Door Replacement

By Robert Robillard on Exterior Repairs

Replacing a Front Door:  It’s Never As EASY… As It First Appears!



The red door below is circa 1940. The bottom rail was cracked and the door did not close / seal well and was leaking air, a perfect candidate for a door replacement.

The homeowners were replacing the old damaged oak flooring and were having a new floor put in. Now was the perfect time to replace the door. The new hardwood flooring will tuck up nice and tight to the inside edge of the new doors threshold.

At first glance this is a no-brainer 4 hour or less door swap out….. I was wrong!

Inside view of old door.

Hidden Conditions

When I removed the door I noticed that the floor was badly damaged and slanted. there was also rot because no one flashed this area before putting the steps on. None of this was visible when the old door was in place.  I refer to this condition as hidden or unforeseen conditions.

There was also no rim joist under this door so I added one for support and a nailer. [photo below – click on photos to enlarge]

Repairing the Floor Structure:

The 2×4 door studs were sitting on flooring only, there was no structural support under them. I was able to get two new 2×8 rim joists under each side of the door studs.

The black loop piping in the joist bay is a retrofitted radiant heating system.


With the second framing member in and the 3/4″ sheathing still needing to be installed there was very little room for flashing.

In order to protect the house sill, below the steps I installed a 16″ deep sheet of aluminum on the outside rim joist and over the house sill below the steps.

I then created a sill pan – meaning that the threshold area was then flashed in rubber.  Improperly flashed doors can cause costly repairs later on.

Rubber overlapped the aluminum flashing. the 3/4 sheathing was then applied over this and that board was completely covered in rubber. This area is now double flashed.

All of this added extra material, was not on hand, and an extra 2 1/2 hours to what I was thinking was going to be a “quick swap out”  Gotta love old houses!

Simpson Brand Door Replacement


New Simpson fir door installed. If you enlarge the photo you will notice that there is a small gap between the new door and the siding. This is a common occurrence with door swap outs. The vinyl siding was installed to the old door and the new door has slightly different narrower jambs.  The difference was 3/4″.

I planned for this situation and rubber flashed the door sides and under the vinyl siding as far as I could reach. Having a porch overhang will help keep this door in pristine condition.

The solution here will be to add a band molding all around the exterior edge of the door to cover this gap.

Interior view.


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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