When buying a quality new door, whether it’s a beautiful new exterior door or a more modest interior bedroom door, there are a few things that can happen during installation that can cause problems. However, by planning carefully and following the manufacturers directions, your install should go smoothly.
If you’re looking to go the easy route, you’ll want to avoid some common mistakes that we see when you attempt a DIY installation. Here are 3 common mistakes to keep in mind when installing your door.
Not Using A Level To Install Door Frame
When you install a door usually the actual door is installed last. The door frame is where most of the actual installation occurs. If you don’t use a level when installing the frame, you’ll run into a whole host of problems. If you do use a level, you’ll want to make sure you’re using it properly.
One of the most common mistakes is not making sure the door is level on all axis, which is called making sure the door is hung plumb. Most people will know to level the top of the frame, but there are multiple directions that make levelling a door a little tricky. The first is making sure you level the sides to ensure the bottom of the frame is not out of alignment from the top. This will make sure the corners are exactly 90 degrees, because if they’re not your door simply won’t close.
The second big mistake is not levelling the door front-to-back. You want to make sure it’s level from the interior to exterior. If it’s not level on this axis, gravity will swing your door open or closed with plenty of force – force that can cause damage. Whether your door is halfway open or all the way open, once you let go it shouldn’t move on its own. If it does, your door frame isn’t plumb.
Measuring your door opening is key. Many homeowners don’t measure the opening properly and their newly ordered door shows up and just won’t fit.
Another common issue is trimming your door to fit an opening. This is especially common on interior doors. If you trim off too much, the door will have a big gap at the top or bottom.
If you’re ordering a door, have a friend verify your measurements. If you’re trimming an interior door, measure twice, cut once and when in doubt, cut less than you think. You can always cut more off, but you can’t add more door.
Not having the proper insulation around your exterior door frame is a cost you may not see, but it can be one of the most expensive mistakes. When you install a door frame, there will be a gap between the frame and the jamb. This is often shimmed to be level and will leave a gap in several places.
If you just put siding and trim over top of the gap, it’ll look great, but all the energy you use to heat and cool your home will be flying right through these gaps. These air gaps are the number one cause of energy inefficiency in a home.
Using proper insulation, whether that’s a spray foam or a baton type, will save you hundreds of dollars a year.
It’s always best to follow manufacturer recommendations when installing a door to avoid any problems. If you have any questions, our experts are always happy to help point you in the right direction. Swing by our showroom and find out how we can help make your new door installation go smoothly!