Post Update: Article updated June 25, 2020, and originally published on April 20, 2018, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Replacing an old, worn door with a stylish new one is a great idea. More than home improvement, it also increasing energy efficiency.
After a few years, doors can become warped or cracked, allows drafty air to seep in. This can significantly impact your heating and cooling bills.
We want to help you ensure you get the best door replacement possible for your home. In this guide, you will get answers to:
- When is it time to replace your door
- How to remove an old door
- How to measure a door
- The type of door you should buy
- Benefits of a new home door
The Ultimate Guide to Door Replacement
Are you wondering whether it’s time to replace your door, or how to do it? We’ve got the ultimate guide to door replacement here to help.
How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Door
There are plenty of visible signs that an old door needs to go. Perhaps it no longer closes securely, or you can feel a draft around the edges.
Over the years, doors get scratched and dinged, and just in general, start to look aged and unattractive. Or maybe you’re tired of seeing a crack in the glass. Whatever the case, installing a replacement can be a fun and easy project.
It’s always a smart idea to consider replacing old windows and doors.
Removing the Old Door
This is a simple matter of tapping the hinge pins out with a hammer and swinging the door out of the frame. The old door will be heavy, so use caution as you lift it out and place it safely aside.
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Measure the width and height of your old door. Round these up to full inches to find the correct size of your door. Be sure to compensate for the jamb width and the rough opening. The jamb width ensures that the exterior trim will fit flush to the wall so that you won’t need to add jamb extensions.
Learn how to measure a door with these tips:
Interior Door slab
If your frame and hinges are in good condition and you want to keep them, you can replace just the door (known as a door slab) itself.
To measure for an interior door replacement:
- Measure horizontally across the door in 3 locations: top, middle, and bottom. Record the smallest measurements as the door width.
- Measure the vertical height of the door in 3 locations: left, side, center, and right side. Record the smallest measurements as the door height.
- Measure the thickness of the door. (A standard thickness for an interior door is 1-3/4″.)
- Measure the location of all three hinges. To obtain these measurements, measure down from the top of the door to the top of each hinge.
- Measure the width and height of each hinge mortise.
- Measure the distance from the top of the door to the center of the bore (hole for the handle). Remove the door handle and deadbolt before measuring.
- Measure the distance from the center of the bore (doorknob hole) to the closest door edge.
Pre-hung System/Net Frame
If the door frame is damaged or if you want to replace it for aesthetic reasons, you will want to measure the rough opening dimensions as well.
To prepare to take measurements, first, use a pry bar and putty knife to remove the trim from around the opening gently. Use the putty knife to remove any insulation from between the edge of the rough opening and the door slab.
- As you would with a simple door slab measurement, measure horizontally across the door slab itself—measure 3 locations: top, middle, and bottom. Record the smallest size as the door slab height.
- Also, as with a simple door slab measurement, measure the vertical height of the door slab itself. Measure in 3 locations: left, side, center, and right side. Record the smallest measurement as the door height.
- Take three horizontal measurements of the rough opening (top, middle, and bottom). Record the smallest size as the rough opening height.
- Take three vertical measurements of the rough opening (left side, center, right side). Record the smallest measurements as the rough opening height.
- Measure the thickness of the door jamb. Record this measurement as the jamb width.
Type of Door to Buy
The type of door you install will depend on whether you are replacing a front entry door, a patio door, an interior or exterior door, what material you want, if you want a fiberglass door, and some other details to take in mind to fulfill your necessities.
4 Factors to Consider Before Buying the New Door:
- What is the primary purpose of the door?
- What is your budget?
- What type of material do you prefer?
- What style or design fits better?
The Top 5 Popular Door Styles are:
Metal Doors- famous because of their sleek and polished nature; more secure. They look good with a variety of colors, but especially against cool tones.
Flush Doors- has plain design with no textures, but can be decorated, is usually the cheapest one. Lets other features shine in your home.
French Doors– usually come with a pair, have glass panels, and are very decorative. Fit in with stunning hardwood floors, patios, and elegant dining rooms.
Carved Wood Doors- elegant. More expensive, but worth it.
Barn Doors- looks like how you would expect a barn door to look. Adds a vintage look. Rolls across a bar like a sliding door.
Installing the New Door
The goal is to set the door in the opening and then shim the sides until they’re straight. You’ll need to adjust the shims so that the gap between the door and the jamb is consistent on the sides and top of the door. Once you’re happy with the fit, put a nail through each shim into the frame.
The Benefits of New Doors in Your Home
The cost of door replacement depends on the quality of the materials. But the new door will pay for itself as you notice the savings on your energy bills in years to come.
Installing new doors is a relatively painless process that will reward you in energy savings and pride of ownership as you see how great your home looks with this simple improvement process!