Replacing an Exterior Door and Windows

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 5, Part 3

Back in Melrose, MA, Bob reviews the exterior work on the 1921 Dutch gambrel. The home's trim, built-out bays, and columns all need replacing. The crew starts by making a template of the trim profile and creating a special knife to cut all the boards for the job. The fascia, trim, porch deck, and porch ceiling are replaced with western red cedar, which is naturally rot and insect resistant. The new porch ceiling is installed with staggered joints for a beautiful finished appearance. Pulling up the old porch deck reveals rotted and insect-damaged joists that must be replaced with pressure-treated joists hung from galvanized hangers. The stucco columns have rotted away inside and are repaired with a brick-and-mortar base and a concrete fill poured in through a hole at the top of the column. A new, energy-efficient, fiberglass-skinned polyurethane-core front door is installed with a pressure-treated custom jamb. Inside, Bob looks at the new aluminum-clad wood windows that have been installed throughout the home. The tilt-in sash, low-e coated and crypton-filled glazing, and pine interior make for an elegant replacement window that blocks noise and unwanted air from entering the home.

Part 1: Replicating Old Window Moldings and Replacing House Trim and Boards
Part 2: Fixing a Rotted Deck and Columns on the Porch
Part 3: Replacing an Exterior Door and Windows
A new door is being installed on the Melrose house. Bob explains that the old door was adequate but had a crack in one of the panels which let in a draft. Lou Sandonato from Moynihan Lumber tells Bob about the features and benefits of the new American Classic Therma-Tru door. The door is made of fiberglass skin, a polyresin interior, and LVL siding, all in a wood jam. It is an engineered door, ready to install and does not require as much maintenance as a normal wood door. Bob talks to Bill Jarzynka from Bill Jarzynka Carpentry about the installation. Jarzynka is preparing the area, clearing away debris with a vacuum, to install a solid base of pressure-treated wood create a new frame for the door. Jarzynka installs the wood slats and a layer of insulation to create the base. Jarzynka will frame the sides with pressure-treated boards to fill the empty space. A board is also nailed in place at the top of the frame to fit the door. Sandonato reviews the three-point locking system in the installed door. Jarzynka then installs the trim surrounding the door. Bob moves to the inside of the house to show the newly installed bay windows. He talks with Ken Henderson from Harvey Industries, a regional window company in the New England area. The windows are aluminum clad and pine inside. The glass in the window is low-e with krypton gas, which gives the window an Energy Star rating. Jack Silverio of J. Silverio & Co. Construction installed the windows. Silverio's family-owned business does residential work in the North Shore area. Henderson demonstrates how the windows can be opened into the home, allowing the front of the window to be washed from the inside. Bob notes that the new windows keep heat in and noise out.
Bob Vila helps a young family with an old house create family and recreational space for their active kids. Projects include replacement window installation, innovative plumbing solutions, and smart storage to make indoor and outdoor spaces ideal for this growing family.

Also from Basement Finishing and Family Space

  • Episode 1 - Removing Unwanted Junk and Combatting Basement Moisture


    <p>In Melrose, MA, a family with two young sons needs extra room and looks to Bob and his team to repurpose their damp basement for expanded living space. Homeowner Sarah Monzon shows Bob the backyard of the 1921 gambrel with a stone retaining wall they created to manage the slope for the kids&rsquo; play yard. She explains how the exterior has water intrusion and moisture buildup problems. Inside, Cyrus Beasley rips out the under-stair closet and assesses the stair support required while the plumber disconnects the old soapstone sink. The Monzons then clear out years of junk and demolition waste before calling 1-800-Got-Junk to stack, sort, and dispose of everything to donation centers, recycling sites, and the dump for a set price. Larry Janesky of Basement Systems reviews the exterior drainage problems of the home with Bob and then explains how they will reduce moisture on the inside. The crew breaks up the concrete floor to create an interior drainage trench, applies Clean Walls to isolate the stone walls and send moisture runoff to the drainage trench and sump, installs Thermal Dry radiant barrier behind finished walls to prevent moisture transfer, and creates a hole for the sump.</p>
  • Episode 2 - Basement Waterproofing, New Plumbing, and On-Demand Hot Water


