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Discussion Starter #1
The door jamb on my back door where the screen door closer attaches wasn't in great shape when I bought the house. I've patched it a couple of times but now it's at the point where it needs some serious work as it has a couple of long splits in the area. I purchased the following based on a magazine article/ review Ultrajamb. Looking at the jamb, I think that it needs some major repair before just bolting this in place. As it definitely makes sense to use screws long enough to get a substantial bite into the 2x4 studs, and I didn't just want to have the screws span the gap between the jamb and stud (it would be different if I could get in there to put some shims in the area), I had the idea that the way to fix the problem would be to cut a rectangular hole in the jamb about the same size as the plate, set in a block deep enough to go all the way to the face of the 2x4 and then screw the plate in place through the block. With it being a solid block, there would be no deflection from the screws holding the plate to the jamb and any forces from the door slamming open wouldn't "torque" the jamb.

Looking at the product, the #10 machine screws are only about 1/4" long which, in my opinion is too short. I was thinking about using the same #6 screws through the closer bracket/plate and into the stud. What do you think? And how far should the screws penetrate into the studs? - the supplied screws are 2" so I'm thinking at best that I'll get 3/4" of screw into the stud.

The area of the jamb where the plate mounts is a little wider than the plate so I was planning to screw the plate to the jamb and use it as guide for my multi-tool to cut through down to the 2x4. Make up a plug to fit into the hole (I can size the thickness of the block once the jamb has been opened up, make it a little thicker and then plane down to the surface) and glue it in place - either glue or Loctite construction adhesive. Once the glue dries, go ahead and screw the plate in place through the block and into the 2x4. I'm also going to try to open up the remaining crack a little and try to get some glue - either epoxy or "Crazy Glue" - or even use some epoxy putty, although that should be mostly cosmetic.

What do you think? Will this work or is there a better, easier way to go about this.

Tom
 

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Tom...my initial thought is to suggest replacing the jamb...if it's that bad it's probably a good idea...however...

Having said that, and in responding more directly to your question, I think you can get behind the jamb and reinforce with shims in the area where the new plate will go.

I'm guessing you can remove the interior trim and that will give you access to the space between the door frame and the stud to beef it up with shims or spacer, etc... If the exterior is easier, so be it but that would require you removing the screen door components...better to do it from the inside. Your multi-tool should help quite a bit in removing the trim without damage.

You can always replace the trim should you damage it taking it off...

...that's what I would do...
 

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Tom, I did this type of repair on a house a few years ago and it worked fine.
 

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What do you think? Will this work or is there a better, easier way to go about this.

Tom
drill two holes in the geometric center of where the top and bottom screws of the plate are w/ a forstner bit all the way through the jamb and part way, as in shallow, into the jack/trimmer stud...
glue in hardwood dowels making sure they bottom out in the hole in the stud...
cut them flush to the jamb's surface..
you now have shims to hold against the plate, alleviate stress and hold the jamb solid...
use at least 3'' screws to hold the plate...
go w/ as large of a diameter dowel as you can manage/fit...
if the screws need to go through the dowels, drill clearance holes through the dowels for the screws...

after you drill the jamb have a look to see if there are any nails you'll hitting w/ your bit...
if so, don't drill the stud, just surface glue the dowel to the stud...
 

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It's chronic problem regarding storm doors, short jamb screws and no wind chain stops or incorrectly placed and adjusted stops. I've seen and worked through previously damaged and repaired jambs.

I suggest until you're ready to either remove the door to replace the jamb or the entire door you attempt to glue and clamp the damaged jamb area then apply the plate. Ensure you use the plate's storm door bracket holes to predrill undersized holes into the 2X4 jack this'll prevent the bracket from tearing out in the future but not prevent damage to the storm door. A shock absorbing chain stop can minimize wind damage but not stop it; the storm door chain bracket can still tear out of the storm door. Even using through bolts and double brackets, they'll prevent the chain from pulling free but may warp the door to the point it may not close properly if at all.

