Everything You Need to Know About a New Door Installation

Door Installation
Your front door is a warm invitation to friends, family, and acquaintances alike. The front door also works as a barrier preventing unwanted guests from entering while keeping you and your family safe. The doors within your home offer privacy, sound buffering, and security.

When a door starts to show signs of age and wear, its functionality deteriorates, putting your safety and security at risk. If you notice your doors are wearing down, it’s time to consider a new door installation.

You can update and install any of the doors throughout your home. There are wonderful options to replace your front door, a bedroom door, or a classic pocket door in your home. With the proper tips, tools, and support, installing a new door can be a rewarding and relieving process.

Are your doors in need of an update? Here’s everything you need to know about a new door installation to keep your Arlington home comfortable, safe, and secure.

Know the Different Types of Doors

When asked to imagine a door, what type of door do you picture in your mind? You’re probably thinking about the single classic swing door.

There are, however, hundreds of different styles of doors you can have installed in your home. The type of door you’re planning to install will determine how you’ll prepare and perform a new door installation.

Complex doors, such as pocket and bi-fold doors, often come as kits to make the installation process quick and easy. We won’t dive deep into every type of door imaginable, but we can give you an excellent idea about how to prepare for a new door installation project!

Prehung vs. Simple Doors

Door installation can become much easier based on the type of door you choose to install. The two most common types of doors for both interior and exterior use are pre-hung and simple doors.

A prehung door is the easier of the two doors to install. This type of door comes installed on its jambs complete with hinges and accurately measured pre-drilled holes.

A couple of advantages of a prehung door are that it hangs plumb and will be much easier to install yourself compared to a simple door. You’ll find that many exterior doors will come pre-hung. If you’re planning to remove the jambs or change the size of the rough doorway opening, a prehung door may be your better option.

A simple door, as the name suggests, is only the door. You will have to install the hinges and jambs yourself as simple doors don’t come with any.

The advantage of a simple door is that it’s a cost-effective option. You can possibly reuse your door jambs if they’re in good condition and the door fits.

The drawback is that you will have to carefully measure and prepare the simple door and your jambs. This includes drilling holes and chiseling mortises for the hinges as well as boring holes for the lockset. You’ll need to make sure your jambs are square to allow the door to fit and function correctly.

Most people and door installation companies find pre-hung doors to be the easiest and often most affordable option. If you like the freedom of manually preparing your doors or reusing existing jambs, then a simple door might be your preferred choice.

Preparing for a New Door Installation in Arlington, TX

When you’re learning how to install a door, the first step in any new door installation is to measure your old door, jamb, and rough opening. Measure the height and width of your door rounding the measurements up to the nearest whole inch. You’ll need to remove the door and jambs to accurately measure the rough opening.

Use these measurements to find the correctly sized new door and jambs for your doorway.

Once you have the door measurements and your new door ready for installation, you can remove the old door. Afterward, you’ll need to prepare the opening for the new door. How you prepare the entryway for a new door depends greatly on whether you have a pre-hung or simple door.

Removing Your Old Door

Remove your old door by tapping the hinge pins loose. You’ll need a nail set, a hammer, and a drop cloth to protect your floor.

With the hinge pins loose, you can gently swing the door open and lift the door off the hinges. Be careful as most exterior doors are heavy.

Pry Off That Trim

Now you’re ready to tackle the trim. You’ll need to remove the trim to access the jambs and door shims, which will also need removing to make room for your new door unless you plan to reuse your jambs.

Remove the trim by gently prying it loose using a wide putty knife to protect the wall and a small pry bar to pull the trim away from the wall. For those planning to reuse the trim, use a utility knife to score the molding between the trim and the jamb for an exterior door. Take care not to damage the trim or your wall.

Tear Out the Jambs

If you’re installing a pre-hung door or new jambs, you’ll need to remove the old ones. To do this, use a hand saw to cut the sides of the jambs. This will make removing the jambs easier.

If your plan is to reuse the jambs, you don’t need to remove them. Check and adjust your old jambs using shims to make sure they’re straight and plumb. You may also be able to leave the trim in place if you don’t need to alter the jamb to ensure that it’s plumb.

How to Install an Exterior Door

Installing an exterior door requires a lot of work. The exterior door does a lot to protect your home’s interior from the elements, various temperatures, and unwanted guests. There are several more steps to installing an exterior door compared to an interior door.

