How to fit a new front door and frame
Your front door may need replacing for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re looking for a change or you want something that’s more suitable for external use, installing a new door will help to improve the security, thermal efficiency and exterior aesthetics of your home.
When installing a new external door, it’s important to make sure it’s done properly to maintain both the security and thermal performance of your home. An ill-fitting door can make it easier for intruders to gain access to your home.
In this guide, we will outline how to prepare for installing a new front door including some of the tools you might need. We’ll also take you through how to install a new door and offer some useful top tips to guide you through the process.
In this guide:
Preparing a new front door and frame for installation
To make sure you can install your new door and frame easily, it’s important to make sure that you have the right tools for the job.
Tools you might need include:
- Measuring tape
- Putty knife
- Pry bar
- Utility knife
- Reciprocating saw
- Caulk gun
- Casing nails
- Spray foam
Step-by-step advice for installing a front door and frame
Follow these simple steps for fitting your new exterior door and frame:
- Remove the existing door frame. Use a hammer to tap against the hinge pins and loosen them until you can physically pull them out of place. This will allow you to lift the door from its hinges safely, and use your screwdriver to remove them from the jamb.
- Remove the existing caulk by running a utility knife over it, as this will loosen its grip on the trim holding it to the wall.
- Slip a pry bar underneath the old trim and use this in a downward motion to pressure the trim off the wall. It’s recommended that you start with the top before moving to the sides and then to the rest of the trim. If you’re worried about damaging the wall underneath, you can put a shim made from wood in between the pry bar and the wall.
- Use a hand saw to remove the door jamb. It only takes one cut at any point along the jamb and you’ll be able to loosen the jamb both from the sides and the top of the casing.
- Remove any nails that are left inside the wall around the opening. For this, you can use a set of pliers or the end of your hammer.
- Position the new door in place, using your level to ensure that the hinge side is plumb (level). Once in place, nail the door in on the hinge side with casing nails.
- Another way to ensure the door is plumb and fitted properly is to shim the opening. Start on the hinge side and place the shims into the opening between the wall and the frame. Then, place the shims at the top of the door before moving onto the latch side.
- Use a can of insulating spray foam on the space between the frame and wall. You should opt for a minimal expanding spray foam as this will provide the best results.
- Once the spray foam has dried, use a circular saw to cut down the trim to your door frame’s measurements. We recommend that you cut at 45-degree angles so that each corner evenly lines up with the frame. Once done, you can nail the trim into place.
- With a caulk gun, apply an even bead all around the trim’s perimeter. For the smoothest application, follow up with your finger to flatten any bumps.
- Once the door is in place and plumb, you can install the door furniture such as the handles, letterbox and locks.
Top tips on new front door installation
When buying and fitting a new front door and frame for your home, making sure the new set fits exactly the same measurements as your old door and frame will make the process much easier. It will also mean you are less likely to have gaps around your door or need to trim your new door significantly.
During installation, make sure you accommodate for harsh weather by using a waterproof membrane to shield any openings from moisture. This will allow your external door to remain snug in its frame and will help to prevent problems with your door in the future.
When finishing off the installation, make sure each screw is as far in as possible to keep the door in place and prevent it from moving or sticking in the future.
For more information on installing a front door and frame or on buying a new front door, please contact our team at Vufold today.