How Long Does It Take to Install a New Exterior Door?

When it comes to installing a new exterior door, one of the first questions that may come to mind is: how long will it take? The process of installing a new exterior door can vary depending on a variety of factors, but understanding the general timeline can help you plan accordingly.

Installing a new exterior door can typically take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, depending on various factors such as the type of door, the complexity of the installation, and any additional features or adjustments that need to be made. It’s important to factor in preparation time, installation time, and any finishing touches that may be required to complete the project. Now, let’s break down the process and timeline of installing a new exterior door further:

Pre-Installation Preparation

Before diving into the installation process of your new exterior door, it’s vital to make sure you’re fully prepared. First things first, you’ll need to measure the door opening accurately. Don’t overlook this step, as a wrong measurement could lead to a lot of headaches later on. Next, make a list of all the materials you’ll need for the installation – from the door itself to the screws and seals. Once you have everything on hand, it’s time to prepare the area. Clear out any clutter, remove obstacles, and make sure the pathway to the door is clear. A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring a smooth installation process.

Removing the Old Door

Now that you’re all set with the pre-installation tasks, it’s time to bid farewell to your old door. Removing the old door might seem daunting, but fear not – with the right approach, it can be a breeze. Start by carefully unscrewing the hinges and hardware holding the old door in place. Make sure to support the door as you work to prevent any accidents. Once the old door is out, take the time to clean and prepare the opening for the new door. Inspect the frame for any damages and fix them before proceeding. This extra step will ensure a seamless transition to your new exterior door.

Pro Tip: Consider applying a fresh coat of paint or finish to the door frame while you have easy access during the removal process. It’s a small extra step that can enhance the overall look of your new exterior door installation.

Stay tuned for the next steps in our guide to installing a new exterior door!

Installing the New Door

When it comes to installing a new exterior door, the process can typically take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on your level of experience and the complexity of the installation. Before getting started, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand, including a drill, screws, shims, a level, and insulation.

To begin, carefully remove the old door and frame, making sure to clean and prepare the opening for the new door. Fit the new door into place, ensuring it is level and plumb before securing it with screws. Use shims to ensure a tight fit and proper insulation to prevent drafts.

Once the door is installed, check for any gaps or areas that may need adjustments. Apply weather-stripping around the edges to create a tight seal, and install your chosen hardware. Don’t forget to paint or stain the door to protect it from the elements and enhance its appearance.

Lastly, be sure to take your time and follow all manufacturer instructions for the specific door you are installing. This will ensure a proper and secure fit that will last for years to come.

Making Adjustments and Finishing Touches

After installing a new exterior door, it’s essential to make any necessary adjustments to ensure it operates smoothly and efficiently. Check for any sticking or misalignment, and make adjustments as needed to ensure the door opens and closes properly.

Additionally, add weather-stripping around the edges of the door to prevent drafts and improve energy efficiency. Choose high-quality hardware that complements the style of your door and provides added security. Don’t forget to paint or stain the door to protect it from the elements and add curb appeal to your home.

An often-overlooked finishing touch is to add a kick plate to protect the bottom of the door from scuffs and scratches. This small addition can make a big difference in the longevity and appearance of your new exterior door.

Remember, attention to detail during the installation process and finishing touches will result in a door that not only looks great but functions effectively for years to come.

Additional Insight:

  • Consider investing in a door with built-in blinds between the glass for added privacy and convenience, eliminating the need for external blinds or curtains. This feature can enhance the aesthetics of your home while providing practical benefits.

Testing and Inspection

Once your new exterior door is installed, it’s crucial to put it through its paces to ensure everything is in working order. Test the door by opening and closing it multiple times to check for smooth operation. Look for any gaps around the frame that may let in drafts – these can be sealed with weatherstripping or caulking. Additionally, inspect the hinges, locks, and handles to make sure they are secure and functioning correctly. Taking the time to test and inspect your new door will help identify any issues early on and ensure it performs optimally for years to come.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your new exterior door looking and functioning its best, regular maintenance is key. Here are some tips to help prolong the life of your door: 1. Clean Regularly: Wipe down your door with a mild detergent and water to remove dirt and debris. 2. Inspect Annually: Check for any signs of wear and tear, such as peeling paint or rust, and address these issues promptly. 3. Lubricate Moving Parts: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to hinges, locks, and handles to prevent squeaking and ensure smooth operation. 4. Re-Seal Annually: Reapply a coat of protective finish or paint to keep your door protected from the elements. 5. Adjust Weatherstripping: Check and replace weatherstripping as needed to maintain a tight seal against drafts. By following these maintenance tips, you can extend the lifespan of your new exterior door and keep it looking great for years to come.

For more information on door maintenance and care, check out this comprehensive guide from the American Window and Door Institute: Door Maintenance Guide.

Common Installation Mistakes to Avoid

When installing a new exterior door, there are some common mistakes that people tend to make. One big no-no is not properly measuring the door opening before purchasing a new door. This can lead to a door that doesn’t fit correctly, causing all sorts of issues. Another mistake to steer clear of is rushing the installation process. Taking your time and following the manufacturer’s instructions will ensure a proper and secure installation. Additionally, failing to seal the door properly can result in drafts and energy inefficiency. Be sure to use weather-stripping and sealants to keep your home cozy and your energy bills in check.

Now, when it comes to a unique insight for a successful installation, make sure to check the door frame for any signs of rot or damage before installing the new door. Repairing any issues beforehand will save you time and effort in the long run. Be proactive and address these issues to ensure a smooth installation process.

Fun Facts About Exterior Doors

Did you know that the average exterior door can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years? That’s a long lifespan for a simple door! Another fun fact is that the color of your front door can make a statement about your personality. A bold red door might indicate a vibrant and outgoing homeowner, while a sleek black door could suggest a sophisticated and modern style. Additionally, exterior doors play a key role in your home’s curb appeal, so choosing the right style and material is essential to make a good first impression.

And here’s a bonus tip for selecting a new exterior door: consider investing in a high-quality, energy-efficient door to improve your home’s insulation and save money on heating and cooling costs in the long run. It’s a win-win for both style and savings!


Installing a new exterior door can typically take around 4 to 6 hours for a DIY enthusiast, depending on skill level and preparation. However, hiring a professional installer can significantly reduce this time and ensure a precise and efficient job. Remember, safety should always be the top priority during any home improvement project. With the right tools, materials, and guidance, you can successfully upgrade your home with a new exterior door.

For a unique insight, consider installing a pre-hung exterior door to save time and effort. Pre-hung doors come with the frame and hinges already in place, making installation quicker and easier for beginners or those looking for a hassle-free experience. Don’t forget to refer to manufacturer instructions for specific guidance tailored to your door model.

Next Steps:

  1. Measure accurately to ensure the new door fits properly.
  2. Remove the old door carefully, preserving any hardware that can be reused.
  3. Test the new door for fit before securing it in place.
  4. Use shims and screws to secure the door in the opening.
  5. Seal around the door frame to prevent drafts and moisture infiltration.
  6. Add finishing touches, such as weatherstripping and a fresh coat of paint, for a polished look.

Remember, every home improvement project is a learning experience. Don’t hesitate to seek help or guidance if you encounter any challenges along the way. Good luck with your new exterior door installation!

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!