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How to Replace Your Front Door: Step by Step Instructions

Last modified: 2022-03-01 | Approximate reading time 4 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?

Red front door

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 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.

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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. The first step will be to remove your old door. To do this, unscrew the hinges from bottom to top. Be sure to remove the handles and locks if you want to keep them. You will now need to remove the inner framing.

Begin to work early in the morning to be sure to have enough time to finish the job before the end of the day.

Second of all, you will need to remove the framing from the door with an electric saw. Start cutting on the side of the chime, then on the other side from the same height. Finally, remove the framing at the bottom of the door with a crowbar. Then sand the walls to make the workspace homogeneous, clean and smooth, to facilitate further operations. 

Thirdly, you should make sure to take care of the exterior elements of your home, such as electrical wires that need to power a doorbell or an outdoor lamp. If you need to add new holes, measure where you need to make them and proceed with a drill. Be sure to remove the old insulation.

Fourthly, don't hesitate to ask your friends, acquaintances and/or family for help. Indeed, be aware that a front door is relatively heavy and complicated to install. All the help you can get will be valuable to you. Also, when you start to assemble your door, always start by going up horizontally and gradually mount the whole thing vertically.

For the fifth stage,  take care of the threshold of the front door. To do this, you can use a flat metal bar with wooden wedges that will serve to keep it in position. Then line up the whole thing so that everything is straight. To finish your threshold, use a small log with a hammer.

Also, take a bubble or laser meter to check the balance of your progress throughout the renovation work.  To avoid any risk of deformation in the future, do not hesitate to insert two cedar wedges, uniformly, to separate the threshold into three parts.

Then, to ensure good thermal insulation, you will have to fill the remaining gaps with fibreglass, not forgetting to cover the hole with a silicone seal to avoid the passage of water.

For the sixth step, you will have to do the same thing again, but for the vertical, then standardizing the side studs using your wooden holds and your bubble level. You will then have to check to see if the whole thing is straight. Finally, you will have to attach the doorframe to the outside wall. Drill 5 to 6 holes for long screws, on each side, depending on the model of the door. Finally, apply a silicone seal around the edge of the frame.  

The steps What you need to do

Remove the old door and remove the interior framing

  • unscrew the hinges from bottom to top
  • remove the handles/locks if you want to keep them
  • remove the inner framing
Cut the frame
  • cut the door frame with an alternative saw
  • sand the edge of the framing to have a smooth, clean surface
  • remove the framing at the bottom of the door with a crowbar

Prepare the outside surface

  • take care of external elements such as the doorbell and alarm system wires
  • remove insulation
  • drill new holes as needed


Preparing for the installation of the door

  • ask your friends or family for help
  • assemble the door
Prepare the doorstep
  • take care of the doorstep
  • hold the threshold in place with wedges
  • line up the set so that everything is straight
  • for finishing, use a modestly sized log struck with a hammer
Insert insulation
  • fill all gaps with fibreglass and seal with a silicone seal
Take care of the vertical structure
  • repeat the last step, but for the vertical structure
  • standardize the side studs with your wooden holds
  • use a level to make sure everything's is even
  • attach the chambranle to the outside wall
  • drill 5 or 6 holes on each side
  • seal it all with a silicone seal


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