Interior and exterior door installation

Interior door installation

Most interior doors (excluding hi-fold doors) are pre-hung assembled or knock down ready to assemble.

To accommodate a pre-hung door the R. S. O. (rough stud opening) must be installed to allow for shimming tolerance, this is required for both sides and the top. The rule of thumb is one inch wider than the door width and one half inch higher including the door frame. This is to allow for any shrinkage or twisting in the rough stud opening. If your door is the knock down ready to assemble type put the unit together following the instructions. You will find that you can assemble for either right hand or left hand hinge, swinging in or out of the opening.

Apply a piece of 1×2 across the door at the bottom (right jamb to left jamb) to hold the door in the front plumb and square. Set the door in the opening and using carpenters square and level shim with cedar door shims and fasten with nails. Do the hinge side first then the others shimming where required top and side.

Exterior door installation

Installing a new exterior door will require you to make a number of decisions.

1. Solid core plywood faced door?
Will require a lot of maintenance, staining, sealing and painting.

2. Solid wood door i.e.: Western Red Cedar or Oak etc. Will require sanding, staining, natural finish — subject to temperature change inside and out. Panels may crack requiring repairs and refinishing on an annual basis.

3. Steel insulated door primed ready for paint? Most people assume steel insulated doors are a finished product (usually white in colour) “WRONG”. They must be painted within the first 6 to 8 months of installation using an exterior acrylic latex or exterior urethane paint. Door must be washed with T.S.P General Household Cleaner or T.S.R using a pot scrubber pad and rinsed well before painting.

4. Consider fibreglass-insulated doors, as they are maintenance friendly.

5. Good, Better, Best, One of the best doors available now is the new Protect Door manufactured by Guenther Doors. Their new laminated inner frame adds structural strength giving greater security and comfort.

Key Doesn’t Work In Door

Problem: Door won’t open be cause of binding or broken key, a stuck bolt, or a frozen lock.

Background: Like most other mechanical devices, keys and locks can wear out or become damaged. Some times lock problems are caused by a misaligned door. To prevent lock problems, periodically inspect them, tighten loose screws, apply lock lubricant, and make adjustments as necessary to strike-plates. Excessively loose tubular or cylinder locksets, or locks that seize the key, may be candidates for replacement; however, sometimes a locksmith can replace worn tumblers and springs.

What to do: If the lock is frozen, try warming the key and reinserting it, or try squirting alcohol into the key hole. When a key breaks in a lock, it is often because it was not pushed in completely before turning, or the wrong key was pushed into the lock. If part of the key stays inside the lock, remove the cylinder and try pushing the key part out with a fine pin from the shaft end. When keys bend, it may be caused by a poorly made duplicate key. If an original key works in the lock, have the duplicate remade. Binding can also be caused by worn tumblers. If you think this is the problem, remove the cylinder and take it to a locksmith. If the key turns, but the bolt sticks, check to make sure the bolt isn’t blocked by paint. If the bolt can’t move because the door is misaligned, check and align the door.

Special advice: To help avoid lock problems, try to make all keys easily identified. When having duplicate keys made, go to a qualified lock smith who uses top-quality blanks. (Having at least 1 extra duplicate key kept in a secure place can pre vent an emergency.) When replacing locksets, spend more for the best quality you can afford. Locks can be lubricated with graphite (in a pinch, rub keys with graphite from a wooden pencil) or with fine oil sold for that purpose. Don’t use regular lubricating oil.

Helpful hint: When locking up the home, don’t lock all other doors from the inside; if the door locked with a key doesn’t work you won’t be able to gain entry to the inside of the home.

How to fix sliding door tracks

Sliding Doors

Sliding doors need to be maintained, otherwise they become difficult to slide and can even jump off the tracks. The wheels on sliding doors glide along a track, much like the wheels of a train. The most important thing to remember is to keep the track clean and free of dirt and dust that can clog the wheels.
A good rule of thumb is to clean the tracks whenever you clean your floors. Vacuuming usually works best. Remember also to lubricate the tracks regularly. (There are dozens of inexpensive industrial and household lubricants on the market—ask your hardware salesperson.) A couple of times a year, it’s also a good idea to clean the small drain holes on the sides of the tracks with a brush and soapy water. And every six months, it also pays to tighten the screws on the track, since loose screws will make the door drag and can also block the door’s path. If your door needs to go higher or lower to run smoothly, adjust the screws on the side of the door.


If your sliding door is still not gliding easily and/or closing snugly against the jamb, it’s likely the rollers need more cleaning, or the track is bent. You might want to take the door off and try a simple tune-up.

• Glass sliding doors are usually heavy and awkward, so it’s best to have someone help you when you take it off its tracks. Worst-case scenario, trying to do it on your own could result in the door falling and shattering. When you do lay the door down, it’s a good idea to have some kind of padding ready (old towels will do), to prevent scratching or damage to the rubber seals.


After cleaning tracks and rollers, you should oil only the rollers, not the tracks themselves because that can attract even more dirt.

