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Install Your Door Like a Pro


Buying and installing doors yourself may seem like an intimidating project. When the time comes to change out a door, you have to decide on the type of door you want to install, the material used to manufacture the door, and finally, how you plan to install the new door. Installing a new door is not the most complicated home improvement project, but it does require you to prepare properly for the project and understand the basics of door installation.

To minimize your frustration and end with a straight, easy to close door, follow these tricks of the trade from the door experts at ETO doors.

Partner Up

Getting help from someone you know can speed up the door installation process. At the very least, you get physical support when you need to screw in hinges and secure the doorknob. It can be difficult to hold up a door and complete the steps you need to perform to finish the home improvement project of installing the new door. Working with a partner also makes the entire process safer and less stressful since you have another person who can give you a hand when necessary, and support you in case you run into trouble. 

Prepare Like a Champ

Just like any other type of home improvement project, installing a door requires you to prepare before you complete the first task. First, you need to organize the tools and accessories you can expect to use, such as screws, galvanized finish nails, a hammer, and a screwdriver. Arrange the tools and accessories in an area that is far enough away from the door space to give you plenty of room to work, but close enough to provide you with quick access to what you need. Use small containers to prevent the loss of small components such as screws and screwdriver bits.

Measurements Before Installation

Many door installation projects stall because the property owner failed to take every necessary measurement before starting the installation process. The last thing you want is to reach a point in the project that requires you to measure the length of a door opening. This should be one of the first items on your preparation to-do list. Consider every possible measurement, write down the types of measurements, and then go over them at least twice to ensure you understand what needs to be done. If you’re uncertain about a measurement, consult with someone with experience measuring home fixtures and using a tape measure effectively. 

Simple vs. Pre-Hung Door

How much door installation experience you have determines whether you should install a simple or a pre-hung door. A pre-hung door represents an entire door because it includes the door frame and the hardware you need to secure the door. On the other hand, a simple door does not include the door frame and the hardware. You have to install the door frame and attach the hardware you need to get a door ready for use, separately and independently of the door. .

Going with a pre-hung door makes the installation process easier to accomplish, and takes less time than installing a simple door.

Choose a Door That Matches the Climate

Some types of doors last longer when installed in homes that are located in specific climates. For example, steel and fiberglass doors do better than wood doors that are installed in humid climates. If you live in a cold-weather climate, you will want to install a door that provides an extra layer of installation to beat back cold air and improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Know How to Remove the Old Door

Removing the old door correctly is an important step because failing to remove it correctly can cause issues for you when the time comes to install the new door. First, remove every door hinge pin, and then remove all the hardware that kept the old door secure. If you leave nails and screws embedded in the door frame, installing the new door can become problematic. A reciprocating saw helps you cut out any difficult to remove nails and/or screws. To extract the door frame, lightly tap around it with a hammer and pry bar to pop it out to ensure you do not damage the area around the door frame. You can cut the door frame into sections to make it easier to remove. It is typically less work to avoid removing the entire door frame, if possible, and to simply replace the older door with a properly fitting new door. 

Achieve a Level Floor

You want the door to hang level and evenly from one end to the other end. Otherwise, one end of the door might scrape the floor, which can damage just about every type of floor material. Although having a partner working with you can help you keep the door level by holding it, it will be important to take your time and use shims to prop the door so that it’s level as you fasten it into the frame. A pre-hung door can be a little easier to install level since the frame is more manageable, just make sure that you check that it’s level both while it’s closed and open.

Hire a Professional

Although installing a door does not represent the most complex home improvement project, you eliminate most of the doubts and potential mistakes by hiring an independent contractor to install the door for you. If you decide to make installing a door a do-it-yourself project, take your time throughout the project to complete each step successfully. A door can be a valuable investment, but it’s only worth as much as the quality of its installation. When in doubt, hiring a professional is the best way you can get the most out of your door investment, making sure it’s securely hung for as long as possible.

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