bulkhead woes

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schwaggly

Burning Hunk
Sep 23, 2009
189
n.shore ma
I've got some serious bulkhead woes. The outside doors are rusted through on the bottom and the entire thing is drafty as all hell.
I had a nice gentleman quote me $2,000 to replace the bulkhead and reside a small section of my house but do nothing about the
drafty lower entry door. I cannot find the same size door panels and simply replace them. In the past I've tarped the bulkhead and
tyvek'd the lower door. I'm looking for a long term solution for under $2,000 for half the job and not tear off the back of my house
for no reason. pics to follow.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,155
Northern NH
I had a new pair of bilco doors on my house when it was built and wasnt a fan from the beginning. Mice seemed to be able to walk right through them, they leaked like a seive in rainy weather, and they were a big radiant and infiltration heat loss in the winter plus they froze on occasion. I ended up building a "doghouse" over the opening with a full height door. Obviously it required messing with the siding, but my material cost was under $2,000. I also beefed up the roof and installed some heavy hooks in the ceiling to allow me to rig heavy objects in and out of the basement (like a "free" 1000 pound wood boiler) and power tools. Granted it was a project, but I havent looked back since. Just the ability to open the door and load wood in without having to shovel the snow off the doors made it worth it as my doors are on the north side of 12 12 pitch roof in northern NH so the snow tends to get real deep!
 

gpcollen1

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2007
2,026
Western CT
I was going to suggest what was done above. Build a structure around it...
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
peakbagger said:
I had a new pair of bilco doors on my house when it was built and wasnt a fan from the beginning. Mice seemed to be able to walk right through them, they leaked like a seive in rainy weather, and they were a big radiant and infiltration heat loss in the winter plus they froze on occasion. I ended up building a "doghouse" over the opening with a full height door. Obviously it required messing with the siding, but my material cost was under $2,000. I also beefed up the roof and installed some heavy hooks in the ceiling to allow me to rig heavy objects in and out of the basement (like a "free" 1000 pound wood boiler) and power tools. Granted it was a project, but I havent looked back since. Just the ability to open the door and load wood in without having to shovel the snow off the doors made it worth it as my doors are on the north side of 12 12 pitch roof in northern NH so the snow tends to get real deep!
Pics please?
 

schwaggly

Burning Hunk
Sep 23, 2009
189
n.shore ma
I think I'm going to insulate and tarp it for this winter. I like the built up idea can't wait to see pics. Next spring I'll get cracking on the build-out.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,155
Northern NH
I am not having any luck with attachin a photo, PM me with a email address and I will send you a picture of the structure.
 

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,669
SE Mass
I have a structure over my current bulkhead, but I've had Bilco and Gordon doors and they are drafty and cold.
I've either had or put a door at the bottom of the stairs.

Shouldn't have to redo siding unless what you had wasn't 'standard' sizes.

I've replaced old wooden ones though and redoing the concrete to make a new metal one fit is a PITA.
 

schwaggly

Burning Hunk
Sep 23, 2009
189
n.shore ma
billb3 said:
I have a structure over my current bulkhead, but I've had Bilco and Gordon doors and they are drafty and cold.
I've either had or put a door at the bottom of the stairs.

Shouldn't have to redo siding unless what you had wasn't 'standard' sizes.

I've replaced old wooden ones though and redoing the concrete to make a new metal one fit is a PITA.
I am not planning on residing my house. The guy was trying redo my 'standard' size ass over a barrell. I'm
going to DIY with a little help from a buddy in the spring.
 

schwaggly

Burning Hunk
Sep 23, 2009
189
n.shore ma
thanks for the pic
 

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sugarloafer

Member
Nov 18, 2008
37
maine
I'm not a big fan of the metal bilco doors, so when we did an addition 10 years ago and put in a basement I had the builder build the bulkhead. He framed it out in pressure treated lumber, trimmed with painted trim boards and build a double door out of pine to span the 4 ft. opening. The doors have rotted out and will be replaced this fall/winter, but the framing is in great shape. So I just need to replace my door. I can deal with a new door every 10 years or so. And I like to experiment. So, to replace the door I'm experimenting a bit. Instead of four foot opening that requires two swing out doors, I'm reducing the opening to 3 foot, going with one door and offsetting the door to one side. I'll deck over one foot of opening. The three foot door is being framed out in 1" metal square tubing. I have a good friend who is on a metal kick now (he's built everything from boats, to his house, a banjo for his son, a chair for his wife, a pizza oven outside, barns,... the list goes on. And at this moment in time, he's into metal.) so he'll build the frame. Then we're going to deck it with double-ply polycarbonate greenhouse glazing. So in the shoulder months when I'm in the basement but want some more natural light, I can open the basement door and get a bit of natural light from my bulkhead. We'll see, it could be bust. But that's the plan. I expect to spend about $240 in materials.
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,622
NNJ
I am a contractor and have worked on a couple of steel bilco doors in the past. They are a pita. I would consider this as an alternative. You would have to have a secure door below this obviously.
It is impervious to the eliments and should be indestructable.
http://www.wbdoors.com/ultra_series.html
 

raiderfan

Feeling the Heat
Dec 1, 2008
262
Western MA
gzecc said:
I am a contractor and have worked on a couple of steel bilco doors in the past. They are a pita. I would consider this as an alternative. You would have to have a secure door below this obviously.
It is impervious to the eliments and should be indestructable.
http://www.wbdoors.com/ultra_series.html



Sorry to bump an old thread, but what is the avg cost of the doors you provide a link to (door + typical labor cost, compared to the regular steel bilco doors). I'm in the market for new bulkhead doors next summer, and I, like the rest hate the steel bilco doors. I currently have the top portion of mine tarped!!
 
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