9 Simple Steps on How to Replace an Exterior Door


A depleted and timeworn front door needs a new stylish one to give your home a modern appeal. Likewise, you can replace an exterior door for tighter security and higher energy efficiency. Replacing an old exterior door can be done DIY as long as you have the right tools, materials, and a basic knowledge on carpentry. You also have to consider the costs for this project when you replace an exterior door.


Here are the techniques you can employ if you are looking to replace the exterior door of your home. This focuses on a simple door and frame replacement.

First, you have to determine when you plan to start the project, which includes the installation and finishing. Ideally, you need to set two separate days for both so you will not have to rush. However, it can take only a day to replace an exterior door. Also, an extra hand would be helpful to ensure that the project runs smoothly since exterior doors are heavy.

Second, prepare all the tools you will need to replace an exterior door. This will save you a significant amount of time, instead of stopping every now and then figuring out what else is required and looking for that particular tool. The usual materials and tools you’re going to need are: tape measure, level, hammer, shims, screwdriver, trim, caulk gun, caulking, reciprocating saw, door knobs, locks, and of course the new exterior door.

Third, you have to decide what type of exterior door you are going to install. It can be made from steel, wood or fiberglass. Look into the durability, aesthetics, energy efficiency, and features of each type. The most popularly installed are wood doors. If you are willing to splurge to replace an exterior door, you may want purchase naturally finished hardwood doors with decorative glass.

Installing the door

The installation process may differ from one manufacturer to another, so it is best to read the manual or instructions carefully. The purpose of this article is to guide you with the most basic and easy-to-follow steps that will enable you to efficiently replace an exterior door.

  • Step One. You have to first measure the door you are planning to replace so that the lengths are readily available once you get to the local store. This way, finding a door with the exact dimensions would be easy.
  • Step Two. You also need to buy a new door hardware and lockset. Likewise, to properly replace an exterior door, get a trim in case it is needed.
  • Step Three. Next is the actual removal of the old door. Put it aside and remove the trim at this moment (if the new door requires it).
  • Step Four. If it is necessary, remove the screws or nails from the door jambs that are commonly found on the two sides. Likewise, you may need to detach the threshold, which is usually required to replace an exterior door.
  • Step Five. Hammer the nails in place into the wall that holds the door jamb. A reciprocating saw can efficiently cut this off. Remember that to easily replace an exterior door, you must keep the door jamb out of the way so you will not be bothered as you go along the installation process.
  • Step Six. Use a level square to put the new exterior door in place. If required, use shims to secure the door in place. Then, you have to take out the two nails that holds your new door and keeps it closed in transit. Test if the door is working properly.
  • Step Seven. Fill the spaces between the door jamb and wall by applying caulking.
  • Step Eight. Reattach the door frame.
  • Step Nine. Carefully place the doorknobs and locks you have bought for security purposes.

That finishes your DIY project to replace an exterior door and give your home an enhanced look.