Home Improvements – Installing and Insulating Doors

Interior Door Installation

Most interior doors (excluding bi-fold doors) are pre-hung assembled or knock down ready to assemble.

To accommodate a pre-hung door the R.S.O. (rough stud opening) must be installed to allow for shimming tolerance, this is required for both sides and the top. The rule of thumb is one inch wider than the door frame. This is to allow for any shrinkage or twisting in the rough stud opening. If your door is the knock down ready to assemble type, put the unit together following the instructions. You will find that you can assemble for either right hand or left hand hinge, swinging in or out of the opening.

Apply a piece of 1 X 2 across the door at the bottom (right jamb to left jamb) to hold the door in the front plumb and square. Set the door in the opening and using a carpenter’s square and level shim with cedar door shims and fasten with nails. Do the hinge side first then the others shimming where required top and side.

Exterior Door Installation

Installing a new exterior door will require you to make a number of decisions.

1. Solid core – plywood faced door?

Will require a lot of maintenance; staining, sealing and painting.

2. Solid wood door – Western Red Cedar, Oak, etc.

Will require sanding, staining, and natural finish (subject to temperature change inside and out). Panels may crack requiring repairs and refinishing on an annual basis.

3. Steel insulated door primed ready for paint?

Most people assume steel insulated doors are a finished product (usually white in colour) “WRONG”. They must be painted within the first 6 to 8 months of installation using an exterior acrylic latex or exterior urethane paint. Door must be washed with my Home Cleaning Formula or T.S.P. using a pot scrubber pad and rinsed well before painting.

4. Consider fibreglass – insulated doors, as they are maintenance friendly.

5. Good, better, best… One of the best doors available now is the Protec Door manufactured by Guenther Doors. Their laminated inner frame adds structural strength, giving greater security and comfort.

Insulating Garage Doors

Metal and garage doors are made of very light material to make it easier for them to go up and down. However, they let a lot of cold air migrate into the garage cavity during the winter. To correct this problem, insulation must be applied to the inside of the door. Bat or rigid foam insulation does NOT work as it adds too much bulk and weight for easy door movement. For best results apply a sheet of Reflectix Foil Insulation using Velcro strips for a steel door, and staples for a wood door. This will reflect the cold air out and keep the heat indoors.

It’s just that easy!