Those without experience or training to install exterior doors should consider hiring a professional door installation service. They have the experience and skills needed to properly install an exterior door.

Install the Sill

With the old door, jambs, and sill removed, you (or your door installation professional) will begin by installing the new doorsill. You’ll need to check the sill area subflooring and framing to ensure they’re level and in good condition. Adding shims will help level the framing.

You or your door professional will test the prehung door by placing it in the opening to set the sill height. The door should clear the sill and both the door and jamb should hang plumb.

If everything looks good, you can add the flashing tape to protect the sill entryway from water and moisture. The sill threshold will attach over the tape with caulk. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to where and how to apply the caulk to the rest of the entryway to install the rest of the prehung door.

Tack the Prehung Door in Place

Set the prehung door in the opening and check to ensure the top is level before tacking it into place. Check that the hinge side and lock side are leveled before tacking.

Add shims behind each hinge, the latch area, and around the door jambs as needed. Once everything is level and even, you may nail the frame, shim, and jamb together.

Replace the screws in each hinge with a 3-inch screw to securely attach the hinges to the frame. Add nails about every 16 inches along the edges of the trim.

Add Insulation & Trim

There will be a space between the door jambs and the framing on the interior side of the front door. You will need to add insulation to this gap to prevent drafts from entering your home. Once the insulation is in place, you can add your trim.

There will be a slight gap along the exterior outer edge of the door trim and the siding of your home. Add caulk backer and caulk to this gap to help protect it from the elements, extreme temperature, and insects.

Learning how to install an exterior door is a time-consuming and demanding process. If not properly installed, the exterior door won’t offer proper security and can cause moisture and drafts to enter your home. A professional will ensure your new exterior door looks and functions well.

How to Install an Interior Door

An interior door follows many of the same steps as installing an exterior door. The good news is that it’s not as intensive since you won’t need to add extra insulation and weatherproofing to the doorway.

You can find many pre-hung and interior door kits for the type of door you’re installing. Here’s how you can frame and install your interior doors.

Hinged Doors

Hinged doors follow many of the steps described for an exterior door. Any old door, jambs, and trim will need removing.

If the jambs are in good condition and level, you may reuse them. Otherwise, you will need to remove them before installing the new door and new jambs. Use shims to plumb the jambs and secure the hinges and lockset.

Once everything looks and feels right, you can secure the door in place with nails and add trim around the edges of your new door.

Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are great hide-away doors for anyone who is short on space or loves the look of these timeless doors. Unlike hinged doors, pocket doors slide into the wall, meaning you will need to frame an area in the wall for the door to slide into. The door installation process is trickier for these doors than most others.

Fortunately, there are many kits available to save you time and money. For best results, you should have a home improvement specialist help you install these doors to maintain the integrity and look of your walls.

Bi-fold Doors

Bi-fold doors are a great option for those looking to divide a room, cover a closet, or to control airflow. These doors are one of the easiest types of doors to install.

You’ll need to frame and ensure the door opening is level and plumb. There are many easy-to-use kits available for you to install the door in as little as 1-2 hours.

Roller Doors

Also known as barn doors, these doors are growing in popularity due to their quaint and rustic appearance. These doors attach to a rolling bar above the door trim meaning you don’t need to worry about attaching hinges or locks. You should take care to ensure your door frame is level and properly trimmed.

Like bi-fold doors, this type of door is incredibly easy to install. There are various kits available to make installing a roller door quick and easy.

Patio Doors

Patio doors add a splash of style and convenience to your home. Like hinged and exterior doors, they require careful measuring and installation to ensure they look and function properly. There are many different styles to choose from including French doors, sliding doors, and hinged doors.

There are kits available for some of these types of doors. Whichever style you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, or have a professional install the door for you.

What to Look for in a Reputable Door Installation Company

Can you install a door yourself? Absolutely! But it can be a stressful process if you’ve never installed a door before.

Finding a reputable door installation company may be a better option. Look for companies that:

  • Have years of business experience
  • Share examples of their previous work
  • Offer detail-oriented craftsmanship
  • Have door installation options
  • Have good reviews and testimonies

If you feel the company has a good history of work, it’s likely you’ll receive a quality door installation service.

You Deserve the Best New Door Installation

A new door installation project is a great way to improve the safety, quality, and look of your home. You and your family will love having a reliable new door whether it’s an interior door or an exterior door.

Have questions or want to learn more? Get in touch with our Arlington handyman experts and start planning your next-door installation project!