Ten (10) Tips for Fitting and Hanging New Wood Exterior Doors

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If you’re looking into fitting and hanging your own exterior doors, we’ve got the top 10 tips to help you DIY like a pro!

  1. When hanging your new door, allow adequate clearance for swelling of the door or frame in wet or damp conditions. In fully dry conditions, allow approximately 3/16” of clearance for potential swelling when the door is installed. Jambs must always be plumb.
  1. Don’t cut down doors in height by more than 2 inches. A maximum of 1-1/2” from the bottom, and ½” from the top). When contemplating cutting the door down in width, use extreme care to avoid exposing engineered wood. Use a sharp fine-tooth saw when trimming the ends of doors.
  1. When fitting for locks, use extreme caution to avoid hurting the strength of the door when prepping and fitting for locks. Always allow at least 1” of wood.
  1. Always use three (3) hinges on doors up to 84” in height and four (4) hinges on doors over 84” tall. To prevent distortion, be sure to set hinges in a straight line.
  1. Jambs and stops must be set square and plumb for the new door to operate properly.
  1. All wood exterior doors should be installed under an overhang with sufficient protection for peak performance, to ensure warranty compliance. Adequate overhang and protection will differ depending on the general weather conditions of the area. At a minimum, an adequate overhang should project a distance from the structure equal to one half of the distance between the bottom of the door and the bottom of the overhang.
  1. Refrain from using dark colored stains or paints.
  1. Immediately after cutting and fitting, seal all surfaces and ends of doors with a high quality sealer
  1. Make sure to finish the doors completely before exposure to the elements.

10. Use weather stripping and door shoes to minimize heat loss and save energy.