    <p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Template>Normal.dotm</o:Template> <o:Revision>0</o:Revision> <o:TotalTime>0</o:TotalTime> <o:Pages>1</o:Pages> <o:Words>221</o:Words> <o:Characters>1265</o:Characters> <o:Company>Blue Iceberg LLC</o:Company> <o:Lines>10</o:Lines> <o:Paragraphs>2</o:Paragraphs> <o:CharactersWithSpaces>1553</o:CharactersWithSpaces> <o:Version>12.0</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables /> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx /> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]-->Bob and Larry Janesky of Basement Systems review the work being done to cut a drainage trench in the concrete around the perimeter of the basement floor. Water will be channeled through the trench to a sump &ndash; dug at the lowest spot in the basement &ndash; where it can be pumped out of the home. <span>&nbsp;</span>A triple safe power pump protects the home even if there is a loss of power.<span>&nbsp; </span>Bob reviews the work done on the existing plumbing once all the waterproofing and flood-prevention measures are put in place in the basement. Al Leone of Leone Plumbing Corp. first cut the pipes into sections for easy removal and demonstrates some of the specialized work he does to install the pipe, including using oakum, a joint runner, and poured hot lead to form a joint seal. Old brass water pipes are replaced with PEX tubing, creating more headroom in the basement and the sink and laundry lines can be easily relocated.<span>&nbsp; </span>Bob talks with Dan Driscoll of Rinnai about the new on-demand water heater being installed. The heater is a whole-house system sized for a three-bathroom household, laundry, and cleaning. An on-demand, tankless water heater saves basement space <span>&nbsp;</span>and is energy efficient because it does not store hot water. Driscoll opens up the water heater to show how the system works. Once the water is turned on, sensors detect the amount of water being used and the temperature of the incoming cold water. The on-demand system is about 40% more efficient than gas-fueled tank water heaters and 70% more efficient than electric tank water heaters.</p> <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment--> <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Episode 3 - Moving the Oil Tank for New Heating, Cooling, and Air Filtration


    <p>Bob is in Melrose where John Ambrosino of Total Temperature Control installs the new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Because of clearance issues, the unit is installed horizontally and tied to the joists with steel rods. Ambrosino explains how the unit pulls air in for exchange, to be heated or cooled, then pushes it through a fan and into the ducts for circulation. The 16 SEER unit is very big for maximum efficiency, quiet operation, and up to 45 percent savings over current energy costs. Mark Hagan shows Bob the Trane CleanEffects whole-house three-stage air-cleaning system that cleans the air of 99.98 percent of particulates, filtering first for large particles, then charging the small particles and capturing them in a collection filter for healthy indoor air. Don Adams of Bond-Tite Tank Service shows Bob how they move the oil tank, reattach it, set it in a trough to catch leaks and drips, and apply Tank-Guard to isolate condensing water and prevent tank corrosion. Bob talks to Howard Brickman about how to control squeaking floors either by drawing the wood floor tight against the subfloor with screws, connecting blocking to the joists and subfloor from below, or shimming the space between the subfloor and joists.</p>
  • Episode 4 - Basement Finishing System and Custom Windows

  • Episode 6 - Hardscaping, Removing Rot, and Fighting Insect Damage

  • Episode 7 - New Backyard Fence and Basement Half-Bath

  • Episode 8 - Basement Carpet, Storage, and Closet Design

  • Episode 9 - Low-Maintenance Landscaping, Gutters, and Pantry

  • Episode 10 - Stucco Painting, Exterior Repairs, Shutters, and High-End Decking

  • Episode 11 - Basement Moisture-Proofing, Home Audio, Blinds, and Appliances

  • Episode 12 - Exterior Lighting, Audio, Video, and D├ęcor for the Melrose Home

Hi, I'm Bob Vila. Welcome to the show here in Melrose, Massachusetts. Where we're remodeling a little 85 year old house. Last week we were showing you the basement rumpus room we've been creating and today we're doing a lot of improvements to the exterior of the house.

