Must-Know Tips for Installing Doors
If you're looking to add or replace a door, you're in the right place. We'll introduce you to different door types, framing ideas, and installation tips.
Whether you want to replace an existing door or cut a hole in a wall and install a new doorway, there is a wide range of door styles and types to choose from. We've gathered all the tips you need to learn how to frame for and install interior and exterior doors of all types.
Before you replace a door with another of the same type, consider other possibilities. For instance, you may be able to replace a standard exterior door with a larger patio door. A pocket door can sometimes replace a regular interior door and save space at the same time; a 3-foot-wide door to a laundry room can often be widened to 6 feet or so with bifold or sliding doors.
This guide will walk you through all of your door options, and help you choose the right one for your space.
Simple Doors vs. Prehung Doors
If you buy a simple door unattached to jambs, you will face several difficult chores. You may need to cut the door to fit the existing doorjambs, which can be difficult if the jambs are not square. You will also need to bore holes for the lockset and chisel mortises for the hinges. These tasks are not easy. Errors could cause you to ruin a door.
Those are some of the reasons why even expert carpenters prefer prehung doors. A prehung door has factory-installed hinges and precisely drilled holes, ensuring that the door will fit correctly and close easily and tightly. Even if your doorway is in relatively good shape, it is often better to remove the existing casing and jambs and install a prehung unit. Installing a prehung door is simple (learn how to do it here), and you can install both prehung interior and exterior doors.
How to Hang an Old Door in a New Jamb
If you have an old door hanging around, it's simple to reinstall it. All you need is a jamb kit, which is a collection of three pieces of lumber made for forming side and head jambs around the door. Look for these kits at lumberyards or home centers, then follow our guide to learn how to install it.
How to Fit a New Door to an Old Opening
Adding a new door to an old opening is surprisingly simple. The only tricky part can be finding a door that fits, especially in an older home. Most standard doors are 80 inches tall in a variety of widths. Before you begin, make sure to remove the existing door and check for square. This step ensures that your door will fit properly and hang straight. For the full how-to, check out our tutorial here.
How to Frame Different Types of Doors
The steps you take to frame for a new door depend in part on what type you'll be installing. For a new exterior door, you'll need to cut through existing wall before attaching studs and headers. To frame a closet door, you simply need to build the header and opening, then position it in place. And to frame an interior doorway, you'll start by building the wall flat on the floor. Though the exact process varies, some decisions need to be made for all door frames, such as whether to use wood or metal studs. This section helps you determine all of your options so you can make the best decisions for your home.
How to Install Bypass Doors
These popular closet doors don't need any room to open, but they effortlessly hide clothes and clutter from view. To add bypass doors to your home, you'll need a hardware kit. Kits come in all different sizes—from 4 to 8 feet—and are designed to work with 1-3/8 inch thick doors. Check out our how-to instructions to learn the proper process for installing bypass doors.
How to Install Bifold Doors
For a simple door solution, look no further than bifold doors. These easy-to-install doors fit in almost any opening, and are useful for dividing a space or controlling airflow. For this project, you'll need a bifold door kit, plus roughly an hour to install a pair of doors. Get the full how-to here.
How to Install a Pocket Door
If you're short on space, consider pocket doors. These doors help you store smarter since they slide directly into the wall. Installation is a little trickier than other doors because you have to open up the wall, but the result is well worth it if you're dealing with tight quarters. Learn how to add pocket doors to your home here.
How to Install Casing Around Doors
Once you have your new door framed and installed, it's time to dress it up. In most instances, casing will do the job. This type of molding adds style while also covering the gaps between walls and door jambs. You can install casing in less than an hour, and our how-to walks you through the process.
How to Install a Storm Door
A storm door is an important guard against harsh weather. When installed correctly, storm doors also prolong the life of your entry door. Buy a storm door that's as high-quality as you can afford—cheaper options will likely come loose over time. Our tutorial explains the entire installation process, and offers important tips along the way.
How to Install a Patio Door
Patio doors add convenience and style to any home, but they take precise measurements to be correctly installed. This section shows you every step of patio door installation. From checking for square to installing the jamb, we'll help your project go off without a hitch.
How to Maintain a Garage Door
Your garage door endures a lot of stress. And over time, repeated use and weather exposure can cause fasteners to loosen and fall out of alignment. These tips will help keep your garage door in tip-top shape.