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Community and Q&A

Exterior Door Thresholds

user-6870177 | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

We are building a double-stud house in Iowa — and have a wonderful builder to work with, even though this is the first such house he has built. The problem we are having is with exterior doors. We want the doors to open to the interior, and so they are “innies”. But the widest threshold we can find for an exterior door is 8 1/2″. All suggested solutions are complicated and/or limit the range that the door can open. Does anyone know of a company that makes a 13″ threshold?

We are doing this on a “normal” house budget — i.e. no imported triple-expensive solutions; trying to stay at the below the rollover point in the value/cost curve.

Thanks! Mary Hoyer

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  1. Brian P | | #1

    You can put exterior doors in the outer wall of a double stud wall and have them open to the interior. You can make the inner wall opening wider so the door has room to swing open. You just have to figure out a desired trim extension situation.

    It may not be able to swing completely 180 degrees, but that wasn't a problem in our situation because of walls near the doors. I'll attach a photo from our build that may give an idea.

    Maybe not your desired solution, but may be easier than dealing with the threshold issue.

  2. Brian P | | #2

    Current photos from inside.

  3. User avatar
    Michael Maines | | #3

    Mary, there are a few options. I have used Pemko sill extensions or ramps in various configurations ( The extension won't lock into your existing sill; it would slide below it, with a high quality sealant and a bulletproof sill pan. To get enough slope you will have to raise your door on a 1/2" spacer.

    Another, even nicer option, if you plan ahead, is to make the sill extension part of the floor lower than the rest of the subfloor, and set into it a slightly sloped piece of stone. I've spec'd bluestone or slate for this application on past projects. Again, you want a waterproof, well-draining pan below the sill extension.

    One other approach I've seen, and don't like the look of but it should work fine, is to have some heavy-gauge sheet metal bent with a small lip at the interior to lock into your stock sill extension, and turn the front edge down--basically an exposed, metal sill pan.

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