How to Replace an Exterior Door

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A new exterior door is a quick and easy way to upgrade the curb appeal of your home. It's also a good way to cut down on drafts coming into your home to waste your energy dollars. You can usually replace an exterior door in less than a day.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Replacement door
  • Doorknobs
  • Locks
  • Trim
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Screws
  • Level
  • Shims
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Caulk gun
  • Caulking
  • Measure the door you plan to replace. Go to the local home store and purchase one that is the same size. The door should also open on the same side. Also purchase the lock set and door hardware. Purchase any trim if the door is the type that has you remove it as you replace the door.

  • Remove the old door. Set it aside. If the new exterior door must have the trim removed, do that at this time.

  • Drive the nails that are holding the door jamb in place on into the wall. Or you can use a reciprocating saw to cut them off. Some door jambs may have screws that you need to remove. Usually there are nails or screws on the two sides but not on the top of the door jamb. Depending on the exterior door you chose to replace the old one, you may need to remove the threshold as well.

  • Tip the old door jamb out of the way. Set it aside.

  • Put the new door in place. Square it up using a level. Nail the new door in place using shims as necessary. Remove the two nails that hold the new exterior door shut in transit. Make sure the door opens properly.

  • Apply caulking to the gaps between the door jamb and the house. Make sure you fill all the gaps.

  • Re-attach the wood trim around the door frame if you had to remove it. Put the doorknobs and lock sets in the door.

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