Fitting Your Distinctive Door
In collaboration with our supplier JELD-WEN, we’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide to help you install your external, internal, fire and folding/sliding patio door with ease.
How to fit your External Door
External doors are not easy to fit into existing frames. Often the opening isn’t square, which can cause problems, compromise the finish and prolong the installation process.
Buying a ready hung wooden door ,a doorset ,is often more simple, but to replace the frame you may require permission from Building Control. If so, you have two options:
1. Employ a registered fitter who will notify the local authority and provide you with a completion certificate.
2. Submit your own local authority application and pay a Building Control officer to inspect the work.
If you can’t buy an external door with the exact dimensions you need, make sure the one you choose has enough tolerance to be trimmed to size. Most of our doors come with 12mm (0.45") trimming potential, but JELD-WEN doors come with 8mm (0.3"). Did you double check your measurements before ordering? You can work off the opening or an existing door if it’s a good fit.
Spacers to ensure 3 mm gap
Offer your new door up to the frame to see if it needs adjusting. Our manufacturer, JELD-WEN, recommends leaving a 3mm (0.1") (0.1") gap along the top and sides using spacers.
Measure against the floor finish
The bottom level will be determined by your floor finish. Measure against it and mark in pencil where your door needs trimming.
Score the veneer to avoid splintering
If you do need to trim your door to size, make sure you first score the veneer before cutting or planing (the latter is recommended if only a small amount needs to be taken off), as this will ensure the veneer doesn’t splinter.
Plane to size and sand the edges
Plane and sand the edges and cut a hole for the letter plate, if required. Any raw wood revealed will need protecting before being exposed to the elements – see our decorating guide for more info.
To fit a weatherboard, drill screws where appropriate
You might also consider fitting a weatherboard or rain deflector for added protection. Weatherboards are recommended as an extra layer of security against weather damage by allowing rainfall to drip away from the door seal. You’ll need four 40-45ml screws; any bigger and you risk piercing through the door itself.
Use glue and pellets to secure the screws and give a seamless finish
Glue in your pellets and chip away the protruding length. Sand over for a smooth finish.
Your finished product
Your finished weather board should look something like the image to the right. As you can see, the pellets and board itself look seamless, and the board sits just above the bottom of the door.
Mark around where you want the hinges to sit
Wooden front and back doors are heavier than their internal counterparts and will need at least three hinges. If you are working with an existing frame, use the spaces already cut out if possible. Alternatively, indicate where you want each hinge to sit and chisel away the wood.
Chisel out a recess
Fix your hinges into place temporarily, taking care to ensure the knuckles stand proud of the frame, then lift the door into the space and mark where the opposing hinge flap will be secured.
Remove a hinge from the frame and line it up with the marks you made on the edge of the door so you can draw around its perimeter and chisel out a recess. Once the hinge flap sits flush, secure it loosely and lift the door into place, providing support while you attach it to the frame.
Add all remaining screws once you’re satisfied that the door functions smoothly on the hinges
Once you are happy the door is running smoothly, add all remaining screws.
A range of mortice, rim locks and multi point systems are available to suit JELD-WEN external wood doors. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
To get a better picture of the process, why not take a look at our external door section.
How to fit your Internal Door
All interior doors have different trim tolerances, but again, ours generally come with an 8mm (0.3") trimming potential. To achieve perfect results, start by measuring your opening ,or the existing door if it’s a good fit. This way you can be sure you’ve chosen the right product.
As with exterior doors, JELD-WEN recommends leaving a 2mm (0.1") gap between the interior door and frame at the top and sides. The space you need at the bottom will be determined by your floor finish.
Does your new door need adjustment? Offer it up to the gap, then plane to size and sand off rough edges. If your frame isn’t square, this job can be much more difficult. To reduce the margin for error and fitting time, you could purchase a ready hung door instead.
Moulded, real wood veneer, foil, hardboard and MDF hollowcore internal doors should have two hinges, while feature and primed doors need three.
Mark on the frame where you want your hinges to sit and chisel a recess, making sure the knuckle protrudes from the edge. On an existing frame, you might be able to use the spaces already available.
Secure each hinge with a centre screw and offer up the door to mark where the opposing flap will sit after creating the right gaps. Next, take the hinge off the frame and use it to outline the area on the door you need to chisel away so it sits flush.
