Masonite exterior doors are popular for their durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. If installed properly, a masonite exterior door can enhance your home’s security, comfort, and curb appeal. In this article, we’ll provide a detailed guide on how to install a masonite exterior door, from the tools and materials needed, to the finishing and weatherproofing stages.

I. Introduction Before we dive into the installation process, let’s take a closer look at what a masonite exterior door is and why it’s important to install it properly. A masonite exterior door is typically made of high-density fiberboard (HDF) that has been molded and pressed to resemble various types of wood. Masonite doors come in a variety of styles, sizes, and finishes, making them a versatile choice for any home.

When it comes to exterior doors, proper installation is crucial for several reasons. First, a poorly installed door can compromise the security of your home, making it easier for intruders to gain entry. Second, an improperly installed door can allow air and moisture to seep into your home, leading to energy loss, water damage, and even mold growth. Finally, a poorly installed door can detract from your home’s overall aesthetic and curb appeal.

II. Tools and Materials Before you begin installing your masonite exterior door, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:


  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Chisel
  • Hacksaw
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar


  • Masonite exterior door
  • Door frame
  • Hinges
  • Screws
  • Weatherstripping
  • Exterior paint or sealant

III. Preparation Once you have your tools and materials ready, it’s time to prepare the installation site. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Measure the door opening: Use a tape measure to determine the width and height of the door opening. The measurements should be accurate so that you can choose a door that fits well.
  2. Check the door frame for damage or discrepancies: Inspect the door frame for any signs of damage, such as rot or cracks. Additionally, make sure the frame is straight and level, as this will affect the door’s performance.
  3. Remove the old door and clean the area: Use a pry bar and hammer to remove the old door from the frame. Remove any screws or nails that are still attached to the frame. Use a chisel and hammer to remove any remaining pieces of door jamb. Finally, clean the area around the door frame, making sure there are no nails or debris.
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IV. Door Installation Now that the preparation is done, it’s time to start installing your masonite exterior door. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Attach the hinges to the door: Use your drill to make pilot holes for the screws, then attach the hinges to the door.
  2. Place the door into the frame and secure the hinges onto the frame: With the help of a friend, place the door into the frame. Line up the hinges with the hinge recesses on the frame. Use screws to attach the hinges to the frame, making sure they are securely fastened.
  3. Adjust the door’s position and level it: After attaching the hinges, test the door by opening and closing it to make sure it’s properly aligned. Use shims to adjust the door’s position and make sure it’s level. Once you’re satisfied with the door’s placement, screw the hinges into the frame firmly.
  4. Install the doorknob and lockset: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the doorknob and lockset. Make sure both are securely attached to the door and function properly.

V. Finishing and Weatherproofing Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed your masonite exterior door. However, there are a few finishing touches and weatherproofing steps you should take to ensure the door performs optimally.

  1. Trim the door jamb and apply caulking around the perimeter: Use a hacksaw to trim any excess shims or door jamb. Apply a bead of caulk around the perimeter of the door frame to seal any gaps between the frame and the wall.
  2. Install weather stripping on the door: Apply self-adhesive weather stripping on the top and sides of the door frame. This will help prevent air leaks and improve energy efficiency.
  3. Apply exterior paint or sealant: If your door is not pre-painted, apply exterior paint or sealant to protect the door from moisture and UV rays. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper application and drying time.
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VI. Conclusion and Safety Reminders In conclusion, installing a masonite exterior door requires careful planning, precision, and attention to detail. Taking the time to properly prepare, install, and weatherproof your door can help keep your home secure, comfortable, and beautiful. Remember to use appropriate safety precautions when working with tools and materials, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if necessary.

Installing a masonite exterior door can be challenging, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can also be a rewarding DIY project that adds value to your home. Take your time, be patient, and enjoy the process of creating a beautiful and functional entrance to your home.