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Install an exterior door

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : 3 Hours

Exterior doors feature prominently in the facade of a home. Although we recommended you call upon a professional to install your exterior door, you may decide to do the job yourself. Be sure to take time to do it properly, and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. A poorly-installed door will be less energy-efficient and mechanisms will eventually break down.

This guide outlines the steps to follow to successfully install an exterior door. A door is very heavy, so this should be a two-person job.

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Tools and materials required

TOOLS

  • Stapler
  • Mitre box
  • All-purpose knife
  • Caulking gun
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Punch

MATERIALS

  • Wood shims
  • Finishing nails
  • Galvanized framing nails
  • Trim and moulding
  • Fibreglass wool
  • Silicone-based caulking
  • Galvanized screws

Before Assembly

TAKING MEASUREMENTS

Whether this is a renovation project or new construction, taking exact measurements is essential.

The standard depth of door frames in Quebec is 7 ¼", whereas in other provinces it is 4 9/16”.

Verify the door opening, either right or left-handed.

For new construction:
Measure the opening between the studs at three different places for width, height and depth, and keep the smallest measurement for each; the door will adjust in the opening.

For renovation: brick or vinyl cladding
Remove mouldings to expose door jambs. Take three measurements for interior width and three measurements for interior height. For depth, measure the width of the drywall, from drywall to brick (brick exterior cladding) or drywall to mid-moulding of exterior cladding (vinyl siding).
Take three measurements and keep the smallest of the three.

Steps

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Blue exterior door
Install an exterior door