• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows how to upgrade an entryway with a brand-new, low-maintenance, energy-efficient door.

    1. Remove the old door from the opening by using a reciprocating saw to cut through the nails between the doorjamb and wall framing.
    2. Cut around the interior of the doorjamb, too, freeing it from the wall opening.
    3. Pry the old door and threshold from the opening.
    4. Cut a 2x4 to span the doorway opening. Lay the 2x4 on edge along the rough sill.
    5. Set a level on top of the 2x4, then slip shims underneath until the 2x4 is level.
    6. From the top edge of the level 2x4, measure down ½ inch and mark a line.
    7. Adjust a scribe to span from the rough sill to the ½-inch mark, then guide the scribe along the sill to draw a line along the 2x4.
    8. Cut along the scribed line with a circular saw to produce a perfect-thickness filler strip.
    9. Repeat Steps 4 through 8 to cut a second filler strip.
    10. Set the filler strips onto the rough sill and check for level.
    11. Fasten the filler strips to the rough sill with 2-inch (6d) common nails.
    12. Press strips of adhesive-backed waterproofing membrane to the exterior wall area around the doorsill.
    13. Apply a thick bead of silicone adhesive along the ends and length of the rough sill.
    14. Temporarily screw two 1x4 cleats across the frame of the new fiberglass door. Allow both ends of each cleat to extend past the frame by at least 3 inches.
    15. Set the new pre-hung door down onto the rough sill, then tilt it flat and flush against the wall.
    16. Center the door in the opening. Check the threshold for level. If necessary, slip shims under the threshold.
    17. Use a 48-inch level to check the hinge-side doorjamb for plumb. If necessary, tap shims between the doorframe and wall framing to plumb up the door.
    18. Once the hinge-side jamb is perfectly plumb, drive 3-inch long weather-resistant screws through the jamb and shims and into the wall framing. Secure the jamb in three places: top, middle and bottom.
    19. Secure the upper door hinge with the two long screws provided by the door maker.
    20. Screw the latch-side jamb to the wall framing.
    21. Install the deadbolt and lockset onto the door.
    22. Fill the space between the doorframe and wall framing with minimal-expanding spray foam insulation.
    23. Open and close the door several times to ensure it swings freely and latches securely.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Requires mid-level carpentry skills
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • reciprocating saw
        Reciprocating saw
      • flat prybar
        Pry bar
      • two-foot level
        24-inch and 48-inch levels
      • scribe
      • circular saw
        Circular saw
      • caulk gun
        Caulk gun
      • drill

      Shopping List

      Pre-hung fiberglass entry door

      2x4 and shims

      6d nails

      Adhesive-backed waterproof membrane

      Silicone adhesive

      1x4, used as cleats when installing new door

      3-inch long weather-resistant screws

      Minimal-expanding spray foam