Installing an Entry Door

Nothing spruces up the outside of your home quite like a new entry door. An insulated steel entry door is a good choice because it combines toughness with energy efficiency. Entry doors come in a variety of styles and colors and feature a baked-on enamel finish that is especially durable. As with most doors, you can get a steel entrance door that is pre-hung with hinges, jambs, and brick molding included to simplify installation.

 

 

1. After the rough opening has been prepared, remove the new door unit from its packing. Be sure not to remove the retaining brackets that hold the door closed. You'll need these to move the door around safely.

 
 

2. Test-fit the door unit by centering it in the rough opening. Make sure the door is nice and plumb. If necessary, shim under the lower jamb until the door is plumb and level. Try to maintain consistent, even spacing between the door and the jamb.

 
 

3. Trace the outline of the brick molding onto the siding. If you have vinyl or metal siding, be sure to enlarge the outline to make room for the extra trim moldings required by these types of sidings. Remove the door unit after finishing the outline.

 
 

4. Cut the siding along the outline, just down to but not into the sheathing, using a circular saw. Stop just short of the corners to prevent damage to the siding. Finish the cuts at the corners with a sharp wood chisel. When you're cutting, be cautious of kickback, hidden nails, and wiring. Always wear safety goggles.

 
 

5. Cut 8-inch-wide strips of building paper and slide them between the siding and sheathing at the top and sides of the opening to shield framing members from moisture. Bend the paper around the framing members and staple it in place.

 
 

6. To provide an added moisture barrier, cut a piece of drip edge to fit the width of the rough opening, then slide it between the siding and the building paper at the top of the opening. Do not nail the drip edge.

 

 

7. Apply several thick beads of silicone caulk to the subfloor at the bottom of the door opening. Also apply silicone caulk over the building paper on the front edges of the jack studs and header.

 
 

8. Center the door unit in the rough opening and push the brick molding tight against the sheathing. Have a helper hold the door unit in place until it is nailed.

 
  9. From inside, place pairs of wood wedge shims together to form flat shims (bottom), and insert shims into the gaps between the door jambs and framing members. Insert shims at the lockset and hinge locations, and every 12 inches all the way around the jambs.
 
 

10. Using a carpenter's level, make sure the door unit is plumb. Adjust the shims, if necessary, until the door is plumb and level. Fill the gaps between the jambs and the framing members with loosely packed fiberglass insulation.

 

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