Everything You need to Know About Front Door Installation

The front door is a central piece to your home. It establishes major curb appeal for guests and potential buyers will notice a beautiful door. Depending on the style and color, your front door can also add to the overall look of your home and help to bring it all together.

front door installation

By changing up the color scheme or getting a new door, you’ll completely revamp the look of your home. Read on for some important tips on installing a new front door.

Types of Front Doors

There are several options for the front door material. Many people opt for wood doors because of their ability to be customized, and they can be decorated with nice windows or transoms. The problem with wood is that it warps over time, especially in areas with severe weather changes. If you’re going to get a wood door, be ready to have to change it somewhat often.

Fiberglass is another type of front door that provides major benefits to homeowners. Fiberglass is very durable, much more so than wood. Whereas wood may dent easily, fiberglass can take a bit of damage and not show it.

One major benefit is that fiberglass is energy-efficient. As a material, it is excellent at keeping in cold air or warm air, depending on the season, and keeping out unwanted air. Like wood, you can customize the door color by staining it. One downside is that fiberglass is more expensive than wood.

However, given that it is a more durable and energy-efficient choice, it may work out in the end.

If safety is your concern, a metal door is just about the most safe proof choice. Steel front doors have insulated foam and a steel panel on both sides, making them impenetrable. This is a much more common option for Midwest properties.

There are also glass doors, which offer a magnificent view and lots of natural light. However, glass doors also do not provide privacy, and they also may bring in cold air.

If you like the appeal of glass, you can always opt for another material and just add in a transom window to give that feel of light.

Installing the Front Door

You’re going to need some basic equipment along with some equipment that you may need to borrow or rent if you don’t already have it. You’ll need:

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Pry bar
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Saw (circular saw and hand saw)
  • Caulk and caulking gun
  • Tape measure
  • Shims
  • Insulation
  • Drip edge

It’s also not a bad idea to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. This is especially important when you’re using the saw since dust from the wood can get in your eyes. If you’re using a ladder at all, it’s a good idea to get someone to hold it while you stand on top of it.

Steps to Installing Your Door

First, you’ll want to get the new door ready by removing it from its packaging. Be sure to keep any paperwork and warranty just in case you need it. You’ll want to prepare the door opening by leaving on the brackets for now.

Verify that the new door will fit by measuring the door opening. You don’t want to take off the old door without being able to add a new door right away!

Using the level, make sure the door and frame fit in the opening. If there seems to be any gaps, use the shims on the lower side jamb to make sure the door fits snugly.

Next, mark the molding outline onto the siding and then remove the old door. Using the circular saw, cut down following the outline you just marked. Don’t continue on to the corners; you can use a wood chisel later on to get to them.

Next, cut the drip edge so that it matches up with the opening size. Use the building paper to the walls and door frame that are exposed. This will provide a barrier to moisture. Slide the drip edge underneath the siding at the top of the opening. Check the size of the door; if it seems too tight, make the opening larger as needed. Use the caulk and apply it to the bottom of the doorsill. Use the caulk to seal the bottom of the jamb.

After you center the door, push tight the molding into the sheathing. You’ll next want to look at the hinge side and use shims if it is not flush. Using drywall screws, screw in the hinge jamb by the top hinge and the center hinge. Place shims behind the hinges and between the jambs and framing. You can use cedar or pine, but cedar is better for weather resistance.

You can now remove the retaining brackets so that you can confirm the door opens and shuts. Replace the screws from the top hinge with long anchor screws. Using galvanized nail every 12 inches, attach the molding to the frame. Drive the nails below the wood’s surface using a nail set.

Adjust the threshold so that you have a nicely fit door. You want it snug but not too snug. Cut the shim to be even with the framing. To make the door more energy efficient, apply caulk all around the frame and to nail holes. If you want to add weather stripping, it’s at this step that you could do so.

Front Door Installation is Best Left to the Pros

entry door install

Unless you’re a skilled handyman or carpenter, front door installation should really be left to the professionals. Your entry door is one of the most important aspects of your home and if one thing goes wrong, then your whole home suffers.

An improperly installed front door can lead to drafts entering your home which can increase your energy bills because you’ll have to rely more on your furnace and air conditioner to regulate the temperature.

Also, your entry door is supposed to help protect against intruders and if there are any loose components or the door has gaps, it makes it easier for someone to break in.

That’s why front door installation is best left to factory trained professionals. When your door is installed by trained and experienced installers, it gives you peace of mind knowing your door will be correctly installed and work the way it should.

Some Common Problems with Door Installation

One problem may be that the rough opening is too large. If this is the case, you can simply add a furring strip to the sides of the opening. Start with a size that is 1” by 3”. You can then draw a plumb line with this added width and attach an EZ hang bracket to it.

Another common problem may be that the door is uneven at the top. In order to avoid this, you’ll want to make sure that you space the jams off the floor since an uneven door at the top is often caused by an unleveled floor.

Proper Front Door Installation Is Crucial

Changing up your front door can be a great way to spice up the look of your home. Depending on the style and color that you go for, you can tie together the look of your home and add visual appeal.

There are several different materials, but wood and fiberglass tend to be the most popular. While wood is customizable, fiberglass can be a durable, energy-efficient option. Installing a front door requires several steps, but the average homeowner can do it with care, precision and the right tools.

If you’re in need of entry door replacement in Rockford, look no further than Feldco. Our doors are made for the Midwest, they’re beautiful with many customization options and are installed by factory trained and certified professionals.

Get a free quote online to start your front door project with Rockford’s best.

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