In an age where your next “do-it-yourself” home improvement project is just a Google search away, sometimes you feel like you can take on the world! Change the faucet hardware on the sink? Check! Put fancy shmancy knobs on your old dresser drawers? Check! Install your own exterior doors? Well, let’s not be so quick to check that one off the DIY list just yet. Door installation requires a lot more material, time, and effort than mounting a new mailbox. Consider the things below before you become ‘unhinged’ by doing it yourself.

It Requires Time

You can plan for everything to go smoothly. You check the weather. You buy all the materials you think you need, and then you begin your project. As you’re working through the job that was supposed to take 4 hours you might realize that it has now taken 8.  8 then turns to 12, and now you must try to finish the next day. Unforeseen problems happen when taking on a project you’ve never done before. DIY projects are fun, but something as major as an exterior door installation should not be taken lightly. It should always be done with an ample amount of time to finish the project. You need time to:

  • Plan the project
  • Pick out and pick up the materials
  • Complete the project with wiggle room


Improper installation can lead to a door that doesn’t fit properly; which then leads to energy inefficiency. You might find yourself losing cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter.  You may also have problems with water getting into your home when it rains! Door installation requires a perfect fit! It also requires the know-how to get the job done right, the first time!

Do you have basic carpentry skills to get the project done? Knowledge is power!



If you’re an expert do-it-yourselfer your probably already have a fair number of tools at your disposal. If you’re not a natural handyman or handywoman, and the tools you need to put your door in tight and secure aren't readily at your disposal. You'll either need to rent or purchase them. Here are the basics of what you'll need:


  • Several size nails
  • Screws
  • Expanding Foam
  • Polyurethane caulk
  • Either a Slab Door or a Pre-Hung Door
  • Lumber to create the sill
  • Paint & primer
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Measuring Tape
  • Leveler
  • Pry bar
  • Saw
  • Caulk Gun
This is just a general list that should be specified to your exterior door project. Materials and tools vary depending on whether your door is pre-hung or a slab door. Slab doors are what you think of when you envision a door. It’s just the rectangle piece of wood or metal. A pre-hung door is the slab, attached to hardware, inside of its own frame. While buying the slab itself is less expensive than a pre-hung door, when you add up time, installation, and room for error…the job might not be as easy and inexpensive as imagined. IT REQUIRES MONEY

A lot of us step into the do-it-yourself field with the hopes of saving a bit of cash. Installing an exterior door can be a project that takes more time and money than expected. Before you become ‘unhinged’ by taking on a door install yourself, check with a professional. The cost of getting your door installed by a professional might be worth you saving a weekend of your own time. Here at Tennessee Thermal, help is right around the corner!  We can install a secure, energy efficient exterior door in no time! Call us today at 650-727-9041 for a free quote!