Putting in lots of western red cedar trim, including a new porch ceiling. We're also putting in a brand new front door and we're repairing one of the old Stucco columns by stuffing it full of concrete. Lots to do, stick around it's good to have you with us.
Alright, so we're back at our little remodeling project here in Melrose, Massachusetts on our 1921 Dutch Cambrell style. house. And this a house that has, you know, sheltered families and seeing a lot of people through here but it never has had a real face lift on the outside.

So some of the things that we've been dealing with includes of the really important components of the house; the trim , the porch ceiling, the porch decking and the windows in particular.

We've already replaced many of the windows on the house house with a product made locally by Harvey Industries which is a wood double hung stash with aluminum platting on the outside, but here from the front of the house we've got a couple of projecting bay windows, or oriels as they're often called.

This is a three sash bay and there's another one just like it on the other side. And the big problems that we had here was cold air and filtration not just from where the windows were, but from the whole structure or frame of this little projecting bay.

So we've had to look at, you know, how best to repair that. In fact, what we did was, we had some of the local carpentry fellows, the contractors called A&E here in Malden, who came out, essentially took it all apart, found a way to insulate and restructure all that.

And then of course the next problem that we had was, how do re-trim when you can't find the kinds of moldings that they had 85 years ago. And for that we turn to our friends from Forester who have essentially come out and reproduced the moldings that we had here. Take a look.

Well , the problem is on this older house, moldings like this, you can't find them in a lumber yard today. So what they have to, what we have to do is re-manufacture this piece. And the way to do that is I use this, this needle gauge, and I press it up against the board like this and get the profile.

Very carefully press it in. The next step is I take the needle gauge, and I lay it down on a piece of graph paper. And I take the, take my pencil and trace it out. Till I get, get the profile pretty good. And fill it in a little bit and try to get the dimensions as to the thickness and the width of the piece.

And the next step from there is we'll take this piece and run it through our catalog and see if we have anything that matches it. If we don't have anything that matches the next thing is, we will scan this into the computer and the guys will match, will trace this out and will make a knife and the knife goes in the machine, one pass it comes out and it's all done. Just nail it up.

Paul Mackey is joining us now from the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association to give us a few explanations about why it's such a good idea to use Red Cedar. It's a Native American wood and it's sustainably right?

That's absolute correct Bob, and comes from the Providence of British Columbia, Washington State, and a little bit in Idaho.

So we're still getting it from the upper northwestern states and from Canada.

That's correct.

What are some of the qualities of the wood that make it such a good product for outside use?

Well other than its natural beauty, which you can see in the ceiling, it's naturally durable, which means it's rot and decay resistant.

And it's also is insect resistant.

What is it in the wood that, that makes it resistant to insects and rot?

It has ingrown preservatives that are called cannons and extractives that naturally occur in the heartwood of the species.

So, when you're buying it, do you have to worry about ordering just heartwood and excluding any sapwood?

The good thing about western red cedar is there's very little sapwood in the tree. The tree only contains about three-quarters of an inch of sapwood in the entire tree.

Yeah, we were looking around the whole ceiling. There's only a couple of little places like up,up there and over in the corner over there, where you can see that it's a lighter shade, it is almost white.

That's correct.

And that indicates the sap wood, which is the outer part. It's the wood just under the bark.

That's absolutely right.

Yeah. We've got a lot of work going on in this neighborhood. But let's look at some of the different uses that we are making of the Western Red Cedar.


The one-by-eight board that you see here, obviously, is its simplest form. And we're using that to replace some of the fascia boards along the top edge here where the gutter is attached.

And then of course the ceiling was specially milled for us with that profile, the bead if you will, and it's tongued and grooved so that we've got an installation there that's not going to go anywhere for a long time.

That's absolutely correct.

We got another local carpenter crew to come and remove the decrepit old ceiling and replace it with this beautiful new ceiling of Western Red Cedar. The bead board matches the original exactly, and it's going to be beautiful.

Ed Collard and his crew are a local franchise of the House Doctors. We found them online, and they cover a lot of territory here in the North Shore of Massachusetts.

We're staggering the starting point of each course on the ceiling. Generally, for cosmetics, it really doesn't look very good when you have lots of joints in a row. If you stagger the joints, it gives you a much better finished appearance.

The crown molding was a custom job as well, and it came out beautifully.

Paul, what are some of the other attributes of western red cedar?

