how to install a front door

People Installing A Front Door On A Gorgeous Home
Tools Needed
1 Safety Glasses
2 Utility Knife
3 Tape Measure
4 Putty Knife
5 Hammer
6 Nail Set
7 Pry Bar
8 Silicone Caulk
9 Caulking Gun
10 4-ft. Level
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Materials Needed
1 New door
2 Door latch/door lock
3 Wood Shims
4 2” Casing nails
5 Expanding foam
6 Plywood planks
7 2” Hinge Screws
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Total Cost
$100-$500
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
3-5 Hours
Skill Level: Expert
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

People Installing A Door

Installing a new front door adds privacy, safety, and appeal to your home. Before you call a handyman for the job, browse the step-by-step instructions below and learn how to install a front door yourself. These simple instructions indicate the job is a great DIY project most any homeowner can complete.

Read the instructions included with your new door. You should follow any specific instructions set forth in those instructions. However, the step-by-step installation instructions below should suffice for most homeowners who want to install their own front door.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Take Measurements

Measuring Front Door With Tape Measure

You’ll need to collect four sets of measurements to correctly measure the door.

  • Door Size: The height and width of the old door should be measured.
  • Jamb Width:  From the backside of the interior trim to the backside of the exterior trim should be measured to get the jamb width. This number is one you’ll need to mention when ordering your new door to ensure the interior trim fits into the wall flush without the need for jamb extensions.
  • Rough Opening: Removing the interior trim helps get the most accurate measurements of the rough opening. Placing a putty knife against the frame before using the box cutter to remove the trim can save the paint -and the need to repaint the area. Measure the opening width between the frame and from the bottom of the sill to the top of the opening, comparing measurements ensures proper fit.
  • Exterior Opening: Measure from the exterior casing and again from the bottom of the sill to the trim top. Compare the measurements using a standard 2-inch wide brick molding trim. If the door is too small to fit the space when framed, there are a few options available. You can purchase a wider door,  add decorative molding to overtop the trim, or fill the gaps with wood strips.
2

Order a New Door

People Ordering A New Front Door

Using the collected measurements, visit the door supplier of your choice to order a new door.  Wood, steel, and fiberglass material are popular choices for entry doors. Using rounded measurements is best. For example, if your door measures 34 ½ inches in height, order a 35-inch door.

To ensure the hinges align properly, you’ll need to choose from a left-swing or a right-swing door. To determine which swing you need, open the existing door with your back standing against it. If the door opens to the right, order a right-swing door. If the door opens to the left, order a left-swing door.

When the door arrives, keep it inside the packaging until you’re ready to hang unless pretreating is desirable. Bracing is also on the door, used to keep the door square. Allow the bracing to remain in place until installed.

Should you wish to treat the door, it is easier before the door is installed. Consider adding paint, stain, etc. before continuing with the door installation.

3

Remove the Old Door

Person Taking From Door Down

Using a nail set, tap the hinge pins on the door until they come out. Remove the door from the hinges. Remove the lockset/deadbolt on the door if reusing the set.

You’ll notice paint between the exterior and interior door casing and your home’s siding or brick. Use your utility knife to remove the paint.

Check the door sill. Doors exposed to weather elements oftentimes become damaged and need replaced along with the door. If the door isn’t damaged but still unlevel, placing a strip of thin plywood provides a quick solution to level the floor.

Place your pry bar between the jamb and the door casing. Use the hammer to loosen the door from the frame. Pry the door from the casing, careful not to scrap the siding. Remove the hinges, the door latch, the deadbolt strike plate and the door jambs.

4

Attach the New Door

Installing A New Door In The Frame

Ensure the the studs are square and plumb before you begin attaching the new door. If there’s a second set of hands around, asking for a little help right now is ideal because the door can be rather heavy.

Apply a thin layer of silicone caulk to the outer edge of the sill, followed by another half-inch layer around the first. Caulk should also be placed around the exterior opening.

Remove the braces from the new door. Drill holes in the brick mold in the exterior door casing. Place the top of the new door on the sill, working the door into a standing position. Using a level, align the door until it is square and plumb.

Use 3” galvanized or stainless steel casing nails into the pre-drilled holes. Leave the nail heads protruding in case the door needs adjusting. Shims can be placed behind any hinges with a gap between the stud and door jamb.