The only thing one can do to prevent wind damage is to ensure the storm is properly closed and engaging the striker plate then lock it, for front storm anyway. A properly adjusted HD closer is also a must. No one likes it but the only way to ensure it closes correctly is to have it close with a slight bang. This is often too fast for people who can't move through the opening quick enough and can't seem to get in the habit of remaining in contact with the storm on entry, (Too much like work).

Double closers may be required on doors with single and or double drafting strips especially if and when the glass is in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dan3103, Nickp, Mike and Stick486,

Thanks for the replies. A little history on this door - There is a window right next to this door that I replaced way back, old double hung for an Anderson. Being relatively green at the time, I didn't look closely at the existing arrangement and went ahead and bought the closest Anderson, height OK but a little narrower. I removed the old window to find that the window jamb was directly attached to the door jamb - the wall had been framed with a header going the complete span and a half wall built under the window. As the new window was narrower, I shimmed a short piece of 2x4 away from the door jamb to give me the required rough opening for the window and toe nailed it in place. I don't have any photos - this was way before affordable digital cameras were available so couldn't /didn't document the process like I do now. On the outside, I nailed in a piece of 1/2" plywood to fill in the gap and pieced in some coli stock to finish it off. On the inside, I used ranch casing around the door and the window but ripped the piece on the side of the window to fit the space and directly butted it against the outer edge of the door trim.

Taking off the interior trim is an option - but the corner is glued and finish nailed across the miter so would probably have to be replaced. I don't have any more paint from the last time so would wind up having to repaint the kitchen. Not whining (really) but was hoping to have that on next year's schedule.

I had actually thought about the dowels, but was thinking of a dowel at each hole - so a bunch of holes. Stick, I kind of see what you're saying but do you mean a dowel under each set of four holes? If I use screws through the bracket as well as just the plate, that would be three dowels which is not really a problem - but the dowel would have to be about 2" diameter to pick up the 4-bolt pattern. The pattern is about 1-1/8" in the X-axis, 7/8" in the Y-axis and 1-7/16" on the diagonal, and the patterns are about 2" on center. I could do the top and bottom holes, let the glue dry and then bore the third hole - I don't have a Forstner bit that big, would have to buy one, and I'd have to check on 2" dowels at Lowes.

Something jogged my memory for some reason - that maybe the outside of the door jamb was tight up against the end 2x4 on the knee wall - so I took a 1/8" bit and drilled a couple of holes through the jamb and into the 2x4. I couldn't pick up a "gap" between the two pieces, even with drilling very slowly - there was no sudden jump in depth, so maybe there isn't any gap between the two parts.

Here's a quick layout of the 3 dowels and the holes to match the hole pattern in the plate - the rectangle is the dimension of the plate. What do you think?

Tom
 

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Here's a quick layout of the 3 dowels and the holes to match the hole pattern in the plate - the rectangle is the dimension of the plate. What do you think?

Tom
Dowel to the inside of the plate out line or even inside of the four screws
the idea is to give the plate something to pull up against so that the jamb doesn't move.... they behave as standoffs...
the closer you get the wall of the dowel to side of the screw the better off you are...
you know, you can buy 6'' pieces/segments of closet rod at HD...

this works for hinges and strikes too when the jamb is bit flaky but not really damaged....
the key thing is that the screws have got to be firmly anchored into the trimmers...
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Dowel to the inside of the plate out line or even inside of the four screws
the idea is to give the plate something to pull up against so that the jamb doesn't move.... they behave as standoffs...
the closer you get the wall of the dowel to side of the screw the better off you are...
you know, you can buy 6'' pieces/segments of closet rod at HD...

this works for hinges and strikes too when the jamb is bit flaky but not really damaged....
the key thing is that the screws have got to be firmly anchored into the trimmers...
Stick,

Thanks again for the help/advice. A 1'' dowel would work perfectly - I have a 1" Forstner bit (a 2" works out a little on the pricey side to drill three holes - but I've probably spent more to do less) and I think I have some 1" birch dowel left over from another project).

