Add Weatherstripping to an Exterior Door

What You'll Need
tape measure
weather stripping
screwdriver/hammer/nails/screws (optional)
eye protection

If you want to save a lot of energy and money, you should make sure that every exterior door has weather stripping properly installed. If any of your exterior doors are missing weather stripping, or have damaged or otherwise non-functional weather stripping, your home is losing heat in the winter and cold in the summer. Because of this, your heater or air conditioner have to do extra work, costing you extra money and wasting energy. However, this problem is easy to fix. All you have to do is install weather stripping to your exterior door. What follows should give you everything you need to know about this straightforward and useful project.

Step 1 - Measuring

Before you do anything, you will need to figure out how much weather stripping your exterior door needs. Get out your tape measure, and measure both dimensions of your door—height and width—and write them down. When you purchase your weather stripping, you will need these measurements to decide how much to buy.

Step 2 - Choosing How Much and What Kind

When purchasing weather stripping for your exterior doors, the most important thing to get right is purchasing the right amount for your door. Because you measured in advance, you have this covered. When you decide how much weather stripping to buy, keep in mind that you will be cutting the weather stripping later and you will need a few extra inches for every side of your door.

After this, you will have to decide whether to get metal backed weather stripping or not. Metal backed weather stripping is sturdier than regular weather stripping and may hold up a little bit better. In addition, it may provide slightly better protection. However, any kind of weather stripping will work perfectly well at keeping drafts out—and air that is at a moderate temperature in—as long as it is installed properly.

Step 3 - Cutting the Weather Stripping to Fit

You will need to cut the total amount of weather stripping that you have bought into individual pieces to fit your doors exact dimensions. However, you will need to leave a few extra inches on top of the actual measurements.

Before cutting weather stripping, put on your eye protection.

Use your knife to make the cuts in the weather stripping that you need. If you use weather stripping that is not backed with metal, ordinary scissors or a box cutter will probably be enough to cut through it perfectly well.

Step 4 - Clean Each Door First

Before installing your weather stripping, you will need to clean the surface it will be attached to in order for the adhesive to work as well possible. Get out your sponge, soap, and water, and go over the areas you will be attaching weather stripping to. Go over the areas again with just water to rinse them off, and then allow them to dry completely before continuing.

Step 5 - Install the Weather Stripping

Install the weather stripping to the sides and top of your door frame. Depending on the brand you choose, this may involve nails or screws, but will more likely than not uses a simple adhesive.