If you want to cut costs on your new external French doors, then you may want to consider installing them yourself. A professional may cost around £150-£200 a day for installing external doors, so if you are confident in your DIY abilities, it could be a nifty way to make some savings.
As a small disclaimer, we recommend getting professional help. Especially if fitting new external French doors is going to involve creating a new aperture or modifying an existing one. If it’s a case of a straight swap, then there’s a good chance you and a partner might be completely capable of taking care of it yourselves.
However, only do this if you’re truly confident in your knowledge and ability. We recommend getting professional help because you don’t want to end up inflicting damage on your home that ends up being more costly than if you just called on a helping hand.
What’s the Process for Fitting External French Doors?
So before we get into the how-to, there’s some things you need to check beforehand. First, is making sure you get French doors in the right size. We have a guide on how to measure for external French doors, so use that to ensure you’re up to speed.
Check your new doors are the right size, make sure the opening is too and make sure you do this before you remove the existing doors!
If your doors or aperture are too big or small, do not try and modify your aperture yourself. That’s when you call in the professionals. If everything is in order and you are hanging your doors yourself, then make sure you have at least one other capable person with you due to their size and weight.
If you’re going to paint your new doors, then ensure that this is done before you hang them. You’ll find it much easier and the paint will come out in a better finish.
Another tip, although one we probably didn’t need to tell you, is to try and pick a day with fair weather to do it. Installing external French doors in pouring rain, gale force winds or in blistering cold will make your job much harder. This is when crucial mistakes can be made.
Installing the doors yourself is very straightforward. If you’ve removed your old frame, then make sure the new one is perfectly level and plumb. If you get this part wrong your new doors will haunt you and the mistake will be made very clear when you hang them.
When you’re hanging the new doors, make sure you have someone to help you lift and position them. If you’re putting new flooring or carpet in the same room, make sure that’s accounted for.
As you’re securing the hinges of the new doors, open and close them as you work to make sure they move freely. Once they’re up simply spackle all of your nail holes, add any caulk or compound around the joints of the door frame.
French doors require a certain level of security and insulation, especially if they’re being fitted to the exterior of your house, the glass should be double glazed, and you need a multipoint locking system for them. A 5-lever mortice lock should be sufficient. You could also opt for some surface-mounted locking bolts. This protects your door frame from cracking if someone, like an opportunistic burglar, is putting pressure on it. If you have concerns about the safety of a set of external French doors, then we’ve written a couple guides you can read here: