Fire Door

When we had the house inspected, the inspector told us we needed to put a fire door between the garage and the cellar. It’s required by building code and by insurance companies. The idea is that the fuel in a car (and other things that are likely to be in a garage, like a power lawn mower or chain saw) is a fire hazard, and if a fire starts out there you want to keep it out of the rest of the house.

It’s been on our mind. We made many phone calls to the Home Depot in Auburn and the new one in Windham and asked people in those stores and in the Lowe’s in Windham. Did we need to order door in a custom size, or was the rough opening big enough? Would it fit on top of the car, or did we need to rent a truck from the store? Joel had a wonderful time tearing down the casing around the doorway where the fire door had to go (what an opportunity! To be allowed to tear someone else’s house apart!) to make the rough opening big enough for the door. He and I set out to Auburn one night early in the winter but turned around because the fog looked too thick to want to drive that far. A week ago Matt and I finally went to the Home Depot in Windham and found a fire door. When the two of us picked it up, I really didn’t feel that I was holding up fifty pounds. The car roof rack is rated for 100 pounds. We bought the door, figured it could come home on top of the car, and had room in the back for a Weber grill.

Joel and I put the door up on Sunday. I won’t say there was nothing to it, but it was really not at all hard. Doors nowadays come with frames, already installed on hinges. I think it used to be very tricky to get hinges lined up properly, exactly vertical. If they weren’t perfect the door would always try to swing one way or another, or not close properly and need to be planed down a little on the top or bottom, or just bind on the hinges. These pre-hung doors still need to be installed with the hinges directly above and below each other, but you can adjust the unit as a whole rather than having to measure the hinge locations correctly the first time. The darn thing is up now:

It could use a casing on either side — but so could another door in the cellar. This is a major accomplishment! Thanks, Matt and Joel!

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