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#4710164 - 03/29/18 12:40 AM Undercut interior house doors
FirstNissan Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 934
Loc: MO
Hi, my wife and I are looking at our first house purchase. The home inspection was just completed yesterday, they commented that the bedroom doors need to be undercut by 1/2 inch in order for adequate air circulation for the air conditioning system. Is this a job I can do with my tablesaw or is this something that needs to be done by a professional. The interior doors are your standard generic all white, lightweight doors.

Thank you for the help!
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#4710170 - 03/29/18 01:06 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
WhyMe Offline


Registered: 12/18/12
Posts: 544
Loc: Washington for now

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#4710171 - 03/29/18 01:06 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
97prizm Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 752
Loc: USA
Here is what at least one site says door undercutting
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#4710173 - 03/29/18 01:14 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4875
Loc: MA
It should be fine, my buyers do that all the time too. Typically what happens is that someone installs carpets and that gets rid of the gap under the door. The table saw is the best way to do it. If you've got a steady hand, you could even use a skill saw. Only issue is if they've already been cut, typically there's not that much you can take off on a hollow core door, but I think if they're original a 1/2 inch should be fine.

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#4710184 - 03/29/18 02:27 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
Danno Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 2021
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
I used a hand circular saw with no problems on my doors. 2 layers of painters tape on the cut helps keep edge chipping to a minimum.
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#4710208 - 03/29/18 05:50 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 18989
Loc: Sunny Florida
You can buy or rent a jamb saw and cut them on the floor too...
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#4710234 - 03/29/18 06:57 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
mrsilv04 Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 8297
Loc: Illinois
So, is the real problem that there aren't any cold air returns in the bedrooms... so the solution is to cut the bedroom doors shorter, so that air can be pulled from underneath the door, when it is closed?
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#4710285 - 03/29/18 08:26 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: mrsilv04]
Danno Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 2021
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
So, is the real problem that there aren't any cold air returns in the bedrooms... so the solution is to cut the bedroom doors shorter, so that air can be pulled from underneath the door, when it is closed?

Pretty much nailed it.
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#4710304 - 03/29/18 08:42 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
ARCOgraphite Online   content


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 12014
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
If you don't like that look you could knock a vent panel into and interior wall. IIRC my Mother's condo in SW Florida had these.

Or you could keep the door ajar smile
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#4710305 - 03/29/18 08:44 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: mrsilv04]
zzyzzx Online   sleepy


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4398
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
So, is the real problem that there aren't any cold air returns in the bedrooms... so the solution is to cut the bedroom doors shorter, so that air can be pulled from underneath the door, when it is closed?


Seems like a weird thing to complain about. Personally I wouldn't care.

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#4710336 - 03/29/18 09:11 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
FirstNissan Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 934
Loc: MO
ZZYZZX- From what i am reading, the issue is if air is not able to circulate properly, it can put too much strain on the HVAC system. Interestingly, there are distinct dark lines under each bedroom door where the carpet is acting like a filter. As a 1st time homeowner, I am being extra cautious about trying to learn as much as I can since I really don't want to screw something up!
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#4710362 - 03/29/18 09:35 AM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
mrsilv04 Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 8297
Loc: Illinois
Cutting the bottoms off of the doors is not the solution. It is only a workaround.

You specifically mentioned the air conditioning. Does it have electric baseboard heat?
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#4710528 - 03/29/18 12:28 PM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4875
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: FirstNissan
ZZYZZX- From what i am reading, the issue is if air is not able to circulate properly, it can put too much strain on the HVAC system. Interestingly, there are distinct dark lines under each bedroom door where the carpet is acting like a filter. As a 1st time homeowner, I am being extra cautious about trying to learn as much as I can since I really don't want to screw something up!


Well not only that, but if the air doesn't circulate, it will either be too hot or too cold. It's basically like trying to suck through a straw with your finger on the bottom of the straw, it's a lot harder with your finger on it. Same deal with a room that has no circulation. It's going to be trying to blow hot or cold air in, but because there's no return, the hot or cold air can't really get in.

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#4710543 - 03/29/18 12:46 PM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
nickaluch Offline


Registered: 10/04/08
Posts: 385
Loc: Long Island,nassau county NY
Smart idea to cut the doors it's cheap and works for the most part. The rooms will b more comfortable and less strain on the AC blower.
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#4710548 - 03/29/18 12:51 PM Re: Undercut interior house doors [Re: FirstNissan]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9105
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Did the guy find anything else? If the house has a finished basement I hope he spent lots of time down there, in the attic, and utility room.
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