Installing an Entry Door

 

 
A new steel entry door with energy-efficient insulation, weather stripping and easy-to-maintain baked enamel primer coat can greatly enhance the comfort, security and appearance of your home.
 
Because replacement steel entry doors are pre-hung with jambs, brick moulding and hardware (except locksets), installing them isn’t a difficult project. Insulated steel entry doors can be heavy, though, so you may want to line up a helper before you begin.
 
Entry doors can also be made of wood or fiberglass. Talk to your door supplier about the door most appropriate for your situation.
 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


 

Step 1: Prepare the door opening

Prepare the rough opening, if necessary, and remove the new door and frame from their packing Prepare the rough opening of the door, if necessary, and remove the new door and frame from their packaging. Leave the retaining brackets in place that hold the door closed while you’re working on it. Measure both the door and rough opening to make sure the door is the right size.
  

Step 2: Center and test-fit the door and frame

Test-fit the door and frame, centering them in the rough opening

Center the door and frame in the rough opening as a test-fit. Use a level to make sure the door is plumb. If necessary, shim under the lower side jamb until the door is plumb. Adjust as necessary to keep the doorjambs square with each other. Double-check to make sure the door is centered.

 

  

Step 3: Trace the outline of the moulding onto the siding

Trace the outline of the brick molding onto the siding

If you have vinyl or metal siding, be sure to enlarge the outline to make room for the extra trim required. Remove the door and frame after finishing the outline.

 

  

Step 4: Cut along the outline down to, but not into, the sheathing

Put on your safety glasses and cut along the outline down to, but not into, the sheathing With your safety glasses on, start the cut with the blade clear of the siding, and then lower the moving blade into it. Stop just short of the corners to prevent damaging the siding that will remain. Finish the corners with a sharp wood chisel.
  

Step 5: Cut a piece of drip edge to fit the width of the rough opening

Cut a piece of drip edge to fit the width of the rough opening To provide a moisture barrier, apply building paper to the exposed areas of the walls and door frame. Next, cut the drip edge to fit the width of the rough opening and slide it underneath the siding at the top of the opening. Do not nail the drip edge.
  

Step 6: Check the fit and enlarge the opening as necessary

Check the fit of the door and enlarge the opening as necessary

Once you are satisfied with the fit of the door, remove it and apply several thick beads of silicone caulk to the bottom of the doorsill. Caulk underneath the spots where the bottom of the jamb and brick molding will be.

 

  

Step 7: Center the door unit in the rough opening

Center the door unit in the rough opening and push the molding tight against the sheathing Center the door and push the moulding tight against the sheathing.
  

Step 8: Check that the doorjamb on the hinge side is plumb and shim as necessary

Check that the doorjamb on the hinge side is plumb Temporarily screw the hinge jamb in place by driving two #8 3-inch drywall screws through it: One about 2 inches above the top hinge and the other about 2 inches from the center hinge. Loosen the screws if necessary to bring the jamb back into plumb.
  

Step 9: Create pairs of wedge-shaped cedar shims together to form flat shims

Place pairs of wedge-shaped cedar shims to stabilize the jamb Create pairs of wedge-shaped cedar shims together to form flat shims. Using another entrance, go inside and insert them into the gaps behind the hinges and between the jamb and framing to stabilize the jamb. Cedar shims are preferable to pine because they are more weather-resistant.
  

Step 10: Remove the retaining brackets installed by the manufacturer

Remove the retaining brackets, open and close the door to make sure it works properly Remove the retaining brackets, then open and close the door to make sure it works properly.
  

Step 11: Remove two of the screws on the top hinge and replace with long anchor screws

Remove two of the screws on the top hinge and replace them with long anchor screws These anchor screws will penetrate the framing members to strengthen the installation. Do not use longer screws than the manufacturer calls for on doors with sidelights — the screws might break the glass.
  

Step 12: Anchor the moulding

Anchor the brick molding to the framing members Anchor the moulding to the door frame with 10d galvanized nails every 12 inches. Use a nail set to drive the nail heads below the surface of the wood.
  

Step 13: Adjust the threshold for a tight seal

If your door has an adjustable threshold, adjust it for a tight seal. Adjust the threshold for a tight seal (as long as it is adjustable) as directed by the manufacturer. Note: If you set the threshold too high, it will make the door difficult to open and eventually could damage either the door or the weather stripping.
 

Step 14: Cut the shims

Cut the shims Cut the shims flush with the framing using a utility knife.
 

Step 15: Apply paintable caulk and insulate around the entire door frame

Apply paintable caulk around the entire door unit. Fill all nail holes with caulk and insulate with weather stripping where applicable. Finish the door as directed by the manufacturer.
 

Step 16: Replace the casing on the inside of the doorjamb if necessary

Replace the casing on the inside of the doorjamb. If the trim was damaged during removal of the old door, cut and install new casing.
 

Step 17: Install a new lock

Install a new lock. Install a new lock by inserting the latch through the hole for the new door lock. Then, insert the lockset tailpieces through the latch bolt, and screw the handles together by tightening the retaining screws. Avoid damage to the screws by using a hand screwdriver. Complete the installation by attaching the strike plate to the door jamb to fit the latch bolt.