Ok, I've once again agreed to do a bit of side-work that I really wish
I hadn't. Homeowner put down some engineered flooring in the entryway
and now the exterior steel door won't open if there's a floor mat or
any carpet in front of it. "Do you have a steel cutting blade so you
can cut it down for me?"
I can certainly cut the door down, but I've got a VBF about it. Any
suggestions? Comments? Solutions? I'm thinking of telling him to
leave the door alone and I'll just rout out an area for the floor mat
or a little rug to sit in.
I'm not an expert, but if it is like any of the "steel" entry doors
I've seen you will compromise the door by trying to cut off the
bottom. They are generally a 14-18 gauge sheet steel shell wrapped
around (often) a stick frame and filled with foam insulation.
I wouldn't even try it.
I've seen some that have a composite/wooden thermal break between the
front and back steel panels, leaving a small ~1/4" exposed
composite/wood edge. You could remove a bit of that if present, but I
doubt 1/8" would help much in clearing carpet.
Sounds like poor planning on the part of the installer/homeowner.
Another thing I forgot to mention. Assuming there is any material to
remove, make certain that there is enough threshold adjustment to make
up the difference. You must have a good seal between the threshold the
door bottom to prevent water penetration, keep out bugs, and to
conserve heating and air conditioning.
Cutting down the door is doable, but it's opening a can of worms - and
some of the worms have teeth. The recessed mat is the way to go.
I've never done one in laminate, just wood strip flooring in higher
end homes. I use bronze angle to support the edge of the wood at the
recess. Otherwise the edges get abused very quickly. The horizontal
leg extends towards the inside of the recess. I then put down a thin
layer of whatever to compensate for the angle leg thickness, then cut
two or three different mats for different seasons/occasions. Vinyl-
backed cocoa mat is the standard, and looks great, but I also use semi-
cheapie tufted runner from the Borg. It comes in brown and grey and
is cheap, quick and pretty durable.
True words of wisdom. I used to do a lot of office finish outs and
There are two kinds of construction for metal doors. One is "plugged"
and the other is "folded".
In either case, unless it is just a small adjustment trim, I wouldn't
touch the door. If you cut into the plug or folded portions, you
compromise the structural integrity of the door. Not good.
Think of the folded type as the way a folded envelope back looks on a
large brown envelope. The edges and ends are folded onto themselves
and torch "spot" welded, but in some cases they aren't even secured.
The engineered folds to all the work.
With a plugged door, imagine a hollow door you can see through from
top to bottom. They slip a structural component into the door, then
force full sized plugs with a lip on them into the top and bottom of
the door. They spot weld the plugs into place along the lip of the
plug. If you cut the welds, you are screwed.
Another aspect to consider: if you haven't cut a metal door before,
you are in for some real fun trying to make those sharp crispy factory
style lines appear after you finish.
I would say do whatever you had to do to make that mat area recessed.
Routing may be a good idea if you are able to maintain the threshold
integrity. Otherwise take it to a good metal man. Like my Blacksmith
friend. He would do it with his eyes closed. Well almost. No one would
ever be able to tell the difference.
I had a problem like that. Ended up pulling door & frame & raised it,
took 3/4 " from the header & added 3/4 " on the floor.
Took all day just to make YOU KNOW WHO HAPPY!!!
Time for Swingman to chime in. He had the exact same problem on a new home
build last summer. I absolutely cannot recall what the solution was.
That said, Rehang/raise the door and jam assembly. Unfortunately that
could not be done on a straw bale house.
On Fri, 6 Nov 2009 18:01:04 -0800 (PST), Jay Pique
Since you've presumably already agreed to cut the door down, then
you're on hook for the job. First question comes to mind is if you're
charging for the work? If not, then you can rightly insist that he
helps you do the work. That might mean teaching him how to operate
some tool, but at a minimum it's hoped that it will shorten the job
for you and in best case scenario, he might decide that he then
doesn't want the job done.
I help friends all the time. With the ones that I consider to be
passing acquaintances, I don't hesitate to say that I'll do the job if
they help me. Their first response is that they don't know how and you
respond naturally by saying that you'll teach them And, that includes
doing the lion's share of the grunt work. After all, you're doing the
job for your expertise, not for your muscles.
I assume you are talking about one of the wood framed doors with
the steel skin on the faces like a Stanley door. Perhaps the
best/easiest thing would be to raise the door and jamb. This
project would be similar to replacing the door and jamb and would
keep the built in threshold and gasketing intact.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Since this is an exterior door, you can't just trim the door. You have to
raise the threshold as well.
In order to do this "properly", you'd need to remove the door and frame,
put a filler under the bottom of the door, adjust the framing at the top,
and reinstall the frame and door.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.