Tips When Installing an Exterior Door

Tips When Installing an Exterior Door

Deciding that your exterior doors need replacing is not always an easy decision.  Purchasing the right door for your needs can be expensive; when you factor in the cost of installing you can easily be looking at a four figure sum.  There are two ways of making this figure cheaper; choose a cheap door and install it yourself, or purchase a pre-used door to install.  However, pre-owned doors can be difficult to assess whether they are really as good as they appear to be; you will not know their history or how well they have been looked after.  If you choose cheaper exterior doors you may be making a false economy.  Certainly fitting exterior doors yourself will help reduce the cost; providing you know what you are doing!

It is worthwhile contacting Hometech Windows and Doors; you may be pleasantly surprised by their range of doors which are affordably priced!  If you choose to fit it yourself then the following tips will prove useful.


You need to measure the size of the frame; this is the space you have available for your door and can include a recess into the walls of your home.  Purchasing a matching size will allow you an easy installation and, if the frame sits in your walls; an added layer of security.

To be really accurate you should take the frame out first and measure it; however, this is not always a practical solution!


The hinge pins on your exterior doors can be removed with the aid of a hammer and a nail; this will make it much easier to separate the door from the frame.


If your door has been fitted properly it will have caulk between the frame and the wall; ensuring a weather proof seal.  You will need to use a sharp utility knife to cut this caulk as close to the wall as possible.  Once the seal has been broken you will be able to carefully pry the frame out.


The most important job is to clean up all traces of the old door.  This will leave you a clean surface to install your new frame into.  This is also a good opportunity to clean up all the mess you have made so far.

Test Run

Now is the scariest part!  You need to lift you new door; including frame, into position.  You will want the door to fit perfectly although you may need to add some shims under one side of your frame to ensure the door is level.  It is best to mark in pencil the top line of the door.  You can then use this line to drop a plumb line each side and calculate the exact position of the door.


You can now install any additional wood you need to make the frame the right size for your door.  This is especially useful if you have a concrete frame.  It is then advisable to add a layer of caulk along the bottom line of the door.  You can then lift the frame back into place and put the bottom in position first.

Then simple make sure it is hung straight before sinking the screws into the walls; through the framing.  These need to be good quality, long fittings.

Tidying Up

To finish you will need to insulate any gaps you can see, caulk the inside of the door and add any interior trim you require.  You can then step back and admire your work.