How to Install a Front Door with Sidelights

Nov 2nd 2022

How to Install a Front Door with Sidelights

If you're looking to add elegance to your home and up your curb appeal, consider your front door. A front door with sidelights gives you the elegance you want while filtering in natural light from outside. They are a beautiful addition but take extra care to install. So, let's look at these lovely exterior doors and how you can safely install one to the front of your home.

Size Matters

Not all sidelights are created equal. Before you pick out your new front door with sidelights, you'll want to carefully measure your existing combination so that you know what size door/sidelight combination to purchase.

Adding Sidelights

What if your current exterior door doesn't have sidelights? Or what if it only has one sidelight and you want to add a second? Adding sidelights to your current frame is possible, but not easy. It's important to remember your door is placed in such a way to ensure the structural integrity of your home and the strength and security of your front door. If you're considering expanding your entryway for sidelights, hire a professional to ensure it's done safely.

Installing Your Front Door and Sidelights

At Surplus Building Materials, we offer pre-hung front doors with sidelights. This means that you will not need to hang a door in your installation; we've already taken care of that for you. These instructions will cover the full unit installation. You can follow these door installation instructions for both single and double sidelights.

Step 1: Remove the Existing Door

You'll need to begin by removing the current door and sidelights. It's important that you remove all weatherstripping, screws, calking, riser, and shims. It's also good at this stage to ensure that there is no rotted wood in your door frame and remove and replace if there is.

Step 2: Prepare the Opening

Once you've removed the door, you want to dry fit the new exterior door with sidelights. Look for any siding or shingles that may hang in the way and mark them so that you can cut them. Take this time to ensure that all caulking and other fittings are removed from the previous door so that you can properly install the door.

Step 3: Set the Door

Once you've ensured the opening is ready and you have someone to help you with installation, raise the door into place. Use a carpenter’s level to ensure that your door is level and plumb. You want the door to sit evenly in the frame. Once it is in place and level, insert your wood shims between the door and frame. Use a hammer to tap them into place but do not force them. You should shim the top corners and along the sides and top edge of the fitting. As you go, check that the door remains level and plumb.

Step 4: Fasten the Door

Use a drill to pre-drill your drill holes to ensure you don't crack your door casing, shims, or frame. Then, using galvanized screws, drive screws into the top and bottom of the door casing. You should also angle screws in each corner of your sidelights at the top and bottom.

Step 5: Trim the Outer

Wedge insulation between the door casing and wall frame from the outside and calk screw heads. Using a hammer and nail, install your outer trim around the edges of the door. Check for any gaps and use caulk to close them to prevent leakage and water damage.

Step 6: Inner Door Edge

Check shims on the inside and score them so that they are flush with your door casing and frame. Then install the interior trim around your door to cover any remaining gaps.

Once you have finished installation, you may apply paint and finish to your door. Now all that is left is to enjoy the beauty of your new front door with sidelights.

Are You Looking for an Exterior Door with Sidelights?

We offer a variety of beautiful and stylish doors for inside and outside your home in Texas. You can pick up your order the same day. Don’t live in Texas or our location in Farmers Branch? No worries. We ship our doors throughout Texas and nationwide. Browse our doors and place your order and contact us for assistance or any questions.