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Preparing an old exterior door frame

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Checking the condition of the existing exterior door frame

The difference between an interior and exterior doorframe is that both frames have a head (the top) but the exterior frame also has a sill (the bottom) and the exterior door is fitted between them both. Check the condition of the existing frame. If there are signs of rotting or if the sill is worn, the new door could be spoilt without paying attention to its frame. If you are replacing the door with a natural wood finish, does the frame suit the door you are going to fit? If the old paint has to be removed and the condition of the frame is not very good, it could be time to replace the framework.

Replacing the old exterior door frame

If you do replace the frame, ready-made pre-treated hardwood frames are available at many DIY outlets. If you intend to buy a ready-made frame, try to choose the door at the same time or choose a frame to match the door you intend to use. A good ready-made frame if properly installed will allow the door to fit perfectly and there should be no need for cutting sections off the door.

Measure the existing brickwork opening dimensions. Decide whether a ready-made frame can be purchased in the size you require. Otherwise determine the amount of wood required to construct the frame yourself. It is extremely important to set the frame squarely, and even when buying ready-made frames a small clearance is given to allow the frame to be set squarely in its position.

Removing the old frame

The old frame is often the original frame and was installed in one piece when the house was built. Use a saw to cut the frame and remove section by section. Saw at an angle through both side jambs and use an end of a crowbar to lever them away from the brickwork, separating them from the top and bottom of the frame. Saw through the top and bottom, at an angle, and remove them. The top is often extended into the brickwork at each corner and the sections will need to be tugged and pulled out.

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