Replacement Front Doors: How to Install a Door Buck Replacement Front Doors: How to Install a Door Buck

What You'll Need
Tape Measure
Heavy Wood Beams
Lag Bolts
Anchor Brackets

Installing a replacement front door, especially in an environmentally friendly cob, straw bale or log home, may require installing a door buck. A door buck, unlike a door frame, is a load bearing structure that must maintain its shape or the door will not function properly. To install a door buck follow the steps below.

Step 1 – Construct the Door Buck

To create a door buck, simple measure the size of the door opening with a tape measure. Next, cut a heavy wood beam that will extend roughly two feet longer on each side of the door opening, this will be the top cross beam of the buck. This extra length will ensure that the weight of will be distributed evenly across the buck because as weight is applied to the middle of the buck, the ends will not be able to rise against the top portion of the door. To this top cross beam use lag bolts to connect two more wooden beams that will comprise the sides of the door buck. Obviously these beams need to be as tall as the door and set far enough apart that the door will be able to close between them.

Step 2 – Secure the Door Buck to the Foundation

Place the door buck into the door opening and shim it with shims capable of bearing loads, such as metal shims, until it is square and plumb. At the bottom of the door opening, concrete anchor bolts that were installed when the foundation was poured should be sticking out from the ground. To these anchors secure anchor brackets (which resemble heavy L-brackets) and tighten them to the ground. If no anchors were installed when the slab was poured, holes will need to be drilled into the foundation to attach the buck. The reason for this is that the buck must have a foundation substrate onto which it can displace the weight it is bearing. 

Step 3 – Secure the Sides

Bore holes in the side pieces of the door buck to match the holes in these brackets and connect the door buck to the foundation using lag bolts. Finally, fasten the top cross beam to house framing above the door, and the side pieces to the wall framing with lag bolts. Foam or caulk may be added to keep the cross beam and side pieces air tight.

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