Mobile home doors are generally cheaply made and prone to mishap. So, if you own a mobile home, you may find yourself replacing any doors it sports quite frequently. Of course, you can always hire a repairman to do it for you, but if you want to cut service costs, mobile home exterior door replacements are not that hard to pull off yourself.
Step 1 - Measure
Before you go out to buy the supplies necessary for the repair, take note of several important features of your door that differ in every mobile home. Use a tape measure to discover the dimensions of the door's hole size, an industry measurement that simply refers to the height and width of the space the door leaves in your mobile home's wall when removed from its hinges.
Step 2 - Deciding on Your Door
Most standard doors come in preset, standard sizes that most likely will not correspond exactly to the dimension of your mobile home door's opening. If you find this to be the case, you have two options that will be about 1/3 of the cost of getting a specially-made door. You can buy a door and then cut it to fit the opening, or increase the size of your door's hole to accommodate the size of the newly purchased door.
You will most likely find doors that don't fit mobile homes in the form of wooden standard doors in home improvement stores, and cutting them or your door frame to fit them may not be a can of worms you want to open right now. In order to bypass this problem, just go to a mobile home supply store for a door designed with mobile home specifications in mind, or order one on the Internet. You'll have to pay a bit more, but it might be worth the cost depending on your skill with these kinds of adjustments.
Assuming you are going to acquire a mobile home door that fits the opening of your door's hole, you need to keep several other details in mind. Be sure to also take note of whether your door's hinges are attached on the right or left, and decide if you would like to buy a door with windows. Look to see whether your door is pre-drilled for a deadbolt lock; if not, you may want to consider buying drill bits to create the properly sized holes.
Step 3 - Check the Deck Height
Every mobile home door is constructed of an exterior metal or vinyl sheet, an interior Styrofoam core, and then another metal or vinyl sheet surrounding the other side of the Styrofoam. Before you begin, make sure the deck of your mobile home hasn't been built high enough to cover the door's bottom screws. If it has, removing the damaged door may be a much harder task due to the door's construction materials, whether standard or mobile home-oriented — one potentially better suited for a repairman. If not, you're in the clear.
Step 4 - Removing the Old Door
Remove all of the old screws joining the door to your home, very gently remove the door from its frame, and carefully scrape away any ancient putty or caulking you may find. It is extremely important not to wrench the door off quickly or by using excessive force because this may cause the siding of your house to come off with the door.
Step 5 - Apply the Putty Tape
At this point, make sure your roll of putty tape is fairly warm, since that makes it easier to maneuver and more sticky. Put putty tape all around the edges of the new door, then peel off the putty's paper backing. Force the door into the frame, trying to keep it as straight as possible. Then immediately drill three screws in at waist level on each side of the door to secure it.
Step 6 - Level and Secure
Use a level to line the top of the door to be certain that it is straight. Once you have done this and are satisfied that the door is completely straight, continue to drive screws in on each side of the door above and below the ones you have already placed there. Be careful that you do not drill them in too deeply, as the drills are powerful enough to severely damage the aluminum that your door frame is constructed.
You should never loosen the new door's screws at any point after you have successfully installed it since these screws are what keeps the door straight and squared in its frame. Any change in their position might cause the door to become crooked or dangerously flappy.
Step 7 - Install the Deadbolt (Optional)
At this point, you can choose whether or not to install a deadbolt lock. Deadbolt locks might be overkill for a mobile home door, since anyone determined enough to get in will find them no opposition to cutting straight through the door itself, but they might provide you or your family with an added sense of security.
Once you have accomplished all of this, your new mobile home door should be securely in place. And, you should also be secure in the knowledge that its installation has been expertly and safely carried out.