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Old 08-06-2009, 04:26 PM   #1
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Installing exterior door


Is it safe to say that I could install a new pre-hung front door in a day by myself if I've never put in a door before? I'm obviously not a carpenter, but I consider myself pretty handy. I would like to be able to do this myself, but I also don't want to get stuck over night without a locked front door

One thing maybe worth noting is that I measured the existing door and it's 36" x 83" which doesn't seem like a standard size, so it sounds like I'll have to fill in the extra space somehow?? The door i'll be putting in is a wood Simpson door.

Thoughts? Also, of anyone knows offhand of any good, thorough tutorials about this online I'd appreciate it.

Thanks

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Old 08-07-2009, 05:57 AM   #2
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Installing exterior door


You will need a good crowbar or a sawzall to get out the old door frame. There are usually directions with new doors, follow them carefully. Take care of any rot problems with the house framing before you install the door. Shim as needed, but pay very close attention to getting the frame level, plumb, square. If it is not, it will not close tightly. There are usually 3-4 long screws to replace the short ones in the hinges, use them. That ties the door into the house framing and keeps it from sagging over time.

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Old 08-07-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Installing exterior door


You should pull off the interior trim and measure your rough opening before you start demolition on the existing door and jamb. 36" is a standard width for doors. 83" high is not. In fact it is an odd height for residential or commercial doors. Assuming that your replacement is a standard 80" high door, you will have to fill in for the odd height, so you'll want to be sure to have materials on hand before you start.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:24 AM   #4
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Installing exterior door


Oppps, missed that dimension. He is correct 83" is not normal for a residential door, unless it is a mega house. Is the the door slab dimension?? They used to make make 84" doors, which is also not right if that is the slab size, since the frame would be about 86. The outside dimension of a 36x80 prehung door frame is 82 1/2, usually.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:47 AM   #5
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Installing exterior door


a lot better to have too much hole than not enough. if you have a brick mold type exterior casing you can use a pig foot nail puller to help out. i locate where it was nailed to the wall at and just dig in deep with the claws till i catch the casing nails. follow all these other guys good advice first. once you pull these nails it is past the turning back point. these nails have probably been "set" and puttied so you may have to look hard for them and there may be a few across the top. also if a good carpenter installed the door he will have used the same number of nails in the same position on both sides. when i set my new door in and center it up in the hole. then level it on the hinge side. it it fits and you are ok with nailing it, lean it over and apply silicone across the bottom and a few inches up each side. be careful not to get any silicone where it will be seen. ease the door back in and i always tack the door in with one nail at the top hinge and one nail at the bottom hinge on the brick mold. now with it tacked, see if the door opens and closes easily. do not shim the bottom of the door in any way and besides nails in the brick mold you should only have one long screw going into the top hinge. place a dollar bill on the threshold, close the door over the dollar. if it pulls out easily, but with a slight resistance, then it is right. do not depend on threshold adjustments for installation. thanks, buddy builder
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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Installing exterior door


83" doors ARE standard on OLDER Homes. Apparently those who responded earlier have no experience in that area or they would have known.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:06 PM   #7
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Installing exterior door


Quote:
Originally Posted by CrisC View Post
83" doors ARE standard on OLDER Homes. Apparently those who responded earlier have no experience in that area or they would have known.
Actually, many older homes were built with 6'6", or 78" doors. They are now required by code to be 80" in new construction.

Anyone who has done an interior slab replacement on one of these homes will testify to the 78" fact.

I can't say that I've ever come across 83" doors in 25+ years in the trade, except for doors that require an 83" rough opening.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddy builder View Post
these nails have probably been "set" and puttied so you may have to look hard for them and there may be a few across the top.
I've used old hard drive magnets to find buried finish nails, they work well.

(ya just gotta love a good, strong magnet!)

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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The house I was raised in was 150 years old when I was born.
My first apartment in the early 70's was in a historic home in Peabody, MA
& the house I now live in was built in 1928. What they have in common are 83" doors.
My father & rehashed the 83" door discussion when I purchased this house many years ago. Doors are expensive but even more so when they have to be
custom made to retrofit.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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Installing exterior door


Quote:
Originally Posted by 99miles View Post
Is it safe to say that I could install a new pre-hung front door in a day by myself if I've never put in a door before?
Just two cents worth, but nothing wrong with having a buddy around for something like this; someone who you know isn't going to take the fun out of it for you by "taking over", but who could stick a shim or two in while you watch the bubble, etc. Maybe have him stop by an hour or so after you plan to get started, so that you have time to get the old one out, and figure out your next steps. Not saying that it can't be done by one person, because it can, but first time and front door, it might be worth consideration. Also, I am on dial up right now, so not going to try to find it myself, but just happened to recall that there is a good post under either "carpentry" or "doors and windows", about hanging a door; might even be a sticky.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:24 PM   #11
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Installing exterior door


I've worked on numerous pre WW II doors that were 84" in height.
Ron
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
I've worked on numerous pre WW II doors that were 84" in height.
Ron
Yes, 84" doors, or 7', are not uncommon. I still install quite a few of them in new construction. (Or did before the construction market died)

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