How to Replace Exterior Double Doors

double doors leading into a wood-floored kitchen from a sunny porch
  • 3,000-12,000
What You'll Need
Pry bar
Nail gun
Caulking gun
Exterior double doors
Tape measure
Electric screwdriver
Fiberglass insulation

Replacing an outside door isn't an easy project, and replacing exterior double doors is even more complicated still. There are several reasons why you'd replace your standing exterior double doors; whether you want more security or a new look, the following article will explain how to replace your exterior double doors.

Remove the Existing Door

The door you're going to replace has to be removed from the house frame. Use the pry bar to remove the trim from the doors to expose the door frame and the frame of the house. Remove the trim from inside the house as well. If planning to reuse the trim, then be careful when removing it. Remove the nails that connect the door frame to the wall.

Measure for Fit

Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of the doorway and compare them with the exterior double doors you bought. You can adjust the doorway by adding pieces of plywood nailed to the top, sides, and bottom of the doorway.

Area Preparation

Your new exterior double doors are subject to abuse when you are installing them. To prevent ruining brand news doors you want to protect them by installing a bead of caulk around the door frame. Place the caulk in any area around the frame where the door may make contact.

Placing the Doors

Carefully lift the doors and place them in the doorway. Take special care to make sure that the doors are centered in the frame. You also need to make sure that both the doors are also level, and you must maintain the symmetry between both doors. You can use the level to check both of these important issues.

Shims and Temporary Hinges

You can create a makeshift hinge by using a screw that you place a couple of inches in the door under the top of them. The type of door you have can dictate the proper way to hinge the doors. It may be prudent to use the instructional sheet that came with the doors. Place shims along both doors at the bottom and the top.

Symmetrical Doors

Use the level again to check the symmetry of the doors. The gaps present between the doors and between each door and the wall frame is very important and has to continue to be consistent. This will make sure that you have no problems with the door latches.


Place 1-inch thick fiberglass insulation between the door frame and the house frame. If you cannot find insulation that is the right size then you may have to cut it. Wear gloves to avoid contact with the fiberglass. There is no need to nail the insulation in place.


Use caulk to fill in any air leaks but use clear silicone caulk for aesthetic reasons. Replace or install new door trim.