external door frame

How do you fit an external door frame?

Fitting an external door frame is something we’re no strangers to here at Secure House! We’ve installed thousands over the years so we’re pretty good at it. As such, we thought we’d put together a step-by-step guide on how to fit communal entrance doors frame for anyone wanting to try it themselves.

The installation of an external door frame, or any door frame for that matter, demands a series of precise measurements and cutting and proper fitting in order to guarantee both a secure and water/weather-tight fit. The last thing you want is for the frame to leak when it rains or let in a draft because it is the wrong size and fit for the aperture.

Have the right tools and materials to hand before you start

In order to facilitate all of the above, before you even start, we suggest that you take a look at the checklist below to ascertain what you might already have and what you will require. This is the very first step and you will not be able to fit an external door without access to the various different tools, equipment and materials needed to complete a successful fitting.

These items include:

  • A tape measure of adequate length, preferably an industrial, metal tape measure
  • Hammer and various screwdrivers
  • Saw and workbench
  • Screws, nails and rawl plugs
  • Drill
  • Spirit level
  • Shims
  • Sandpaper
  • Insulation foam if required
  • An external door frame kit
  • An external door (and weatherproof hinges) to hang once you’ve fitted the frame

One step at a time

1) First of all, measure the opening for your external door. You’ll need the height and width of the door opening before you can purchase the correct sized external door frame. Be sure to measure the width at the top, middle and bottom of the opening as it might not be perfectly rectangular in size

2) Once you have the correct measurements for the opening, you can purchase an external door frame kit. These kits are widely available and they will usually contain each of the necessary components such as door jambs, sill and head

3) If applicable, remove the existing door frame and door with care, paying attention not to damage the surrounding structure in any way

4) You will then need to prepare the opening itself making sure it’s clean, level and plumb. This may require sanding and clearing away any debris from the previous frame that might interfere with the fitting of the new external frame

5) Don’t secure the frame in place straightaway! Instead implement a ‘dry-fit’ to check the frame’s alignment and fit and make any necessary tweaks. Use the spirit level to ensure it’s plumb and straight. This is the point at which you may wish to use the shims to attain a tight fit and sustain alignment

6) When you’re happy with the position of the frame, you can fix it securely in place with the correct screws and nails if required. Make sure you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct fasteners and the placement of those fasteners

7) Now it’s time to install the external door itself. If you have selected a pre-hung door, this will usually already be attached to the frame so you simply have to fit it into the opening and secure it according the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you have chosen a separate door and hinges, first attach the hinges to the door and then attach them to the door frame

8) Test the door by opening and closing it. Check that it operates smoothly in each direction and doesn’t rub or stick against the frame at any point. Again, you may need to make slight refinements

9) You may want to apply a weatherstripping or insulation foam insulation around the edges of the external door frame to create a weather-tight seal and enhance energy efficiency. If you do choose to do this, take your time and don’t rush this part of the process

10) The last step is the addition of any aesthetic finishing touches, perhaps staining the frame or painting it to match the door. Then you can stand back and admire your work!

If in doubt, ask the experts

Fitting an external door frame is a tricky task and shouldn’t be underestimated. You must always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow yourself plenty of time to complete the installation; never rush or skip a step. If you’re not sure about any of the steps outlined above or you consider it too much of a challenge, please don’t hesitate to ask an expert.

You can contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 or email [email protected] – they’ll be only too happy to assist and advise.