(905) 761 5252
(416) 751 2511

1948 - 2015.  Serving Toronto homes for the past 67 years.

Door installation

Door Installation and Details

Installation options

There are three ways to install an external door:

  • With full frame
  • With steel add-on frame
  • Installation of door slab only within an exiting frame

Each installation option brings its own advantages, so we can offer a solution to any given situation, be it a new or old house, a restoration job, standard or custom size. All the options described ensure full protection from the elements.

There is little price difference between the options, and we recommend each option based on the existing configuration, age of house, condition of existing drywall / plaster, opening size, and obviously what the home owner wants to see once all is done.

In broad terms, the common installation is complete with a new pre-hung frame. However, in old houses where elaborate trim needs to stay to match the rest of the house, or where door size is much larger - or smaller =- than the standard sizes, or where the existing plaster may be too frail, we would recommend one of the other options.  Safety becomes an issue in recent years, so in areas prone to break-ins we may offer a certain type over another just for this reason.   

Full frame replacement - pre-hung doors

The nicest and most complete option. Available in virtually unlimited options, many standard sizes and configurations. can be customised to match non-standard openings, but such may be costly. The door comes pre-hung on a new wood, vinyl or composite frame. The existing frame and trim are removed and the new kit is installed in the opening.
Note that existing door trim and existing storm door, if any, may not fit.

What is included:

  • New door panel, white.
  • New sidelite panels, if applicable.
  • Doorlites, if applicable
  • Door hardware - lock and handle.
  • New wood frame per required size: 4.625" or 6.625" wide, 1.25" or 1.50" thick, , precision milled, glued, screwed together and caulked.
  • For double door - astragal with two barrel bolts and horseshoe receptacles on top and bottom.
  • Integral weather stripping around door.
  • Sill sweep.
  • Bug stops at bottom of the door panel.
  • Ball bearing hinges, colour to match hardware.
  • Back plate to reinforce lock position.
  • Adjustable threshold, aluminum/vinyl, with available extensions up to 10" with side horns.
  • New casing inside.
  • New brickmold outside, to bridge the gap between new frame and existing wall
  • Doorbell button rewired.
  • All gaps sealed with long lasting foam and caulking.

What is not included:

  • Painting of the door.
  • Painting of the new frame and wood trim.


  • Out-swing door with matching hinges and sill.
  • Fire rated door and door closer.
  • Painted door panel and frame, standard or custom colours
  • Fiberglas door panels and frames.
  • Vinyl cladding on frame.
  • Aluminum cladding of the frame in a wide selection of colours.
  • Additional door hardware such as mail slot or door knocker.
  • Safety accessories.

Add-on frame ('Z' bar) door replacement

This option is recommended for:

  •  Older houses, where it may be prudent to leave the existing frame untouched.
  • Where existing elaborate trim needs to stay.
  • Safety concerns, as this frame protects best against forced entry.
  • Non standard openings, either bigger or smaller than the standard door sizes - it is much cheaper to use this method there than customizing a new pre-hung door.

The existing wood frame remains unchanged. The existing casing is removed and a steel add-on frame - called a 'Z' bar in the trade - is mounted and concealed by mounting the original or new trim. Using existing or new casing depends on the style and condition of the existing casing. Once the steel frame is caulked and painted, it blends with the door frame.

This way the steel frame makes up for any imperfections and uneven gaps between the new door panel and the existing frame. Furthermore, this installation mode adds to the frame's strength and safety. 

The new door is mounted on the steel frame, including a new set of weather stripping and a new sill.

This installation mode is offered in limited door slab styles. It can be combined with existing doorlites or transoms. 

What is included:

  • Existing wood frame and brickmold remain.
  • New door panel, white.
  • Doorlites, if applicable.
  • Door hardware: lock and handle.
  • 18 gauge steel add-on frame installed under casing.
  • Add-on wood stops with weather stripping around door.
  • Adjustable sill sweep at the bottom of the door.
  • Bug stops at bottom of the door panel.
  • Bright brass friction hinges.
  • New narrow aluminum/vinyl threshold.
  • Use existing inside casing, or a new standard set at no additional cost.
  • All gaps sealed with long lasting foam and caulking.


