How to Install a Prehung Exterior Door Part 1 How to Install a Prehung Exterior Door Part 1

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Spirit Level
Prehung exterior door

Installing a rehung exterior door on your home is one way to make sure that you have a reliable door and frame which will not easily come apart. A prehung door takes a lot of the effort out of fitting the frame and making sure that it is plumb before you can begin to add the door, but there is still a lot of work involved with screwing in a prehung exterior door, and you will have to properly prepare the area, add shims and screws, and then nail the door into position before you can think of starting to fit accessories such as molding. In order to install the door, you will need some basic home improvement tools and a few spare hours in which to perform the fit. (This is Part 1 of 2. To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)

Step 1 - Prepare the Ground

Before you can start fitting the door, you will need to prepare the location in which the door will be rehung. You should measure the area where you want the door to go, and make sure that it is large enough for your prehung door to fit into. If you need to remove part of the exterior wall to make your door fit, then you should do this, or get a construction worker to make the hole for you, depending upon how competent you are at that. You will need to have around 1 and a half inches of space clear of the door frame all around your opening, so that you can add insulation and caulking at the end.

Step 2 - Fit Shims

Push the door frame into the opening, and use your spirit level to make sure that all of the angles are level. If they are not, then you will need to add shims to even up the sides of the door. Take a shim, and tap it into the side that you want to increase using a hammer. These shims can be removed once the door is nailed into position.

Step 3 - Check that the Door Is Plumb

Once the frame is secured into the location, and the shims have been added, you will need to make sure that the frame is as plumb as you can get it. Do this by hanging a builders plumb off of the top of your frame, and make sure that it hangs level with the sides of the frame. If this does not happen, you need to install more shims until it does fit this area.

Step 4 - Nail the Hinges

Once you have confirmed that the door is plumb, you can begin to nail the hinges into position. These parts of the door will help to secure the frame, so begin by screwing the large screws supplied with your kit into a gap just below each hinge. Screw the hinges in using the smaller screws, so that the hinges are held firmly in position by the large screw, and then secured with the littler ones.

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