How to Replace an Exterior Door – Part 4

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How to Replace an Exterior Door photo tutorial – saw and install the brick and base shoe moulding.

This project is continued from How to Replace an Exterior Door – Part 3.

How to Install Brick Moulding

The Therma-Tru® Traditions® pre-hung entry door is now installed in the rough opening and it’s time to install the brick mould. The door can be ordered with the brick mould already fastened to the door frame or ordered “loose”. I ordered it loose because this gave me the most freedom in adjusting the door for imperfections in the wall. I received two side and one top piece of moulding with the door.

PVC Brick Mould for Exterior Door

PVC Brick Mould for Exterior Door

The Therma-Tru Door brick mould is a very nice PVC composite material that won’t rot and can be saw and nailed just like wood.

Weather Seal the Door Jambs and Rough Opening

Before installing the brick mould, I sealed the spaces between the door frame and 2×4 rough opening with more of the GREAT STUFF™ Window & Door foam to stop drafts and insulate around the door. You could also stuff pieces of fiberglass insulation in the cracks though this won’t seal as well as GREAT STUFF.

The two vertical sections of brick mould are fastened with the brad nailer on each side of door frame. These sections were already the right length and needed no additional work. The brick mould is butted against the edge of the HardiePlank siding and fastened with a brad nailer. The brad nailer makes the work so fast and easy compared to hammering in finishing nails, counter sinking the nail heads and bouncing the work piece all over the place with each hammer blow.

The brick mould for the door top is purposely shipped longer than necessary to be cut to your exact measurements. Here I’ve saw about 6″ section off the brick mould to fit my door.

Cut the Door Brick Mould with a Miter Saw

Cut the Door Brick Mould with a Miter Saw

The brick mould installed on the door frame before caulking and painting. I’ve also reinstalled the lockset hardware.

Exterior Door with New Brick Mould

Exterior Door with New Brick Mould

The brick mould is caulked to seal it against the HardiePlank cement board siding. Smooth the caulk with either a wet finger or a caulk tool.

Always be careful to choose a paintable caulk. Latex caulks are paintable but you have to be careful if using a silicone caulk because many silicone caulks are not paintable – the paint won’t stick and beads up. Read the label to ensure it says “paintable” in big bold letters.

Caulk the Exterior Door Brick Mould

Caulk the Exterior Door Brick Mould

The gap between the hardwood floor and the threshold cap is finished off with a semi-oval section of PVC composite base shoe moulding. I ran a bead of caulk under the moulding before nailing it with the brad nailer. If you’re using finishing nails, I recommend pre-drilling your holes first because the moulding is slippery and it’s difficult to get a nail started by hand.

Exterior Door Threshold: Install Base Shoe Semi-Oval Moulding

Exterior Door Threshold: Install Base Shoe Semi-Oval Moulding

Closeup of the threshold and base shoe moulding.

Exterior Door Threshold Detail: New Therma-Tru Traditions Exterior Door

Exterior Door Threshold Detail: New Therma-Tru Traditions Exterior Door

Self-stick corner pads are installed at the bottom corners on each side to keep out driving rain.

Exterior Door Corner Pad Detail to Seal the Bottom Edge

Exterior Door Corner Pad Detail to Seal the Bottom Edge

The door installation is now complete! Tomorrow I’ll paint the door.

Therma-Tru Traditions Pre-Hung Exterior Door Installation

Therma-Tru Traditions Pre-Hung Exterior Door Installation

Overall this job required an afternoon to remove the old door and install the new door. We had the Therma-Tru door now for about 2 months and are very happy with it.

Old Door Disposal

Getting rid of the old door proved to be an unexpected challenge. The door was fine and would look great with a new coat of paint. I called Goodwill but they don’t take doors. My neighbor has rental properties and I offered it to him, but he didn’t need it. My garbage company said I needed to cut the door in half (it’s mostly glass!) for them to pick it up and the county landfill wanted to charge me $40 to drop it off.

I thought someone can reuse the old door, so I left it standing against the front wall of vacant shopping center next to a heavily traveled road. The door was gone when I drove by later that day.

