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Removing the back door – without professional help

You don't have to be a professional, or even consult one, to be able to remove a back door. Do-it-yourselfers or even amateurs can easily carry out this job themselves – provided, of course, that all the necessary tools and materials are available, otherwise the work will be delayed.

Detailed instructions explain the process of removing the door and list the accessories required to ensure a smooth door change.

Material list

  • Sheet for covering floors and furniture
  • The new back door

Tool list

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Crowbar
  • Pliers
  • Electric foxtail saw
  • Work ladder

When removing a back door, the help of a second person is recommended, since back doors made from wood or aluminium are often heavy and should therefore be lifted by two people.

1. Removing the door leaf of the back door

There are many reasons for having to remove a back door. It may be either damaged or no longer fits with the house's aesthetic and should therefore be replaced. Refreshing the colour – which is regularly the case with doors made from wood – is also a reason for an upgrade. Thorough preparations should be made to ensure a smooth process. First of all, you must have the right tools to hand.

A wall milling machine is certainly an advantage, but having one is not a requirement. Before starting work, furniture and the floor around the door area should be protected from dust using a protective sheet. If the back door is removed with the intention of replacing it with a new model, it is advisable to measure the door embrasure again to be on the safe side before the installation begins. The new door can only be installed if everything fits perfectly. There are also separate instructions for measuring doors.

After all the preparations have been made, the actual removal can begin.

  • The first step is to lift the door leaf off its hinges. To do this, the lock must first be unlocked and the back door must be opened.
  • Now the metal pins that attach the door hinges are removed. Door hinges are the structural elements that connect the door leaf to the frame (Fig. 1a).
  • Finally, the door leaf is carefully pushed up and thus lifted off the hinges. Since residues of hinge oil or lubricating grease can accumulate in the hinges over time, meticulous, careful work is particularly important here. Otherwise, the walls and furnishings may become soiled (Fig. 1b).

2. Removing the frame

The frame for the back door is a bit more complicated to remove than the door leaf, because it is firmly attached to the masonry. This is the only way for a door to be able to withstand daily use and provide the necessary security. The fixed connection is unfastened as follows:

  • Saw through the wall anchors.
  • Saw the frame into pieces.
  • Break out the frame pieces.

a) Loosening the wall anchors

To do this, saw directly along the frame either using an electric foxtail saw or a wall milling machine. On some doors, the wall anchors are also visible or can at least be guessed at – here precise work when removing is possible directly at the corresponding point on the back door, which saves a lot of time (Fig. 2a and Fig. 2 B).

b) Cutting up the frame

Once the wall anchors have been loosened, the frame itself is cut into pieces before final removal. For this purpose, a cut is made with the saw at the top and bottom: the door frame is cut twice on the left and right. These cuts should be made in a V-shape, as this will ensure that the individual pieces do not become wedged when levered out (Fig. 2c).

c) Removing the frame pieces from the back door

The loosened and sawn up pieces of the door frame can be removed as the final removal step. To do this, the crowbar is placed in the gap between the masonry and the door frame. If individual pieces of the frame cannot be detached without a great deal of force, the saw must be used again in order to be able to completely remove the door frame (Fig. 2d).

To complete these steps for removing the back door, use the crowbar and either a foxtail saw or a wall milling machine. Sturdy shoes pay off here especially, as parts of the sawn-up frame or pieces of the masonry may fall and cause injuries. Wearing gloves is also a must when removing the back door.

3. Removing the back door – no problem with the right tool

With careful preparation and the appropriate tools, removing a back door is almost child's play, even for do-it-yourselfers or amateurs – especially if a second person can help with the work. It is therefore not necessary to hire an expensive specialist to remove the old door and install a new one.

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