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What is the Process for Installing a Door?

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So, you have found yourself in need of a new door for your house. Whether it’s a front door, interior door or patio door, there are a range of options available and much to consider. What material would you like? What type of hardware? What style is your home? How much glass do you want your door to have? There’s much to consider and debate as you muddle through the choices, and the process for installing a door requires several steps.

What Type of Door Do You Need?

First, you must determine what type of door you need. Do you need a door for entry into your home that is also decorative? Do you need a patio door that leads to your deck or patio? Do you need an interior closet door, or a new bedroom door? There are doors all over your home and what type you need will affect the rest of the choices you must make.

Choosing the Right Material

If you are in need of a front door in particular, there are a variety of material options. You might choose wood, metal or vinyl. Each has its own advantages. Wood is a classic material but will require maintenance such as paint and stain throughout the years. Vinyl doors require little maintenance and can withstand a great deal of weathering and have a long lifespan. Metal doors are strong and can withstand a great deal of weathering as well, but are often very heavy. You also must decide how much glass you would like your door to have. Do you want small glass panels at the top of your entry door or a larger space? Do you want stained, decorative glass or clear glass?

If you are choosing a patio door, you must consider how many panels you would like, how you would like the door to open (swing or sliding), and how much glass you would like to utilize. How expansive would you like your view to be? The choices are endless. Do you want doors that swing, or would you prefer a sliding door? Do you want the classic two panels, or would you prefer to go larger?

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Next, Hardware for Your Door Installation

Door hardware is crucial to both the appearance and function of your doors, so you will want to make sure you choose wisely from the many options available. Classic hardware, modern or contemporary hardware are all possible choices; you can also pick handles that blend in, or handles that stand out. There are many colors and styles to choose from, too. And how may locking points would you like? What will make you feel secure? There are many options available today.

Do It Yourself?

Once you’ve made all of these choices (or as you start to look at all of the options), you will definitely want to find a professional to assist you. You may be thinking you can install the new door yourself and, while possible, it is not recommended. There are a number of steps that must be taken. First, the professional must measure the door—both the height and width, along with the width of the jamb. The measurements must be very precise, as any slight error could affect the fit of the new door. Next, the professional must remove the old door (and the frame too, if you’re replacing it as well).

Once the old door has been removed, he must prep the opening; this involves making sure the sill height is appropriate for the new door and adjusting it if needed. Again, if this is mis-measured, it could lead to problems later.

Next, they can begin the installation of the new door by first setting the new door in the opening and checking the sizing. This is called a “dry set,” because it is done without fulling attaching it. If it’s correct and everything lines up appropriately, they will remove the door and apply polyurethane caulk to the door’s sill and exterior sheathing. After that, the professional can add the shims, which are crucial to making sure the door fits right. Once the door is in place, they must then adjust the shims to ensure there are no gaps between the door and the frame.

After this, it’s just about the finishing touches—painting the door, touching it up, adding hardware, etc. Each step can be time-consuming and errors could be detrimental to the door’s fit, how long it lasts, whether it allows unwanted drafts, etc.

While this may seem like a simple process, it is not recommended that a consumer take on the job. It’s a large undertaking requiring great attention to every detail.

Find a Professional

Be sure to utilize the window and door locator service today to find a dealer to assist you. has affiliate companies all over the United States ready to help you pick out your new door, with all of the possible options available.

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.



Penny Stacey

Penny Stacey serves as the communications manager for Key’s association clients. Her job is to augment communications efforts as needed or requested by the association. She currently edits four association newsletters, writes press releases and story pitches for these clients. She also helps with research as requested. Penny has been part of the Key Media & Research team for 17 years, and has served as an editor for a number of Key publications, e-newsletters and websites. She graduated from Mary Washington College with a bachelor’s degree in both English and American Studies. She works part-time now while raising her two young boys. Find out more about Penny on Linkedin.

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