We Know: How to Replace both Interior and Exterior Doors

About Replacing Doors

Though you can hire a professional to replace an exterior or interior door, you can also do it yourself and save money. Also, some installers have a waiting list so if you do it yourself, you can get it done right away.

Interior Doors as Compared to Exterior Doors

For the purposes of replacing an existing door, whether the door is designed for exterior or interior use generally doesn't matter. Handling an exterior door may be more challenging as most of them are heavier than interior doors for security purposes, and many interior doors are hollow core. Also, an exterior door may be built of a material other than wood, such as steel. This means that the fit must be exactly right because you won't be able to modify the door as easily as you can with a wood door. Your other option is to modify the doorframe as they are usually built of wood.

Should I get an unassembled or a pre-hung door?

Pre-hung doors have the hinges already attached and hung from a doorframe which is composed of both top and side doorjambs. Pre-hung doors are much easier and faster to install than unassembled doors. An unassembled door requires that you install the hinges and possibly the handle and security lock too.

Steps to Replace an Interior or Exterior Door

When replacing a door, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the height and width of the existing door. If your new door is slightly too large, you can trim it to size. A block planer works well for this task.
  2. Wedge something under the door to absorb its weight when you remove it. Folded cardboard works well, but almost anything firm will do.
  3. With a hammer and screwdriver, remove the lower hinge's pin. As an alternative, you can unscrew the hinges. Begin at the bottom and work your way up.
  4. Remove the old door.
  5. Using the old door as a reference, measure where the hinges need to go on the new door.
  6. With a chisel, mortise the areas to the proper depth where the hinges will be installed.
  7. Attach the new hinges to the door.
  8. If necessary, install the other halves of the hinges on the doorframe. If the existing hinges are in good shape and are the same size as the new ones, you can skip this step.
  9. Insert the new door into the doorframe hinges and install the hinge pins. Begin with the top hinge and work downward.


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