Looking for a new door? Maybe you would like a new look or maybe your door is worn from the weather. No matter the reason, you can replace your door with a new door much more easily than you would expect. This is because many new doors come pre-hung already on the frame. For this very reason you won't have to be a master with carpentry in order to get the job done. With the proper tools and direction, you can be on your way to removing your old door and frame and replacing with it a new one in no time.
Getting Ready For Your New Door And Frame
Remove the trim from around the existing door to in order to get a height, depth, and width of the opening for the door. In order to remove the trim you just need to use your utility knife and cut along the caulk on both sides of the trim. Then pry the trim off carefully. The new door that you get will need to be a half inch smaller than the height of the opening and it should be ¾ of an inch less for the width. Once you have the measurements down you will be able to pick out the door that you want and go ahead and order it. When ordering consider whether you want a wood or metal door. You also should decide if you would like to have a window in the door or not.
A pre-hung door is one that is already mounted to the frame, keep this in mind as you make your decision. The hinges are already installed and the deadbolt and lock-set holes are already ready for installation using standard locks. Before you remove your current door, you should already have the new one. Check the new door for any damage that it may have and then be sure that it fits before beginning.
Removing The Old Door And Hardware
Since you now have your new door you are ready to remove the old one. Use a screwdriver or a drill with the proper bit to remove the plates for the locks from the frame. When removing the door itself you can take out the pins in the hinges to be able to lift the door off the hinges and then you can remove the hinges using your screw driver or drill bit. This keeps you from having to deal with the weight of the door as you work to remove it from the frame. If you will reuse your old locks you can go ahead and remove these from the door now as well.
Removing The Jamb
Now that the door and hardware are removed you can move on to the frame. Continue by removing all nails or screws that attach the jamb to the frame of the house. If you have a reciprocating saw you can make this process go much more quickly. To do this place the saw blade between the house frame and the jamb to cut the nails and jamb out. Make sure that you don't damage the studs that frame the house or any wires that may be ran in that area. You may also want to wear safety glasses to ensure that your eyes are protected. Once the jamb ready to be removed you should remove any small wood pieces that you see between the frame and it. Now you can use a pry bar to help remove the jamb.
Installing New Frame And Door
The old frame is gone and now the new one needs to be put in. You should first dry-fit your new frame to be sure there are no problems. Make sure the opening is square and plumb. You can use shims with the sub sill as you need in order to help make sure it is level and square. If you feel that it is not plumb or square then should call someone who is a professional out to make sure and help if needed.
Now, check to see that your door clears the flooring on the inside. To do this you need to use the tape measure and check the bottom of the new door to the bottom of the sill. Then you can check the height of the flooring to make sure it won't hit the flooring causing scratches when you open and close the door. If the new door is not able to clear then you can raise the whole door frame. To add more clearance use a piece of wood that has been treated and secure it using screws and caulk to the sub-floor. Make the sub sill weatherproof by applying caulk one inch from the rear and one inch from the front of the opening. You can use a zigzag or wave pattern in between with the caulk. Also, the door-sill underside needs to have caulk.
Working from outside your home, set the doors bottom against the opening, you then will raise your frame up into place. You will want to insert new shims just temporarily to help hold the door in place. Insert the new sims close to the top of the door frame. You will now adjust the frame so that it is square and level in the opening. Shims help with keeping the door level in the opening. The rough frame and the jamb need to have a clearance of at least an eight of an inch. For this part put screws through the shims and the hinges. Check the manual that came with your door, as some manufacturers prefer that you insert the screws under the shims. On the side of the door that locks you can place your shims close to the top and also at the bottom of the jamb. Finally, drive the screws through the shims and jamb.Check that the spacing around the jamb is even. Make sure inside where the door reveal is that the spacing is even. On the outside between the jamb and the door stop. At the top, bottom, and middle there needs to be between 3/8 and a half inch of space. Make adjustments that are necessary at this time. For this part, you want to insert any other shims around the door frame following the instructions that came with your door if you have them. If you are looking for more strength you can place shims at the deadbolt and the locked position. Remove any shipping braces that remain. Now, you can open and close the door to make sure that it swings and latches smoothly. If adjustments need to be made you should do so now. Drive the screws through any other shims to help with securing the frame. Finally score the shims using your utility knife and then you can snap the excess off and throw it away. Follow the instructions that came with your door regarding securing the sill. Once you have finished securing the sill you can use a little foam expanding spray in the gaps that you find around the frame. Give the foam enough time to dry after you have sprayed it. Now reattach the trim of the door. If your door has not been pre-finished then you will need to use stain or paint on the door. Be sure to use the manufacturers guidelines. To do this remove the door from its hinges and use sawhorses. If needed paint or stain the trim as well. Put on the locks and the plates using your screwdriver or drill.
If you have painted the door place it back on the hinges. Make sure that your door swings correctly and that the locks and the plates line up. If it does then you have finished replacing your door frame and door.