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8 Things You Need to Know About Installing Doors

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Tips for installing custom doors in your home.

Installing doors on either a new or existing property is a very common home improvement project. It’s a wonderful way to instantly improve the look of your home whether it’s standalone project or part of a much bigger plan.

In order to make sure everything goes smoothly, there’s several things you’ll need to know about the process. We’ve put together some simple tips that will help make your door installation project a success.

Gather the Proper Tools

Like many other home projects, installing doors requires several types of tools and materials. Depending on the type of door you plan to install, some of the items may come with it.

Here are the basic items you’ll need:

  • Screws of different lengths
  • Galvanized finish nails of different lengths
  • Mallet
  • Caulking
  • Hardware and hinges
  • Level
  • Measuring tools
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Pencil
  • Spare wood

Also, keep in mind that specialty doors require additional tools and/or materials. For example, with a sliding barn door, you would need to have door rollers and a track, both of which would be included if you purchase a full kit.

Pre-Hung Vs Simple Doors

Whether you choose to purchase a pre-hung or simple door will depend on your experience with installing doors and the type of door you purchase. Basically, a pre-hung door is the entire door with the frame, hinges and possibly hardware included, whereas a simple door is just the door itself.

If you’re replacing the entire door or adding a new doorway, you’d probably want to go with a pre-hung door. But, if you’d like to reuse an existing door frame, then a simple door might be the best option.

Attach the Door Hardware First

If you decide to purchase a simple door, then you’re going to need to attach the hardware, including the hinges, door handles, and locks. You should do this before you remove the old door or cut out a new doorway. In some cases, you might also need to stain or paint the door before attaching the hardware. Trust us – doing all of this before anything else will make the process go much more quickly and smoothly.

Pick Doors for Your Climate

By and large, any door you choose will last a long time in any climate. However, in certain harsher climates, such as those that deal with extreme temperature or weather conditions, you may want to choose fiberglass or steel over wood because they won’t degrade as quickly. In certain parts of Florida, this may be a concern, but even wood doors will last for years.

Inspect Old & New Door

Before you get started with the door installation, be sure that you inspect both the old door and the new door. The most important component to this is ensuring that the new door will fit into the space of the old door. If you don’t do this early on, then you could end up wasting time and money.

Ensure the Floor Is Level

The last thing you want is to install a door only to find out that it doesn’t hang evenly. This can happen if the floor isn’t level, which can cause the door to drag and damage both the floor and the door. To do this, you’ll start off by using a level to see if the floor is even.

If it isn’t, you’ll need to cut the bottom of the door jambs to help it hang properly. This is done by leveling the door with a shim, measuring its height, and then cutting that measurement from the opposite jamb.

Always Test-Fit the Door

Installing doors isn’t the toughest home project job you can take on, but there are definitely mistakes that can be made. One simple mistake is not properly test-fitting the door. In order to install a door, you’ll need to do at least a small amount of shimming, which basically means to fill up a space in the door with a shim. You need to test-fit the door to make sure that there’s room to shim on either side.

Installing Specialty Doors

Certain types of specialty doors such as pocket doors, glass doors, and French doors have additional steps that you must follow for installation. The best thing you can do is to purchase a kit that comes with all of the necessary hardware. Speaking of, always read the instructions for any door carefully prior to beginning the installation, and make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions and recommendations.

Contact Peninsular Lumber Co. for Assistance with Installing Doors

Peninsular Lumber Company in Tampa has helped customers with installing doors and other home improvement projects for many years. If you have any questions about the door installation process, are in need of materials, or have any questions, reach out by calling (813) 875-8805 today and visiting our lumber store in Tampa!