Entry door removed from garage because floor slab had to be re-poured. Pro SNAFU:

Removing A Pre-Hung
Exterior Door

In This Article:

The brick-mould trim is removed from an entry door and the unit is unscrewed from the framing.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: 45 Minutes

By , Editor


One of our clients asked us to remove an exterior door in the garage of their almost-finished new house. Their masonry contractor needed to pour a new concrete floor over the remains of the original floor because the contractor's employees made some enormous mistakes. They neglected to compact the soil next to the house where the dirt had been excavated and back filled. Portions of the first concrete slab settled about 6 inches within a month of being poured, causing sections of the garage walls and roof to sag.

The contractor later cut out the center part of the floor, jacked up the sagging structure and poured new footings where the old sections had settled. At the time of this writing they were preparing to pour another floor over top of the old. The home owner rented a vibratory compactor and ran it repeatedly over the soil.

Needless to say, the local building department is not happy and the contractor could lose his license. To add insult to injury, this contractor just happens to be the neighbor of our client. 

This is the outside of the door. It is a little unusual because the door swings out instead of in, but the process of removing the door is the same.


First we pulled the removable weather-stripping gasket from the grooves in the door jamb.


The weather-stripping comes out easily. It is a good idea to remove this strip when painting a door frame.

We removed all but two of the screws that held the jamb to the structure. If nails had been used we would have used a cat's claw nail remover tool, which rather mangles the wood.


A chisel was used to carefully pry the brick molding away from the door jamb.


Some people use a putty knife to create a thin gap and then use a chisel.


Then we used a flat pry bar to remove the brick molding.

Note that the three segments are joined at the corners. We left the pieces connected to each other.

Prying brick mould trim away from door jambs.


With the brick molding removed we used a pair of carpenter's pliers to pull the nails. Pneumatic-driven nails like these are best removed by pulling them all the way through from the back side. Trying to hammer them back like conventional nails is futile because the thin brads bend too easily.

The door with the brick molding removed.


The rest was easy. Just remove the last two screws...

...and lower the door to the ground


Notice the greenish piece of wood at the bottom of the doorway. That is a piece of treated lumber that the framing carpenters glued to the concrete floor. This board prevents the wooden door jambs from contacting the concrete and reduces the chances of moisture soaking into the wood.

Another view.

Once the masonry contractor returns and pours the new floor, which will be at a higher level than the old floor, the door opening will have to be raised about 4 inches and the door re-installed. Raising a door opening is nothing but a pain in the neck. Doing it right the first time is so much easier.



Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Chisel, Pry Bar
  • Carpenter's Pliers
  • 6' Step Ladder

Materials Used:

  • Sweat
  • Grief
  • Cuss Words

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Copyright © 1999, 2005  HammerZone.com

Written August 28, 1999
Revised January 6, 2005