How to Install Weatherstripping Around a Door

You would think that my cue to replace weatherstripping would be a draft or maybe even moisture seeping inside. No M’am. It was increased mosquito traffic. Those nasty, blood leaching vermin get in every now and then simply by hanging around the door awaiting my ingress and egress. Lately, they were a constant presence in my home. Egads! Right around the same time, I noticed the weatherstripping was…not entirely there. Hmm.

A good chunk of the weatherstripping was missing from the top of the door.
Further inspection showed this damage also.

This was my first weatherstripping project, so I stood in front of the multitude of products at Lowe’s bewildered and purchased the wrong product. Ha! I know I did not want the peel-and-stick foam strip (typically used for windows) because that’s not what was on the door. I wanted to replace like with like. What I bought was the metal strip with the hollow, rubber cushion attached, but it too was a peel-and-stick. It sounded great at the time–way easier than drilling holes and attaching with screws, right?

Well, sure, but then what about mid-winter when that stick doesn’t stick any longer? Then I’d have to do it all over again. No thank you. Back to Lowe’s I went and exchanged the stick-on for the screw-in type. Do y’all make every project more time consuming for yourself like this? We should start a club.

This is the product I bought. It comes in peel-and-stick and screw-in form. I chose the screw-in because that matched what I was replacing.
Make sure you have a good helper on hand, or your dog 🙂

Anywho, all the fretting about attaching the screw-in strip was for nothing. I used a utility knife to score around the existing metal plate. The trim on my house was recently painted, and so it was nicely sealed. After scoring with the utility knife, I used a spackling knife and a hammer to pry the metal plate away from the door frame. Once that was started, it was a breeze to remove the nails with the claw hammer.

The old metal plate had been painted along with the trim.
Score around the metal plate with a utility knife so the paint doesn’t chip or peel when you remove the old stripping.
Pry the plate away from the door frame with a spackling knife and hammer.

After the old stripping was removed, I used those pieces to measure and marked with a pencil the length I needed for the new pieces. The associate at Lowe’s told me I would need a hacksaw to cut the thin metal, and I protested saying my hand saw could do the job. He said no, it probably would not, and I reluctantly bought the hacksaw just in case my hand saw couldn’t cut it. Turns out it could not. So glad I listened to the Lowe’s associate because that would have been what, boys and girls? Another trip to Lowe’s! Whew.

I marked each piece with pencil and cut with a hacksaw.

Once the three pieces (both sides and top) were cut to size, I held them in place and marked with a pencil the drill holes for the screws. I drilled pilot holes, and then it was time to attach the metal plates to the door frame.

After pilot holes were drilled, I attached the strips with screws.

Of course, even after all of my measuring and matching up with the old pieces, somehow I came up short in the top right corner. What? Get out! No big–nothing a little caulk couldn’t handle.

Even though I measured with the old pieces, I still ended up about 1/8″ short in one corner. Hmph.
Caulk is the connector/glue-like sealant of life!

The finished product is great! I like that I can do some of these things myself and not have to hire a handyman for every little thing. You won’t see me doing the bathroom remodel, but when it comes to the small stuff, I’ll give it a whirl any time.

Like new! (and no “doggie door” for the mosquitoes)

It took me roughly two hours to install weatherstripping on one door, which I’m sure is considerably more time than an experienced handyman would need. However, the cost was roughly $30 all-in, and even if I had hired a handyman who could have done this in an hour, it would have been at least $100. I get a greater sense of pride in my home when I do the DIY thing, and there’s $70 saved for the next project!

Cheers!
Kelly

About Kelly Gropp

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