Blocking-up Summerhouse French Doors

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Puggers

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Hi all,

Our eldest’s new place has a 6m x 3m wood clad ‘summerhouse’ which is insulated, boarded and powered. He’s looking to convert it (possibly temporarily) into a storage area and workshop.

It has a wider than standard single door at one end, two wood framed double glazed windows down one side plus another window at the far end, opposite the door.

Between the two side windows are some double glazed French doors which are 600mm each. These are not currently used and with no present plans to do so because of the nature of landscaping works due to start in the spring.

He was talking to me about potentially removing the French doors and putting stud work in, insulate and board internally and match-up the external cladding, then repaint to blend in. This would obviously create extra wall space.

However, one of the lads who are lined up for the landscaping has suggested that an alternative option would be to leave the doors in situ and simply put up stud work, insulate and board each side. I think the basis of this is that they’ll have the option to remove and eventually use the doors.

I didn’t want to steer him either way on the options and don’t know if he plans asking me to help (I’m not a professional, just a reasonably competent DIYer) but the second option had me scratching my head on the way home a bit, possibly purely through over-thinking.

I don’t believe it on first consideration to be a complete non-starter but I’m simply thinking whether there could be issues with internal condensation if the glass doors are still there.

The frame rebate is 45mm (the green part in the photo) so he could leave a 10mm gap between the glass beading and plaster board but which in reality would be nearer 18mm because of the glass is obviously set back behind the beading.

He said he’s not worried about the stud work and board not running flush to the internal walls so he’s definitely got the scope to do this.

I said I’d have a think what might work best (he doesn’t want cheapest, just simplest) but I also don’t want to store up issues for him. My initial thoughts on option 2 would be to use board with a vapour barrier (possibly the pre-glued stuff) facing the glass, insulate then standard board internally. To mitigate the risk of condensation, perhaps drill ventilation holes in the top section of the stud work or put a vent through both bits of board, similar to how you’d ventilate a standard shed.

My questions then are a) understand which option is more viable and b) if option 2 isn’t completely bonkers, have my initial thoughts on how to mitigate possible condensation any credibility and will add value?

Thanks in advance and Happy New Year - Dave
 

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Hi Dave,, so I’m not an expert in summer house construction but a few more pictures will help the good folk on here to advise you. Pics of the s/ house inside and a view from the front elevation showing the French windows in question. If it’s the risk of condensation that concerns you if they are left in situ then why not remove the glazed units before studding the opening. It’s amazing how plans can change and these French windows maybe reqd at some point in the future. If so remove the stud wall,, refit the glazed units and it’s back as it was . Definitely more pics reqd though.👍👍
 
Fair point about the photos; there was constant rain yesterday and the inside was partly blocked with stored items from the move but he’s cleared some and sent the attached over - it now looks live a different season outside!

You’ll see that the doors sit flush externally and the photos more clearly show the recess to the liner internally.

I’ve spotted from these what looks like ply attached internally to the bottom of the doors which he says is correct and is dry so I’m not sure if there have been issues before. The frames throughout otherwise looked pretty good.

The brown material seen through the doors from the outside is simply a removable blind.

@Bingy man what in part appealed about a temporary stud over the retained doors was the fact they could be reused. Having thought about it more with benefit of the improved internal photos, I’m inclined to suggest he hoiks out the doors and attach the stud to the remaining liner, board and match the exterior cladding. It may though still not sit flush to the internal wall.

They’ve then the option of putting the originals back or even swapping all glazed units out for uPVC if intended usage changes too.
 

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Well looking at the additional photos I’m inclined to agree with just removing the doors completely and studding the wall and making good with cladding etc . I,d probably get the outside flush and not worry too much about inside . If things change then the original doors can be refitted or a change to upvc. A very nice looking building so worth looking after . Good luck.
 
Tricky to go over the doors as they are flush with the cladding.

If using thin 10mm you could go over without it being too proud.

If you want to preserve the summer house I would go over the top perhaps butting some spacers behind siliconed to the glass??
 
Quick and dirty method stud and board behind them with a ventilation gap top and bottom, take the inner door handle off and staple the blind to the door for the look, then cut down some batten to the right dimension to let the board sit flat. Quick and reversible if needed. Looks like the doors open out so any condensation could be aired out by opening them on a dry day
 
I'm looking at the :-
"looking to convert it (possibly temporarily) into a storage area and workshop."
I'd seal all outside gaps with mastic and touch in the paintwork. On the inside the door handles would be removed and I'd screw a 150mm wide strip of 12mm plywood across the gap where the two doors meet.
This should give a safe and secure weatherproof result that can be reversed if needed at a later date.

Colin
 
To be honest it looks like fairly basic shed construction to me the way its sat on 3" x 2" bearers, probably "upgraded" it by adding doors and windows, are the doors hinged straight on to the wall frame studs, I can't tell from the pictures, why not consider taking the doors out and fitting a window instead and filling in underneath, keep the day light if its to be used as a workshop.
 
I would make a shelf unit or a couple narrower ones, possibly on castors and place it in front of the doors and call it done. If needed the shelf units can be rolled out of the way to open the doors. If the back of the shelf unit is cross braced with boards rather than a solid sheet back then light comes into the room through any spaces not filled with stuff. Only downside might be security but with a door and two windows having the French doors isn't much worse.

Pete
 
Thanks for the views fellas.

@Bingy man getting it flush externally should be easy enough given the flexibility offered by the existing stud work, liner and internal boarding. I’d checked the external cladding when I was there and it was 18mm, pretty standard in design and so should be easy to match up.

@Jameshow I think it can be done given some thought and the spacer idea is a good one - thanks- but would like to look for myself again at the weekend.

@Tris yes, they open externally which helps. Just for clarity and in case I’ve misunderstood, why just remove batten to the right?

@eribaMotters the temporary aspect is only because he’s thinking of converting the part destined for storage to be able to work from home once refurb’ on the house is finished but either way, you’re right, if they leave the doors in and board over internally, they’d need to secure the doors as suggested.

@HOJ it’s a shed by any other name 😉. It’s like artisan beer or bread…it’s the same thing but with the price hike!

That said, it’s decently put together, has multiple double sockets, good LED lighting and a CAT5 cable running to it so they’re lucky to have options.

If it were mine, I’d opt for the extra window like you say but they’ve initially discounted this as they want wall space. I’d imagine the window frames could be matched if they stuck with wood and converting to upvc would make that easier, if more costly.

@Inspector this hadn’t even occurred to me! They’d have the storage and retain some light with options to convert to a more permanent solution when the final long-term usage decision is made.

I’d counsel some means of being able to attach to the wall (even by a hook and eye) to avoid toppling if they get too enthusiastic at putting things on the shelves.

All-in-all I’m grateful for the comments as there are now several permutations to consider and which I can put to them at the weekend.

All the best and thanks again.
 
Wrote the post in a hurry, meant to read cut some batten to the correct size to allow boards to sit flush. I'd probably just line the door frame with tile batten and screw on a sheet of plywood with a few horizontal slots router top and bottom
 

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