How to Install an Entry Door & Frame

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Installing a new entry door can make a major change to the look of your home and significantly enhance its curb appeal. Today doors come as a new unit, pre-hung to a new door frame with the hinges installed and holes cut for the lockset and deadbolt . This project can be successfully completed by an average do-it-yourselfer in a few hours and assumes that the old door and frame have been removed.

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Remove Packing

Dry-fit the door to make sure it fits the opening. Remove the packing straps from the bottom of the door frame.

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Apply Silicone

Clear any dirt and debris from the door sill and apply a bead of silicone caulk in a zig-zag pattern from edge to edge. Apply an additional bead along the outside of the door frame.

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Set the Door in the Frame

From the outside of the opening, set the door frame into place and tip it up into the opening, stopping about halfway to remove the brackets at the door latch location which have been keeping the door closed.

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Pull Wires for Security System

If there is a security system, there will be a sensor in the old door frame which should have been removed. Drill a hole in the new door frame and pull these wires through the hole. Re-install the sensor after the door frame has been screwed into place.

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Place the Shims

Temporarily place shims to hold the door in place near the top and check that it is plumb and level inside the opening. Place shims between the doorframe and the studs at the hinge locations. Be sure to have even spacing around the door jam.

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Square the Door in the Frame

Place additional shims at the top and bottom of the lock side of the door and at the lockset and deadbolt locations. Open the door and check that it swings easily, doesn't drag and stays level.

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Drive the Long Screws

Drive long screws through the hinges, into the jam and through the shims. Cut the shims with a utility knife even with the door frame.

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Set Screws through the Brick Mold

Drive screws through the brick mold on the outside of the door and into the opening frame in at least four locations.

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Apply Silicone to the Threshold

Tape off the threshold to create a clean line. Apply a clear silicone to the outside of the door sill and smooth with a wet finger.

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Insulate Around the Frame

Apply a minimal amount of expanding spray foam insulation in the gaps around the frame and allow to dry. Scrape off any excess.

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Replace the Trim

Clean off the old trim or cut new trim boards to fit the door frame. Install the trim being careful not to split the wood.

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Adjust Trim on the Outside

Add additional trim to the outside of the brick molding if the door frame has been adjusted and no longer matches the siding.

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Caulk the Seams

Caulk all seams inside and outside of the frame. Smooth the caulk with a wet finger. Set nails and apply caulk to fill the holes. Allow the caulk to dry overnight. Apply exterior paint to the door and the door frame and interior paint to the inside of the door and its trim.