How to Install an Exterior Door
Thinking about replacing an exterior door with a new one? New glass entry doors are a great investment to your home! In addition to design and saving on your energy bill, new glass entry doors can make your home more inviting and increase your overall curb appeal.
Better yet, installing a pre-hung exterior door is not as scary as it sounds. Read our step-by-step guide on how to install a pre-hung exterior door below. Hint, you can do it all in one day!
What you’ll need:
-Pre-hung exterior door
Before beginning your DIY project, make sure that when you remove your old door, you have the new exterior door on hand and ready to install.
- Remove old door, frame and molding
First, you need to remove the old door. The best way to do this is by having someone hold the door and another person remove the screws, hinges and hinge pins.
Next, grab the utility knife and score the caulking between the molding and exterior to break the seal. Carefully remove the molding, door jamb, framing, and threshold.
Once your old door is gone, you’ll need to calculate the dimensions of the door opening. Measure the thickness of the wall, width between the side jambs and the head jamb to the seal under the old threshold. Measure at least three times to make sure you have the exact measurements.
After you’ve calculated your measurements and with the shipping brackets still attached, carefully center the new door in the opening. By doing this you can see where shims will need to be placed under the lower side jamb until the unit is plumb and level. Next, place the new door safely off to the side.
- Mark plumb lines
Using the level, mark plumb lines on both sides in order to help you when you put in the new molding.
Now, you’re ready to install your new door. Start by putting in a thick bead of latex caulk at the subseal, located at the bottom of the old door opening. Place the pre-hung door over the bottom seal first, in the center of the rough opening, and then tilt it into place.
Next, secure the door at each shim location with cement screws*. If necessary, trim off excess shims using your utility knife.
Now, you’re ready to remove the shipping brace and test out your new door. If it looks good, you’ll then need to attach the long-anchor screws into the hinges and door frame.
*If you have a wood frame, be sure to use casing nails.
- Seal and insulation
If your new door is good to go, the final step is to seal the door and add insulation. Use a caulk gun and caulk around the entire door. You’ll also need to install fiberglass insulation between the door frame and opening on the inside.
Next, install the trim to the door using fourpenny finishing nails. The last step? Install your door knob and deadbolt to your new exterior door.
If you want to add a splash of color, paint your door and frame to further increase your curb appeal. Most pre-hung doors already have a coat of primer, so they’re ready to be painted.
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