How to Install Weather Stripping on Your Door
Easy-to-install kits make it easy to stop drafts.
An hour or less
Less than $20
IntroductionStop energy-wasting air leaks around entry doors by installing a weatherstripping kit.
- Coping saw
- Door sweep
- Vinyl bulb for door sill
- Weatherstrip kit
Project step-by-step (7)
How to Buy Weatherstripping for Doors
- You can usually find the types of door weatherstripping shown here at well-stocked hardware stores and home centers.
- We like the wrapped foam type (A and B, shown below). It’s durable, retains its shape, withstands abrasions and conforms to a wide range of gaps.
- The metal flange with slots for screws (B) is a bit more adjustable than the nail-on wood flange type (A).
- The vinyl or silicone bulb type (C) won’t cover wide gaps as well as wrapped foam, but it has a smaller profile with a cleaner look.
Tighten the Hinges
- Before you go out to buy your materials, check the door to make sure the draft isn’t caused by loose hinge screws.
- Lift the door by the doorknob to check for loose hinges. If the door moves upward, tighten the top hinge screws. That might solve the draft problem!
- If the screws no longer bite, you may have to glue wood plugs in the holes and re-drive the screws.
Measure the Door Jamb
- Close the door and measure the top of the frame from side to side.
- Measure the height of the door from the threshold to the top jamb.
Cut the Top Piece
- Cut the foam part of the door weather stripping with sharp scissors.
- Next, cut the wood flange with a hacksaw or other fine-tooth saw.
Nail the Top Piece
- Tap 1-1/2 in. nails into the wood flange and position the weatherstripping so the entire length of the foam seals against the door.
- Tack the door weatherstripping in place but don’t drive the nails home yet.
- Next, measure the length of the sides of the frame.
Cut the Side Pieces
- Mark the profile using a piece of scrap for a guide.
- Cut the profile with a coping saw, cut the foam with a pair of scissors
- Cut one piece of weatherstripping for each side to fit the profile of the top piece.
- File or sand your cut for a tight fit. Then measure and cut the bottom to length.
Attach the Weatherstripping
- Position the door weatherstripping so that the entire length seals to the door and tack it in place. Position the nails about 2 in. in from each end (to avoid splitting), and space others about every 12 in.
- Open and close the door several times to make sure the door weatherstripping seals against the door and the door latches and locks. Adjust the door weatherstripping as needed., then drive the finish nails home.
- Pro tip: The key to positioning the new door weatherstripping is to shove it against the door so it compresses slightly along its entire length.
Originally Published: December 31, 1969