A Step-By-Step Guide To Hanging and Installing A Front Door

Are you having trouble with your front door? Whether it’s got some rot on the bottom and sides or you just want something a bit more stylish, we can help you. Here are the basic essentials of installing that front door correctly. You should be able to do it yourself with minimal help in true DIY fashion.


Here are some basic tools you will need to finish this project:

A cordless drill
A hammer
A reciprocating saw

1. Get the proper measurements so that you order the right sized door. You want to pull the molding off from around the door on the inside of the house so that you can get an accurate measurement. Measure the width and the height of both the existing door and of the opening. You will need these measurements to purchase the correct door. Be sure and check to see if there is a sill above or below the floor.

2. Go to the store and make your purchase, or order it online if you want something special. Make arrangements to get it delivered if you’re not lucky enough to have a pickup truck available to you to just bring it home right away.

3. Double check the new door’s measurements with the old door before you begin painting. This way you can bring it back to the store for an exchange if there’s a problem. If painting or staining the door, be sure and use sawhorses and not waiting until it’s hung to paint it. Trust me on this. It will be much easier.

4. Take the door off by removing the hinge pins or by just taking out the screws from the hinges. Remove all molding and begin releasing the frame. The best way to get the frame off is to cut through it with the saw about halfway up a side, then you can pry out the frame and remove it beginning on the cut side, then the top, then the other side. Remove the sill as well.

5. Now it’s time to install the new door. Remove all packing from around the door and any screws that may be holding it shut and set it into place. The help of a friend may come in handy around this point. Keep the frame on the side with the hinges plumb and place a screw in each hinge to hold the door in place. Check the top and bottom gaps to make sure they’re even. Shim the other frame side and put three screws in it to keep the gap even from top to bottom. You can place these screws behind where the seal will go to hide them for appearance sake.

6. Install the door knob using the provided instructions. Since it’s a front door, it should have a second hole for a dead bolt. Install it.

7. Molding is your last step. Sometimes you can save the old molding to re-use, but if rot was the case you will need to purchase new molding and cut like the old molding was and install with some finishing nails. Paint it or stain it to match the door.

If you followed all of the above steps, you should now have a brand-new door that you installed yourself and it looks fantastic. Congratulations on a DIY job well done!