How to fix sliding door tracks:

1. With one person on either side of the door, lift it up off its tracks and pull it away at the bottom. Then lower it from the upper track and place it gently on the floor. Lubricate and clean the rollers.

2. If an outside track is bent, place a block of wood on the track. Then take the hammer and bang the wood to straighten out the bend. Don’t use your hammer directly on the track because that can cause more damage.

3. Once the tracks are straightened, replace the door. Slide the door shut, checking for an even gap between the door and the jamb as you do so.

4. Adjust the screws on the side of the door if needed to raise the door up or lower it down.

Sticky Door Latch or Bolt

We talked about a sticking door, but what if the door is fine and just the latch or bolt sticks? A sticking latch bolt is usually caused by a buildup of dirt and insufficient lubrication If your key sticks or has trouble turning, there is an easy way to fix it Simply spray the keyhole with an all purpose spray lubricant, Try the key again—it should work effortlessly.

If the latch bolt is misaligned with the strike plate, it won’t fit into the strike plate’s opening. Check the door for loose hinges first. If the problem persists, align the strike plate and latch bolt.
Warping, due to humidity or water penetration, is another cause of latch bolt problems. Use a straightedge to see if the door is warped, and straighten it if necessary.


Flow to adjust or align your strike plate:

1. Unscrew the strike plate from the doorjamb and set it aside.

2. Take a pencil and mark up the end of bolt.

3. Close the door and turn the latch so that the bolt hits the doorjamb.

4. This should leave a mark on the doorjamb. This mark will show how you need to adjust the strike plate. You may need to use a chisel to adjust the hole.

5. Replace the strike plate so it aligns correctly with the bolt.

How to Paint Door Frames

Your doorway can provide a dramatic entrance and decorative frame for a room, but it may also show signs of wear and tear. Providing a fresh coat of paint can enhance the look of the entire room.

We recommend using a sheen that is higher in gloss than what is on your walls as this will showcase your trim and doors by separating them from the rest of your walls. However this is a personal choice. To provide a professional look, use a good quality paint brush rather than a roller.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.

1. Start by painting your doorframe from top to bottom.

2. Then, with the door ajar, if you haven’t removed it, start painting the trim by carefully cutting in near the inside wall.

3. Then, continue painting around the rest of the trim.

4. Wait until the paint dries completely before adding a second coat to the door frame and trim.

Garage Door Opener Won’t Close

Problem: Garage door opener automatically reverses as soon as it closes, with no obstruction in its path.

Background: All garage door openers must have a reversing mechanism. If your opener doesn’t have one, replace it. If the opener reverses and refuses to keep the door closed, the “sensitivity,” “open,” or “close” knobs may be out of adjustment. Important: This safety feature should be tested regularly so the opener closes the door, but does not exert dangerous force which could lead to serious injury or death.

What to do: First set the “close” knob so the door makes full contact with the floor. To test the sensitivity adjustment, open the door and place a 1-inch thick piece of wood flat on the floor in the door’s path at about the center of the door. If you don’t have a piece of wood 1-inch thick, use a 2×4. The door should reverse and open the door when it strikes the wood. To test the force of the opener, repeat the test with a corrugated carton under the center of the door. The opener should reverse the door when it contacts the carton without crushing it. If, after experimenting with adjustments, the opener doesn’t reverse readily, have it re paired or replaced.

Special advice: The sensitivity knob should be adjusted, beginning at the minimum pressure setting, so that the door will close without reversing. The door should reverse within 2 seconds after hitting an obstruction. Should the sensitivity need to be raised to maximum pressure set ting, do not use the opener and have the system checked by a technician for problems such as worn tracks or broken springs.

Helpful hint: Discuss garage-door safety with children. Explain the danger of being trapped under the door, and do not let them play with or use the transmitter or push-button switch. Teach them never to play under or near an open garage door. The push button should be at least 5 feet from the floor so it is out of children’s reach. Always keep the door in sight until it completely closes.

Garage Door Opener Quits

Problem: The automatic opener does not open the garage door.

Background: An electronic garage door opener may not activate be cause its power supply is interrupted, its antenna is out of position, its transmitter is defective, its remote battery is expired, or its push-button switch inside the garage is defective. First make sure the unit’s receptacle inside the garage is receiving power, and that the opener is plugged in.

What to do: To determine if the transmitter or its battery is bad, simply see if the opener operates when the push button inside the garage is activated. If it works with the push button, next check to see that the unit’s antenna is not bent out of position. Try replacing the transmitter’s battery. If the transmitter still doesn’t work, its button may be defective. Try cleaning it with electrical contact cleaner. If that doesn’t correct the problem, you will most likely need to replace it. Conversely, if the transmitter works but the push button inside the garage doesn’t, turn off the power and clean the push button with electrical contact cleaner. If that doesn’t fix it, turn off all power and replace the switch simply by removing and detaching the 2 wires that are under the screws on the back, and reinstalling a new switch.

