Choosing a Historically Appropriate Door and Creating the Jambs and Hanging a Door

Project: Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable, Episode 9, Part 3



Bob joins Jason Hill of New England Classic as the paneling is installed in the kitchen and living area of the Manhattan Brownstone floor-through apartment. This ready-to-assemble Shaker-style flat panel is paint-ready, medium-density fiberboard faced with a wood veneer. The baseboard is applied first with panel adhesive, checked for level, and nailed in place. Each panel and vertical stile is then set and checked to be sure it?s level and plumb. Panels fit snugly into the rabbeted stiles and are tapped into place. Top rails and caps complete the profile. Bob then meets with Chris Vila, the project manager, and Robert Kirkpatrick of Rinnai to preview the tankless water-heating system. These compact units are wall-mounted and self-contained, have a copper heat exchanger inside, and flow valves with sensors to determine flow rate and temperature of the incoming water. These systems save 70 percent over traditional electric hot-water systems, provide significant space savings, and produce an endless supply of hot water. Bob wraps with the installation of Woodport historically accurate, five-panel doors. The Thorough Construction crew cuts mortises for the brass hinges, builds a jamb, installs it and sets it to level using shims, then trims the door before hanging it.
Part 1: Installing the Pre-Cut Paneling System
Part 2: Space Savings and Increased Effeciency With a Tankless Hot Water Heater
Part 3: Choosing a Historically Appropriate Door and Creating the Jambs and Hanging a Door
Bob shows the Woodport medium-density fiberboard doors selected for the Manhattan Brownstone. They are historically accurate five-panel doors like those made popular in the 1890s. The fifth panel is actually a horizontal in the middle of the door. These doors are paint-grade and will accept a nice painted finish. Bob works with the crew from Thorough Construction as they prepare the Woodport door for hanging on site. The door is stabilized by a horse that holds it steady while the work is done. A jig serves as a guide as they router the mortise for each brass ball-bearing hinge. The router creates uniform, flat cuts for the hinges on both the door and the jamb piece. The jambs and header are made from poplar. They are glued and then screwed in place, checked for square, then braced with temporary strapping before being transported to the rough opening. A single screw is set in the header to hold it in place while the installers shim it and check to be sure it is plumb and level. The door jambs and header are then screwed into place. They must trim the door along the bottom edge, which is taped to protect the finish from damage during cutting. Once in place, temporary drywall screws hold the door until the brass screws are inserted as a finish detail when all adjustments have been made.
This project deals with two very different notions of home. Bob begins on New York City's Upper West Side, where an 1890s Brownstone is revitalized through high-quality craftsmanship and sensitive design. New York's past meets its present, as the entire floor is recaptured and refurbished to create a spacious urban apartment on the doorstep of Central Park.

At the same time, Bob works with a Cape Cod developer to apply Massachusetts land use statute 40B to create affordable housing, and a neighborhood of homes in Mashpee, MA. These Energy Star certified homes show how quality building practices and reasonable asking prices can work together to provide livable, affordable homes and neighborhoods to those who work in our communities.

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