Knock, Knock: How to Install an Exterior Door By Yourself


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If you’re like 70% of homeowners out there, you enjoy DIY projects. Perhaps you’re looking to save money or you just like the challenge, but you find it rewarding to see what part of your house you can work on next.

It’s only a matter of time before you learn how to install exterior doors in your home. Since this is what keeps the outside world, well, outside, it’s crucial you know how to put one on properly to avoid drafts, break-ins, or other problems.

Get ready to learn more and see how you can get set up on your own. After you’ve purchased your door, follow these steps to get everything up and running.

Properly Remove the Old Door

It’s important to take the old door off correctly before doing anything else. You’ll need to remove the door and everything associated with it, including bommer hinges and pins.

Using a utility knife, you can break the seal and remove the other parts associated with the door. This includes the framing and threshold. Step back when you’re done to ensure everything’s off and you’re not missing pieces, since accidentally leaving something on can pose problems when installing the new door.

Prep the Opening First

Consider the age of your home as you begin prep on the doorframe area. Older homes often need work, particularly in areas that haven’t gotten reviewed or fixed for many years.

This can include fixing areas such as:

  • The subfloor
  • The sill
  • Adding a drip pan

These extra touches don’t take much time but can make a big difference in extending the life of your door. You’ll prevent future problems and additional work for later on, making it easier to avoid extra work when putting up your door.

Know the Process on How to Install Exterior Door

Now that your door is ready to get installed, it’s time to do a dry fit, and make sure everything falls in place before actually putting in the door. Many people take this time to mark for plumb lines, which lets them know where to put the molding.

Next, you can begin to put in the door frame. This is normally described as a time-consuming process. Make sure to take your time and get extra help if needed.

Handling this step correctly the first time makes it easier to prevent a mistake that requires going back and changing everything.

Finally, you’re now ready to hang the door. Check the plumb and make sure everything lines up before putting it in. Once it’s ready, use caulk to seal and provide additional insulation against drafts.

Discover More

Now that you know how to install an exterior door, you’re ready to make home improvements on your own, saving on the cost of labor. You can feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you can handle these intimidating repairs on your own.

Are you looking for more DIY projects? Check out our blog on DIY appliance repair. Wondering how you can clean like a professional when it comes to having nice windows? We’ve got you covered there, too.

How To Install An Exterior Door