Best regards,

Bob Jackson

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  1. Sarah June 7, 2010 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Hi Bob, My name is Sarah and I work for Therma-Tru. Congratulations on the successful replacement of your exterior door! We are thrilled to hear that you and your family are pleased with the new Therma-Tru door. Enjoy! – Sarah

    • Bob Jackson June 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Therma-Tru is a quality door. Thanks for checking in!


  2. Ed Klein September 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the excellent and detailed account of your door replacement. You make a good case for using a new prehung door. I need to repair an outside door at the entrance to my basement where water has rotted out the wood core of the aluminum sill and some of the brick mold. The sill sits on concrete. I can already see the “builder quality” of the installation, as no caulking is present around the sill or the brick mold. I am pretty clear about the replacement job itself; I need a good waterproof seal along the sill and bottom casing to keep water out. There is a 1 inch lip between the sill and concrete patio outside the door where the drain is. Rain water has leaked into the basement when leaves have covered the drain or heavy rain has crept beneath the sill. Will the “Great Stuff” sealer hold on the concrete beneath the new sill???? What will provide a good waterproof seal againt the outside??? Any comments are appreciated. Ed K

    • Bob Jackson September 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      I’m pleased you found the article helpful.

      > Will the “Great Stuff” sealer hold on the concrete beneath the new sill????
      Great Stuff(TM) is perhaps the stickiest substance known to man. Just take care the concrete is reasonably clean and free of dirt.

      Your main challenge seems to be keeping the leaves from clogging the drain. If you have an in-swing door, consider using a dome drain screen because it’s resistant to clogging with leaves.

  3. Steve W. Sr. October 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    I have looked at several “how to’s on exterior doors” and yours is easy to follow. I have done a lot of different projects but door replacement wasn’t one. Both my son and daughter’s houses were broken into one week apart. They are both single and needed help with replacing the doors and lock sets. The insurance takes so long to come through for them and I had to go buy the doors and lock sets for them. My Son said he couldn’t beleive it was so simple to replace the door. I printed all this off and said hear read this, he was impressed with your procedure of doing the job. Thanks from our families on making the job easier.

    • Bob Jackson October 6, 2011 at 6:34 am - Reply

      Excellent! I’m glad my project helped and thanks for writing.

      > Both my son and daughter’s houses were broken into one week apart.
      You might consider installing a security camera catch the culprits if it happens again. Sit it somewhere inconspicuous where it can watch the backdoor and common area. If you enable motion event detection, it will send an e-mail when something is going on.

      I once setup a game camera like the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam Brown Night Vision Trail Camera in the backyard to catch and prosecute a habitual trespasser. Worked like a charm when I gave the printouts to the sheriff to make an arrest. The offender was dumbfounded and had no idea how I made the photos.

  4. Aaron October 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Hey just wanted to say thanks for this guide. I looked at a lot of online guides and videos before installing my new front door but this one was the most thorough and well written. I too installed a Therma-Tru pre-hung door (their “Benchmark” brand from Lowe’s) and it turned out great. My rough opening was a bit of a mess but I made sure to get my subfloor level and everything fell into place from there. My reveals are dead perfect all the way around the door, it opens and closes like a dream, and seals up tight when closed. I’m especially glad you made it clear to get the DOOR/WINDOW insulating foam and PAINTABLE caulk – I would not have known to look for those. My front door looks absolutely beautiful. Thanks again!

    • Bob Jackson October 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome! And thanks for taking the time to share your success.

  5. Brad Hammerstrom March 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Nice tutorial, Bob. Better than most, but I’m curious why you do not discuss or install perimeter flashing and weather resistive barrier, per the Therma-Tru printed installation instructions and video.

    • Bob Jackson March 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      The flashing and weather barrier wasn’t mentioned in the printed instructions included with my door circa 2010. I agree the flashing & barrier would be best and I could’ve slipped it behind the cement board siding after removing the brick mould. I didn’t occur me because the builder didn’t install flashing with the original door.

      Thanks for noting this! I have French Doors with wet rot at the bottom side jambs that I plan to replace soon and will be sure to install the flashing and barrier materials.

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