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Door Installation: How to Install a Door

How to Install a Door


Construction worker holding doorframe at construction site
Dana Neely/The Image Bank/Getty Images

There are different types of doors available. Either wood, fiberglass or aluminum doors, they are all installed almost following some basic guidelines. A door installation process is really simple if you have all the tools, and know how to install a door. Here are some guidelines to help you install a door.

Door Installation: Preparing the Rough Opening

  • Remove the door assembly from its packaging. Some doors are secured to protect them from shipping using screws installed through the jambs into the doors.
  • Before commencing the door installation process, unscrew these from the door and prepare the door to be installed..
  • Some doors have shipping braces that must only be removed once the door has been shimmed into position..
  • When replacing a door, remove the existing door and frame, and leave only the rough opening. .
  • Before starting with the door installation, check that the rough opening is plumb and that the subsill is leveled. The subsill is no other than the floor under the door sill will be resting.
  • If the subsill needs leveling, use a beveled board or wooden shims to level it. .
  • Depending on the floor surface, a spacer board must be placed to clear the required thickness from the floor surface..
  • When installing a door, check that the rough opening should be at least one inch wider and one inch taller that the outside frame dimensions of the door that will be installed..
  • Apply caulk along the subsill and extend the caulk layer one inch in front and one inch back where the sill will be placed. The caulk must be extended at least two inches up the sides of the rough framing.

Door Installation: Placing the Door

Now that we have prepared the rough opening, the door installation process must start.

  • Place the door into the opening..
  • Start with the bottom of the door, and push it into place, placing the bottom first with the top facing towards you. Tilt the door into place..
  • Center the door into the opening and shim the door frame in place at the bottom of the rough opening.

Door Installation: Securing the assembly

  • After the door has been installed in place, shim the rest of the door frame to secure it in place..
  • Place wooden shim on the hinge side of the door; behind hinge attachment point in the door frame.
  • The door will be permanently attached to the rough opening at these points later..
  • Adjust the shims and frame until the jamb on one side of the door is plum in both directions..
  • Check that a constant gap of approximately 18” has been created between the jamb and the edge of the door been installed..
  • Nail the door in place with 16 finishing nails, through the hinge jamb near the hinge location..
  • Important do not drive the nails all the way in..
  • If the door being installed has come with shipping braces, you must remove them now. Open and close the door to assure proper swinging..
  • Check that an even contact has been created between the door face and the weather stripping attached to the frame..
  • Adjust the lock side jamb until a uniform gap has been obtained around door edges and the faces of the jambs..
  • Install a solid shim behind the lock strike location..
  • Permanently secure the jambs by using 3" screws driven through the shims at the hinge locations on the hinge jamb. Continue around the door, securing the remaining jambs with screws or nails driven through shims. .
  • Screws or nails must be installed through the shims to prevent distorting the frame.
  • Install screws through the shim at the lock strike location.

Door Installation: Finishing

  • Insulate around the door frame using fiberglass insulation or low expansion foam..
  • Install the interior trim. Caulk all joints of the trim and brick mold, where the brick mold meets the exterior wall.
  • Install the weather-strip at the base of the door as instructed by the door manufacturer.
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