A quality exterior door should protect you and your family from harm. This is actually an interior door that someone installed thinking they would save a little money. But it only takes a matter of seconds to come through that type of door and get to you and your belongings.
When choosing an exterior door for your new house, keep these tips in mind:
* Metal doors are good for the security of your home. They are low maintenance and weather resistant.
* Solid wood slab doors should be rated for exterior use so the glues and other materials used in its construction won't deteriorate from the weather elements.
* If the door has a veneer covering, make sure the grain on the laminate runs in alternate directions or the door will be subject to increased warping.
* The top and bottom of door must be painted or else water will damage door.
Your front door should open and close smoothly. Make sure the door is blocked on 3 sides with a shim on the top and sides.
Pay attention to the pre-fabricated threshold with sweep on the bottom of the door. The threshold must meet the sweep. If it doesn't, you can adjust the metal screws on the bottom of the threshold.
Like automobiles, metal doors can be repaired with Bondo if you dent them.
Doors that connect the house to the garage should be exterior grade, and be a fire-rated door with a burn rate of at least one hour.
How to replace an exterior door:
1. Measure the dimensions of your old door so you'll know the correct size when you purchase your new door. Be sure to measure height, width and thickness. Keep in mind that with wooden doors
, you will probably have to drill your own doorknob and deadbolt holes.
2. Remove the old door by knocking out the hinge pins, starting with the bottom pin. If the hinges are in good shape, then you can reuse them.
3. Take off the door handle, which is usually held on by two screws. Then remove the latch mechanism.
4. Place the old door on top of the new one, hinge side to hinge side, and make sure the tops are aligned.
5. Use your tri-square to transfer the measurements of the original hinge placement to the new door. Then measure the hinge depth and transfer the measurement to the new door. This will give you a rectangle in which to mortise spaces for your hinges. Mortising means chiseling out an area so you can mount hardware flush to the surface.
6. Mark a line on the bottom of the new door for cutting later. Also mark the position of the doorknob hole.
7. Begin chiseling out an outline along your marks. The beveled side of the chisel should face inward.
8. Chisel a series of relief cuts inside the outline at the same depth as the thickness of the hinges. This will help you control the depth at which you're chiseling.
9. Hold the bevel side down, and chisel out the remaining wood. The hinge should fit snugly.
10. Use the circular saw to trim off the bottom of the door along the mark you made earlier. Then sand the door smooth.
11. Cut the doorknob hole with a hole saw.
12. Use the template included with your door to position the deadbolt. Cut the deadbolt hole with a hole saw.
13. Use a 1" spade bit to drill holes in the side of the door for the latch and deadbolt.
14. Prime and paint the door. Allow it to dry overnight.
15. Pre-drill holes for the hinges, then screw them into place.
16. Mortise out the faceplate areas for the latch and deadbolt.
17. Position the latch and attach the doorknob. Then attach the deadbolt hardware.
18. Place the door in position. Set the hinge pins and tap them into place.
19. Mark the deadbolt mortise area by dabbing paint around the edge of the deadbolt. Shut the door and turn the latch. The paint on the deadbolt will make a mark on the doorjamb, showing you where to install the strike plate.
20. Use a 1" spade bit to drill approximately 1 ½" deep for the deadbolt.
21. Set the strike plate into position and trace around it. Then mortise along the traced line.
22. Position the strike plate and secure it with screws.
23. You may need to do a little touch-up painting after your hardware is installed.