Whether you are installing an exterior entry door or replacing one of your interior doors, few weekend projects will do more to dramatically improve the looks of your home or give you a greater sense of accomplishment. A mastery of basic carpentry skills, the following step-by-step guide and the following basic hand tools are all you’ll need to complete most of the job:
- Pry bar
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Nail set
- Miter saw (for trim)
Although there are many door options out there, the style and crisp detailing of a quality hardwood door are really unmatched. Before you select the door of your dreams, you’ll want to get some essential measurements first.
If you are replacing an existing door, measure the width and height of the door and then round up to the nearest inch to get the size of the replacement door you’ll need. For example, if your door measures 35-7/8 in. wide by 79-3/4 in. tall, you’ll order a 36-in. by 80-in. door.
For pre-hung doors, getting the right jamb width will ensure your door fits in the opening with trim sitting flush to the wall. The jamb width is measured from the backside of the interior trim to the backside of the exterior trim.
The rough opening is the opening into which the door frame is fitted. To get this measurement, you will need to remove any existing trim work on at least one side of the door. If replacing an exterior door, we recommend removing the interior trim while leaving the exterior trim in-tact (it will help to have the trim on one side later in the process).