Replacement entry door slab: how to get a good weathertight seal?

collins designJune 20, 2010

I know, I know, it would have been better to buy a pre-hung door. But we didn't: last year we purchased a beautiful fir entry door for our 1956 home. It cost a lot of money, and is past being able to be returned/exchanged for a pre-hung unit, so this is what we have to work with.

The old wood entry door has NO weatherstripping save some deteriorating cheapie foam by the P.O.

We've hung interior door slabs before, but clearly the fit of this one is very important, and we need to figure out the best weatherstripping option. I'd love to forgo a storm door if possible, which would retract from the beauty of the door (it's under a porch roof).

Any advice??


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This is a catalog page of some excellent self-adhesive weatherstripping in rubber and spring bronze.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zero weatherstripping

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 9:44PM
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collins design

Thanks, Casey. Which of the options on that page do you like best?

Have you ordered directly from that company or will I need to source it from my building supply place or McMaster-Carr or somewhere?

Any advice on hanging the door?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 5:37AM
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I really like the self-stick spring bronze in an 1 1/8" width. Set the door with hinges that already have a 3/32" gap built in, and allow a 3/16 latch-edge gap if a rail/stile and panel door ( because real wood doors need more expansion room) or another 3/32" to 1/8" gap if a solid-core door, because they expand less. Bevel a 3' door latch edge about 2 degrees with the plane.
You really only get one chance with the self-stick, so dry fit it exactly before peeling off the wax paper strip.
If you have a mortise lock, you will want a 7" section of the lock strip profile of bronze. Let me see what that number is...
Zero doesn't have the little lock strip, so look at accurate:
The lock strip is the B183 profile.
The main WS is # B182.
You cut it with sharp tinsnips. The cut edges will be sharp; I like to dress them with a file and leave no burrs.
On the top (which goes in first) and the lock side, you install with the point of the vee toward the door. For the hinge side, I like to reverse it so the point is toward the outdoors. You want to leave enough play so the top WS can spring down and contact the door at each corner, too. Therefore the side pieces are relief cut along the free edge of the WS. (this is sounding technical).
In spite of it being adhesive, I add a few nails top, middle and bottom. The surface of the jamb must be impeccable, stripped of old paint, block sanded, old holes filled if needed, and primed and finish painted.
You only want to do this once, and you want it to work.
After installing the WS, I apply furniture paste wax to the door edge and the WS on the top and latch sides, so it slips to & fro with the most freedom.
The bronze lasts for decades. For a real treat, add a bronze threshold and interlocking j-strip. See # 80-A here: I have installed a few of these, the material is $75/ft, but it is considered a capital improvement. They last 100 years on commercial buildings.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 7:31PM
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collins design

Wow, great instructions, Casey. Thanks for taking the time to do that :)
I will forward this to my husband and make sure we understand all... might have a couple questions later. Thanks- I really appreciate it!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 6:02AM
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