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If the charm of an old carpentry is undeniable, its performance in terms of insulation and airtightness often leave something to be desired. For more thermal and acoustic comfort, changing your front door remains the best solution.

Replace a front door for more comfort

Difficulty: 3/4
Cost : 652 € (PVC door 181 x 113 cm, double glazing 4/16/4 low emissivity + argon)
Time: ½ day
Equipment: spirit level, brick chisel, mallet, rubber mallet, saber saw and metal blade or grinder Ø 115 or 125 mm and cutting disc, perforator, screwdriver, electric plane, locksmith tools...

Window or door, an exterior carpentry consists of a sealed frame to masonry and a single opening or, as originally on this site, double. This corresponds to a large passage width (generally greater than 93 cm) which often requires custom manufacturing. The only alternative is to choose a carpentry whose (standard) dimensions are a few centimeters lower than the table. And to compensate for any differences by elements reported laterally (mattress) or in the upper part (transom).

Change your front door: do or have it done?

For this type of realization, contacting a professional can benefit from a new tailor-made opening and a wider choice of models. In addition, a tax credit is granted as soon as the glazing and carpentry meet the thermal requirements and the site is part of a package of work. On the other hand, getting supplies in a DIY supermarket or a specialized point of sale saves labor costs. Knowing that it will not necessarily be necessary to rectify the lintel (as here), the establishment of carpentry is within the reach of all.

Choose the right model

Wood, PVC, aluminum... the choice of materials is not lacking. European hardwood or exotic species from Africa or Asia, wood has an inimitable charm. Main constraint: its maintenance, more or less demanding. If the budget is tight, opt for an exotic wood or prefer PVC. Insulation, it is resistant to everything (UV rays, thermal shocks, etc.) and requires very little maintenance. But its finishes are limited. aluminum, as for him, resistant and powerful, allows original creations, but expensive.

Verification and installation of the frame

Position the new frame

Separate the opening of the new frame and position it to identify any masonry rectifications.

Check the horizontality of the threshold bar

Check with the spirit level the verticality of the uprights and the horizontality of the threshold bar, before fixing in the walls of the panel (T). Adjust the levels if necessary.

Drill the amount carrying the hinges

After locating the center of the rabbet, drill the jamb with the hinges at the top, bottom and half-height with a metal drill bit (Ø 6 mm). Stop before masonry.

Stall the door frame

Stall the frame for the time of fixing, here with beveled bevel wedges, more practical than flat synthetic wedges.

Drill a hole and use it as a template

Use the hole made as a template to drill the masonry at the same diameter (6 mm).

Insert an ankle by pushing it with the end of a screw

Insert the dowel (pushing it with the end of the screw and pushing it in) then screw it in here with a Torx bit.

Drill a hole in the lower part of the frame

Check that the frame has not moved, and repeat the operation at the bottom of the upright and at half height.

Fastening the opening and its handle

Check the cleanliness of the opening groove

Approach the opening and check the cleanliness of the groove on its lower edge, intended to receive an additional seal.

Apply silicone sealant before installing the seal

Before installing the gasket, make sure that the surface is clean, then put at the end a little silicone sealant.

Place the cylinder in the lock

Take the opportunity to introduce the cylinder into the lock and screw the fixing screw through the rabbet of the opening.

Install the door handle

On the outside, install the cleaning plate (with the threads corresponding to the screws). Thread the handle attached to the square (supplied with the carpentry, it does not need to be shortened).

Fix the lock plate

On the inside, present the plate and fix its screws. Make sure the inside handle is fully seated on its square.

Tighten the needle screw of the handle

Then screw the needle screw with the corresponding Allen key.

Rectification of the lintel

Check the lintel of the door

Slightly wider than the original, the upper edge of the opening abuts against the masonry of the lintel.

Rectify the lintel of the door

The rabbet is ground to the desired place, the hammer and the chisel.

Rectify the beam that serves as lintel

The oak beam that serves as lintel is also retouched with an electric plane. Set the depth of cut to minimum to make several light passes.

Settings and finishes

Adjust the opening so that it closes properly

Check that the door closes correctly before attaching the other jamb (latch side). Here he must be brought back a little inward.

Ensure the correct fit of the opening

Fix the amount at the bottom and close the door to check again that it is plate well over its entire height.

Finalize the fixing of the amount of the door

If this is the case, finish fixing the amount at the top and in the middle.

Fill gaps with expansive foam

On the inside, fill the expansive foam with the remaining intervals between the masonry and the frame. It is also possible to use a suitable mortar (lime-based for example) or plaster.

Apply silicone sealant to seal the door

On the outside, remove and smooth silicone sealant to seal the frame and masonry. The interval to fill does not exceed the width of a finger, a bottom of joint is useless.

Conceal screw heads with caches

The heads of the screws disappear under plastic covers provided and a dressing is expected to hide the foam.

Table or rabbet

Most doors are designed to be installed after the frame has been completely removed. They then settle in a table or rabbet.
Posed in table, the sleeper takes place in the naked interior of the wall or possibly half-width of the sides of the table when the wall is very thick. In both cases, the frame is not embedded in the table, but it applies to the latter. This is what distinguishes this type of installation from that in rabbet.
• With the laying in rabbet, the frame is partially embedded in any point of the table: for example, to reach the naked interior of the masonry or half-width, or to the first third about from the outside, as here.
• Whatever the type of installation, it is necessary first to measure the height and the width of the table, as well as the dimensions at the bottom of rabbet (for a pose of this type), odds to locate on a small diagram.


• Custom PVC joinery
• Beveled wedges
• Universal dowels,
• Torx type screws
• Expansive foam
• Silicone sealant (for outdoor use)

Video Instruction: How To Change Your Own Door Lock