How To Install an Iron Front Door Like a Pro

May 18th 2022

How To Install an Iron Front Door Like a Pro

The front door is the first thing passersby notice about your home, and a commanding iron front door is sure to turn heads! If you’re planning to install a new, attention-grabbing iron door, check out our tips on how to install an iron front door like a pro and ensure your installation is a success.

Measure the Entryway

Before choosing your iron door, you need to measure the door opening. Grab a tape measure and follow these steps:

  • Measure the width and height of your current door, rounding up to the nearest inch.
  • Measure the jamb width by measuring from the back of the interior trim to the back of the [GS1] interior trim.
  • Remove the interior trim and measure both the width between framing members and from the bottom of the sill to the top of the opening.
  • For the exterior opening, measure from one end of the exterior casing to the other, then measure from the bottom of the sill to the top of the trim.

Documenting these measurements should provide you with all the initial information you need before purchasing your new door.

Choose Your Door

With your measurements in hand, you can begin your search for the perfect iron front door. When shopping for the right door, there are a few things you want to keep in mind.

The Style

What kind of style suits your fancy? You want to choose a door that complements your home, but you also want to choose one that matches your personal tastes. Do you want a simple door? An ornate one? How about a plain colored or a vibrant one? Take your time as you browse and compare different doors until you find one that speaks to you.

The Thickness

Iron doors come in thicknesses ranging from 24 gauge to 12 gauge. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the door, and the thicker the door, the more durable it is. Most iron doors are 14 gauge, but some premium manufacturers sell maximum durability 12-gauge doors.

The Price

Of course, the price also matters. Know what your max budget is and look for doors within that range. If you’re having a tough time finding doors within your price range, consider shopping secondhand or surplus. This choice gives you access to quality doors at a more reasonable price.

Test Fit the Door

The first thing you’ll want to do when you get your new front door is test fit it. Pick up the door (iron doors are heavy, so you’ll likely need assistance for this) and center it in the rough opening. Use a level to ensure the door is plumb. This extra measure is to ensure the new door fits correctly.

Trace and Cut an Outline

With the door still in the opening, trace the outline of the molding onto the siding. For iron doors, we recommend extending your outline outward to accommodate the trim. Once you finish the outline, you can take the door and frame down.

Next, cut along the outline until you hit the sheathing, then smooth the corners with a chisel. This is the point at which you’ll want to install the drip cap, which is a piece of flashing designed to direct water away from your home. Slide it under the top of the opening and fasten it in place.

Fit the Door Again

Fit the door one more time and tweak the opening as necessary. When you’re ready to install, apply caulk to the bottom of the sill and where the jamb and brickmold will be. Then, center the door and ensure the molding is flush with the sheathing.

Handle the Jamb, Shims, and Hinges

Make sure the hinge jamb is plumb, then screw it in place. Now you can move on to the shims. Make several flat shims and jam them into the gaps by the hinges, jamb, and frame. Next, place the door hinges and secure them with the provided hardware.

Install Brackets and Screws

The next step is to remove the door’s retaining brackets. Once removed, test the door. Does it open the right way? Does it open smoothly and quietly? If all looks well, you can start installing the anchor screws. Remove the screws on the top hinge and replace them with anchor screws. Make sure you’re using the correct length according to the door manufacturer. If your iron door has sidelights (glass panels on one or both sides), using incorrectly sized screws can potentially shatter the glass.

Anchor the Molding

Almost done! Your next task is to anchor the molding to the frame using galvanized nails.

Apply Caulk

With that done, it’s time to apply the caulk. Caulking around your front door will prevent drafts and leaks. Using a caulk gun, fill the areas around the frame and any nail holes with the caulk.

Tackle the Finishing Touches

Test your door one last time. If it looks good and works correctly, you can move on to the final and most exciting step: finishing touches!

If your door came without hardware, you need to install your own. Start by inserting the latch through the hole. Then, line up the spindle and push it into the latch. Start with the exterior handle and then move on to the interior handle. Tighten the retaining screws to connect the handles. Finally, attach the strike plates to the jamb.

Another finishing touch to give your door is a paint job. Ideally, you want to do this prior to installing the hardware. If you want to paint your door, clean it with a degreaser to start. Wait for the door to dry, then sand it down with 400-grit sandpaper. Use a primer and wait for it to dry before applying your paint color of choice.

Use these tips on how to install an iron front door like a pro to avoid frustrating drawbacks. Follow these instructions, and you’ll have your new front door up, functioning, and looking great in no time flat.

Still need a door? Search no further. Surplus Building Materials has dozens of wrought iron doors for sale . These surplus doors look amazing and come at unbeatable prices. Find a new door for your home today!

How To Install an Iron Front Door Like a Pro