Open and close the door, ensuring that it fits properly and that the door is square. If the door isn’t, make any necessary adjustments now.

The hinge screws in the door jamb should be replaced with hinge screws that penetrate at least 1” into the stud. Put shims between the stud and the door frame side to fill any remaining gaps. Hammer the finishing nails into the stud. Put shims between the latch side of the door frame and at the lock and deadbolt locations.

Use 2” finishing nails, install the interior door casing. Ensure there’s a ⅛” to a 3/16” wide reveal on each of the three sides of the casing and door jamb. Set the nails below the surface of the door using a nail set using  painter’s putty or a wood filler.

Place trimming on the exterior of the new door. Caulk around the brick molding of the door to seal the exterior. Repeat the process on the interior of the door frame.

5

The Finishing Touches

person admiring and looking at the front door they just installed

Doesn't it feel great to have just installed a new front door at your home? Now, for a few final touches!

The door casing and brick or siding should now be caulked and the holes touched up with paint. When finished, install the lockset and deadbolt, ensuring the latch screws reach through the casing into the stud 1” or more.

Using spray foam before reattaching the trim is also helpful when installing a new front door at your home. The spray foam can be used to seal the gaps between the door frame and the door jamb. Once the insulation is sprayed, trim away the excess using your putty knife

Conclusion

Why hire a professional door installer when you can easily turn this task into a fun DIY project? With the above how to install a front door instructions, any homeowner can instantly become a handyman pro!

How To Install A Front Door

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  1. Forta Doors Single Door with Single Sidelite-Left and Segment Head Transom in a Cedar Colorview
    Forta Doors Single Door with Single Sidelite-Left and Segment Head Transom in a Cedar Color
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    Forta Doors Double Door with Single Sidelite-Left and Elliptical Transom in a Fir Color
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    Forta Doors Double Door with Double Sidelite and No Transom in a Fir Color
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    The most important feature of your home is a beautiful front door. Forta Doors add character and style and come in a variety of options. Improve the curb appeal of your home with a Forta Front Door and create the warm and welcoming ambiance your guests deserve every time they visit. Forta Doors enhance the appearance of a home with sophistication while portraying a timeless splendor for any season. A Forta Entry Door makes a great first impression.Embrace your front entry appearance with the craftsmanship and high-quality products only Forta can provide. With an endless array of customizable selections you can achieve any desirable style. Complement your existing home exterior with a unique front door, creating the perfect level of sophistication, elegance, and grace.
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  11. Forta Doors Double Door with No Sidelite and Rectangular Transom in a Fir Colorview
    Forta Doors Double Door with No Sidelite and Rectangular Transom in a Fir Color
    The most important feature of your home is a beautiful front door. Forta Doors add character and style and come in a variety of options. Improve the curb appeal of your home with a Forta Front Door and create the warm and welcoming ambiance your guests deserve every time they visit. Forta Doors enhance the appearance of a home with sophistication while portraying a timeless splendor for any season. A Forta Entry Door makes a great first impression.Embrace your front entry appearance with the craftsmanship and high-quality products only Forta can provide. With an endless array of customizable selections you can achieve any desirable style. Complement your existing home exterior with a unique front door, creating the perfect level of sophistication, elegance, and grace.
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  12. Forta Doors Single Door with Double Sidelite and Segment Head Transom in a Cedar Colorview
    Forta Doors Single Door with Double Sidelite and Segment Head Transom in a Cedar Color
    The most important feature of your home is a beautiful front door. Forta Doors add character and style and come in a variety of options. Improve the curb appeal of your home with a Forta Front Door and create the warm and welcoming ambiance your guests deserve every time they visit. Forta Doors enhance the appearance of a home with sophistication while portraying a timeless splendor for any season. A Forta Entry Door makes a great first impression.Embrace your front entry appearance with the craftsmanship and high-quality products only Forta can provide. With an endless array of customizable selections you can achieve any desirable style. Complement your existing home exterior with a unique front door, creating the perfect level of sophistication, elegance, and grace.
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  13. Forta Doors Double Door with Double Sidelite and Elliptical Transom in a Oak Colorview
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    Price: $749.00
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Questions And Answers

