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If you landed yourself here today on my blog you are probably wanting to install a new front door and want to know HOW. Although removing a door from your house and replacing it may seem like a very big project it can easily be completed in an afternoon- with the correct tools and instructions. We jumped into this project blindly because we had never replaced an exterior door prior to this adventure. And yes it was an adventure- mosquitos and all. So I wanted to give others a resource that breaks it down into simple steps that even beginner DIYers and renovators could follow.
This specific "How to Install a New Front Door" will provide instruction on how to install a door using your existing door frame, hinges, and door frame lock cutouts. So if you're just swapping your front door out and not messing with the framing this is the "How to" for you.
First things first- you need to measure your current door then select and order your new front door accordingly. The measurements for your new door need to be the same as your current to insure a proper fit when using your existing door frame. This is where working with a custom build company comes in handy.
I partnered with Simpson Door Company on this project and was very impressed with their entire process. From customer service, ordering, shipping, followup, and quality. They delivered above my expectations. Simpson Door Company has been hand crafting doors for over a century, providing customers with a standard design door or a completely one of a kind creation.
They make ordering the perfect door for your project easy. Their Doormagination tool gives you a way to see any door you design in your own home- so you can truly "test drive a door." CLICK HERE to test drive a door in your home. Once you've decided on your perfect door you can get a quote directly from their website and find an authorized dealer near you.
Tools needed for the job:
- Drill Bits
- Screw Driver Flat & Phillips Head
- Circular Saw
- Modular Clamp
- Door Hinge Installation Kit- CLICK HERE
- Door Lock installation Kit- CLICK HERE
- Large Square
- Tape Measure
- Saw Horses or work surface
Estimated Project Time: 4-5 hours
How to Install a Front Door: Using the existing door frame
1. First you want to prep the new door for installation. That way once you take down your old front door the new one is ready to go back up in it's place. (Trust me on this one- we didn't do this and had to cover our front entrance with plywood and we got mosquitos all in our house. But we lived and learned so you don't have too.)
2. Measure and double check your door size with the door opening. If you did not order through a company that builds to specific measurements you may need to cut down your door using a circular saw. If the door is too wide cut the excess off the hinge side of the door. Measure and mark your cut. Use a modular clamp to ensure a straight accurate edge. Repeat this same process if the door is too tall for the opening- cutting from the bottom of the door.
3. Do a rough test fit of your new door. Placing it in front of your current door.
4. Now that you have a properly fitting door for the opening you need to cut out the hinge grooves. Since we are using the existing door frame you want the hinges on the new door to be in the same location as the hinges on the old door. Measure the distance of the hinges on the old door and using the same measurements mark the hinge locations on the new door.
5. Next using your Door Hinge Installation Kit and Router and following the direction of the kit cut out the hinge grooves. If you do not have a Door Hinge Installation kit you can also use a chisel. But I highly recommend the kit. If gives you a nice flush hinge groove in seconds using your router.
6. Once you have all the hinges cut out and completed its time to cut out the door locks. Using the same process as you did with the hinges measure the location of lock cutouts on the old door and taking those measurements mark them on your new door. This way you know the locks will line up with the cutouts in the door frame.
7. Using the Door Lock installation Kit, drill, and router you will cut out for your door locks. Follow the directions with the kit.
8. Next you need to remove your old door to install your newly prepped new front door.
9. Using a screwdriver and a hammer remove the pins holding the hinges together. Place the screwdriver on the bottom of the pin and use the hammer to knock the pins up and out. Once you remove all three pins the door should slide right out. We choose to leave the hinges attached to the door frame and then installed the hinges that were attached to the old door on the new door to insure everything would line up correctly.
10. Once you have attached the hinges on the new door, place the new door in the door frame, line up the hinges, and insert the pins. You may need to use a hammer to get the pins through.
11. Now that you have your new door on the hinges assure everything lines up.
12. If everything lines up you want to install your locks and handle hardware. Follow the directions that comes with your specific hardware.
13. Once you have all the lock hardware installed give the door a test. Make sure everything is lined up and working properly. Test the handle, the locks, and assure the door is getting a nice tight seal.
14. You may need to install a sweep seal on the bottom of the new door depending if your new door already came with one or not. If not, pick one up at your local hardware store, cut it to length using snips, and attach using the screws provided with the sweep kit.
15. Now stand back and enjoy your new front door!
A new front door can completely changes the look of your homes exterior. It's the first thing people see when entering your home. AND updating a door with one that is more your style is something you can do yourself! AND did you know that replacing your front door with a more modern energy efficient door gives you an 80-90% ROI (return on investment). But the ROI in curb appeal is priceless. So it is a very good thing to do if you are planning to sell your home.
I knew I wanted to change our front door out since the day we bought our house. Five years later we made that happen. The fear of the unknown kept us from tackling this job ourselves. I wish we would have jumped in years ago and done it. I hope this "How To" shows others just how easy the job was and how we made a mountain out of a mole hill worrying about it. But I will say ordering our door from Simpson Door Company definitely made the project a little easier!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful if you are planning to install a new front door on your own. Above is a little sneak peek at our new front door. A full before and after reveal will be coming to the blog soon. But we have a little more work to do on the exterior before that big reveal. I can't wait to show you some of the small projects we are tackling to increase the curb appeal of our home. Our front door makeover is sponsored by Simpson Door Company but all work and opinions are my own. I would never share a product with my readers that I did not stand behind and love.
As always thank you so much for stopping by today and reading my blog. I can't wait to show you the big reveal on here soon! Be sure to follow me over on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM for more behind the scenes of this little business I call life. I'm also pinning a lot more DIY projects over on PINTEREST.