Replacing and Installing a New Exterior Door

It is that time again! Time for another update from us on what we are up to now. If you have been following along this far, then you know that Joe is currently in the middle of remodeling a basement for Sally and Scott. The last time we updated you on what we were doing, Joe brought in Dave and his mold sniffing dog, Sam to make sure there was no mold before we proceeded. It was really fun to watch that happen so we hope to bring them on for more of our projects soon. If, or when, we do, we will tell you all about it!

 

A lot has happened with the basement remodel since then. Since our last update, the drywall in the basement has been hung, some doors have been installed, and most of the painting has been done. Since I have covered these projects in the past, I am not focusing on them in this update. However, if you want to learn about these things, check out the following links: How to Install Drywall, Installing Pre-Hung Doors, and Painting like a Pro. Now that I added those for you to check out, let’s get on with the update of what we have been doing.

Construction contractors replacing doors

If you are wondering how to install an exterior door, like many of my readers have been asking about, then I am excited to share this new update with you. The old door we have replaced was the original door for this house so it was definitely time for an update on that!

 

About the New Door

Since the old door was the original one for this house, the new door is a little bigger than the old one. The new door is a simple one though. Nothing too fancy. Just a simple steel door with six panels.

Let’s get on with the steps to install it!

 

Step One: Remove the Old Door

First things first, of course! Remove the old door by taking it off its hinges and removing the brick molding as well as the door casing. There are a few different layers that go along with removing the old door. These “layers” include the block wall, the pressure treated framing, the blocking and door jamb, and the brick molding, insulation, and of course, the threshold had to be removed too. The door jambs were cut to make them easier to remove, of course. Also, most of the rough framing was saved to reuse with the new door.

 

After removing the old door and taking the “layers” down that came with it, the old caulking, adhesive, and insulation had to be taken out too. This is an important step to do so you will have a clean frame to add the new door to.

 

Step Two: The Rough Frame Opening

For the rough frame opening, you will need to glue and nail the 2x4s and the 1x4s in place. In order to make this task an easier one, you should use what Joe and his team used, a Ramset powder actuated nailer. The thing is, if you don’t use one of these tools, you will have to mark and drill the holes for the nails, add the anchors for them, and then screw the boards into their place. So, just make sure you have one of these actuated nailers!

 

Pro-Tip:

When measuring the rough framing, make sure it measures two inches more than the door in each dimension. You will need this extra space to plumb the door and to level it out.

 

Step Three: Dry Fit the New Door

Dry fitting means making sure the door will fit before you install it for good. To do this, remove all of the frames for it and set it in there to make sure it will fit your measurements and everything else you have done this far.

 

The next thing to do is to plane the molding. Although this isn’t really a typical thing to do since most exterior doors are installed with the brick molding facing the block wall. However, this time we installed the new door with the molding flush with the wall. There was actually a good reason for this. They did this because the next bigger and standard sized door wouldn’t fit and also because this was how the old door was installed back in the day.

 

In a few of the spots, the molding had to be planed to fit. This was accomplished by not only setting the nails just a little bit deeper but also by using a power planer.

 

Step Four: Glue the Threshold

Once they were satisfied with the fit of the door after dry fitting it, they then had to glue the threshold. They used double beaded adhesive for it by putting it under the door and inside the corners. This is a very important step because doing this will seal out any water that may be near the door on the outside.

 

Next, they had to check to make sure the door was level and plumb it. Make sure to check each dimension of the door.

 

To ensure a perfect level of the door, inserting shims is a good idea. You need to place these shims between the door jamb and the rough framing where necessary to ensure a perfect level. These shims will also help the door open and close the way it is supposed to. Joe and his team ended up placing shims behind each of the hinges, at the top of the door itself, and at the latch strike plate.

 

Step Five: Securing the New Door

Once you are satisfied with the placement of the shims, it is now time to secure the new door in its place. To do this, you will need to place and insert screws behind the weatherstripping to make sure the new door stays in the rough framing like it is supposed to.

 

Now you might need to trim those shims up after anchoring the door. To do this, score them with your utility knife and then break them where those score lines are.

 

Step Six: Insulate and Finish with Molding

Now it is time to add the insulation and the molding to finish this out. With this new exterior door, Joe and his team used insulation called, “Great Stuff.”Make sure to put the insulation on the inside and the outside of the door and fill each gap with insulation between the door itself and the frame of it. This “Great Stuff” insulation not only insulates all around the door but will also seal it to keep water out. This is because this insulation they used forms a water resistant seal.

Final Product!

Here is another pro-tip: When insulating, try using a foam that is low pressure because the low pressure foam will keep the door frame from bowing. This type of insulation works well with window frames for the very same reason.

 

All you need to do now is to add the caulking, to all of the joints and add the molding too. However, this step hasn’t been done by Joe and his guys yet but when it is, I will update this with pictures to show how it is done.