A New Back Door

When we moved into our house last fall, one of the things on our list to fix was the door on the back of the garage.

Installing a Exterior Door - Before

It was original to the house and was showing its wear. The door jam was especially bad as the wood had rotted out and was a bit of a tripping hazard. It wasn’t pretty.

Installing a Exterior Door - Before door frame

So we had been keeping our eye on the sales and when Home Depot had a shipment of doors come in a few weeks ago we finally got a pretty, functional replacement for it. We decided on a pre-hung steel core door, with a half window for light and retractable blinds inside the glass for privacy.

But first we had to get the old one out of there. Dan started by removing the door and then took the reciprocating saw to the edge of the frame and cut the nails between the door frame and the wall framing. Then he began prying off the old wood with the crowbar.

Installing a Exterior Door - Removing the old door frame1

Installing a Exterior Door - Removing the old door frame2

This part went pretty fast and we were left with the rough opening. It’s crazy looking having a hole in the side of your house, but now we had a clean slate to install the new door!

Installing a Exterior Door - Old door frame gone

To prep the opening for it, Dan cut and laid new, pressure treated wood on the step to go under the jam to give it a little more height. He drilled and screwed it into place so it wouldn’t shift during the installation.

Dan moved the new door into place from the inside and I held it steady from the outside while Dan made sure it was level with the opening.

Installing a Exterior Door - Fitting new door

Next we added wood shims between the new door fame and the rough opening to hold it in place. Dan put them through from the inside of the door and I put them through from the opposite side to get the best hold.

Installing a Exterior Door - Shims in new door frame

Dan screwed from the inside of the door frame through each of the shims to the wall to secure it in place.

Installing a Exterior Door - Screwing door frame

Now we had a fully functioning door again. It was still very rough around the edges but it opened and closed beautifully.

Installing a Exterior Door - Trying out new door

Next came the weatherproofing. Dan pulled out the tube of expanding foam and filled the gap around the door frame. (Here’s my husband’s tip for keeping half used cans of expanding foam from drying out. Put WD-40 on the length of a pipe cleaner and insert it in the nozzle. Ours was still good after nine months of storing it using the pipe cleaner trick).

Installing a Exterior Door - Filling gap with expanding foam

Now all we had to do was finish off the outside rough edge. Dan nailed brick moulding along the top and side edges to cover the rough gap between the brick and door frame.

Installing a Exterior Door - Installing brick moulding

He also cut and screwed in a piece of white metal flashing for the very top edge which worked out really well to cover up the awkward gap on top.

Installing a Exterior Door - Putting up metal flashing

He caulked around the edge to fill any gaps and added a square aluminium tube along the bottom edge of the door sill to add support and finish it off.

Installing a Exterior Door - Finishing off the door sill

We bought a new oil rubbed bronze door knob and deadbolt for the door and its so much better now.

Installing a Exterior Door - After1

And here it is with the blinds closed.

Installing a Exterior Door - After with blinds

We love the new door. We are no longer tripping over the old door sill and everything is definitely more air tight now. Not to mention pretty. It’s a nice surprise every time we come in from the backyard.

Installing a Exterior Door - After2

Anyone else ever installed a new door? It was all new to me so I found it interesting to see how it all went together as Dan installed it without a second thought. I’m a lucky girl.

5 thoughts on “A New Back Door

    1. Shannon [Our Home Notebook] Post author

      Thank you. Congratulations on your new house! There always seems to be so many projects when you first move – I just keep reminding myself it’s okay to take our time. We have yet to replace our front door too!


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