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Utility Door Installation

Steel utility doors are easily installed as part of a room addition, garage makeover or barn. With properly sized framing, the pre-hung jambs will fit easily.  With some care during the shimming, you can get a perfect close and good weather stripping seal. 

Framed opening
Items needed:
Utility door
Caulk or sill barrier
Wood shims
2-1/2" screws
Screw gun
Electric drill and bits
Safety Suggestions and Tips
Once the shipping clips are removed, hold the door from swinging open when moving it in place.
Do not push in corners flush to wall as this will force the door out of square with the jamb and cause gaps in the weather seal.
Level of difficulty

Time Required:
 1 hour



Brick molding on utility door
Brick molding on utility door

Step 1:

Check to see that your door will easily fit within the opening.  The opening should be at least 1/2" wider than the outer extent of the door jamb. The brick molding can be removed, depending on your installation.


Remove plastic shipping clips
Remove plastic shipping clips

Step 2:

Remove the door clips.  These hold the door tight for shipping.  Carefully pry loose the plastic grips without damaging the door jamb. 


Pull staples holding shipping skid
Pull staples holding shipping skid

Step 3:

On the bottom of the door sill, pry loose the cardboard or wooden shipping skid.  Be sure to pull any staples. 


Lay sill barrier or apply two lines of caulk to bottom of door threshold
Lay sill barrier or apply two lines of caulk to bottom of door threshold

Step 4:

To seal below the threshold, either caulk the base of the threshold or lay a sill barrier.  


Check for level
Check for level

Step 5:

Slide the door in place into the opening in the framing.  Besure not to drag the caulk or move the sill barrier.  Check for level on the vertical jambs. 


Check threshold for level
Check threshold for level

Step 6:

The threshold also needs to be leveled.  Remember not to force the jamb out of square.


Add shims
Add shims

Step 7:

To adjust the level, use pairs of wooden shims between the door jamb and the wall framing.  This is the tricky part. You need to be sure not to bow the mid section of the door and also add sufficient shim thickness to keep the door in place.  When pushing the jambs into the opening, do not push too hard on the corner to the extent that the plane of the jambs become misaligned with the door.  Basically if you push on the top of the jamb above the handle, a gap will appear in the lower section of the door.


Pre-drill holes in door jamb
Pre-drill holes in door jamb

Step 8:

To secure the jamb, pre-drill at least 4 holes in each of the jambs.  The manufacturer may recommend, but remember it is just these few screws which will keep the door in place.  Use a drill bit the diameter of the shaft of the 2-1/2" screws. 


Drive screws though jamb into framing
Drive screws though jamb into framing

Step 9:

Screw the jambs in place.  On exterior doors, use a galvanized/coated or stainless screw.   That's it!


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