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A Guide to Replacing Your Pre-Hung Entry Door

Weathering and heavy use may leave an existing door in need of a “pick-me-up.” One of the most simple and cost-efficient ways to refresh a home’s exterior is to replace the entry door, a project which can be completed in a single day. If you haven’t yet chosen a door, read our blog on How to Choose the Perfect Entry Door. Many doors are pre-hung, meaning that the door and frame are sold together as a set including weather stripping, hinges and other hardware. In conjunction with the manufacturer’s instructions, the following guide can make your DIY door replacement faster and easier.

1. Remove 

The first step in installing a new door is to remove the old door. First, pry off interior and exterior trim, leaving the door and frame completely exposed. Remove the interior hinges, and place the door itself in an out-of-the-way area. Unscrew the door jam from the surrounding wall, and use a hammer to take out any nails securing the door jam to the wall. Use a pry bar to free the door jam from any caulk or unseen nails. Lift the door frame from the opening and place it with the old door.

2. Replace

Before inserting the new door, ensure all four angles of the opening are square and level. Use shims to create a level and square area. Next, apply three ribbons of caulk in the area where the bottom of the door frame will be placed. This will reduce drafts. Place the new door in the center of the opening, inserting screws half-way for stability. Insert shims as needed at the hinges, top center, and strike plate. When the frame is secure, tighten screws, add hinges, and ensure the door opens properly.

3. Finish

With the door and frame secure, the door may be painted if desired. Fasten any remaining pieces including the doorknob and weather stripping. Apply caulk around the frame to bond it to the wall. Pay special attention when caulking the base, as the caulk should be applied thick enough to weatherproof the connections. Trim the shims to wall-level. Apply interior and exterior trim. Add any desired elements such as a wreath or decorative door knocker.

A new exterior door can add beauty to a home while increasing energy efficiency. This cost-effective update can be completed in a single day. Following the manufacturer’s instructions as well as the steps listed above, replacing a pre-hung entry door can be as simple as “remove, replace, and finish.” 

At McCarren Supply, we have a wide selection of entry doors to fit your home’s style and your needs. Visit McCarren Supply to browse our doors or visit our store to speak with an associate who can help you find the perfect door for you.

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