Yesterday my parents came to help install a new front door and it was quite an ordeal. It seemed as though everything that could go wrong did. To summarize, my Dad had said we should be able to get it done by noon and after 3 trips to the store we had it pretty much finished by 8:30pm.
Clearly you don’t want me to write a how to on replacing a door so lets leave that to Tom Silva and This Old House. Instead I will tell you why we wanted to replace it, why we’re glad we did and give you a few tips on what not to do.
We wanted a new front door for a few reasons, but mostly because it is on the north side of the cabin where there are no windows and we wanted a door with a window in it which would proved more light and a way to see out. We also wanted a new door because our old one didn’t seal well or look the nicest and we had ants coming into out house below the threshold.
We are glad we replaced the door because there was wetness and the beginning of rot in the framing around the bottom of the door which we were able to bleach and install flashing under the threshold to keep water out from now on. It is also really nice to have the added natural light and ventilation.
Here are my tips on what not to do when replacing an entry door and what I would do differently next time:
- Don’t buy a cheap prehung door without an adjustable sill.
- Don’t buy the wrong size of door (yes even though I knew I needed a 36″ door I bought a 32″ door.
- Try dry fitting the door before applying calk.
- If you have 2×6 framing buy a door made for it rather than one made for 2×4 framing and an extension kit. The extension kit is more work and more room for error and the extra money and/or wait time for the right door is probably worth it.
- If it is for a new building make sure the opening has enough clearance around all sides (we didn’t have this luxury).
All in all our door is a little stiffer closing than it ought to be, but it is in and is a significant improvement and we are glad we did it, now just to reinstall the interior trim and paint it.