Remove an Exterior Door Remove an Exterior Door

What You'll Need
Power drill
Hand saw

The exterior door plays a major part in the safety of your home, so you should take care when removing it for any reason. Keeping to a few guidelines will enable you to finish the job successfully.

Step 1 – Assess the Job

Before beginning the task of removing the exterior door, decide whether you merely want to remove the door or the frame also. Once you know the scope of your job, you can determine which tools you need. Begin the task as early in the day as possible so that you have enough time to rectify any mistakes. You will want to finish the job and secure your property before night. 

Step 2 – Access the Fastenings

With a standard exterior door, locating the fastenings will be the easy part. The act of opening the door should be sufficient to expose the hinges that are usually the sole means of holding the door in place. If the hinges have a covering that stop you from accessing the screws, use the screwdriver to lever these away. If you find that the hinges are coated in excessive paint, carefully scrape it away with a flathead screwdriver or other sharp implement.

Step 3 – Remove the Fastenings

If you have anyone to help you with the task, ask that person now to provide assistance. Some exterior doors rely on removable hinge pins, which will free the door once you remove them. If these pins are in place, get your assistant to firmly hold onto the exterior door while you remove the pins with the hammer. Begin at the top and work your way down. Warn your assistant when you are removing the final pin so the assistant can brace against the weight of the door.

In the event of non-removable hinge pins, you will undertake the same process with your helper holding the door, except you will remove the screws from the actual hinges with a screwdriver or drill. Again, keep your helper updated with what you are doing so a falling door doesn't create a surprise.

Step 4 – Remove the Exterior Door and Consider the Frame

Removing the fastenings will enable you to take down the exterior door and set it aside. This will be the final step if you are only removing the door. However, if you are also removing the door frame (and plan on reusing the door), you should lay the door flat and away from the immediate vicinity so it does not cause an obstruction or slip if leaned against a wall.

Where the frame is attached to a brick wall, use the utility knife to run along the molding that seals the join between the frame and the wall. If you intend to reuse the frame, use the screwdriver to carefully pry it away from the wall from corner to corner, rather than beginning in the middle. If you will discard the frame, carefully saw it at strategic points to make the removal easier.

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