How To Install A Door Properly

Installing a brand new door might seem like a pretty easy task. You take the measurements, unhinge one, rehinge the other, and voila! While the measurements may seem perfect, sometimes there are factors you might not have taken into account like the age of the house making the door frame tilt or the door trim thicker than normal. What looks like a quick task could easily turn into a huge project if you’re not properly prepared. In this installation guide, we’re going to break down how to properly install a door.
How To Install A Door Properly 1
  • Step 1 – Remove the door you want to replace starting with the lock and the hinge pins. You should be able to lift the door and move it out of the way. With the pry bar, carefully remove the trim, jambs, and header. There will be a gap leftover with a rough opening.
  • Step 2 – You won’t be able to leave that rough edge. At this point, you’ll need to measure out the area and see how level it is. There’s a good chance the floor might not be level or the walls may not be as straight as they appear. If it’s a huge difference, you might need to level everything out before you continue. If you can, do the measuring before you’ve purchased the door. Purchasing afterward almost guarantees the door will fit into space.
  • Step 3 – Pay close attention to the sill of the doorway and the area around it. It needs to be level as well, otherwise, the door won’t open properly. An uneven sill might cause the door to damage the floor or the ceiling depending on how low it is. Fix it by adding shims to the sill and use them to help level out the area.
  • Step 4 – Now that you have the appropriate measurements with the leveled area, you’ll be able to adjust the door jamb correctly. Be careful about the amount you cut off. You might accidentally cut off too much causing the door to but unlevel.
  • Step 5 – Secure the door frame in place with more shim to keep everything level. Start with on the hinge side, then continue them around the entire frame evenly. Make sure it stays level as you add the shims.
  • Step 6 – Screw the frame in a place where the shims are located. This will not only keep the frame level, but it will add strength to the frame as the door gets used throughout the years.
  • Step 7 – The real test is going to be with the door itself. Carefully, set the door in place using shims to keep it in place. Make sure it fits comfortably in the space with a 1/8“ gap at the top and bottom. The hinged side should be 1/16 of an inch.
  • Step 8 – The final step is to fit the trim to finish off the frame of the door. After that, you should be able to install the door and doorknob.