Well, Bob, its naturally lightweight and very easy to work with.


And it' s the best sub-straight for primer and paint.

It takes a good coat of paint. I always like to specify a stainless steel nail or screw when you're fastening.

That's the best fastener to use with western red cedar.

Thanks Paul. Well it wasn't just the ceiling of the porch that needed saving. The deck was in even worse shape, with rotted structural members, making it a dangerous place for the kids to play.

Our homeowner Ricardo and his brother Ronaldo did some investigative demolitions to see just how bad it was and they found completely rotted and insect damaged joists. Worst of all , we discovered that the wooden post that once supported this stucco column had fallen victim to the insects also.

Completely hollow . It was gone. These columns are pretty unique so rather than cut this open and try to get a new post in we got a great suggestion from Nick Beasley, preservation carpenter whose project we just finished on the show a couple weeks ago, to fill the columns with concrete.

That, and the rebuilding of the deck took some close cooperation between the carpenter and the mason. Steve Knott has been doing carpentry right here in Melrose for many years. He's got a great understanding of these old houses. And he's restoring and living in one himself right here in the neighborhood. At this end I'm working at now we're doing a couple of toe nails just to hold it in place.

Then, I'm gonna put some joist hangers down underneath so that it'll actually help support the beam area here, which is code.

At this end we're going to do some face nails from the outside and that'll hold everything in a nice straight line.

Standard galvanized joist hangers, these actually go in two ways. One, they have a special small hanger nail.

So, once you put this up underneath the joist you tap in a small nailer at the top.

Well, when we did the demo here we found that on this end we only had a piece of two by three which served as a ledger board for the decking to be nailed to. one of the things we also found, there was not much exposure beyond the stucco itself , which restricted the amount of nailing that we could do and some of it is actually a little crack from the original nailing. So rather than rely on that, we also going to put another two by ten pressure treated up against this, and from being the outside ledger board, rim joist so that we have the same strength going all the way through the deck.

At this end, we won't be using the standard joist hanger as we were before, because on the back side there's no place to nail that joist hanger to, so instead we'll go the old fashion route, which is toe nailing into the beam down here, and then the additional stability will come from nailing into the original two by three ledger. For strength, you really want a minimum of four nails down here when you're toe-nailing into the beam. And then we put one every sixteen inches into the original ledger.

With the frame set up for him, Kevin Latham made quick work with the base of the column with just concrete, brick and mortar.

Then he cut a hole near the top and filled in with a fairly wet mix to be sure the concrete bonds with the lath and the wire mesh of the existing stucco.

There you go. One of the other improvements we're doing to the front of the house involves putting in a new front door. The old wooden door that was here, you know, it's from 1921, and it's an okay door, except that it had a crack in one of the panels and it let the draft in, and the guys from Moynihan are here. Hey Lou, why don't just join me for a minute to talk about the attributes of this door. This is from Therma Tru.

Yes, sir.

And you guys deal in this product, what's it made out of?

It's a fiberglass skin door, poly resin interior, LVL siding , put in a wood jam.

So, that it's really ready to be installed.


What's astonishing to me is that they managed to give it the look of an arts and craft style, you know, front door with the dentals and the shelf here and the look of it. It's meant to look like fur, isn't it?

Correct. This is part of their American series: Classic Craft. It's an engineered door to make it look like the wood, so you don't have the swelling , you don't have the cracking, the warping, and you don't have to maintain it as much.

No maintenance at all. And Bill, you're just about ready to...where's that going? You're just about ready to, well you've already taken out the old one.


What are all the steps?

Well , what we're gonna do now is we're gonna just finish cleaning this up so we got a clean surface to start with.

Then, we are going to give ourselves a solid base to set the door on.

So, we're furring out with pressure treated lumber down there.



We'll put this piece in, and I've nailed this out to fit in there and then sit out in the front.

And that's in good shape. I mean, it's all nice and clean, but it's solid.

That's right.

No rot, no insect damage. Do you have to worry about any kind of insulation in this area?

Yeah, what we're gonna do before before this goes on, is we're going tuck a piece of insulation in here, just to stop the draft, any draft that might come up from underneath.

Okay, alright. Well, we'll watch. Let me know if you need a hand. We'll get this in first.

