Now that the fourth wall has been clad it is time to bring the undercroft to lockup stage by installing the laundry door.
The first step is installing the door frame.
I have deliberately avoided all timber and gyprock at this level just in case the creek ever floods.
This is very unlikely now that Ross has done all the good work on cleaning out the creek to ensure a good flow.
The last flood was many, many years ago and we are not in an official flood area.
For the type of construction so far I need what is called a split door frame.
I ordered one through Rex from Roofmart.
I picked it up on Wednesday and I was surprised how light and flimsy it felt.
However, by the time I installed it in to the stud frame it was rock solid and very substantial.
Our current house is double brick with steel door frames and these feel very solid - however, looking at the metal thickness where the door strike is installed - I can see that these are no more substantial than the one I just bought.
It's amazing how much they stiffen up when fully installed.
The people at RoofMart warned me that it was not really designed for external use - so during the week, I coated all surfaces, inside and out with a very good etch primer and then coated all surfaces with a tinted enamel to match the house colour.
Everyone else I spoke to said "What are they talkin about - you always use these frames for outside"
By Saturday morning the enamel was touch dry but still very fragile.
I transported the frames on packing foam on the trailer and only had a few minor scratches by the time I reached the site.
The doors fitted in to the wall cavity. If anything they were a little too small - I had reduced the dimensions by 5mm from the actual cavity side, to ensure that they would fit. It looked like RoofMart then took my figures and reduced them by another 5mm as a standard practice.
I needed to spend about an hour playing around with packers and checking for horizontal and vertical fit and packing up some gaps.
In the end it all screwed in well.
I'm afraid my paint work is not all that brilliant - I tried to do a very careful paint job but it looks like I have been laying the paint on too thickly.
I'm guessing that instead I should be aiming for two thin coats of enamel.
I now have a problem that the door frame is taller than standard.
The inside mounting dimensions are 820 x 2122. I hadn't really been checking on the final dimensions as I went along as I assumed it was all going to wash out at something a bit less that 820 x 2040 with a bit of planing to be done on the door as it was installed.
I had a look at the stud frame plans that Rex had designed for me and noticed that the internal door cavities are 2085 high (which would lead to the expected result) and the external door cavity is 2148 which Rex says is the standard 21 brick course height always used for external doors. I don't really see how it is meant to work.
Maybe there is something I don't know.
Rusty at the hardware told me that the cavity size was no big deal and I should have allowed for it by bringing my external cladding down to the correct level - so it looks like the problem is caused by my inexperience.
The upshot is - a standard 10 lite Colonial entry door will cost me $179 at Bunnings, but a custom built, similar door, just 80 mm longer, will cost me $1400!
So I think I will just glue and screw a 40mm piece of timber top and bottom to a standard door and make do.