Installing Exterior Door
Installing exterior door with easy instructions. Also works with doors with sidelights and very heavy or large doors. Install without the hard work of shimming and no nailing through the door jamb, leaving no nail holes to patch! The following instructions are for the hanging of an exterior entry door. For these installation instructions you will be using a package of The Quick Door Hanger brackets.
Please note: as each type of replacement door is different, it is highly recommended that you pay close attention to the installation instructions included with your door. However, the following are general replacement door installation instructions.
To prepare you for your exterior door install....
Watch this Interior Video
Step-by-Step How to Install Exterior Doors
1. Exterior Door Installation
Begin by removing all the packaging from around the door. Keep the door in the closed position. Some doors will have bracing that holds them square during the installation process, do not remove this bracing until door has been installed. You may also want to consider pre-drilling the door’s exterior brick molding so that you can add finishing screws to the molding after the door has been installed.
2. Attach To Door Frame
Attach 6 Quick Door Hanger brackets to the outside of the door jamb. Attach 1 bracket directly behind each of the 3 hinges. The brackets have a clearance hole in them, make sure when installing these 3 brackets that this clearance hole lines up directly behind the center screw in each of the hinges (you will be installing a long screw through the hinge and through this clearance hole in STEP 12). Place the other 3 brackets on the other side of the door across from the hinge side brackets. An additional packet of 6 brackets may also be needed if the door being installed is very tall, very wide, or has a sidelight. Place these additional 6 brackets; 3 along the top of the door jamb and the remaining brackets on each side of the door in addition to the first 3 brackets on each side.
3. Straighten the Brackets
Using a pair of pliers bend each of the 6 (or more) brackets straight (flat). This is done so that the door can be placed into the building’s opening with the exterior door molding still attached. Take note of the bracket shape, they will be bent back to their original shape in step 8.
NOTE: This step may be skipped if the exterior door being installed does not have any exterior molding (casing or trim on the exterior face of the door) pre-installed. Also skip STEP 8.
4. Draw Plumb Line Down the Wall
Make a mark roughly a 1/2″ in from the rough door opening on the hinge side of the wall. Using a 4′ or 6′ level, draw a LEVEL line all the way down the drywall. Make sure the level is indicating that this line is perfectly level/plumb, as this will be our main alignment aid for the installation.
5. Prepare the Sub Sill
Check that the sub sill is level and is also square with the wall studs. Adjust as needed using shims. You may want to place the new door into the opening to check that the sub sill is high enough for the door to open. If it is not, glue and screw a thin piece of treated wood down to the sub sill to raise the door to the needed height. Use STEP 6 for proper gluing down of a new sub sill.
6. Sealing the Bottom of the Door
Using Exterior Sealing Caulk, caulk the sub sill. Caulk a perimeter 1/2″ in from all sides of the sub sill board. Then caulk a wavy line down the middle to insure that the exterior door will be properly sealed at the bottom from leaking.
Another way of sealing the door sill instead of caulking is to use a self adhesive door sill guard. These types of self adhesive sills have a polyurethane seal in the adhesive that will properly seal the bottom of the door BETTER than using sealing caulk. When using this door sill guard, simply place on the floor and run it up each side of the wall 3″.
7. Seal Around the Door
Using Exterior Sealing Caulk, caulk around the exterior door molding. You can either caulk the face of the molding that will be going up against the exterior of the building, or you can caulk the exterior of the building around the door opening. Caulking will insure that once the door is in place, no water or air will leak around the door, causing rotting of the door jamb and wall due to weather. NOTE: After the installation is complete, caulk the crack on the door where the exterior brick molding meets the door jamb and caulk where the jamb meets the sill. Also caulk the crack around the outside of the door molding where the molding meets the exterior wall. This will also help to ensure a proper seal and can add to the looks of the installation.
8. Bend Brackets Back to Shape
From the outside of the building, place the door into the opening. From the inside of the building, using a hammer, hammer each of the 6 brackets back to their original shape from STEP 3.
NOTE: If STEP 3 was skipped, skip this step also.
9. Installing Exterior Door
Starting on the hinge side of the door, screw in the Quick Door Hanger bracket located behind the TOP door hinge. Try leaving around a 1/4″ gap between the door frame and the wall when screwing in the door installation bracket. Take note of what reference notch the level line drawn on the wall happens to pass through. Screw in the next 2 brackets on the hinge side of the door while pulling or pushing the door jamb left or right so that level line goes through the exact same reference notch as the first bracket. Using the same reference notch for all 3 of these brackets ensures that the door will be perfectly level and plumb based on the drawn line.
10. Hang Other Side of Entry Door
Now check the reveal (spacing between the door and door jamb) around the top of the door all the way to the top bracket on the latch side of the door. Screw in the top Quick Door Hanger bracket, making sure that the reveal is the same on the top of the door and to the top bracket. Now move down the door and fasten the last 2 brackets while checking the reveal. If the reveal is too small or too large, simply pull or push the door jamb until the reveal has the desired gap, then screw in the bracket. If after all the brackets are installed, the reveal is not perfect, simply reverse the bracket screw and move the jamb to the desired location then re-tighten. NOTE: Some doors require that the door sill (bottom of the door) be screwed down to the sub sill, check door manufactures’ instructions.
Optional for Entry Door Install
If the entry door being installed is a very large or is a very heavy door, additional reinforcement may be desired. If it is desired to reinforce the door with shims, shim the top of the door, shim just above or below the latch stop, and shim as close as possible to the hinges. NOTE: If you decide to install shims, you will need to nail through the door jamb, through the shims, and into the wall stud. You will then need to patch the nail holes.
11. Install Long Hinge Screws
Remove the center screws from each of the 3 hinges and replace them with long screws that reaches all the way into the wall stud (about 2″ or longer screws). Many exterior doors come with the extra long screws. The Quick Door Hanger brackets have a clearance hole for the screw to pass through, if the brackets where placed directly behind the hinges. This will greatly increase the strength of the entry door installation. NOTE: Make sure when screwing in the 3 long screws that you do not tighten to much or it will begin to pull the door jamb in toward the wall. To prevent this pulling in of the jamb, you can place shims or a piece of wood between the door jamb and the wall stud where the screw will go through.
12. Seal Entry Door for Insulation
Seal the door. Using Minimum Expanding Spray Foam Insulation, fill in the crack between the door jamb and the wall. Fill in both sides and top. Wait until the foam dries, then remove with a scraper. This will seal your door from any air leaks and will insulate the building. NOTE: Use minimum expansion foam (specifically for doors and windows), regular expansion foam can add pressure and bow the door jamb as it dries, creating a bad reveal.
Install Door Casing(Trim)
Install the Casing (trim) around the newly installed door. Casing will perfectly conceal the door installation brackets.
If you pre-drilled the door’s exterior brick molding in step 1, you can now add finishing screws to the molding to help secure it to the building.