What You Need to Know About Exterior Door Replacement: A Quick Guide

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Every time you have to close your front door, it turns into a wrestling match. It doesn’t want to work with you, probably because you have warped wood on your hands. The only answer for this is an exterior door replacement. 

Your new door needs to be strong enough to withstand the tough elements while also giving your curb appeal a boost. Sadly, finding a new door isn’t the hardest part of the replacement process. 

You can handle the job on your own, but it involves a lot of measuring. You’ll also have to take out your old door.

We can walk you through the process. Keep reading to learn all you need to do know about door replacement. 

What Kind of Door? 

Before you start shopping around for a door, you must know the difference between slab and pre-hung models. The one you choose depends mostly on your budget and what your door situation is. 

If there’s no saving your door frame, you’ll have to opt for a pre-hung door, for example. If there’s nothing wrong with your frame, buying a slab may shave a bit of money off the front door replacement cost. 

Slab

When you buy a slab, you’re only getting the door. Most of the time, there’s a pre-cut hole where you can put a doorknob.  To install them, you only have to pop your old door out of the frame and put the new one in. 

Again, slabs are usually a lot cheaper than their pre-hung counterparts, and they’re a lot less prone to breakage during transportation. 

Pre-Hung

Pre-hung models are a door that’s secured to a frame. They’re a little harder to install than a slab because you’ll have to rip out your old frame. 

More often than not, you’ll have to add a bit of finish around the wall in the form of drywall, trim, and a coat of paint. There’s a lot more work involved, but if you have a rotted door frame on your hands, it’s pretty much your best option. 

Take Measurements 

There’s nothing worse than ordering a door, only to struggle to put it in because it doesn’t fit. If you want to avoid this frustrating scenario, you’re going to need to take out a tape measurer. 

Write down the height and width of your old door. You also want to measure the jamb width, rough opening width, and exterior opening width. 

If you’re going with a pre-hung door, you should add half an inch to the number you got for the jamb width. You want to give yourself plenty of wiggle room. 

 

Pick Your Material 

The last step of choosing the right door for you is picking out what material you want. You could go with the classic wood option or pick something a little more unique. 

Wood

If you drive around your neighborhood and pay attention, there’s a good chance that almost everyone on your block is going to have a wood door. It’s the most common material because of how beautiful and versatile it is. 

You can stain or paint it to match your home. If you want intricate carvings and engravings, a manufacturer can take care of this for you, but it will add to the cost. 

Speaking of cost, there’s a door for every budget. You can go with an expensive wood such as oak or a cheaper one like pine. We will warn you that wooden doors come with the most maintenance attached. 

No matter what type of wood you choose, you’ll need to pick a finish to go with it. If you don’t, you leave your door vulnerable to the elements. Too much moisture will cause the door to warp and rot.

Steel 

Steel is the material you buy when you want to opt for security and durability. It’s stronger than almost every other door available to you. You’ll never have to worry about cracking or warping. 

You may have to deal with a few dings and dents every now and again, but you can buy a kit that will help you repair it without calling someone in. It’s a great material in terms of insulation, and you can pretty much install them and forget them. There’s very little maintenance involved.

Fiberglass 

If you’re looking for another door type that requires little to no maintenance, fiberglass will be your jam. It can mimic the beauty of wood without all the warping and rot. 

It’s resistant to pretty much any elements and has all the energy-saving benefits that steel does. The best part? Despite all these benefits, it’s kind to the wallet. 

Remove Your Old Door 

Before you can put in your new door, you’ll have to take the old one out, obviously. To begin, grab a hammer and chisel to tap out the hinge pins. From there, you’re good to take the old door out of its frame. 

If you plan to reuse your knob and deadbolt, go ahead and take those out. Next, use a utility knife to remove the film between the interior casing and the drywall. 

Get a flat pry bar and place it between the interior casing and door jam. Tap the bar lightly with a hammer to loosen it. Now you should be able to remove the casing. 

Repeat this process with your exterior casing, and you’re good to go. 

Hire a Professional 

If the instructions above have you scratching your head or make you nervous, you can always consult Colorado Classic Exteriors. Installation companies can help you through every step of the front door replacement process. 

They’ll do all the measurements for you, take out the door, and put the new one in. In some cases, you can buy your door through these companies as well. This means you get everything done in one place. 

Your Guide to Exterior Door Replacement 

If your old door is beginning to warp and rot, you’ll have no choice but to buy a new one. There’s a lot more that goes into the exterior door replacement process than you may think. 

Use the guide provided to kick off your project or get the professionals involved. If you’re looking for more ways to update your house, check out the Lifestyle section of our blog!