Special advice: When a power failure traps your car inside the garage, pull the emergency release mechanism located on the opener track. Usually, this will be a cord hanging down between the opener motor and the door. Pull the disconnect cord down and away from the door to release it. Important: If you disengage the emergency release during a power failure, be sure to also unplug the garage door opener. After the power is back on, pull on the emergency re lease again to re-engage the opener. Make sure all drivers in your house hold know how to use the emergency release mechanism.

Helpful hint: For routine adjustments, and consult the opener owner’s manual. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, contact the manufacturer and request a copy for your specific model. The opener model number should be on the back of the power unit.

Door Won’t Close Correctly

Problem: Door in home binds, sticks, or won’t latch properly.

Background: If the door frame has become distorted, your door may stick at the corners or be hard to close, and its latches may not fit the strikeplate. A door that binds or sticks against a door frame can also be caused by loose or ineffective hinges, by the frame settling, by the door or frame swelling, or by the door warping. Hinges that are loose, either on the top or bottom, will allow a door to sag. If a door is too tight on the hinge edge, it will bind against the hinge jamb. A door that has warped inward or outward at the hinge edge will be hard to close. If a door frame spreads because the home has settled, it may widen the doorway so the bolt in the lock may not reach the strikeplate. If partitions next to, or below, a door frame settle or shrink, the frame can move slightly and move the strikeplate with it while the door and lock stay in position.

What to do: Check for loose hinges, by pulling and pushing the opened door away from and toward the hinges. If the hinges move, you can either tighten the original screws, insert wood plugs in the screw holes, or substitute longer screws. Also check for a loose strikeplate or lock faceplate screws. If the door still binds after tightening the screws, you may be able to sand or plane down the high spot (or call a finish carpenter if you don’t trust your skills). Mark where it binds, remove the door and check to see where the door finish has been rubbed. Sand or, if necessary, plane lightly from the edges toward the center, then re place the door to check for fit. (Re move as little as needed because wood will shrink as humidity drops.) When the door works properly, refinish as appropriate.

Special advice: If a door binds at the hinge edge, and has clearance on the lock side, you can try inserting card board shims under the outer hinge leaves (those set in the jamb). If the lock bolt does not enter the hole in the strikeplate, check to see if it strikes the plate too high or too low. Take out the screws, remove the strikeplate, and file the metal opening until it is large enough to accommodate the bolt. If more than ¼ inch needs to be removed, it may be better to reset the strikeplate.

Helpful hint: If the margin of a door is even along the top and bottom edges, and the hinges are firm, either the hinge or lock edge can be planed. However, it’s usually best to plane the hinge edge, because hinges are easier to remove and reinstall than locks.

Design by Room – Entrance Door Mat Materials You Should Avoid

An entrance door mat can either be of the indoor or outdoor variety. Indoor mats are also known as absorbent floor mats while outdoor mats are non-absorbent. Although closely related, the two types are quite distinct from one another in terms of function and material. While each could, in theory, pass for the other, it would not be in the best interest of a clean house. That being said, given the fact that the outdoor entrance mat is first encountered when someone steps up to the threshold of a home, there are some materials that should be avoided. Otherwise you could end up with dirt-covered floors or carpets and be left with a relatively useless outdoor mat. Here, then, are 3 materials you should never use for outdoor entrance mats.

Carpet-Topped, Rubber-Backed

Basically, any absorbent material should be avoided when it comes to outdoor entrance mats. Outdoor mats should be non-absorbent instead. Their job is to take off the vast majority of debris, mud, dirt or snow from the bottom of your shoes. They are non-absorbent, so whatever is wiped from your shoes can be easily hosed or pressure washed off when it is time to clean the mat. Carpet-topped mats are very absorbent. They are designed for indoor use by clearing the bottom of your shoes of moisture that might cause you to slip. To clean them, they are thrown in the laundry. Used outdoors, carpet-topped mats would get saturated by mud and other debris and be virtually useless after a few mucky days. If used to remove excess snow, they would become damp so quickly that they would fail to serve their purpose.


While bamboo is fairly non-absorbent, when used for outdoor mats the material tends to get very dirty quickly. If bamboo is exposed to the rain, it will look terrible after enough dirt piles up on it. Aside from that, bamboo mats, especially thin mats, are quite useless at scraping heavy amounts of gunk off of shoes. Thicker bamboo mats can withstand a lot of water saturation, although they are nonetheless ineffective at keeping mud and other debris from getting inside. Bamboo mats are decorative, but they are best used in a place where their primary function is adornment or light cleaning of shoes.

Woven Cloth

Woven cloth may be very durable, but like carpet it is extremely absorbent and will get very damp if exposed to rain or snow. Not only that, but it may never fully dry especially if it is thick. Like carpet mats, woven cloth should be used for indoor mats only, there to absorb what moisture remains on the bottom of your shoes. The organic fibers will get clogged with mud and other outdoor debris, and soon you will be left with a dirty, damp mat.