Home Project: DIY Exterior Door

When our exterior deck door started leaking we knew it was time to replace it. But with a narrow and original old just about 30” width it was going to be hard to find a replacement door to fit, and we figured it was just more practical (kids, Christmas trees etc) to put in a wider, 36” door.

After three estimates, many door options rejected, and a simple, inexpensive Home Depot door settled on we decided to tackle this project on our own. Matt watched hours of YourTube videos and got on a first name basis with Shannon; a DIY video contractor on houseimprovements.com.

I am happy to report that our new door is in place, looks great and should be leak free! Great work Matt!


Phase 1: remove old trim, remove latham/old insulation etc, build new studs and header

Phase 2: install new studs and header

Phase 3: remove old door and cut siding (thank goodness for a freak week of summer weather in October…it was 70 degrees!)

Phase 4: repair old threshold, cut more siding, decide on plan of action for flashing

Phase 5: install flashing, trim top edge, install door! caulk

Phase 6 (lets be honest here…by this point we lost count of phases…): insulation, foam insulation, trim inside, install drywall + at least 6 trips to the hardware store

Now on to the finish work!

I cannot wait to have the living room back in order and am BEYOND thrilled that Matt successfully tackled this project! We honed our skills with a fleet of new tools, and learned a ton about how our house is constructed. As a 1925 house, moved to the island in 1978 there is a lot of history to uncover. We also learned that NOTHING is square, plumb or level. “well, that is as good as it’s gonna get” was a common phrase. Thank goodness the leak is gone though and we got the door sealed up just in time for a huge fall wind/rain storm.

Now on to a carport and chicken coop! (and take down our big tree, build the retaining wall, and new garden plot, and build the cat porch) Ah, homeownership.


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