Common Fairfield Door Installation Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them!)

Other than privacy, homeowners want security behind closed doors—and not the nuisance of having unwanted cold air enter the house during the winter while heat escapes. Gaps around your exterior doors will reduce your HVAC system’s effectiveness and put your desired temperature off balance. The more work your home system has to do to compensate, the higher your utility bill. Severely damaged entries can drastically compromise your home’s safety and energy efficiency, which is why it’s important to replace them properly with professional services for Fairfield door installation.

If you find yourself in the market for a new door, you’ll be deciding on types and materials to suit your needs. It wouldn’t cross your mind at first, but poor door installations can lead to several disasters. Using the wrong hinges, misalignment and other issues are bound to increase deterioration, and your brand-new purchase may only last a few years.

Our skilled Fairfield handyman team at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County has the experience to meet your needs, and you won’t have to worry about spending extra cash on anything. All you have to do is choose your new gem, and we will install it correctly the first time, saving you any unwanted headache. This blog will cover a wide range of Fairfield door installation information, including common mistakes that homeowners make and some expert preparation tips from your local home improvement professionals.

Common Types of Doors in Fairfield, CT:

Your doors are the first thing that greets your guests as they enter and move through your home. You want them to look good but also protect your home. Before you install them, you must choose the right style for you. There is a wide variety of styles available for interior and exterior installations in Fairfield County. Depending on material and style you choose, the cost can vary, so it’s often recommended to seek a professional installation cost estimate only after you know which style you’d like.

Here are a few possible style options for both interiors and exteriors:

  • Bypass

  • Bifold

  • Pocket

  • Barn

  • Accordion

  • French

  • Saloon/Café

  • Patio

  • Storm

Prehung vs. Slab

Doors can be prehung or come as a separate slab. Prehung units are already mounted into a frame. Slabs are basic and don't include frames, handles, or hinges. As they come unfinished, they need painting and staining (prehung varieties often do too).

Most technicians recommend prehung if you don’t have an existing frame in place or if you need a new frame. Prehung is easier to install and fit and generally weathertight and efficient. Alternatively, slabs are convenient for renovations where usable frames already exist.

Fairfield Door Installation Preparation

Getting this job done may seem deceivingly simple, but if you don't complete the necessary prep work in advance, you can end up with issues leading to expensive repairs. Here are some essential tips to help with preparation:

  • Measure and Level Accurately: Take proper measurements with the right equipment, using a tape and level. This ensures that your door will fit well after installation.

  • Level Accurately: Your frame, wall and the door itself must be level and straight.

  • Check Your Floors: If your floor isn’t even during installation, the new door could sit at an angle, putting pressure on jambs and hinges. It could also scrape against the floor and cause damage to your home.

  • Have the Right Tools and Materials: Using the right tools is essential to avoiding door installation mistakes.

Required Tools and Materials:

  • Screwdriver

  • Drill/driver and bits

  • Router (for round hinges)

  • Circular saw

  • Planer (optional)

  • Wood shims

  • Correctly sized hinges

  • Doorknob and lock set

Remembering everything you need for Fairfield door installation can be overwhelming. If in doubt, our team of professionals at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County is happy to complete this job for you, and assist with any other installation needs.

Common Fairfield Door Installation Mistakes

Despite detailed planning and preparation, mistakes can still happen. There are certain steps you should always follow, whether installing an interior or an exterior, because even the most minor mistake can cause future problems.

Here are the most common Fairfield door installation mistakes (and how to avoid them!):

  1. Hanging Door Where the Walls Aren't Even

An out of plumb wall is a wall that is uneven or not parallel. As you may already know, trying to hang a door on an out of the plumb wall is problematic. Once installed, it could swing open or closed on its own, and put pressure on its hardware that results in other future problems.

You will need to plumb the jamb instead and disregard the wall. The jamb is the vertical surface on each side of the frame. Straighten it and ensure that it’s level before installation is complete, which can be done using wood shims.

  1. Placing Shims Backwards or Incorrectly

Shims are small wedges of wood that help keep your door level while installing. They're placed between jambs and the rest of the frame. If you place the thick end of the shim toward the hinge pin, it will allow it to close properly. We recommend applying hinges and shims first to ensure a proper install. Any issues with shim location could result in the door not fitting properly in its frame, which will lead to inevitable damage.

