How We Replaced a Window with an Exterior Door

Mom purchased a small home down the street from us. We made several improvements to this house prior to her moving in.

Mom wanted to replace a window with a door to enable her direct access to the carport.


    • New door (Prehung with brickmould) NOTE: Pay attention to the size of your door, the way in which you want the door to open, and the location of the doorknob. More specifically, if you need a left or right-hand inswing door. We purchased steel doors for durability.
    • Flat crowbar
    • Drywall saw or JobPlus Base with Multi-Tool with Attachment
    • Sawzall (now essential, but helpful)
    • Nail gun and nails
    • Drill and Screws
    • Level
    • Exterior trim
    • Interior trim
    • Caulk and caulk gun
    • Paint and paintbrush
    • New lock and doorknob

Below, I describe how we installed a new exterior door.

Note: We had to remove vinyl siding to fully access the window.

Remove Trim Around the Window

Use a flat crowbar to remove the exterior trim and the interior trim around the window.

Remove the Window

Use a Sawzall to cut all the screws and nails that are holding the existing window in place. Remove the existing window to make room from the new door/door jam.

Preparing the Space for the New Door

We used a JobPlus Base with Multi-Tool with Attachment to cut the sheetrock. We then used the same tool to cut and remove a layer of paneling under the sheetrock.

We had to move an existing electrical outlet. If you are not an electrician, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL to do electrical work. Your safety is crucial.

Remove the existing studs and exterior wood under the opening.

Here is the opening from the inside.

Here is the opening from the outside.

Because we ordered a door/door jam that was the same size as the window, we were able to use the existing studs when installing the door.

Place New Door/Door Jam in the Opening

We used a prehung exterior steel door with brick mold. This is the challenging part, so be patient. You want to get this right so the door will close and latch properly. Use a level the ensure the door is properly in place. We used plastic shims as needed to ensure the door is level and plum. Again, this takes some time, especially when you are working with a door frame that may not be perfectly level or plum.

Install Trim

Install the interior and exterior trim around the door. If you are using new trim, you will need to cut 45-degree angles on the adjoining trim pieces where the trim meets at the top of the door.

Caulk and Paint

Caulk the trim, allow to dry and then paint. Also, paint the actual door if desired.

Install Hardware

Install new doorknob, latch, and lock.

Enjoy your new door!

My Mom is appreciative of her new door and how it enables her to have direct access to her carport.

To learn how to replace an existing door with a new door, click HERE.

Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below.



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Author: Suzanne

Blogger and DIYer with my talented husband Neal. I share about our projects and life lessons following Christ.