and putting in doors. The window is just large enough that it doesn't need to be expanded to accomodate a door, but I will need a professional to do it. The door will open to the outside, toward the future deck.
What I am wondering is, will it make any difference which part gets built first? Should I have the window turned into a door first before attempting to build the deck part?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
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On Sun, 21 Oct 2007 20:45:03 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

Cut the door and finish it first. If you really think you will forget and fall in the hole, put in a temporary set of steps.
It is easier to make the deck match the door (right heaigt) than to make the door match the deck. It is also easier to get the door cut and threshold set without the deck there.
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On Oct 22, 12:30 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

make the door match the deck.
If you can't determine the correct height of the deck before you install the door, you shouldn't be attempting this project.
- It is also easier to get the door cut and threshold set without the deck there
Why would it be easier to be restricted to working on one side of the opening than to be able to work from both sides? In addition, since the deck should be lower than the threshold to account for rain, snow, leaves, etc. why would the deck make it harder to cut the door and set the threshold?
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wrote:

I guess that all depends on the height above the ground.
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Because standing and working at knee-to-waist height is easier than working on your hands and knees at floor level, maybe? You put the deck in first and you're restricted to crawling around on a hard, rough deck surface to do the outside portion of the work. If this is typical construction, the first floor is 2-3' above ground level.
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On 22 Oct, 08:31, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

At best, I'll grant you a 50-50 split. No deck makes the top of the door/window 2 - 3 higher than it would otherwise be, assuming the first floor is 2-3' above ground level. This would probably require the use of a ladder that would not be required if the deck was already there. On the other hand, the OP simply said "stairs" but didn't give us a height, so we're both making assumptions.
In any case, 2 feet or 10, I would rather (and did) have a platform to work of off. More time is spent up-right when removing a window and installing a door than "crawling around on a hard, rough deck surface".
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On Oct 21, 11:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

I had a similiar situation except it was 2 double hung windows, side by side, about 6' off the backyard. I could see the yard, but either had to go out the front door and around the house or down the basement steps (which also ended at the front of the house) and then through the basement to get to the yard.
I built the deck first, 6' off the ground and then cut out the windows and installed a sliding glass door. It was so much easier to work on the door from both sides than to deal with a 6' drop outside the opening. I finished the siding and completed the door installation and then went back and finished the deck railings and stairs.
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It is much easier to make the deck match the door. Besides, if you build the door first you will have easier access to the deck project.
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On 29 Oct, 17:42, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

You're the second person to suggest that matching the deck to the door is easier and I just don't get that.
As part of planning the project, you should be able to determine exactly where the deck should be in relation to the door whether the door is there or not. It's merely a matter of measuring correctly.
Then, once the deck is in place, you'll have a platform on both sides to make the installation of the door much easier.
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