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This has been an issue in my house for a while now and I’d like to finally look into fixing this but not sure if it’s something I can do myself or if I should hire somebody.

The wood is clearly not in good shape. A long time ago I noticed a bit of water got in after a storm but I haven’t had any issues since but would still like it to be fixed. From the outside photo below, you can see where water gets in; it’s the little gap between the wooden board and the yellow siding. I can stick a screwdriver in there from the outside and see the other end of it inside.

Here are some photos:

Inside of the door, looking out: From inside door

Inside the laundry room (where they put some exterior looking siding up as interior wall covering): From inside of house

Outside the door: From outside of house

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2 Answers 2

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You're looking for some general advice on how to start. That's a really broad question, but since we've narrowed down that at least a couple of your pics are from the inside that makes it a little bit easier.

In broad, general terms:

  • Remove interior door trim.
  • Remove interior wall coverings in the vicinity of the door.
  • Take a look at the wall framing to see the extent of the damage.
  • If you have basement/crawl space access, get down there and look for additional damage.
  • Depending on your confidence level with your inspection so far, you may need to pull the exterior door trim and maybe even some siding to get a better look. It's more of a hassle, but it's better to put up with the hassle now while you're in the "fix it" mode, than to find later that you didn't discover all the damage now and have to go through it all again.

If things go really well, you've only got damage to the door frame itself and that's a fairly easy fix.

  • Either pull off all the damaged trim & door frame and do a complete replacement of the trim, or
  • Carefully make nice square cuts into solid wood and patch in replacement pieces, or
  • Pull the whole door & frame unit and replace with new. (You've been wanting to upgrade anyway, right? :)

If things don't go so well, you've got framing damage and a lot more work ahead of you. If you do hit framing damage, come back with pics and ask a question about repairing a specific bit of the framing. Or, decide that you're in over your head and choose to hire it out. There's nothing wrong with that - we just had a 2 story addition framed by a contractor and we're doing all the finish work (siding outside, plumbing, electrical, etc., inside) ourselves (saves his DIY man-card).

Whatever you do, you'll definitely want to close up that gap next to the door sill in the last picture. A piece of wood, carefully trimmed to fit in there, pre-drilled then glued and screwed in place (a small piece of wood like that will easily split if you try to nail or screw without a pilot hole). Then some caulk around it to keep the water out.

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It's hard to get an overview just from several close-ups of different bits, but the entire thing looks not fit for purpose.

Most of the trim pieces we can see look cosmetic rather than functional. Nothing at all is sealed. The door itself doesn't even have a weather bar to make water run-off away from the gap under the door.

At minimum, the narrow bit of siding & all the trim/architrave will have to come off before you can see whatever underneath ought to be the functional part of the weatherproofing. I'd be prepared for a whole new door & frame - fitted properly - after whatever remedial work is required to the main structure underneath.

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  • Or do you mean the yellow siding should come off? I need new siding in general but was hoping to not need to do that right away
    – Kevin
    Jul 15, 2023 at 12:25
  • The inside bits need to come off simply because they're ruined, but you need to be able to get to where there ought to be some weatherproofing, which there doesn't appear to be in any of those pictures. Everything, as my dad would say, "fits where it touches."
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 15, 2023 at 13:19
  • Makes sense. I’ll get the interior bits off and see how far that gets me. I guess the vinyl siding would need to be removed to get proper water proofing in place but wondering if there’s a temporary solution I can use to waterproof since I’m probably going to be getting all of the siding replaced in the near future.
    – Kevin
    Jul 15, 2023 at 13:23
  • tbh, siding isn't really in my repertoire. It's just not used over here in the UK, but my read of it would be that your true 'sealed' weatherproofing would have to be underneath that. It can't be weatherproof in itself, as it's just sitting on top of whatever the house is built from. It's lapped like roof tiles so water would run down it, but then there's a half inch gap at the bottom rainwater can just pour through.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 15, 2023 at 13:27
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    Anything you do short of actually getting to the building proper to assess the damage is going to be nothing more than a temporary stop-gap. You are going to have to do it properly at some point, especially if it's a wood-framed building. Every week you leave it makes the final proper job more extensive, & expensive.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 15, 2023 at 13:40

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