Install a door sweep weather strip: 3 easy steps

September 14, 2015

Older wood doors usually rely on a non-adjustable threshold to keep the weather out. But, if your old door doesn't seal tight against the threshold, you can install a door sweep weather strip to save energy. Here's how to install a door sweep weather strip in three easy steps.

Install a door sweep weather strip: 3 easy steps

Good things to know

  • A door sweep weather strip is a non-obtrusive way to create a good seal.
  • Door sweeps are available at most home centres and hardware stores.
  • If you can't find a door sweep that's smooth on one side, you can slice off the barbed flanges from bottoms designed for steel or fibreglass doors.

1. Check your measurements

  • Cut the bottom of your door to allow enough (but not too much) clearance to install the new door sweep.
  • The goal is to create an even 0.9 centimetre (3/8 inch) space between the top of the existing threshold and the bottom of the door.
  • Close the door and measure the largest gap between the door and the threshold.
  • If the gap is less than 0.9 centimetres (3/8 inch), calculate how much you'll have to cut off of the bottom to equal 0.9 centimetres (3/8 inch).
  • Mark this distance on the door at the point you measured.
  • Then use a scribing tool to extend a mark across the bottom of the door.

2. Trimming the door

  • Remove the hinge pins and move your door to a set of sawhorses.
  • Mount a sharp blade in your circular saw and cut along the line marked in the previous step.
  • Protect the surface of the door with masking tape.
  • If you have a veneered door, score along the line with a sharp utility knife before sawing to avoid chipping the veneer.

3. Cut, test and repeat

  • Cut your door sweep weather strip about 0.3 centimetres (1/8 inch) shorter than the width of the door and tack it to the bottom of the door with a staple gun.
  • Rehang your door to test the fit.
  • If it's too snug, remove the weather strip and trim a bit more from the door.
  • When the fit is perfect, remove the staples and mount your weather strip.

Keep these three easy steps in mind and installing a door sweep weather strip will be much more straightforward.

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