How to Remove Old Door Frames

... 1 of 14


Replacing a drafty front door is one of the quickest ways to update the exterior of your home and gain the energy efficiency of new materials and technology. Replacement doors today come pre-hung in a weather-stripped frame that can be installed by an average handyman. The first step, of course, is to get the old door removed and the opening ready for the new installation.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 2 of 14

Things you Need

Utility knife Pry bar Hammer Nail puller Screwdriver Reciprocating power saw

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 3 of 14

Cut the Caulking Seal

Cut the caulking seal around the trim pieces with a utility knife. Be careful not to cut into the wood if you plan on re-using the trim.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 4 of 14

Remove the Inside Trim

Hammer in a small pry bar at one end of a trim piece. Twist the pry bar sideways and work down the piece, repeating this procedure. Gently remove each piece of trim with this method. Pull the nails through the back side of the piece with a nail puller to prevent chipping the front side of the trim pieces.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 5 of 14

Locate Security Sensors

Tap up the hinge pins and remove the door from the hinges. Locate any security sensors. Cut through the sheetrock to expose the wires.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 6 of 14

Remove Security Sensors

Unwire the security sensor and set aside. Pull the wires back through the door frame and store for re-use when the new door is installed.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 7 of 14

Score Around Exterior Brick Mold

Score around the brick mold on the outside of the house. Take extra care in this step to prevent chips in the edges of vinyl and stucco in particular.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 8 of 14

Remove the Brick Mold

Remove the brick mold using the same method as the interior trim.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 9 of 14

Remove the Door Latch

Remove the door latch and deadbolt lock if you plan on re-using them.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 10 of 14

Cut Around the Frame

Cut around the door frame with a reciprocating saw. Keep the mess in check by having a helper follow the saw with a shop vacuum.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 11 of 14

Knock the Frame Loose

Knock the frame loose with a block and hammer around the frame.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 12 of 14

Remove the Door Frame

Tip the door frame back inside the house and remove out the opening.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 13 of 14

Inspect the Exposed Frame

Inspect the exposed frame and check for areas that need repaired before installation of a new door.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams ... 14 of 14

Clean Up

Clean up old insulation and debris from the frame. Make any repairs in the exposed wood that are necessary in preparation for the installation of a new door.

Image Credit: Debbie Williams