Install a New Front Door

Change and update your home by installing a new front door.

Forest Green Front Door

Forest Green Front Door

It takes a lot of precision-cutting and some heavy lifting, so plan on taking a full day to complete this project.

Materials and Tools:

portable workbench
sawhorses
circular saw
router
hinge mortising template
corner cutter
sliding T-bevel
utility knife
pencil
chisel
Phillips-head and flathead screwdrivers
tape measure
shims
clamps
mortise punch
keyhole jig
hammer
power drill
block plane
combination square
level
straightedge
dust mask
new door with hardware

Steps:

1. Check the doorframe to make sure it's square and level. Measure the width and height of the door and record the dimensions.
2. Pop out the hinge pins and remove the door.
3. Transfer the measurements to the new door, and use a circular saw to trim the bottom if necessary. Clamp the door to a workbench and remember to wear a dust mask and safety glasses when using the circular saw.
4. Fit the new door into the frame and raise it into position using shims.
5. Mark locations for the hinges using a combination square and utility knife.
6. Remove the door and clamp it to the workbench. To achieve a better fit, set a sliding T-bevel to a 3-degree angle and use a hand plane to bevel the outside edges of the door on both sides.
7. Extend the marks for the hinge positions across the side of the door. Line up the template for the hinges with the marks on the door, and secure the template with a couple of nails.
8. Put on safety glasses and dust mask and cut mortises for hinges with a router.
9. Use a corner cutter and a chisel to carve away the rounded corners of the mortises to fit the square hinges.
10. Fit the hinges into place and carefully tap them into place with a hammer. Pre-drill holes with a center-finding drill bit and lock down the hinges with screws.
11. Hang the door in place and secure the hinge pins.
12. Mark the location of the strike plates and drill the holes for the hardware using a keyhole drilling jig.
13. Use a mortise punch to punch out the general shape of the latch, and then use a chisel to remove the material. Repeat the process for the deadbolt.
14. Install lock hardware according to manufacturer's instructions.

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