Installing an entry door to your home is easier today than it used to be, because most doors come "pre-hung." This means the door is already attached by its hinges to the casing (or inner frame) around it, and it already opens and closes properly. All you have to do is install the whole unit into your old door opening, getting it square and secure. Switching out long screws for the short hinge screws will tie the door directly into the house frame and add strength to the door.
Things You'll Need
- Pre-hung exterior door (with casing)
- Carpenter's level
- Screw gun
- Wood screws (3 inches long)
- Razor knife
Set the pre-hung door unit in the opening, with the door closed. Make sure the hinge pins are facing into the house, not outside it.
Set a level on the inner edge of the casing. Slide shims between the casing and the exterior frame, on both sides, until the level reads plumb (straight up and down) on both sides and level across the top. The door unit should be wedged tightly into the opening by the shims.
Open the door, so you can get at the inside of the casing. Shoot wood screws outward from the casing and into the surrounding frame. Set the screws in pairs toward the front and back of the casing, every 12 to 16 inches along both vertical sides.
Remove the middle hinge screw from each of the pre-hung hinge plates on the casing. The screws will be short as they can go only as deep as the 1-inch casing around the door.
Replace the short screws with your long screws, sinking one of them into the middle hole of each hinge plate, so it goes through the casing and into the wall frame. (Note: If your hinge style has four screws per hinge instead of three, then replace the two middle screws of each.)
Tips & Warnings
- Wear goggles when using your screw gun.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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