how to remove a front entry door from start to finish

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Tools Needed
1 Hammer
2 Drill
3 Carpenters Level
4 Pry Bar
5 Screwdriver
6 Circular Saw
7 Insulation
8 Tin Snips
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Materials Needed
1 Silicone Caulk
2 Utility Knife
3 Safety Glasses
4 Drip Edge
5 Shims
6 Front Door
7 Tape Measure
8 Building Paper
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Total Cost
$50-$125
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Estimated Time
3-4 Hours
Skill Level: Expert
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Project Overview

person holding a door frame they just removed

When your front entry door is getting worn out and old, it is time to replace it with a more energy-efficient, updated door. The new door will usually be pre-hung and in a frame so you don’t need to be an expert to get this home improvement project done. There are simple steps and techniques you can use to get this done quickly.

Aren’t sure if it is time to replace your front entry door. There are some simple signs that this project should be done. Is the wood deteriorating or rotting? Are the door joints loose? Does finish not stay on the exterior part of your door? Are the threshold and weather stripping old and worn out? Does your door have uninsulated glass? Do you need to update the style of your home? If you have answered yes to even just one of these questions, it is time to remove the front entry door and replace it with a new one.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Measuring Your Current Door

person measuring the width of a door with a tape measure

To decide on the new door size, you will need to measure the door currently in your entry way. You will start by measuring the width and then the height of your current door. You should start with the door jamb width between the exterior and interior casings on the door. This allows you to figure out the wall thickness. The door jamb is the door frame side that goes perpendicular to your door and covers studs in the walls. Most are usually 4 5/8 inches wide.

You will then measure the outer casings surrounding your door frame. The casings are above and beside the door frame on the inner and outer areas. These are connected to the studs and jamb to keep your door on. Most outer doors are 2 inches wide and 1 ¼ inches thick. You will then use these measurements at the supply store to get the new entry door in the right size.

2

Deciding on New Door Material

pile of lumber

When you are choosing the door, make sure it is an exterior one since these are made thicker and necessary to insulate and create more energy efficiency. The exterior doors also have materials that are stronger to hold up to wind and rain. You can find wood exterior doors. These are quite attractive and can be painted or stained. Any have a beautiful finish but may peel more when exposed to hot sun and various weather. If these doors are not treated, they may rot as well. You can get a fiberglass exterior entry door.

These are quite durable and will hold up to the weather. They can be stained or painted and they do hold up better than the wood doors. You can get a steel exterior entry door which is one of the most durable, although it could rust after much time. It can’t be stained or painted though. You must remember to get an exterior entry door that will fit the same dimensions as the door you already have.

3

Removing the Door

person pulling the frame out of the rough opening on a house

The next step is removing the door you have on now. The frame will need to be removed as well. You will need the chisel and hammer so the hinge pins can be removed. Then you will take off the door. You will need to remove the deadbolt/lockset if you are going to use those on your new entry door. Then you will cut paint film with the utility knife. This will usually be in between the casing from the interior door, the drywall and the casing from the exterior door.

You will use a pry bar to loosen casing by hammering the pry bar between the jamb and casing. Pry that off without care as not to ruin your drywall. Now you need to unscrew your hinges, deadbolt plate and door latch if you are reusing those. Finally, take off the threshold and jambs.

4

Installing the New Door

person holding a door slab getting ready to place it into the frame

Now you will be ready to install your new entry door. You will want to look over the opening to see that the studs are square. If you took need to paint the door or finish it, do so before installing it. Before putting the new door up, test to make sure it will fit the opening. If you don’t already have one, a metal drip cap should be placed to keep the doorway from the rain.

You will then put caulk over the outer area of your sill, outer opening and outer casing. Now, drill holes under the molding on each outer casing. Put your threshold on the door and stand the door into the opening. Make sure it is square and level.

5

Nailing Your Door Casing to the Studs in the Wall

contractor using a pneumatic air nail gun to nail door frame

Use the hammer to put the nails into the holes you had drilled in the casing of the outer door side. Make sure the nail heads are left out in case adjusting needs to be done. Close and open the door to be sure it fits well on the frame and the threshold. Be sure there is about an 1/8-inch gap between your jamb and door. Put shims behind the hinges to cover gaps that may be present. Put the two bottom and top screws into the jamb. Make sure things are still level and then attach the rest of the screws.

6

Driving Screws through the Hinges

contractor using a cordless powerdrill to screw in door hinges

Now it is time to put your door completely on. Put shims on the sides of your door if needed. When installing your door, use nails between jamb and casing on each side. Fill the holes with wood filler or putty. Then you can put caulk over the casing on the outer side and touch holes from the nails up with paint. Install your deadbolt/lockset and be sure the screws go through your casing and into each stud.

Conclusion

Now, that you know more about how to remove and install a front entry door from start to finish, you can get started. This is not an expert job, it is one you can do on your own. As long as you follow these steps, you should be fine.

How To Remove A Front Entry Door From Start To Finish

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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 install a new door?
On average the cost of a new entry door is between $500 and $700. The price varies greatly depending on things such as the material of the door, the brand, the type of door, the company installing the door, and more. Installing the door yourself will reduce the cost.
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 much does it cost to install a door frame?
A lot of the cost of your door frame will depend on what the current frame looks like. For example, rotting wood would be most costly as things need to be repaired and replaced. For a single door frame, you will need to plan for a minimum of $150.
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 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.
What is the best color for a front door?
There is some logic, along with some science, in color selection. A color wheel is the best place for you to start choosing your color. You can mix various colors quickly and easily to find the perfect color scheme for your entry door and the exterior of your home.
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.
What is the best color to paint your front door?
Most importantly, you want the color of your door to blend with the rest of the exterior. White and red seem to be the most commonly used colors for a front door. After red and white, it is found that is brown, blue, and green come next in popularity.
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.
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Can Look Like Real Wood

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Purchasing front entrance doors can seem complicated. You want to make sure you have the right color, right material, and overall best door available.  Think about some of the doors you have seen before, ones that really stand out in your mind. What about that nice yellow door you saw at a friends house that felt so warm and inviting? Or that nice red door that you saw a few houses down and how it gave their home a completely new look just by replacing the door. One of the ways that you can pick out the color of your door is to use a color wheel. A front door that has a color which is well chosen will leave an impact that is immediate, it will improve your home's curb appeal and will also complement your home's style.   read more

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Understanding Color Schemes

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Protecting Your Home

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Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

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