Weatherproofing with Door Sweeps and Door Bottoms

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • $20-40
What You'll Need
Door sweeps
Door bottoms

Door sweeps and door bottoms (also called "door shoes) are easy to install and provide protection from drafts and weather on ill-fitted doors. They are used as a means of blocking wind and weather along the bottom edge of a door that fits improperly in its frame due to house settling, or when a door is too short for its frame.

Door sweeps are installed on one side of a door to keep out cold drafts. Door sweeps should be installed on the inside bottom edge of doors that swing into the house, and on the outside bottom edge of doors that swing outward.

Hold the sweep against the door, matching it flush with the bottom of the closed door frame. Screw one end of the sweep into the door, but leave the screw a little loose to allow for adjustment. Move the sweep up or down as needed and screw the second side into the door. Open the door completely to be sure the sweep clears the floor for the entire swing of the door. Check to see that the sweep closes securely in the frame. Tighten the screws and screw the sweep into the middle of the door bottom for added security.

Door bottoms or doors shoes are installed in much the same way as door sweeps, except door bottoms straddle the door's bottom edge completely. Open the door and slide the door bottom onto the door from the open end. Adjust the door bottom and screw it into both sides of the door on one end, leaving the screws loose for adjustment. Complete the adjustment, check for obstruction, and screw the door bottom on securely at the other end and in the middle (or wherever the door bottom has pre-drilled holes).

When adjusting door sweeps and door bottoms, expect that they may not sit level on the bottom of the door. To achieve a good seal and adequate weatherproofing, door sweeps and door bottoms may need to slope downward (particularly in older homes where frames are no longer level).

For additional weatherproofing, apply weather-stripping or spring-metal strips along the sides and top of doors for a more weather-resistant seal.

Weatherproofing with stripping and door bottoms saves energy and money by not allowing precious heat to escape through drafty door frames and increasing the demand on heating systems. Additionally, weatherproofing doors and windows saves energy during warmer months by more effectively conserving the air-conditioned air. Weatherproofing a home makes it a more comfortable, efficient place in which to live.