How to fit an external wooden door

how to fit an external doors

Before purchasing an external wood door, decide if are you are going to replace the frame as well. If so, you may require permission from Building Control.

Buying a door ready hung in the frame – known as a doorset – is often the easiest option, particularly if your opening isn’t square. It can reduce problems and installation time, ensuring a better finish, but will mean you need to either:

  • Employ a registered fitter who will notify the local authority on your behalf (you will receive a completion certificate as proof of compliance), OR
  • Submit an application to your local authority and pay a fee to Building Control to inspect the work carried out

Choosing the right wooden exterior door

First, measure the opening or existing door, if it’s a good fit, to establish the size you need. If you can’t buy a product with the exact dimensions, make sure the one you choose can be trimmed back far enough to meet your requirements.

We also recommend adding a weather bar or rain deflector to protect external woodwork from the elements.

Hanging the door

Hold the new door inside the frame to see if it needs adjusting – you are aiming for a two millimetre gap at the top and sides. The space you leave at the bottom will depend on the thickness of your flooring.

Use an electric plane to resize and sand to achieve a smooth finish. If you are adding a letterbox, decide where you want it and cut the hole, remembering to protect any raw edges with an appropriate base sealer. Take a look at our finishing guide for more information. (Hyperlink)

You will need at least three hinges on a wooden front or back door. If your new hinges don’t fit the existing spaces on the frame, mark where you want them to go and chisel away the wood. Fix each one in place with one centre screw, taking care that the knuckle protrudes, then use wedges to prop the door to the appropriate height and mark on the edge where the hinges will sit.

Release the hinges from the frame and line them up with your pencil marks on the edge of the door. Draw around them and chisel out the centre to the same depth as the hinge flap, before securing with a single centre screw.

With the door supported once again, fix the opposing hinge flaps to the frame and once you are sure it operates smoothly, finish the job by adding all remaining screws.

Handles and locks

There are a number of locks available for JELD-WEN external wood doors, such as mortice, rim and multipoint systems. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

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