Nothing gives your house a beautiful facelift quicker than installing a door. With a new front door, you can change the aesthetic and make your house look more inviting, and whether you install a front or back door, you can even improve your home’s energy efficiency.
However, to get this fresh new look, you have to install the door first. So if you’re in the market to buy front doors or have even been searching to upgrade the inside of your home with interior doors, this post walks you through how to install a door and offers tips to make your DIY project successful.
12 Simple Steps to Install a Door
When installing a door, you have two different scenarios. You may be cutting into an existing wall for a brand-new entrance or simply replacing a door that has already been framed in. You have much more to do when creating a new entrance than just upgrading an existing door, but we take you through how to do both.
When you’re creating a new entrance on a blank wall, you have to ensure that you maintain structural integrity. So these steps help you to install a door properly:
- Gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need a tape measure, framing square, circular saw or reciprocating saw, hammer, nails or screws, framing lumber, shims, and a level.
- Determine the door size and rough opening. Measure the width and height of the door you intend to install. The rough opening should be slightly larger than the door size to allow space for framing, shimming, and adjustments.
- Mark the rough opening on the wall. Use a pencil to mark the dimensions of the rough opening on the wall, ensuring it is plumb and level.
- Remove any existing wall covering. If there is drywall or other wall covering in the area where the door will be framed, carefully remove it to expose the studs.
- Cut the wall studs and header. Determine the desired height of the rough opening and cut the existing wall studs accordingly using a saw. Next, cut two horizontal header pieces using the appropriate dimensions and material.
- Install the header. Position the header above the rough opening and secure it to the existing studs using nails or screws. Ensure it is level and securely fastened.
- Frame the sides and bottom of the rough opening. Cut two additional studs to the height of the rough opening and install them vertically on each side of the opening. Secure them to the existing studs and the header. Cut and install a bottom plate at the bottom of the rough opening, securely attaching it to the studs.
- Check for plumb and level. Use a level to ensure that the sides, top, and bottom of the rough opening are plumb and level. Make any necessary adjustments by adding shims behind the studs.
- Secure the frame. Once the frame is level and plumb, secure the studs and header together with nails or screws. Ensure the frame is sturdy and well-anchored.
- Check for proper clearance. Verify that the rough opening provides enough clearance for the door to open and close freely without rubbing against the frame. Adjust the frame or shim as needed to achieve the proper clearance.
- Install any required additional framing components. Depending on the door type and installation requirements, you may need to add additional framing components such as cripple studs, jack studs, or a sill plate. Follow the specific instructions for your door type.
- Insulate and install the door. Once the framing is complete, you can insulate the surrounding areas if desired. Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the door slab, including attaching it to the frame with hinges and installing any necessary hardware.
If you’re replacing an existing door, you cut down the steps drastically. Before you buy front doors, be sure to follow steps 1 and 2. You need to be sure that your new front door fits into the existing space. Once you have your door, then you can skip to steps 9 through 12.
Tips for Successfully Install Your Door
Hanging a door frame can sometimes present challenges or unexpected issues. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you address common problems that may arise during the process:
- Uneven or out-of-square rough opening: If the rough opening is not perfectly square or level, it can make the door frame installation more challenging. Use shims strategically to adjust and level the frame as needed. Place shims behind the hinge and latch-side jambs to create a plumb and square installation.
- Sticking or rubbing door: If the door sticks or rubs against the frame when opening or closing, it may indicate a misalignment. Check the hinge-side gap to ensure it is consistent along the entire height of the door. If necessary, adjust the position of the hinges or shims to ensure the door swings freely.
- Gap between the door and frame: Gaps between the door and frame can compromise energy efficiency and security. Adjust the shims or hinge positions to minimize gaps as much as possible. To address gaps further, use weatherstripping or door seals to fill the gaps and improve insulation. You can also use add-ons or wood, which come in very handy if your door is a few centimeters smaller than your opening. Since trim will cover the extra wood, no one will even notice.
- Misaligned latch or strike plate: If the latch doesn’t properly engage with the strike plate or the door doesn’t latch securely, you may need to adjust the position of the strike plate. Use a chisel to enlarge the recess or move the strike plate slightly to align it with the latch.
Before you decide to buy front doors to freshen up the look of your home’s entry, be sure to check out our wide collection at Green Doors. Green Doors offers brand new doors as well as pre-loved doors at lower prices than buying direct and with sustainability in mind. By keeping its customers and the planet at the heart of its business, Green Doors offers door and window solutions that save you money as well as the Earth.