We're getting thunderstorms now so it'll be tomorrow before I get to try this. I went over the jamb with a magnet, couldn't find any nails in the area, hopefully it will be the same further down - maybe an excuse to buy a metal detector?

Tom
 

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Sometimes it's easier to just bite the bullet and start with all new material.
New jamb, hinges, lockset, deadbolt and long screws to thoroughly anchor the jamb to the framing. And new Interior trim!
Maybe just buy a new metal clad prehung exterior door?
Throw those hinge mounting screws out and replace them with long screws as above!
a) the weight of the door is no longer wracking the jamb, and down the road sagging/binding
b) waaay tougher for for some bozo to kick your door in during a B&E
....not the perfect solution but definitely an improvement

In some cases, an out-swinging door means more security. Especially for backdoors where the street visibility is less.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sometimes it's easier to just bite the bullet and start with all new material.
New jamb, hinges, lockset, deadbolt and long screws to thoroughly anchor the jamb to the framing. And new Interior trim!
Maybe just buy a new metal clad prehung exterior door?
Throw those hinge mounting screws out and replace them with long screws as above!
a) the weight of the door is no longer wracking the jamb, and down the road sagging/binding
b) waaay tougher for for some bozo to kick your door in during a B&E
....not the perfect solution but definitely an improvement

In some cases, an out-swinging door means more security. Especially for backdoors where the street visibility is less.
Dan,

That's probably true but that kind of project always snowballs on me. A few years back, I mentioned to my wife that the LR/DR carpet was looking a little shabby (didn't like the color anyway) and that we should replace it. So, while I was painting, it made sense to put up crown molding (LR, DR, hallway and over the foyer) and new trim around the windows. Then, as I had messed the place up anyway, we might as well tear out the wrought iron handrail around the foyer and down the stairs (Split foyer) and replace it all with oak. Then the tiles in the foyer didn't match the new carpet so that led to cork laminate flooring and a new front door (don't remember how she justified that one). If I tear out the old back door, I'd have to take the window out to reframe it properly (probably not a bad idea to have a complete stud on the side of the door) so we're talking probably redoing the drywall on that wall of the kitchen - and then we're back to painting the kitchen again. The outside of the house is covered with asbestos shingles so probably going to have to juggle them around because the outside door trim won't wind up exactly in the same place, plus I'll still have the same problem that the door and window are too close together. I've never seen this before but the shingles aren't actually nailed to the house; there are rows of a metal strip that have a dogleg and then a groove in the bottom where the shingle sits, this pushes the bottom of the shingle out and then the next strip is nailed on top and so forth. You can't buy this any more - I tried when I remodeled the bathroom, closed over the window for the one piece tub unit and had to shingle over the opening. I don't have any more shingles now to replace those that are too short or damaged so would wind up having to strip the shingles off the whole house and replace with vinyl siding. Probably an exaggeration, but that's the way that my renovation projects normally progress. Tomorrow, I'm going to dig through my offcuts to see if I have the 1" dowel, carefully check the jamb for nails - there are none in the face but I forgot about the ones coming in from the (out)side where the brick mold would be nailed to the jamb. I'm thinking that I could lay out the hole centers and drill 1/2" holes with a twist drill which should tell me if there are any nails there - I'm going to use a drill guide to keep the holes square so no problem lining up the Forstner bit to open them up, I'd start with the Forstner bit anyway, go down 1/8", drill the 1/2" through the jamb and check for nails and then set the bit back in the original c'bore. I'll glue in the dowels and then see how much cosmetic work I need to do before cleaning the jamb up and repainting it. And then on to the next item on the "Honey-Do" list.

Tom
 

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you sharing your honey do list now???
 

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which page???...
 

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buddy saw mine stuck to refrigerator..
looked through it...

says... why don't you just build another house.. it's be easier...
 
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