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How to Install an Exterior Door

Exterior doors are also known as the main doors of a house. These are important in terms of security. Here is the installation procedure.
Aparna Jadhav Aug 20, 2019
Installation of windows and doors need not only be the job of a carpenter, you can do it yourself too. If you have a large house or an apartment, there is a basic requirement of exterior doors. These doors are technically the main doors used for entrance or exit purposes and are installed for security reasons.
There are many varieties of these doors available in the market. However, the cost to install these may not be affordable at times and therefore, you can choose to install it yourself. The procedure is not very difficult.
There are many materials used to make these doors for houses and buildings. The most commonly used are glass and metal for decorative purposes. These doors are used for providing security to the entire building from thefts and also protect the interiors from strong weather conditions.

Installation Process

Materials Needed

  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Finishing nails
  • Wood shims
  • Caulk
  • 14 no. 8 screws
  • Foam/fiberglass insulation


  • First choose the right door for your building. There are wooden, glass, steel, and fiberglass doors.
  • Once you have chosen it, you need to replace the old door (if any) or place a rough opening for the frame. You also need to even out the floor under the frame (subsill) so that the door stays strong and firm. You can do this with the help of a level.
  • Then apply two beads of caulk along the subsill and edges to make rough frame even and 1'' taller and wider than outside frame.
  • Place the door in this rough frame by keeping the bottom with the top facing you. Tilt the door andĀ keepĀ upper part into the edges of the frame. In most exterior doors, you don't need to install a door frame as they come together.
  • Make sure that the center of the installed door and the shim of the frame are tightly placed in the exact dimensions. Adjust the shims along the frame if they are uneven, and make sure the jamb on the hinge is exact in both directions for ease of closing and opening the door.
  • For holding these adjustments in place temporarily, add finishing nails to install a door jamb near the hinges. However, don't fix them permanently. Test the door from the outside and inside to check if the arrangements are precise and then with the no. 8 screws, fix the jambs permanently.
  • Make sure you are installing the nails through the shims, as these are the main points where the door is held to the frame and they support the door in unsupported areas. Install the screws through singular shim at the lock location.
  • Insulate the edges of the frame with fiber glass or foam so it doesn't expand, and install the interior trims accordingly.
This process is very easy and does not take a very long time. You just need to be well-equipped with all the instruments that you need.