How To Replace Your Old Doors?

How cool would it be if you could just pop out your old front door and replace it with a new one, like in a Lego movie? In one bold move, you may transform your home’s appearance from Moorish to modern farmhouse while also making it safer and more secure.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple; installing an outside door takes precise measurements, intermediate to advanced construction abilities, and a working knowledge of words and materials. “If you’re worried about managing and finishing the project within a day, I’d consider calling a professional,” says Hunter MacFarlane, a Lowe’s project expert.

Whether you opt to tackle a Victorian Doors replacement or hire a professional to do it for you, there are a few things to keep in mind:

What type of door is it?

To begin, you must distinguish between a slab door, which consists just of the door, and a pre-hung door, which consists of both the door and the frame that supports it.

It is feasible to replace merely the door slab, according to Natedra Banks, senior merchant of exterior doors at Home Depot, but hinge locations and lock bore positions vary by manufacturer, so a new door is unlikely to line properly. The size of the original door slab also varies depending on its age and manufacturer.

“Simply replacing the door may not improve your entry as much as replacing the entire unit.” “Your old door frame may have wood rot or may not seal as well as a new door system,” explains Banks. If your slab door is older than 25 years, you should replace it with a pre-hung door to guarantee that the frame is sealed. “Buying a new car and retaining your original tires is like buying a new car and keeping your original tires,” Banks says.


If you can only replace the door slab, make sure the dimensions are accurate. “Replacing the door is as simple as removing the hinge pin, reinstalling the jamb leaves on the door, installing the lock and deadbolt hardware, reengaging the hinges, and reinserting the hinge pins,” Banks adds. (I’m still a little overwhelmed by this.) Door height, door width, hinge locations, hinge type (pass-through or mortise), hinge size, lock and deadbolt positions from the top of the door, and backset of the lock and hinge locations are the measurements you’ll need.

The measuring and installation of a full door system, depending on the kind (single, double, doors with sidelights, doors with transoms, etc. ), is significantly more complicated. Although you won’t have to worry as much about door height and breadth, you’ll need to figure out the unit size and/or rough opening to make sure the new system fits. “If it’s new construction, it’s usually easier because there won’t be a unit in the opening,” Banks adds, “but if it’s a repair/remodel, you’ll have to remove the current pre-hung unit.”


Consider your budget and the amount of upkeep you’re willing to do when deciding what kind of material to choose for your door. Steel doors, according to Banks, are a good entry-level option because “they’re robust, affordable, and offer a wide range of design possibilities, including colors and glass alternatives.” Steel doors are also a fantastic choice, according to MacFarlane, because they are resistant to shrinking, swelling, and warping, require little maintenance, and are energy-efficient.

Fiberglass, according to Banks, is a low-maintenance material that does not dent, rot, or corrode. “Fiberglass doors are energy-efficient, inexpensive, and built to last in all climates,” says MacFarlane, “and you can paint or stain them to obtain a woodlike impression.”

Wooden doors are more expensive and require more upkeep, especially if they are exposed to the elements. “They are robust and secure, and scratches mend easily,” Hunter explains.

According to Banks, the cost of a new door, whether pre-hung or slab, will vary depending on the material used and if the door is in stock or on special order. The cost of a door can range from the mid-hundreds to over $3,000 for highly customized goods.


It is not required to choose your door hardware before ordering a new door, according to MacFarlane, as long as the door is ordered with a standard cylindrical lock bore for a 238-inch or 234-inch backset. Some door manufacturers include a handle set with the door, making the installation process easier. If your door swings inward, MacFarlane recommends deciding early on if you want extra security, such as a chain lock or a stopper.

Instead of replacing, update

If you’re considering replacing your door due to a draft, check your weatherstripping and/or door sweep first; these can wear out over time and are considerably easier to replace than a whole door. “If the door or frame is bowed or warped, or if the door was poorly put from the start,” Banks explains, “you may need to rebuild the unit or replace it entirely.”

If all you want is an updated aesthetic, designer Robert Lindgren of Lindgren Gibb Studio recommends covering a plain solid door with three square panels of simple stock molding. Lindgren advises painting the door in a high-gloss paint, drawing inspiration from Dorothy Draper and David Adler’s designs. Use hammered nailheads for a Spanish colonial or Tudor-style door (Lindgren suggests “thinking ‘Game of Thrones’ “). Simply tape a pattern or design on the door and then hammer the nails in place.