All right, now we'll put that insulation in. Good. Very good. And now we will just lay this on the top here. Now, we've got a solid surface.

You've obviously measured twice and cut once.

That's right.

All right, now what we did is we made up some studs. We have windows on either side.


And we want to get ourselves to a point where we could just put the door in.

Right, so you're going to fill in space, right?


So these would technically be jack studs then. I guess.

That's right, that's right. Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna try to make up this difference, and then put that the next stud and beyond that.

Alright, so this door is a little bit shorter than the one that was in there, right?

It is Bob, this door is a six eight and the door that was in there is a seven foot door.

OK, so that means we've got to four up in there too.

That's right.


It's too tight this space over here.

Tight. Alright. So the door is Cured and boy, does that look good. And it sounds good too, doesn't it?

Absolutely. Nice and secure.

OK, so, the hardware is something of interest, cuz it's a German hardware that's not just a bolt that goes into the jamb.

Correct. They call this a three point locking system. When you lift the handle up, those three points are locking in there, and you can throw your deadbolt.

Fabulous, and Bill, what's the last step you're doing here? I saw you putting a bead of caulking behind there.

Yeah, what we did was we ran some caulking to seal this into the window. Going to slide this right over, and now, we've taken care of the trim.


Between the door and the window, we'll secure all that together.

Go ahead, all one piece. That looks very good, and then you've got another piece of cedar that will go across the entire top.

Correct. A piece of Cedar and a trim piece which is will blend right in , finish off the top.

Right, just along the same as the rest of the perimiter of it. beautiful job guys. Thank you.

OK, we're inside the house now, in the living room. We haven't been here before but, just a few minutes ago we were on the outside talking about how we rebuilt this bay window and replaced some of the moldings.

Ken Henderson's here from Harvey Industries, which is a regional window company here in the New England area. It's been around for a long time, and let's talk about the features of these replacement windows.
From the outside they're clad in aluminum, right?

That's correct, Bob. They're aluminum clad replacement windows. In this particular application, we do have an applied grid on the outside as well. The other thing to note about these windows is that they are pine on the inside.

Tell me about the glass.

The glass is actually a high performance glass, it's low-e with krypton gas, excuse me. What that does give you is an energy star rating. An energy star is something that everybody's trying to achieve these days. Just makes good economic sense to the energy star rated.

And the home owner here liked the replacement window that we put in the basement so much that she went ahead and got all 21 windows throughout the house replaced.

That's correct, she could not live without the rest of the windows.

So Jack Salverio and his group were here installing them. It didn't take long.

We've been in business for 35 years now. My father before me... It was a takeover business from my dad. And we do all residential work in the North Shore area.

We do anything from kitchens, bathrooms, additions, remodelings, decks, siding and a lot of hobby replacement windows. We have a crew of six men, we cover about eight to ten towns around area.

Alright, Ken show us how you can tilt these in.

Well, we have some release latches that will just disengage, let the sash come down, let it fall all the way down, and then you can see your aluminum clouding on the exterior.

But the key thing is that you can also wash the outside of the window yourself.


From inside, no ladder

No, no...

Makes a big difference to the homeowner, to be able to do that from the inside. The top sash, the same way pretty much. The releases are engaged, or disengaged. The sash is pulled down, and that can just rest right on top of the other one, very easy to clean at this point.

Here's where you can see your actual applied mutton work. A simulated divided light. You just basically you can clean the four areas and snap it back in.

You know, the big plus is not only from the energy and the Energy Star rating perspective, but also from the comfort, because this house is on a busy parkway, and not only do They have noise from the cars and trucks but they also have dust, et cetera, which means that they have to clean the windows more often than most people, but just from keeping out the draft and keeping out the noise it's a very very big improvement. Thanks, Kev.

Thank you.

That's it. Next time we're gonna be doing lots of work outside the house. We're recycling old granite stones to create a retainer wall along the front of the property. In the back, we're removing a giant tree that has no future.

We're also starting a little bit of the landscaping. We found some insect damage, so we're going to be talking about how to deal with that. And we'll be installing some beautiful patio doors.

Till then, I'm Bob Vila. Thanks for joining



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