If you have recently decided to replace your existing front door with a brand new composite door, it’s wise to read up on how to install it before tackling the task at hand. By doing so, you’ll not only feel confident enough to install your new door without the worry of damaging the door or your home’s aperture, but the job will be relatively quick and simple, too.
Our composite door installation guide should provide you with all the information you need to get the job done. In no time at all, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of having a composite door as the latest addition to your home. Read on for a step-by-step guide to introducing your new composite door to your property.
Before removing your existing door and attempting to fit the new composite door, there are a number of checks to carry out:
- Double check your measurements, including the aperture and the new door set
- Make sure the door set specification has been delivered just as expected – check that the style, hardware and glazing are what you asked for
- Look over the new door and components to make sure there are no damages
- Double check that you have all the necessary components before throwing any packaging away – screws, handles and other fixtures are often packed loose and can be easily lost
Gather the recommended tools
Here are some of the tools we would recommend having to hand before commencing with the installation:
- Stanley knife
- Rubber mallet
- Tape measure
- Electric drill
- Spirit level
- Allen keys
- Silicone sealant gun
- Socket spanner
- Torx bit set
- Masking tape
Begin the installation by fitting the handle
Fitting the door handle is a simple task and should be made the first task of the installation. Begin by fitting the handle’s components together, then fitting the handle to the door. Make sure that the handle and the door work seamlessly together, by checking that the door opens and closes naturally and without any force, and that the locking mechanism functions correctly, too.
Removing the existing door and frame
Use a stanley knife to score around the perimeter of the door frame. Use a saw to cut diagonally through the centre of the jambs and remove them in two parts. Make sure not to saw completely through them, otherwise you might damage the aperture. Using the same method, remove the top and bottom rails.
Prepare the opening for the new composite door
Clean away any old sealant, screws, mails and other debris from the opening. This will allow for a solid door installation, without damaging the door or the aperture, as well as making sure the new door functions perfectly.
Important things to remember when aligning the door within the aperture
It’s vital to make sure that the door’s position within the brickwork is absolutely correct, so that your new door functions perfectly and so that its exposure to the outdoor elements is minimised.
The frame should be installed square and plumb within the brickwork in both planes, without any twisting or distortion. The outer frame should be set as far back within the aperture as possible, so that wind, rain and other elements cannot cause damage. Proper installation will also help to bridge the wall cavity and cover the damp proof course.
It’s sensible to constantly check the door set’s squareness and alignment with the opening the door frame throughout installation, to save you plenty of time and money incurred by having to repeat the process.
Another consideration to make throughout the installation is to make sure debris and wet plaster does not block drainage panels and any other areas that could prevent the mechanisms from working correctly.
Installing the door set
1) Begin by slotting the complete door set into the aperture. Then, hold the frame in position using packers of the right size. These packers must always be fitted adjacent to any fixing positions, as this will prevent the outer frame from distorting when the fixings are tightened later on in the process. Use your spirit level to make sure each of the jambs are square and plumb, as previously discussed.
Top Tip: At this point, you can choose whether or not to remove the door leaf during the installation. Many people find the entire installation easier without the leaf in place and by refitting it later on.
2) Make sure that corner fixings are at between 150mm and 250mm in from the external corner, and that transom fixings are between 150mm and 250mm from the centre lines. Intermediate fixings at the centre should not exceed 600mm.
3) Using the manufacturer’s guidelines, drill holes into the frame and secure it to the brickwork with frame fixings. These should be at least 100mm in length and should be able to reach at least 50mm into the substrate. Double check that the fixing is secure and, again, that the frame is square and plumb.
4) Begin to tighten the fixings so that the frame is tightly pressed against the packers installed earlier. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can distort the frame which can impact the door’s functionality.
5) Fix the side panel to the door frame, by drilling the fixing positions in the recommended position. Transom screws can be used to fit the two components together. There should be at least 4 fixings on each side of the frame, and they should be staggered to prevent any collisions.
6) Apply some silicone mastic to any fixings through the outer frame of the door set, to fully protect the new door from water.
Make necessary adjustments
Once the door is installed into the frame, you’ll want to make double check whether any adjustments are required. If the door needs raising, rotate the adjustment screws clockwise, a little at a time,and make sure to adjust all other hinges to the same amount. If the door needs lowering, simply alternate the direction and carry out the same process.
Seal the perimeter
Apply masking tape around the door frame’s perimeter and then apply a small amount of silicone sealant. This will help to prevent air and water making their way through any gaps. You can remove the masking tape, once you’re happy with the sealant’s application.
Top Tip: Always make sure that drainage channels are not blocked by any sealant you apply.
Final tasks to complete the installation
The hard work has been done and the majority of the installation is complete. All that’s left to do now, is to fit your door trims (making sure the area is clean), seal the inside of the door frame and finally, give the whole door and frame a good clean inside and out.
Give the new installation one final check over to make sure you’re happy with the completed job and, if you are, all that’s left to do is enjoy your brand new composite door – a fantastic addition to any home.