How much does it cost to buy and install a new front door?
Most stronger, longer-lasting front doors will run between $350 and $750 plus. If you want a higher quality brand, the cost may be a bit more. In addition, if you want someone to install the front door, this would vary based on contractor rates but may be around $200.
How much does it cost to replace a door and door frame?
The cost of replacing a door and frame will vary greatly. It is going to depend on the type of material the door is made of and how customized it is. You sho.d expect to spend at minimum $500 for an exterior door and at least $300 for interior replacement.
Can you paint a PVC door?
Yes, you most certainly can. You will want to be sure that you clean the door before painting and be sure that it is dry completely. You then will prime and paint. Be sure to use a good set of rollers when painting your door.
How much does it cost to replace a front door?
Most durable and long-lasting doors will cost between $500 and $700. However, the price will change due to several factors. These factors include material, whether you have someone install the door for you, brand, type of doors and a couple other things.
How do you fix a door frame?
To fix a door frame, you must first take off the broken part. You will then nail in the new frame, place the door stop, put the strike plate in and install the molding. This project does not take very long for most people.
What color to paint a north facing front door?
The two best colors for a north facing front door are gray and white. You could also paint this door black, blue, gray or white. You should not paint a north facing front door purple, red, yellow, brown, green, pink or orange.
What does it mean to have a black door?
If you have black door, that signifies great things about you and your home. It can stand for authority, power, sophistication and strength. Anyone who goes by or comes over will know you are serious about protecting your home and your family members too.
What is a good feng shui color for the front door?
Your entry door, in feng shui, is how your house is able to receive energy for nourishment. The energy quality determines the energy that your home has. Often, the color you choose is based on the direction in which your door faces. For example, North, South, West, East.
What kind of paint do you use on a front door?
First, you need to know whether the door has oil-based or latex paint. You don't want to mix and match, it needs to be the same. Next, you need an exterior paint. Finally, most people prefer a glossy paint for their exterior door. It tends to highlight the architectural features.
What does the color of your front door mean?
The color of your front door does matter. It is the first thing people see when driving by and coming up to your home. For example, light blue means you are hopeful. Dark blue means you may have strong family ties. Yellow means you are a morning person.
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INTERESTING RESOURCES

Wide Wood Door

Wide Front Doors For Homes

If you are looking for an interesting and modern way to transform your home’s front entrance, you might consider purchasing and installing an extra wide front door. With modern style becoming more and more prevalent, extra wide front doors continue to grow in popularity. They are wide and inviting, while also providing a sleek, modern appearance. These doors can make your home stand out from the rest but, rather than being over the top, they are often understated and sleek. Because of the larger size, these doors might set you back a few more dollars, but they will make a huge difference in the appearance of your home. read more

Style

Wide Door Minimal Decor

Design Options

Wide Green Striped Door

Tips

S Heavy Green Door With Columns
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Double Entry Doors

The front doors are a defining characteristic of your home. Typically, they provide visitors with a sense of your style and set the tone before they even set foot inside. If you have suitable space and prefer an entryway that has a regal feel, then double entry doors could be an excellent option for you. This can have the effect of making the front appearance of your home look bigger and more welcoming. . Each material offers a unique set of benefits. They are sold at all different price points, based mainly on their construction. Double doors however, tend to cost more than single door counterparts, so keep in mind that you may need to select a more affordable material to ensure staying within your budget. This process is very important because it will create the foundation of your entrance way. read more

Materials

Modern Wooden Double Door With White Exterior

Features

Wooden Entry Door With Pattedrned Glass And Plants

Safety

Double Front Entry Door With Patterned Glass And Lights And Plants On Both Sides
Front door with sidelites

Front Doors With Sidelites

Before choosing your front door, it might be helpful for you to know more about one of the best types of front doors. The front doors with sidelights are very amazing for any home, because not only will the allow more light into your entryway, even when the door is closed, but also because you’ll be able to see out and decide if you want to open the door to whoever rang the bell. There are some things you may need to know when buying this type of front door. Before getting more information, know that these doors can provide your home with better lighting, save you money and give you customizing options as well. Having these benefits from the front doors with sidelights is great. They will update the façade of your home making it more attractive to neighbor, guests, and prospective home buyers too. While providing you with enough options to ensure your homes appearance is unique and stand out on the street. read more

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entry door with sidelites

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Different Materials

fiberglass entry door with sidelights
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