How to Install an Exterior Front Door With a Brick Home
Installing an exterior front door is notoriously expensive, but confident homeowners can do this on their own for a fraction of the cost. Because your house is brick, you'll want to order a pre-hung door that is smaller than the rough opening in the house -- rather than making the rough opening larger to accommodate a larger door. The rough opening is the structure around the hole for the door. The door casing should be at least 1-inch smaller and shorter than the rough opening in the house.
Measure the rough opening of the door in the brick, and measure the pre-hung door casing. Select boards of treated wood that will be used to create a wood structure, fit to fill the size difference between the rough opening and the pre-hung door. These boards will flesh out the rough opening and create a frame the door can fasten to.
Cut the treated wood planks you selected in Step 1 to the size necessary to create a frame in the rough opening. Use a circular saw to cut the planks lengthwise, and a miter saw to cut the ends so they fit together at 45-degree angles in the corners of the opening.
Screw the treated wood into place in the rough opening, using cement screws, if the interior of the walls are cement blocks. If the interior of the rough opening is wood, use wood screws. Level the sub-sill with a level before screwing the sill into place. Insert shims under the sill if necessary, to create a level surface for the door to sit on.
Run a bead of caulk along the sill and the frame. Tip the pre-hung door case into the rough opening. Screw the door case into the wood frame according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Seal any spaces between the wooden frame and the exterior brick with caulking, then seal the door from the inside. There will be a gap between the door casing and the wall. Insert expanding foam insulation between the door frame and the wall, then fill any remaining spaces with fiberglass insulation. Cover the exposed insulation by nailing trim into place.
- If there is already a door in the place where you plan to insert your new exterior door, you'll need to remove the old exterior door. First, take out the door and hinges. Then remove any old framing around the door, unless the frame is in good condition and of an appropriate size for your new door.
Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.
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