  1. Hanging a Door With an Uneven Frame

Your wall might be even, but if the frame is not, you will need to adjust it to ensure it's even on both sides. If walls and frames are both uneven, or if you’re unable to adjust the frame, you'll need to make necessary adjustments by shimming the jamb. It’s often more convenient and less time-consuming to replace a damaged or problematic frame during installation.

  1. Tightening Hinge Screws Too Much Or Using the Wrong Ones

If the screws you use are not long enough, your door will eventually start to move down, resulting in it grazing the floor, and it may not close properly. If screws are too tight or not tightened properly, your slab could begin to warp over time due to the uneven tension.

Having the correct size of hinge screws matters because they hold the door in place. If you decide to DIY, we recommend some sturdy three-and-a-half-inch screws. Seeking an installation manual will help give you a better idea about required tools and materials for this project.

  1. Not Checking Reveals

The reveal is the wood fitted around the door. Uneven reveals will cause pressure in the door to build up over time. As the moisture levels change, it will warp. Hanging it on all three hinges with even tension will ensure it fits properly with your reveals and works well for years.

Bonus Tips for Exterior Door Installation in Fairfield,CT!

You will need to take some extra steps when working with an exterior slab or prehung unit. This means that there are also mistakes you can avoid during this process.

  • Forgetting Your Sill Pan: Sill pans are attached to the threshold of an exterior door to prevent water from seeping into your home. It helps to direct water away from your entrance. Sill pan installation for both doors and windows is a building requirement that helps prevent future damage.

  • Using a Non-Compliant Sealer: Sealer must meet American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 800 requirements and provide a weather-tight seal that resists thermal and seismic movement. Anything else may result in shrinkage and adhesion issues that create spaces for water and air to enter.

  • Settling for Generic Flashing Tape: Your flashing tape should also meet AAMA requirements (AAMA 711). This is standard for openings in all exterior walls. Flashing tape with block copolymer adhesion is best due to the lower temperatures experienced in Fairfield.

  • Not Sealing Spaces or Openings in Frame: You can do this with foam sealant. It’s flexible enough to accommodate free joint movement. Foam sealant keeps water, air and sound out.

  • Using too Few Screws: It usually takes more than three screws to fit an exterior. Most assembly packages include only three. To ensure proper installation, experts recommend using at least twelve stainless steel or galvanized screws.

  • Opting For Wooden Shims: You already know the importance of shims. Using wooden ones to fit interiors is fine, but water-resistant shims are best for exterior ones and easier to fit and snap into place if pre-scored.

  • Overlooking Metal Flashing: Metal flashing stops water from getting inside your frame and ruining it. To correctly add flashing, install the vertical leg of the metal flashing against the sheathing, then place the weather barrier shingle over it.

There are several steps required for proper installation. Missing any of them can result in costly issues in the future. If you are uncertain about any of the steps, it is best to contact a professional.

More Options for Your Home!

Our professional team of technicians at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County will surprise you with their expertise and service. If you have pets that need access to the backyard easily, we can assist you with pet door installation services. We have electronic and automatic options that work in combination with ultrasonic pet collars. Advanced technology, right?

Or do you simply have an unfinished slab? No problem. We also offer painting services, during which we remove your doors to let paint or varnish settle. That way, we protect you and your family from irritable fumes.

If you have kids and want to ensure specific entryways aren't left open for safety reasons, an automatic closer would be ideal. Our entryway specialists can provide these for your home as well. Shower and screen door installation and repair are also available. You can get a wide range of services for any of the entryways in your Fairfield home.

Make A Good First Impression

Beautiful functional interior doors add a finishing touch to any home. They're another design element in your home that allows you to showcase your style. They not only provide privacy but depending on the material and style you choose, they can make your home stand out.Exteriors are even more important. They add curb appeal, make your family feel more secure and provide you with peace of mind.

The key to successfully setting up your door is to ensure you do your prep and identify any potential mistakes before making them. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You can also ensure that your installation is successful by choosing to get help from a local company that will avoid Fairfield door installation mistakes from the start!

Do You Need a Pro for Fairfield Door Installation?

Count on our experienced technicians at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County to get the job done. We proudly serve Fairfield and neighboring communities like Stamford, Darien and New Canaan. We are an established company with an expert team that can assist you with any installation needs, including window installation and even ceiling fan installation.

Call us today at 866-550-1710 to speak with our dedicated team.