How to fit a new external door and frame - Step by step Guide
Below we will walk you through the process of installing a new external door and frame, including the tools required, along with any extra items to make your installation as straight forward as possible and achieve the perfect finish.
When it comes to installing an external door the 7P's approach will suit you well in the long (or hopefully short!) run! Proper Planning & Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance! Removing and replacing an external door can be a seemingly daunting task due to the nature of the job. In the majority of cases, the installation needs to be achieved within a short and efficient space of time due to the fact you will be opening up a large hole in an otherwise secure and sealed building!
Preparing the opening
Having the correct tools and fixings for the job, allowing enough time, and planning and checking the replacement items are all present and correct before removing the existing door or frame, will make the process much easier. Whether removing an existing timber or pvc door, the opening for your new door and frame will need to be as neat, clean and square as possible. Try and remove any existing sealant, excess or loose mortar/brickwork and make good before beginning your installation. Check the internal dimensions of the opening and the external dimensions of the new door and frame. There should be sufficient allowance for the new frame to fit snug (but not tight) in the opening. And bear in mind that if the opening is not plum, more clearance may be required for an accurate, square installation.
Tools you will need to install an external door.
An extensive selection of tools is a must for any professional installer. Coupled with a wealth of time served knowledge and experience, replacing an external door can be a straight forward task achieved within a couple of hours. Assuming that the existing door and frame have been removed and the opening is clean, prepped and ready to go, the following list of tools are a minimum requirement for installing a new external door.
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- Masonry or SDS drill
- Screwdrivers (battery and hand tool)
- Drill Bits
- Mallet and/or hammer
- Sealant Gun
A selection of wedges, packers, screws and plugs will also be required along with expanding foam and silicone sealant to achieve a complete installation.
Installing the Door and Frame
1. Unwrap your door and check the ironmongery pack to ensure all the parts are present.
2. Check the sizes of your door in relation to your opening, along with the handing of the door.
3. Fit the handles and the cylinder, for ease of alignment it's best not to fully tighten the handle or cylinder screws until all parts are in place.
4. Centre up the complete door set into the opening, with the sill on a good bed of silicone to prevent water ingress. Take care that the sill is fully supported with no more than a twenty five millimetre minimum over hang.
5. Open the door to 90 degrees and prop open the door with a timber wedge.
6. Level the sill using a packer under the sill where necessary. It is vital, for it to function properly, to ensure that the door is plumb and square in the opening.
7. Using the wedge under the opened door, lift or lower the door to level up the hinge side jamb, moving forwards and backwards.
8. Using a long level, plumb your hinge side jamb side-to-side and temporarily pack in place.
9. Now that your sill is level, and the hinge side jamb is plumb level in all planes, you can start to fix the door into the opening.
10. The top and bottom jamb fixing screws must be positioned 150mm to 200 millimetres from the weld or sill.
11. Start at the top hinge side by drilling the frame with the high speed steel drill bit then finish with a masonry bit and fix the screw directly through the frame into the masonry. Be careful not to over tighten.
12. Repeat at the bottom of the hinge side jamb between 150mm and 200mm up from the sill.
13. You can now remove the wedge from under the door, and check the door closes properly against the lock side jamb.
14. The lock side jamb can be adjusted with packing under the sill, and/or between the jamb and the masonry, to achieve an even gap along the top and bottom of the door and so that the door closes flush with the inside face of the frame.
15. The lock side jamb can now be fixed at the top and bottom.
16. With the door closed, check the gaps around the door, using packers behind the frame to even the gaps. Once even gaps are achieved, complete the fixing of the frame with at least two more screws per jamb at a maximum of 600mm centres.
17. To ensure a good seal around the frame, fill around the frame with expanding foam and wait for this to cure for approximately one hour.
18. Cut off the excess foam and use an external sealant to achieve a neat finish around the complete opening.
For further guidance with your installation you can watch our video guide below :
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