• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to replace an exterior door.

    Steps:
    1. Use drill/driver to back out door hinge screws; remove door
    2. Remove screws and/or nails from the hinge-side doorjamb
    3. Push old doorframe out of the opening, and discard
    4. Install Z-flashing over the door casing at the top of the opening
    5. Apply thick bead of caulk along the sides and top of opening
    6. Set the new prehung door into place, pressing it tight against the framing
    7. Check the threshold for level; slip shims under threshold, if necessary
    8. Temporarily screw through hinge-side jamb, then check spacing around inside of door
    9. Insert shims into spaces between the hinge-side jamb and wall framing
    10. From outside, pull back weatherstripping, drill pilot holes and drive masonry screws through hinge-side jamb and into masonry wall (use decking screws for wood wall)
    11. Repeat the procedure for latch-side jamb, making sure to place screws behind weatherstripping
    12. Close door and check the space between latch-side jamb and door edge; tap in shims, if necessary, to create consistent spacing
    13. Use utility knife to trim all shims flush
    14. Install lockset
    15. Apply bead of caulk around the exterior of the doorframe, including under the threshold
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      An out-of-square rough opening will complicate things, but it's nothing that a few properly placed shims can't cure.
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    Video Directory

    Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • hammer
        Hammer
      • drill
        Drill/driver
      • hammer drill
        Hammer-drill
      • flat prybar
        Pry bar
      • ladder
        Ladder
      • four-foot level
        Level
      • 3/16 masonry bit
        3/16-inch masonry bit
      • spade bit
        ½-inch spade bit
      • utility knife
        Utility knife
      • caulk gun
        Caulking gun
      • socket bit for hex-head masonry screws
        Socket bit for driving hex-head masonry screws
      • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
        Combination countersink bit

      Shopping List

      1. Prehung exterior door

      2. Shims

      3. Silicone caulk

      4. Masonry screws

      5. Decking screws