Q:

How do you install a replacement front door?

A:

Quick Answer

Measuring and removing the old door, preparing the opening and hanging the new door are the major steps in replacing the front door. Taking care to fit the new door precisely and protect the subfloor before the new installation forestalls many potential headaches.

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Full Answer

Measure the dimensions of the old door, and take the interior trim off to measure the width between the doorway studs and the height from header to floor. Measuring from the back of the exterior trim to the face of the interior wall reveals the jamb width. Measuring the width of the space from the outside of the brick molding and the height from the top of the exterior trim to the bottom completes the process, ensuring that the door assembly is the right size.

Take the brick molding off, and remove the old frame and door. A utility knife is the best tool for cutting caulk. Check the subfloor beneath the doorway at this point as it is exposed. If there is any water damage, replace the affected portions. If the new door's sill is thinner than the original one, consider putting a plywood strip on the subfloor to help the door clear the rug when opening. Ensure that the subfloor is level after adding any plywood.

Put polyurethane caulk on the exterior sheathing and sill for the door kit, and then put the frame in place. Shimming the frame is crucial because it determines whether the door fits correctly or not. Use shims along the top and open side of the frame to keep the gap between the frame and the door even. Apply spray foam in the gap between the frame and jamb. Put the new interior trim in place, and install the new door handle and lock.

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