This article will discuss how to replace a mobile home front door with full DIY instructions for home owners.
So, your mobile home front door has seen better days, and you are thinking about replacing it with a newer model. First of all, pat yourself on the back, as you have made a wise decision. Harsh and humid climates take a hard toll on your entry door, and it can get damaged easily. A new front door adds a lot to any home.
It not only elevates the curb appeal of your home but also has the highest return on investment for any home improvement project. You can recoup up to 80% of what you spend on buying the front door.
Plus, you will enjoy safety, get better insulation, energy efficiency, and soundproofing qualities which are important considerations.
Measure Your Mobile Home Door.
Measuring your mobile home door is perhaps the most critical step of the process. So, let’s see how we can measure your door the right way.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you are measuring for a mobile home door and not a standard construction front door. The two types of door are completely different and not interchangeable without framing alterations.
- Measure the opening, the space where the door is currently installed.
- Alternatively, measure the rough opening that will be left after you have removed the old door.
For the standard and exterior out-swing door, you can measure between the jambs in a closed-door position while inside the home. For the length, measure the top of the jamb to the floor bottom. But be sure to measure down to the floor and not to the top of the threshold. Since the size of the frame varies by manufacturer, the measurement of the old door itself will result in incorrect sizing.
Standard Sizes For Mobile Home Font Doors.
For your reference, the most common size of doors for mobile homes built before 1980 was 32″ x 72“, while for homes built after 1980, the most common standard door is 32″ x 76“.
Most common sizes are:
30″ x 80″ 32 x 80″ 36″ x 80″ Known as … six/eight.
30″ x 72″ 32 x 72″ 36″ x 72″ Known as … six/six.
You may find however that the previous owner installed a “conventional construction” front door which will not match the standard sizes for a mobile home. If this is the case, you may be better off changing like for like to avoid making changes to the wall opening and the trim.
Right Or Left Hinge?
To check if the door is left or right hinged, simply look at the door from the external face and see on which hand the hinges are. This is really important.
In Swinging Or Out Swinging Door.
This particular specification is really important to get right. Most front doors open inwards when viewed from a position standing on the outside doormat. Usually, the screen door will be out swinging and the actual front door will swing inwards as you enter the home.
Screen Or No Screen.
Does the old door have a screen door attached to the main door frame or is it connected to the wall independently? Even if you do not have a screen in the old door you can easily add one to your new purchase. If you live in places like Florida and Alabama you should get screens for mosquitoes and pests for sure.
Note that out swinging doors will require a set of steps with a platform for building code purposes.
Do You Want To Have Windows In The Door?
Mobile home front doors come in a variety of styles including the inclusion of windows.
Windows will allow the homeowner to see who is outside before opening the door.
The windows come in all shapes and sizes including half-moon, triangles square and rectangular. Adding a window to the door will usually increase the overall cost of the project and may take a little longer for delivery.
Where To Buy A Mobile Home Front Door and How To Replace A Mobile Home Front Door?
Now that we’ve recorded the size of the door required for your mobile home, it’s time to make an order. Be sure to find the right supplier who has got variety and can supply the quality. A lot of manufacturers have stock of standard as well as common custom sizes.
Home Depot, Lowes, and Mobile Home Depot carry some but not all of the brands and choices.
Standard Doors Are The Best Choice.
It is much easier and less expensive to buy a standard size mobile home door than to buy a custom-built door. If your door opening is somewhat different than a standard size, you have two choices; either to reframe your mobile home for the standard-sized door, or you can ask for a custom-sized door.
How To Order The Right Door.
So when you order your new door you will need to specify all of the following details to the door company:
- Height and width?
- Left or right hinge?
- In swinging or out-swinging door?
- Screen door or no screen door?
- Window or no window?
What Tools Will You Need?
For a standard front door removal and replace the following tools are recommended:
- Tape measure.
- Small Step ladder.
- Drill or impact driver.
- 1/4″ or 5/16″ nut driver bits
- Small flat pry bar.
- Sharpe knife.
- Torpedo level.
- Note pad and pencil.
- Caulk gun.
Most homeowners who do their own repairs will have these tools in their tool box already.
Tip: I will also recommend that you ask a friend to assist you because it will be difficult for you to maneuver the door and pick up tools at the same time.
What Supplies Will You Need?
- Pack of wooden door shims or wedges.
- 1 – Box (50 Min) hex head screws 1 1/4″. (Matching the door.)
- Roll of putty tape.
- Tube of exterior grade clear silicone caulk.
- Rags and alcohol cleaner/solvent.
- The new door.
When Your New Door Arrives.
Look over the new door for any signs of transport damage, dents or dings. Check the size, the color, the hardware and windows. Do not accept a door that is not in perfect condition and exactly as you ordered. It will be very difficult to get a replacement at a later date if you don’t notify the supplier immediately.
You do not want to be forced into making changes to the door frame or the mobile home side wall because someone mistakenly sent you the wrong door!
Always check that the new door will fit before removing the old door.
