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FLHS Door installation

Getting Your Foot in the Door with Home Door Installation

July 11, 2016

When you’re getting ready for a home door installation, there are several steps to take in order to prepare everything properly.

First, you’ll want to take a few measurements. These include:

  • Door size – Measure the length and width of your current door. When you’re looking for your replacement door, make sure that the measurements match to ensure the right fit. For example, if your current door is 35-¾ inches wide and 79-½ inches tall, look for a replacement door with those actual measurements.  There is oftentimes a difference in nominal and actual sizes, so make sure you compare actual size to actual size.
  • Rough opening – This requires that the interior trim be removed, measuring the opening width between the framing members and the space from the bottom of the sill to the opening’s top. To ensure that the new door fits securely, compare this measurement to the rough opening requirements for your replaceme.
  • Exterior opening – When you measure the exterior opening (also known as the masonry opening), you’re measuring the outer exterior casing and the space between the top of the trim to the bottom of the sill.
  • Jamb width – This measurement goes from the back of the interior trim to back of the exterior trim. Keep this measurement in mind when ordering your replacement door, so you won’t have to add jamb extensions.

Next, you’ll need to remove your old door. Steps include:

  1. Lay down a dropcloth to protect the floor.
  2. Loosen the hinge pins by tapping them with a hammer and nail.
  3. You will then be able to swing the door open and lift it up to remove it.
  4. Then, you’ll want to pry off the old interior trim that’s framing the door. You can do this without damaging the wall by using a putty knife to lift it up.
  5. Next, slice the caulk joint between the siding and the exterior trim.
  6. Pry the exterior trim off of the doorjamb with a pry bar.
  7. Using a handsaw, you can then cut through the side jambs and remove them from the opening of the door.

Then, you’ll need to prepare the sill. Here’s how:

  1. Using treated lumber, build the sill area to the appropriate height and install shims to make it level. The sill can be secured with coated deck screws.
  2. Use flashing tape to cover the rough sill and ensure it wraps up the sides and over the front.

For more information about preparing for your home door installation, download our helpful checklist below!

Getting Started Checklist: Home Door Installation


Categories: home doors, DIY home building