Widening a Doorway at My House
Writing the Salvage column has its perks: getting to swap "street score" stories with fellow junkers; wandering around warehouses full of architectural antiques looking for cool stuff to tell you about. This month I got to install a pair of vintage French doors in my 1930s Art Deco?style apartment. Only problem was, I had to first widen a single-door opening (see photo, near right) for two doors. I'm a handy gal, but I know my limits. For this job, which took three days, I called on Terrence McCafferty of Auric Construction & Design in New York City for help.

Here's how we hung two doors where only one hung before:

1. Measured the doors and added about 13/4 inches to the width and 15/8 to the height to account for the new jamb and threshold.

2. With all old trim removed from the existing opening, traced the outline for the new rough opening on the wall and scored along the pencil line.

3. Removed wall material inside the line to expose the old door framing. Checked for plumbing and electrical lines that needed to be relocated.

4. Cut the framing members and reinstalled them flush with the edge of the rough opening.

5. Installed a new 1x poplar jamb that we'd first mortised for hinges.

6. Attached the new threshold with construction adhesive.

7. Filled gaps around the jamb with setting plaster, then skim-coated.

8. Nailed on new casing and hung the doors.

9. Finished the wall, trim, and doors with new paint, then screwed on reproduction Deco-style pull knobs and surface-mount bolts.
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