how to reframe a door

person taking a door out of the door frame
Tools Needed
1 Miter saw
2 Caulk gun
3 2-ft. and 4-ft. levels
4 Pry bar
5 Reciprocating saw
6 Treated lumber for the sill
7 deck screws
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Materials Needed
1 self-sticking flashing membrane
2 polyurethane caulk
3 minimal expanding foam
4 foam caulk backing
5 Transition molding
6 galvanized casing nails
7 finish nails
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Total Cost
$50-$150
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Estimated Time
4-8 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

person holding a door slab that they just took out of the door frame

Reframing a door can seem like a daunting task and may take a good chunk of your weekend to complete, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to your home. You may need to reframe your doors while replacing them with a different sized door or it could just be because of time and age. Regardless, replacing doors and reframing them can add value and improved insulation to your home.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Measure Old Door

person using a tape measure to measure the door frame

You are going to want the best fit possible, so be sure to get the most precise measurements you can. In many cases, you can order a replacement door with the same measurements. If not, there is a little more work that needs to be done. To measure correctly, there are four parts that should be measured.

The first part is the door size. This is simple. You just measure the height and width of the door. Round this number up, and that is the door size you will need to order.  Then you will want to measure the jamb width. To do this, measure from the back of the interior trim to the back of the exterior trim. To get your third measurement, the rough opening, you will remove your trim. Measure from the each framing member to the other and from the bottom of the sill to the top of the door space. The fourth measurement you will need to reframe your exterior door is the measurement of the exterior opening. To get this measurement, you want measure the exterior casing outside and measure from the sill’s bottom to the top of the trim. Consider this measurement when you order your door. The size difference will have an effect on how you install the door.

2

Remove Old Door

Of course to install a new door frame, you need to remove the old one first. To do this, just tap your hinge pins up, open the door, and just lift it off. The next step to door removal is taking the trim off of the wall. A putty knife can easily be used to protect your wall during this process. If you want to keep using the trim, be sure to use a utility knife to score the intersection between the jamb and molding. Next, remove the door’s exterior trim. Just slice the caulking between the exterior wall and the exterior trim. Then use a pry bar to pry the trim loose from the jamb. After this, use a handsaw to cut through the side jamb. Then pry and loosen the jambs and remove them completely. Now is a good time to check the sill’s framing and subflooring.

3

Prepare and Install the Sill

person kneeling next to the door sill

Use a two foot level to check to see if the sill is plumb. If it is not level, you can use shims to adjust. Use coated deck screws to fasten the sill. Once this is done, use self-sticking flashing tape to cover the rough area of the sill. Wrap the tape over the sides and the front edge of the sill. Now, check the door’s fit and check to see if it is plumb. Use a level against the hinge jamb to see if the door is plumb.

4

Set the Door in the Opening

Use caulk at the top of the opening and at the sill. Check to make sure that the sill is level before finally centering the top of the door and tack it into place with casing nails. Then ensure that the hinge side jambs are plumb and nail the bottom corners with the same nails. Follow by shimming on the latch side of the door. Place these shims on the top, middle, and bottom of the latch side of the door making the gap between the door and jamb even.  In each hinge, replace one of the screws with a three inch screw. Drive this into the framing. Also, use casting nails on the sides and top exterior trim every 16 inches.

5

Insulate, Caulk, and Install the Trim

person caulking a door frame

Now that your door is installed, it is time for the smaller but important details of the project. First, you need to insulate around the new frame. Use minimal foam insulation to fill in the spaces between the new frame and the door jamb. Once this insulation has finished foaming and has skinned some, use fiberglass insulation to fill any remaining space. Now it is time to replace the trim. Just reinstall the old trim you saved or install some new trim. Also, if the new sill is creating a gap because of the floor level, be sure to install transition molding. Now you just want to use caulk backer between the door frame and siding before adding your caulk.

Conclusion

There are parts of framing your doors that will be less than easy, but it is not as daunting as you might think. In fact, the average person can do it with just a trip to the hardware store and some instructions. Whether you need to reframe you door as a result of time and weathering or to make room for a new door, you can do it yourself in a short weekend, and you will reap the energy saving benefits for years to come.

How To Reframe A Door

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Questions And Answers

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 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.
How do I clean my front door?
If your front door is painted, always be sure to clean it with diluted product. If you don’t it could strip the color from your door. To get dirt and marks off your front door, use dish soap and water. Paper towels should be used to dry your door.
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.
What color should your front door be if it is facing north?
If your door is facing North, feng shui colors for your door are as follows: blue, white, black, and gray. You should avoid the color of deep pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, red, and brown on a front door that facing North.
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.
Do you need to paint a fiberglass door?
Yes, you should paint a fiberglass door. The edges are generally already primed, so they can be painted. If you choose not to paint these doors, they may start rotting or delaminating. The edges are usually made from wood which is why they may rot if not painted.
How much does it cost to install a Prehung door?
To install a prehung door, the price may vary a bit, depending on the brand and other factors. If you want someone to take away your old materials and install the door for you, it may cost an average of $350. The door alone may cost an average of $200.
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.
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.
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