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Trimming out a low ceiling doorway

JFink's picture

I'm sure that some of you have encountered this problem in past remodels...


In the process of finishing a basement room, I had to create a soffit over a doorway to hide some ductwork. Because the ceiling height over the doorway is now just above the top of the door, there isn't enough room to fit the casing. This won't be a code issue, but it is an aesthetics problem....


Has anybody come up with a creative way to deal with this problem? Ripping the trim to fit between the doorway and the ceiling seems like the only viable option, but I know it's gonna look like hell. I will try to get a picture tonight so I can post what I'm talking about....but for now, check out the quick sketch below to get a better idea what I'm talking about.


 


Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

(post #97979, reply #1 of 14)

Similar situ in the bath in our house, vent in soffit.  Casing profile was such that the builder coped the joint...pretty unusual.

PJ


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

 

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

(post #97979, reply #2 of 14)

Thanks for the pics Peter, that coping seems like an interesting idea.  I'll keep it in mind.


I guess I'm basically going to have to face the facts that it might look funny with a low ceiling, I don't know what else I could do, short of lowering the whole door itself...and that ain't gonna fly.


 


 


Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

(post #97979, reply #6 of 14)

thinner walled soffit???


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(post #97979, reply #7 of 14)

I like my idea better.  Never miss a chance to add storage or cause yourself more work.


Wait a minute, something wrong with that statement...  Might explain why I have trouble getting done with stuff ;)


 


jt8


Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.  -- John R. Wooden

jt8

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-- Carl Sandburg

(post #97979, reply #3 of 14)

First question....only because Im not there to see it for myself....is the ductwork directly over the door or are you just returning the soffet all the way to the door wall?


In similar instances, where ceilings are lowered to accomodate ducting/piping I have raised the portion of the ceiling surrounding the door back up high enough to leave room for trim.


If this is not an option......can the soffet be made to look like a beam, with the door trim legs acting as columns? Several other "faux" columns along the wall might help to "pass" the look.



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(post #97979, reply #4 of 14)

Shame on you.

You've been around here long enough to know better 'n to post such a large BMP file.

That's 2 days without Breaktime for you...

Any ship can be a minesweeper... once. [anonymous]

(post #97979, reply #5 of 14)

Wheeeew!  Can you tell who has a T1 at work?  Attaching 1.6meg pics.  Here it is in a more reasonable size.


Justin, how long a wall is this door on?


You could build the wall out so that it is flush with the front of the soffit.  Then just apply regular casing.  Along the walls, the additional 'thickness' could be used for built-in cabinets or bookcases.


Just a thought.


 


jt8


Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.  -- John R. Wooden

jt8

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
-- Carl Sandburg

(post #97979, reply #8 of 14)

Why not shorten the door?


Cut, re-block... piece of cake.


Only your friends over 6'-6" will notice.


Plus it will give you enough room for a 2X4 header and something other than ductwork to fasten the jamb header.

 

(post #97979, reply #9 of 14)

Thanks for the suggestions guys...I will snap off a pic tonight and post it tomorrow (at a more reasonable size this time!)


Jaybird, that's not a bad idea about returning the soffit before it gets to the door, leaving room for trim above....I'm not positive where the duct enters the room, but I think it's pretty close to being right over the doorway..I will double check this.


Gord, I guess shortening the door doesn't seem like such a terrible idea, I'll have to reconsider that option and see how it looks in my brain before I do it though.  That could help with the proportions as well.


Like I said, pics tomorrow.


 


Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

(post #97979, reply #12 of 14)

Justin


I'd consider the shortening of the door as others have suggested only if there are no other doors in the immediate vicinity.


Will look obvious right next to another door. 15-20 feet away and you probably wont notice it.


Doug

(post #97979, reply #13 of 14)

Man, I hate to hear anyone talk about low ceilings and shortening doors.  I'm 6' 7".  Sure, there aren't many of us around, but you might lose a sale on a house sometime in the future to a guy like me.


I often find store signs, and fast-food joint signs hanging into my eyes.


Greg

(post #97979, reply #14 of 14)

I agree and I'm only 5'18".  ;)


 


jt8


Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.  -- John R. Wooden

jt8

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
-- Carl Sandburg

(post #97979, reply #10 of 14)

I agree with the idea of re-sizing the door and jamb. You might only have to adjust by an inch or two. A much faster approach is to take the difference off the bottom. The door handle will drop but is usually not an issue if it's slight.


I also have ripped a piece of casing for the top. Cut 45's on all three pieces and rip the top and dog-ear the sides (This might look better than the 1/4 round coping) The casing profiles match up this way. 


 


 


Edited 4/14/2005 4:08 pm ET by hammer-n

(post #97979, reply #11 of 14)

OK, I Frankenstein'ed a picture to get an idea of what I was talking about earlier.


Along the length of the wall you create a built-in the depth of the soffit, trim across the top, put your regular door casing on... Bingo!



The Franken-pic has the door on the near side (opening into the room).  Create a deeper jamb (you can see it trimmed out behind the door hinge on the Franken-pic).  The door could also open into the deeper jamb (but you'd lose a couple inches of door width).


Just let me know if you want any more expensive ideas :)



jt8


Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.  -- John R. Wooden




Edited 4/14/2005 5:35 pm ET by JohnT8


Edited 4/14/2005 5:36 pm ET by JohnT8

jt8

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
-- Carl Sandburg