Archive for Monday, October 29, 2012


Fix-It Chick: Seal the cold weather outside

October 29, 2012


When it comes to sealing the gaps around an exterior door, there are many weather strip options to choose from.

With a little patience and a couple of tools, you can create a great seal using an aluminum and vinyl screw-on door set. Once installed, the tubular gasket attached to the metal mounting strip of the door set will seal out air, insects and precipitation.

Step 1: Clean the door jamb and exterior face of the door. Remove any existing loose or damaged weather stripping.

Step 2: With the door closed, measure the width of the exterior door jamb that runs along the top of the door.

Step 3: Use a hacksaw to cut the shorter piece of the door set to match the width of the door jamb. Cut the vinyl portion of the door set with scissors before cutting the metal portion with the hacksaw.

Step 4: Hold the cut-to-size door set piece on the underside of the door jamb along the top of the door. Position the weather stripping so the vinyl bulb presses firmly against the door but not so tightly that it impedes the operation of the door.

Step 5: Mark the screw hole positions with a pencil, remove the door set piece and drill pilot holes for each of the screws.

Step 6: Once the pilot holes have been drilled, reposition the top piece of the door set and screw it into place.

Step 7: Open and shut the door a few times to assure the position of the top door set piece is correct. The door should shut easily, and the vinyl bulb of the door set should be compressed along the full width of the door.

Step 8: Make any necessary adjustments to the top piece of the door set, before installing the two side pieces.

Step 9: Following the same procedure as before, measure the door jamb height and cut the side pieces to the appropriate length. A straight cut with a hack saw is the most efficient method of installation. Resist the urge to use a coping saw.

Step 10: Mark and drill pilot holes before screwing the side pieces into place.

If installed correctly, the vinyl bulb of the weather strip should compress firmly along the edges of the door while still allowing the door to open and shut properly.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


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