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How to Replace Your Front Door: Step by Step Instructions

Last modified: 2020-02-18 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Léa Plourde-Archer

Has your front door seen better days? Are you looking to replace it? is here to share a few tips on how to repair or replace your front door.

Your front door is the first thing people notice when they get to your house. Even though doors are usually very durable, eventually you will either need to repair it or replace it altogether.

Does your front door need to be replaced?

The first thing you will need to do is to assess the level of damage that your door has suffered. Is it still able to properly fulfil its functions? If you find superficial cracks on the surface of the door, a simple coat of paint should be enough to restore it.

If you feel a little bit of air seeping in through those cracks, or through the door's caulking, use silicone sealant to seal the holes. However, if you notice bigger problems such as deep cracks and locks that are loose, you might have to consider changing the door.

The clearest sign that indicates a big problem is feeling a heavy draft of air near the door. This particular symptom could mean a few things:

  • The cracks are very deep
  • The door has moved out of its frame
  • The wood has been infested by insects

To get a proper diagnosis, get in touch with a qualified contractor who will be able to read into the signs and let you know exactly what type of work needs to be done. They should also be able to tell you exactly what caused the problem

. Red front door

Photo credit: Home Talk

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How to replace your front door: what you need to know

So you need to change your front door. Here are the main steps you will need to follow to complete the process.

  • Start working early in the morning so you can finish before nighttime. This type of job can be done in a day but you have to stay efficient.
  • Obviously, the first step will be to remove your old door. It may seem simple at first but you need to be careful when completing this part of the work. It's not just about removing a door. You have to be careful not to cause further damage to the surrounding walls.
  • Next, use a power saw to clean off any remaining pieces left over from the old door. If needed, use a sander to clean and smoothen the surfaces where you'll be installing the new door.
  • Before you put your new door in, make sure you take care of any electric cords that are in the way. Set them aside or move them as needed. Don't forget to move your doorbell while you work, so you don't destroy any cords. Also, try to plan out what you will need in the future. Now's the best moment to drill holes for new lamps.
  • If you've decided to undertake this project without the help of a professional, bring in friends and family to help. This type of project is better when done with at least one other person. Front doors are heavy and if you try to do everything by yourself, there's a good chance you could injure yourself. Your helper(s) will also be there to help you use the best installation techniques.

For example: when putting the new door in, start by putting it down horizontally and then slowly moving it upright.

  • Once the door is set and the hinges are installed, you will need to take care of the door's threshold. Make sure that the former threshold has been removed properly.

Measure the length you will need to cover the sill from one side to another. Using a saw, cut the threshold according to your measurements. Check to see if it fits and if it is levelled (use a bubble level). Next, screw the threshold to the floor. In some cases, you will need masonry screws or anchors to do so.

Lastly, install the rubber seal into the grooves that are on the top part of the threshold. Test your new threshold by opening and closing the door a few times. - Before you go on to the last step, check that every part of the door is solid and properly installed.

  • In the last step of the process, you have to install the door frame on your outdoor wall. Instructions for this step will depend on the door model you have chosen. In general, you will need to drill 5 or 6 holes on each side to insert long screws. Finally, use silicone sealant to fill in the caulking around the door frame.

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