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Replace Your Weather Strip

Install a door bottom weather strip to wooden doors for an effective and almost invisible airtight seal and to stop drafts.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Replace Your Weather Strip

Install a door bottom weather strip to wooden doors for an effective and almost invisible airtight seal and to stop drafts.

Step 1: Mark and trim the door bottom

Older wood doors usually rely on a non-adjustable threshold to keep the weather out. If your old door doesn’t seal tight against the threshold, you’re wasting energy. You could screw a surface-applied weather strip to the face of the door, but a door-bottom weather strip is a less obtrusive way to create a good seal.

The door bottom we’re using is available at most home centers and hardware stores. If you can’t find a door bottom that’s smooth on one side, you can slice off the barbed flanges from bottoms designed for steel or fiberglass doors.

Cut the bottom of the door to allow enough (but not too much) clearance to install the new door bottom. The goal is to create an even 3/8-in. 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 3/8 in., calculate how much you’ll have to cut off the bottom to equal 3/8 in. 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 (Photo 1).

Remove the hinge pins and move the door to a set of sawhorses. Mount a sharp blade in your circular saw and cut along the line. 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 it to avoid chipping the veneer.

Step 2: Install the new weather strip

Cut the door-bottom weather strip about 1/8 in. shorter than the width of the door and tack it to the bottom of the door with a staple gun. Rehang the 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 the weather strip (Photo 2).

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Hammer
    • Tape measure
    • Circular saw
    • Caulk gun
    • 4-in-1 screwdriver
    • Staple gun
    • Sawhorses
    • Scribing tool
    • Utility knife
    • Tin snips

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Door bottom weather strip
    • Adhesive caulk
    • 1-in. roofing nails

Comments from DIY Community Members

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February 11, 10:12 AM [GMT -5]

rather than taking the door off and cutting it, often you can just take a philips screw driver and "lower" the bottom plate so that there will be enough room to install new weather stripping.

much easier than cutting the door.

December 21, 8:30 PM [GMT -5]

if you have a steel door, replace your old weather stripping with magnetic weather stripping. They fit in the same groove as the old strips & you're 100% insulated. It's much better the before. Thanks as lot. mon468.

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Replace Your Weather Strip

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