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Can You Replace a Door Without Replacing the Frame?

Posted by: Raj Kain

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Published On: Jun 22, 2023

A contractor replacing an entry door to a home

The short answer is yes, it is possible to replace your door without replacing the frame. However, the better question is if you should.

No matter the reason why you want to replace the door, doing so without replacing the frame is tricky. You’re going to have to be extremely careful with the measurements to ensure your new one will fit into the old frame.

With the potential for complications, it’s highly advisable to seek the help of professional installers. After all, they already have the technical knowledge and certifications to make quick work of updating your exterior doors.

Keep reading for more information!

A house with a customized exterior door and sidelights.

Assessing Your Existing Door Frame

If your old frame is still in good condition and shape, then there should be no issue with keeping it when you replace your door. However, there are some signs to look out for that will tell you if your frame needs replacing.

First, check if the door still opens or closes properly. Next, check for any gaps around the door that need to be insulated. If any of these issues present themselves, you need to determine if there’s an issue with your frame or the door itself. Familiarizing yourself with parts, hardware, and their functions will make doing this easier.

What Is a Door Frame?

This is the structure that supports the door (which is also called the “slab” or “blank” in this case). It also hosts a few more components:

  • The sill – The part of the frame located at the bottom of the door. This keeps air, water, dirt, dust, or other natural elements from coming into the home.
  • The jamb – This is the part that’s posted on both sides of the door and holds the frame upright. You can see these posts on both exterior and interior entry frames.
  • The head – This is the top of the door frame, usually made from metal and outlined with trim.

Slab Doors vs Pre-hung Doors

A slab door doesn’t include a frame. If you’re the type to do DIY home renovations, then you should know buying this style of door means having to install the slab door to your old frame or create a new frame altogether. They can be bought with or without a pre-cut knob hole.

On the other hand, a pre-hung door is a slab door that’s attached to the hinges of a frame. You can buy this from your manufacturer as a “package,” but this shouldn’t limit your ability to customize it. This type of door is also more expensive because you’re paying for convenience, as it’s technically a “unit” that is ready to install.

Door Frame Cosmetic Warning Signs

While the previous section discussed functionality, there are also some clear cosmetic signs of it being time to replace your frame. These problems may seem minuscule at first glance, but can cause more damage in the long run. Look for issues such as:

  • Deep scratches
  • Cracks or splits
  • Dents
  • Warping
  • Condition of the wood (if there’s wood rot)

Also, take a closer look to see if the doorknob and deadbolt still fit securely.

A damaged door frame

Next, check if the hinges and the hinge pins are still attached in their proper places. Check for loose or stripped screws as well as any cracks or broken wood near the hinges. All these potential issues will let in drafts that are not good for insulation.

In some instances, it may still be possible to repair the door frame if these signs are present. However, if the damage is too extensive, it may make more sense to replace the entire frame along with the door.

Finally, look at the door’s position and see if it’s still hanging correctly. While you can still adjust this on your own, it’s best to hire a professional and seek a replacement frame if there are multiple issues at hand.

Why You Should Replace Your Entire Unit

Believe it or not, there are several benefits to replacing your entire unit.

For starters, you won’t need to make any adjustments after purchasing a whole unit that’s designed to fit perfectly together. There’s something to be said for getting two things that are meant to work well together. It’s simpler and less stressful.

You’re also sure to receive a door and frame that look good together, meaning no more design trial and error while increasing curb appeal. A mismatching door and frame is a surefire way to have a home give off a bad first impression.

Purchasing together also means having a complete warranty over the entire unit just in case something goes awry. Purchasing these two things separately likely means being stuck dealing with two separate warranties that may not be wholly compatible.

You can also customize both your new replacement door and its frame. Doing this can increase your home’s resale value and security, as well as improve the overall exterior door’s quality and durability.

Get Durable and Stylish Exterior Doors at Burano

So, can you replace a door without replacing the frame?

Well, as you’ve learned, you can but probably shouldn’t. You’re better off getting a matching door and frame together from Burano Doors.

For over four decades, we’ve been the leading provider of high-quality exterior doors and windows for Ontario homeowners. We make sure our clients are equipped with stylish, durable, energy-efficient entry doors.

We’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect replacement door and frame that will last for years to come. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions!

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