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Yet, like many home improvement jobs, people can be put off replacing their front door because they don’t know what it involves. Without knowing the cost, time, or process of replacing a door it can be hard to fully weigh up the benefits.

In this guide we’ll cover exactly what is involved in replacing your front door and answer some of the questions that our team is often asked, to help you decide if it’s worthwhile for you.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Your Front Door

Tools You Will Need

  • Hammer
  • Pry bar/crowbar
  • Utility knife
  • Spirit levels
  • Expanding foam
  • Caulk (and gun)
  1. Remove the old door
    With the door closed use a hammer to gently knock out the hinge pin from the centre of your door hinges. Start with the top hinge first. When the pins are out, carefully lift out the slab of your existing door.
  2. Remove the door frame, trim, and jamb
    Cut around any caulk or seal that is currently holding the door in place. With an exterior door the caulk is usually quite thick so take your time to do it properly. Remove the interior trim, exterior trim, and the jamb in the same way: by easing your crowbar between the wooden frame and the wall then carefully levering them out.
  3. Check the condition of the opening and the sill
    Check there was no damage to the walls while removing the door frame and then check the sill that sits under the door. Make sure there is no damaged or rotted wood – if there is then the sill will need replacing. You should also check the height of the sill to see if it will fit your new door. If it doesn’t, you may need to replace it or lift it with shims. If this is the case, make sure the sill is completely level after lifting.
  4. Put the new door and frame into position and screw it in
    Lift your new door into the opening. Check the fit of the frame before screwing, adding shims at either side of the frame if necessary to level it out. Start with the hinge side of the door, and only fix the screws that sit beneath each hinge. Then move to the top and finally the lock side. After every screw, use a level to check the frame is square, and open and close the door to make sure it operates smoothly.
  5. Neaten the edges around the door
    Start by filling any gaps between the door and the opening with expanding foam. This will help create a robust seal to stop moisture from getting in or heat from escaping. When this has dried, you can neaten up the edges using caulk to create a more visually pleasing finish.

Questions about How Do I Replace My Front Door?

Are Front Doors Hard to Install?

Front doors are a lot harder to replace than internal doors. Even wooden doors are harder to fit for exterior use because they need a tight seal and secure locks to keep your home safe and insulated.

To make front door installation easier, you can buy front doors ‘prehung’. This means the door is purchased already fitted securely into its frame, and you just need to fit the frame into the rough opening.

Front door replacement is easier with a pre-hung exterior door as all you need to worry about is getting it square. Expanding foam and caulk will also do the difficult job of filling the opening around the frame and creating a weatherproof seal to protect your home and your door.

Can I Replace My Front Door Myself?

If you get a prehung exterior door, then you should be able to carry out a front door replacement with a little care, strength, and patience.

That said, you are unlikely to be able to do it on your own. Whether you’re replacing a wooden door, a composite door, or a uPVC one, front doors are heavy. Moving the weight of the door around will need the strength of two people, whether it’s your old door or your replacement one.

If you choose to replace just the door leaf (or slab), then you will need a second pair of hands. As well as moving the door, you will need someone to keep the front door steady when you’re installing or adjusting the hinges and door furniture.

However, if you are installing a front door slab into an existing door frame, it can be a good idea to get a professional to do the job for you. If your front door replacement isn’t level, it can damage the door and shorten its lifespan. Incorrect front door installation can also affect the energy efficiency of your door as well as the security it provides.

As it is so important to have your front door installed correctly, it is advisable to get professional help fitting a new front door to be safe.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Front Door?

It is likely to take around five or six hours to replace an exterior door like a front door. This includes the time it will take to remove your old door as well as fitting your front door replacement.

It is a lot quicker to install a prehung door than it is to put the door slab and frame in separately. If only the door needs replacing, then the time it takes will vary depending on door size, whether it needs trimming to meet your exact specifications and what type of locks, hinges, and door knockers your need to install.

A professional will be able to install a replacement front door a lot quicker, though it will again depend on the extra work that needs to be done to make sure your new front door fits.

Can You Fit a New Front Door in An Existing Door Frame?

If you prefer to buy a replacement door that isn’t pre-hung, it is possible to carry out a front door replacement by putting a new slab into an old door frame.

While replacing the slab of an exterior door without replacing the frame is possible, it isn’t always advisable. If you plan to do this, you should take the time to carefully check the wood of the door frame to check there is no rot or damage that could affect the security and energy efficiency of the door frame.

The installation process for a new front door can be fiddly, difficult, and time-consuming. If you need to replace the door frame at a later date, then you will still have to remove the door and rehang it – it is easier to replace both the door and frame at the same time if it looks like this will be necessary.

How Much Does It Cost to Change the Front Door of a House?

Essentially it can cost anywhere between £150 and £1500 to replace a front door. This may seem like a very wide range, but the overall price can be impacted by a wide range of factors.

One of the biggest details that impact the cost of replacing an exterior entrance door is the door material that you choose – composite doors and wooden doors cost a lot more than uPVC ones.

When it comes to the cost of installation, that can vary widely too. Most professionals will quote around a full day rate to install new front doors, depending on the door material, and whether it needs trimming. Other costs can also impact the final price, including any door hardware or additional materials that are needed.

The External Doors Information Centre

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