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I bought some used French doors to replace a sliding door. The sliding door measured 96" X 60". The French doors measure 96" X 60¼". I made the mistake of not measuring both doors. I just measured that the first door was < 30" and assumed I was ok. The other door was an inch bigger. The frame for the French doors is also thicker than the sliding door, mistake number two. My question is, what should I do? The biggest challenge I have is that I need about ½ inch on at least one side and about ½ inch on the top. Mistake number three was not considering that the doors need to clear the tile when they open inward. That's why I need about another ½ inch on the top.

Do I need to throw in the towel on the doors or try to re-frame it? There are two studs on each side. I don't see any studs above the 2X4 going across the top (I have 10' ceilings). I was considering moving that 2X4 up about an inch and then sawing/prying one of the side studs. That doesn't seem natural. I suppose the "right" way to do it would be to remove both studs from one side and then move both of them. I'm just not certain I can easily do that.

In case you can't tell, I'm not a professional. Any advice is appreciated. I'm willing to get new doors, but that's not my preference.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Ok Kenny, here is the plan. You can remove one Jack stud and door header with a sawzall(cutting between the studs to cut the nails) and some work. You can then replace the jack stud with a 3/4" board cut to 3 1/2" width and the new 3/4" higher height. Put a 3/4" block on top of the remaining jack stud and reinstall the header 2X4. It will still fit between the outside studs and be supported 3/4" higher then before. Obviously, you will have to trim some drywall away to do this, but that can be pieced in and patched fairly easily and if you're careful cutting it before the demo begins. The drywall seam may be covered by the door trim. The result will be a finished opening 3/4 inches wider and taller than you started with. Your new door should slide right in! Good Luck.

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Shirlock, thanks for the plan, it actually sounds better than what I was thinking on my comment to Michael's post. With a second floor above and jack studs running floor to ceiling, does it change your answer. We were very close to removing the jack stud yesterday. Got about half way and then decided to try and shave the backside of the door frame. That's when we realized the doors still wouldn't clear the tile. –  kakridge Jun 12 '11 at 21:08
Implemented this plan this past weekend. Funny, the easiest part of the whole operation was sawing off the jack stud and replacing with a 1 X 4. The jack stud actually ran to the ceiling, so I didn't need to put the 3/4" block on top. For a DIY job, I'm pretty happy. It certainly isn't perfect looking, but functions well. I'll post some pics soon. –  kakridge Jun 21 '11 at 15:45

The problem is that moving those studs around may have real consequences for the structural stability of your house. If the door was framed in quite heavily before (that is, if there's a lot of spacers between the door framing and the things that are holding up your house), then you might be OK, but if it wasn't, then you're talking about moving structural members around, which is something I always like to avoid.

Rather than getting into rebuilding your house, I'd go for a different door.

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the studs closest to the door frame are Jack studs. Removing them will not effect the structures stability. They are there to hold the door frame and support the door header. –  shirlock homes Jun 12 '11 at 17:08
But you do need to be sure the door header isn't supporting anything. If the wall isn't load bearing, then you'll be fine. Otherwise, it would be wise to build a temporary wall to support the weight while the header and jacks are being altered. –  BMitch Jun 12 '11 at 19:03
I read about the king vs. jack studs and that's what made me think about going that route. The thing that concerned me was that it appeared that the jack studs were running from floor to ceiling. I don't see anything nailed into the header and the header is toe nailed into the studs. I was thinking of adding a third stud (to cover B Mitch's point) next to the inner stud and then removing the outer most stud. I am nervous about load because this is an exterior first floor wall and I have a second floor. –  kakridge Jun 12 '11 at 20:53
Even though this is an exterior wall, a 60 inch door opening is not supporting the second floor. Since you also learned that there is only a 2X4 toenailed as a nailer, not a true header, then it is known there was no weight bearing on that 2X4. A true load bearing header would be 2) 2X8's or 10's with 1/2" plywood center, resting on jacks with cripples every 16" OC. If we were talking about a 12 or 15 foot opening, I'd use temps, but you will not have a problem with a 60 inch opening if the wall is at least 20 ft long. –  shirlock homes Jun 12 '11 at 21:45
This wall isn't much bigger than the door, probably 6 feet. I would require a temp stud in this case? Would the temp stud just need to go in the opening? –  kakridge Jun 12 '11 at 22:41

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