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How to replace or install an exterior door

Replacing an unsafe, or drafty old exterior door can surely save you money in the long run, by improving safety and insulation. Moreover, feels much better to come home to a new slick and solid entry door. Good quality composite or uPVC doors can be costly, however you can buy for a fraction of their original price here at doors-4u.com.

This guide is meant to give you a good idea on how to replace or install a new door in your house. If you are replacing an old door, please read the first part about removing this first. However, if you are just installing the first door, you can just to the installation part.

To succeed at installing correctly your new door you will need to be confident with basic carpentry skills. Alternatively, you can buy the installation service from us, and we will take care of everything and guarantee a job well done that will last. Moreover, we will also clean up and dispose of the old door, saving you the trouble.

Measure before you buy!

When buying a new door, probably the most important thing is to make sure it will fit in the opening. All our composite and uPVC doors, come with their own frame, so you need to take the measurement of the opening without the old door frame. Measure width and height. When buying the new door, make sure that will fit within your measurement and there is a little room to spare between the door frame and the opening, typically between 5 and 15 mm. When browsing composite of uPVC doors from doors-4u.com and you know the size you need, please use the filter by width then see the available doors. You might want to add a top light if your opening allows it. We can supply and add a top light to your door. Contact us for a quote.

Removal of the old door

Photo by form PxHere

The removal of the old door process depends greatly on the type of door installed. Wooden doors frames are usually a little more laborious to take out, where an old uPVC door frame is usually just anchored with a few screws.

For both types of door, the first thing to do is to remove the door from the hinges to leave just the frame to work with.

Removing wooden door frame: typically is difficult to locate the screws or any type of anchorage, since it had been probably painted over, so a faster method is to cut the frame with a hand saw across the middle of both long parts of the frame and then use a crowbar to lift the frame from the wall opening.

Removing a wooden frame

Removing a uPVC or aluminium frame is usually more straightforward as you should be able to see the screw heads inside the frame. Once you unscrew them all, the frame should come out quite easily. To facilitate you might want to cut the silicone sealant around the edge with a Stanley knife.

You will need to dispose of the old door and frame according to local regulations. This is something we do for you if you also purchase the installation service from us.

Once the frame has been removed, make sure there are not sticking-out nails or screws around the edge of the opening that might obstruct the fitting of the new frame.

Installation of the new door

The most important thing to keep in mind when installing a door is to make sure and check at every stage that the frame is plumb and square, without twist, racking or distortion

Position the doorset in a way that covers the wall cavity, should there be one, and as far back inside as possible to reduce exposure to the weather elements.

Fixing is typically done with wall plugs of a minimum 100 mm length trough the frame.

It is recommended the use of installation packers near the fixings. This will prevent the movement or distortion of the frame when tightening the fixings. The packers need to made of weather-resistant and compressible material. Wood is not recommended as it will rot and it is compressible.

The screw head should hold onto the inner frame of the door set, while a larger hole in the outer layer of the frame needs to made for the plastic cap.

We recommend having 4 fixings for each long side and two fixing for the top part of the frame. Fixings distances we recommend as follows:

  • corner fixings positioned between 150 and 250 mm from corners
  • inside fixings not further away than 600 mm from each other.

See the example figure below (red lines represent fixings positions):

Testing the frame installation

Before proceeding to fill the gaps and sealing, check again that the frame is perfectly plumb and not skewed. Then hung the door and double-check that it operates correctly. If some adjustments are needed, do them before proceeding to the next steps.

Insulating with foam

Filling the gaps with polyurethane foam (PU) will ensure the best thermal and acoustic insulation. Spray the foam around the edge taking care of filling all the gaps. Wait until dry before cutting the excess that comes out of the edges.

Finishing and trimming

You can now remove the protective film and clean the door frame with a uPVC cleaner. A typical method is to use a white uPVC quadrant profile. this can be glued of the door frame to neatly cover the gaps. You will need a specialized glue to do stick the trims to the frame. Once the trims are on, seal the gap between the trim and the wall with silicone sealant.

Are you ready?

If you feel you got this, great! But if you buy a door from us, remember that we offer a professional fitting service with which you don’t have to worry about anything as we remove and dispose of the old door and fit the new door start to finish leaving you to only enjoy the new door!

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