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Windows and Doors

Should you Install an Exterior Door Yourself?

Thursday, January 19 2017 10:41 AM

New front exterior doorDid you know that replacing a front door is one of the easiest home improvement projects with one of the greatest returns on investment? Replacing a door can also make a drastic change to a home’s appearance.

Here are some factors that will help determine if installing an exterior door is your next DIY project or if you need to call the pros.

Know-How

Every home improvement job requires a basic knowledge and understanding of the project.

Although home door installation might not seem that difficult before you get started, having some standard carpentry knowledge to get the job done correctly and with ease is a necessity.

There are many steps required to ensure the door works properly, seals tightly to save energy, and that absolutely no water leaks into your home. A professional who has installed many exterior doors will have the knowledge and skills to handle any unexpected issues that may arise.

Along with troubleshooting, a professional will also have knowledge of the different types of doors and how to install them.

Slab Door

A slab door is simply a door. Slab doors don’t come with handles, hinges, or holes; these will need to be created by the installer and hardware will need to be purchased. An existing door frame will need to be used or a new one will need to be made for the door to attach to. If this is a new construction project, or if the previous door frame is damaged, a slab door is not recommended because installation will be difficult.

Pre-Hung Exterior Doors

A pre-hung door is one that comes mounted on a new door frame. The hinges are installed and the lockset and deadbolt holes are already in place for standard installations. A pre-hung door will be much heavier than a slab door and it may take more than one person to lift and hold it.

Time

Keep in mind that many DIY jobs take longer than anticipated. If this is planned for a day project, know that it may take longer and plan accordingly.

A professional can have an exterior door installation completed in a matter of hours, while a homeowner who has never done this type of work may need up to a whole weekend.

Equipment

If you do a lot of DIY projects, you probably own a fair amount of tools. Keep in mind that if you don’t, you may be purchasing more than just your door when all is said and done, adding to the time and the expense of the door installation. Here are a few of the tools and supplies required of the job:

  • Measuring tape

  • Pry bar

  • Razor knife

  • Rust-proof trim screws

  • Caulk

  • Sill pan flashing kit

  • Hammer

  • Screwdriver

  • Saw

  • Drill

  • Spirit level

  • Hardware

  • Paint and primer

Take additional cost into consideration if you don’t already have these supplies handy.

Expense

Installing an exterior door can be an expensive project for the everyday homeowner. Before you decide to nail down this job on your own, check with local door companies for their prices. Hiring a professional to install an exterior door may be more affordable than you think.

Improper exterior door installation can cause energy loss and minimized security. Precision Windows and Doors sells and installs exterior doors for homeowners in the Kansas City metro area. For peace of mind that your door will be installed correctly, call us at 816-524-8999 or 913-649-1199 for a free estimate.

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