• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares his fast fixes for a drafty door.

    Steps:
    1. Close the front door and check how well it fits within the doorframe. Pay particular attention to the condition of the existing weatherstripping and the tightness of the door hinges.
    2. If there's a loose hinge, tighten the screws that hold the hinge to the doorjamb and to the edge of the door.
    3. When tightening the hinge screws doesn't help, pull the hinge pins, remove the door and swap the top hinge for the middle hinge.
    4. If a screw hole is stripped, cut a wood plug from a shim, smear it with glue and tap it into the hole. Then drive in the screw.
    5. Use flat pry bar to remove all the old weatherstripping from around the doorframe.
    6. Cut a narrow groove into the doorframe using a router fitted with a corner grooving attachment. Be sure to cut grooves into both vertical side jambs, and into the horizontal head jamb above the door.
    7. Press the barbed flange of the weatherstipping into the groove cut in the hinge-side doorjamb and in the head jamb.
    8. Set the door back into the doorway and tap in the hinge pins.
    9. Close the door and check the gap between the door and the latch-side doorjamb.
    10. Choose the proper size weatherstripping to fill the gap along the doorjamb.
    11. Open the door and press the weatherstripping into the groove.
    12. Close and latch the door to confirm that it fits snugly up against the weatherstripping. If it doesn't, pull out the weatherstripping and replace it with larger-diameter weatherstripping.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Only basic carpentry skills required
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      Tools List

      • Phillips screwdriver
        Screwdriver
      • drill
        Drill/driver
      • utility knife
        Utility knife
      • router
        Router with corner grooving attachment
      • step ladder
        Small stepladder
      • finish hammer
        Hammer
      • flat prybar
        Flat bar

      Shopping List

      Wood shim

      Yellow carpenter's glue

      Silicone weatherstripping