New doors are usually screwed into position in their frame with block spacers to help with the installation process. Note: Do not remove these spacers until the door is secured in place.
How Long Will It Take To Change Out A Front Door ?
Lets take the worst case senario where you have some DIY skills but this is the first time that you have changed out a front door.
You should be able to do this project to a reasonable standard easily within one day. Take your time, even if it does take you 8 hours, you are still saving money on a contractor.
Starting The Project.
Assuming that you have the new door and the necessary tools to hand, lets start this project.
Use safety glasses and gloves for protection.
Stage the new door out of the way of your demolition.
Have a trash can and broom handy for the waste and old screws.
Place the required tools where you or a helper can easily reach them with out tripping over them.
How To Remove The Old door.
On the inside.
- Run a knife around the inside of the door frame if it has been caulked.
- Remove the opening/closing chainstay and put it aside.
- Unscrew the inside plate that runs along the bottom threshold.
- Pickup your tools and move to the outside.
On the outside.
- Close the door.
- Locate and remove the screws from around the external flange with the 1/4″nut driver and impact drill.
Leave one loose screw in each of the top corners for safety purposes. (Stops the door falling.)
- Run a Sharpe knife around the above flange to cut through the silicone caulk.
- Using a flat pry bar, ease the bar gently between the door flange and the wall. Use a twisting motion to break the seal made with putty tape.
- Once the door feels loose, remove the 2 retaining safety screws.
- Ease the door out of the frame far enough so that you can hold it with one hand on each side of the door flange.
- With your fingers behind the flange, pull and twist the door towards you until it is removed from the door opening.
- Place the old door out of the way.
Prepare The Frame For The New Door.
Before we can commence the installation, you need to be sure that the siding seams around the door opening and other mounting surfaces are securely fastened and are flat.
- Scrape any old putty or sealant from the frame using a putty knife.
- Remove and old staples or nails that may be sticking out.
- Dispose of old shims or wedges.
- Wipe around the cleaned area with rag and alcohol for a good seal.
- Clean up all of the debris for a clean work area.
There must be no obstructions, putty or caulk left on the adjacent wall. Clean it properly to ensure a good water tight seal for the new front door.
How To Install The New Door.
- Unwrap the door but keep the door closed and locked during installation. Don’t remove any shipping clips or fasteners.
- Check that the new door fits in the opening. Offer the door up to the opening to check the size with a dry fit. If it is a good fit, remove and place the new door on a protected surface with its outside face down.
- Brush away dust and clean the back of the flange with a rag and alcohol.
- Apply a single continuous row of non-hardening tape like putty tape or butyl tape to the backside of the door mounting flange. Leave the paper on the tape until you are ready to install the door.
- Apply 2 rows of silicone caulk to the threshold area extending 6-8″ up the door frame.
- Mark the top centre of the opening and the top centre of the door with a pencil mark.
- Remove the paper from the tape and carefully insert the new door into the gap with the top pencil marks lined up, loosely insert 1 screw into the centre of the top flange to stop the door from falling.
- Check for level and plumb before pressing the door into the putty. Secure with one screw in each side and snug the 4 screws down but do not tighten.
- Screw-in all of the other screws to a similar depth before going back to tightening them up securely. Doing it slowly like this will stop the flange buckling.
- Remove the shipping screws and check the door and the locks for opening and smooth operation.
- Apply a bead of silicone caulk to the edge of the outside flange, the inside bottom threshold and where the door meets the inside trim.
Testing The Door.
Once the door is in place and before replacing any trim, make sure that you check the following areas which can sometimes be a problem. Make all of these final adjustments before waterproofing with the silicone caulk.
Look At The Gaps.
The first thing to do is to check the gaps between the edges of the door and the door frame. Ideally the gap should be the same along the top and lock side of the door.
The weatherstrip at the bottom of the door should prevent wind and water from leaking under the door. Adjust the height using the screws.
Do The Locks Work?
When closing the door there should be an audible click as the lock snaps into place. It should not be necessary to push the door more to get it to shut properly. Sometimes the frame has been put in twisted if the locks do not snap cleanly into place.
Open and close the deadbolt to ensure smooth functioning and that the key work as they should.
Check The Swing.
Make sure that the door moves freely forward and back and that it does not get caught on the carpet or flooring. If the door has a spring or piston closer check the operation.
What Will Be The Cost?
Replacing a mobile home door is not a hefty investment and is not a major home improvement project – at all.
Hire a contractor,
You can expect to pay less than $800 complete. Even if you get some fancy door on a custom order, it can go up to like $1,500 but not more than that. On the cheaper end of things, you would pay around $275 for the door and $200 for a days labour.
Do It Yourself.
Following the instructions above, you will pay $250 and up for the door and spend a day doing the removal and replacement yourself.
So armed with the above information you could say goodbye to your dated, leaky or damaged door. You don’t have to be an expert handyman to carry out this repair. Take your time and follow the process for an excellent result.
Click Here To Read: How to Relevel an Old Double Wide Mobile Home – Customer Experience.