Fix the hinge in place with one screw before supporting the door again while you fit the other flap to the frame. Finally, insert all remaining screws once you are sure the door opens and closes without catching on the floor.
If you’re working with an existing keep start by measuring its distance from the floor and mark the same point on the door for the latch.
Next, use masking tape to indicate the depth of the latch on your drill bit and make a hole in the door where it can be inserted. Draw a line around the edge of the latch and chisel away the centre so it sits flush.
Holding the latch in position, mark on both faces of the door where the spindle passes through before drilling. With latch and spindle inserted, you can now secure your handle in place.
Find our range of internal doors here.
How to fit your Folding/Sliding Patio Door
A number of issues can affect how well wooden patio doors fit and sadly, many installers fall prey to the same mistakes time and again.
Here are our top tips for making sure folding or sliding doors are not only beautiful to look at, but are easy to live with too.
Building regulations stipulate FENSA registration or building control approval must be verified before patio doors can be fitted.
Check and double check your dimensions, before and after purchase, to ensure you have the right size doors for your opening.
During installation, keep a spirit level at hand to verify the frame is square and plumb by measuring top to bottom, side to side and across the diagonal. If your doors do not sit flush or open the wrong way, the system will not work properly.
Apply a branded primer and hi-build paint or stain to unfinished external faces before installation. Any cut-outs for locks, hinges or handles also need protecting with a suitable base sealer, along with the door edges.
Secure the head sub-assembly flush with the door frame, lining the pre-drilled holes up with the pilot holes in the top of the jamb.
Drill through the head track, using a 4mm (0.15") bit, until you are sure you are fixing into the lintel. Our manufacturer of wooden patio doors, JELD-WEN, suggests adding a dab of silicon to each screw to prevent water ingress.
Always make pilot holes before fitting hardware to stop the wood from splitting. Check handles are fitted correctly and carrier hinges are in the right place.
If your folding or sliding doors clash or catch on the frame it could foreshorten their life, so always make sure they run smoothly before use.
You can find our Bifold and folding patio doors here.
How to fit your Internal Fire Door
An internal fire door can save a life, protecting escape routes and preventing the spread of fire ,if fitted correctly.
Sadly, the consequences of poor installation and maintenance only come to light when it is put to the test. To make sure your fire door performs to the best of its ability, take a moment to read the following advice from our manufacturers, JELD-WEN, who work with the British Woodworking Foundation to improve industry standards.
There should be a label on the edge of your fire door giving the manufacturers’ name, a traceability code and a rating.
Typically, you can buy doors offering 30 or 60 minutes’ protection against smoke and flames, indicated by an FD30 or FD60 mark. However, incorrect fitting of an FD30 door, for example, could mean it provides just five or ten minutes’ defence.
Make sure ironmongery is fixed firmly and carries a CE mark to prove it will perform against fire ,this includes the door closer if you are using one.
In fact all hinges, closers, handles, frames, linings, casings, intumescent strips and smoke seals must be compatible with your door. In the event of a fire, the seals will only work if it is shut properly.
If you can’t purchase a fire door the correct size, always check the manufacturer’s instructions before trimming.
The space around the top and sides must be no more than 3mm (0.1") and 10mm (0.4") at the bottom. Do not plane the top edge or remove the safety information as it will negate your certification. Cutting into the face of the door to insert glazing or grilles is also prohibited.
Regulations relating to fire safety are very strict and even small changes to the door or ironmongery can affect its rating.
If you are left with any gaps between the door-frame and the wall, fill them with a non-combustible sealant to prevent smoke penetration.
Fire proof or ’intumescent’ strips are fitted in the frame or edges of the door to create a barrier against fire and in some cases, smoke as well. They lie dormant during everyday use, but expand rapidly when exposed to extreme heat. Some fire doors also have intumescent pads fitted around hinges, locks and latches.
Slim-Fit Fire Doors
JELD-WEN’s 35mm (1.4") slim fit fire door offers a simple, yet stylish solution to current regulations. It is 9mm (0.35") thinner than a normal fire door and can be used with most types of frame.
Boasting a 30-minute rating and approval from the BWF-CERTFIRE scheme, moulded, oak and veneer options are available in a variety of styles and finishes.
To find out more, take a look at our fire doors section.