  • Aluminum cladding of the frame in a wide selection of colours.
  • Additional door hardware such as mail slot or door knocker.

What is not included:

  • Painting of the door.
  • Painting of the new wood trim.
  • Repairing any exposed blemishes on the existing frame, not covered by the steel frame or the new casing.

Z bar door








Door replacement in existing frame

Although this seems to be the simplest way, it is the most difficult and complex and requires master workmanship. This is used where frame or trim replacement is not recommended. In older houses with plastered walls, the plaster and the lattice underneath might fall apart with the slightest disturbance to the woodwork. The same applies to elaborate wood trim, where it is wiser to leave the trim untouched, as it may crack. Note that with the add-on steel frame mode, although the frame stays, the trim is removed. Here the trim is untouched.

In this mode we install the new door panel within the existing frame to restore as close as possible the initial look of the entrance. This installation mode requires a lot of patience and old world craftsmanship, as the older frames are off square and bent to any which way, and the hinges and locks preps need to be adjusted. We are proud to employ some of the best craftsmen in the trade who can install a door and have it look as if it was there from the seven days of creation.

What is included:

  • Frame, casing and brickmold to remain.
  • New door panel, white.
  • New sidelite panels or glass, if applicable.
  • Doorlites, if applicable.
  • Door hardware - lock and handle.
  • For double doors - astragal with two barrel bolts and horseshoe receptacles .
  • Add-on wood stops with weather stripping around door.
  • Sill sweep at the bottom of the door.
  • Bug stops at bottom of the door panel.
  • Ball bearing hinges, colour to match hardware.
  • New narrow aluminum/vinyl threshold.
  • Filling frame blemishes, first sanding only.
  • New wood trim unpainted.
  • All gaps sealed with long lasting foam and caulking.

What is not included:

  • Painting any new wood trim.


  • Painted door panel, standard or custom colours.
  • Fiberglas door panel.
  • Aluminum cladding of the frame in a wide selection of colours.
  • Additional door hardware such as mail slot or door knocker.
  • Safety accessories.

A word about door painting

New door slabs are finished with a baked-on white polytex paint over a rust proof coating and primer. As the market demands, we also offer pre-painted doors and frames in several standard colours, as well as custom colours.

For painted doors, the term 'factory painting' is commonly used, which might be deceiving. The product can ne painted and baked in a professional paint shop, as we do, or spray painting in a spray booth, or in a corner of the shop, with dust and all. The results obviously differ.

Please note the following:

  • Dark colours are not recommended. The insulated door does not absorb the heat, which results in heat build up on the surface; that could damage the paint, doorlite frames and even the door slab itself. In addition, a dark door installed behind a storm door is a self destructing package.

  • Wood frames need to be laminated with vinyl before painting, so the finish will be same as the door itself. However, laminated vinyl painted dark will wobble under heat. As an alternative we use composite frames with dark colours, which frames are more expensive than the wood / vinyl combination.

  • Although we do offer a painted product, we strongly recommend painting the door after installation via traditional means, using a fine roller and high quality paint. While the original white coat is made to last for decades, we are not sure - and hence do not guarantee for mote than ten years, how long the additional outer coat will last.

  • Entrance doors are highest traffic areas. Sooner or later they will get scratched. A spray-on paint application can not be touched up, just as you can not touch up car paint with a brush. However, if  painted with a brush or roller, scratches can be repaired with a few strokes of a roller.

  • Lastly, the cost of a pre-painted door runs at about several hundred dollars. A cheaper offer will probably be done on the cheap, will look cheap and will not last. Painting the door yourself with a brush or roller may set you back some $40 and one nice afternoon. Getting a professional painter to do it will still be cheaper than to get it 'factory painted', and it can easily be touched up. 

A word for the wise

The most advertised slogan in the retrofit door business is 'By direct from manufacturer'. To keep it in prospective and make some sense, the fact are:

Define 'manufacturer'  means: the door slabs are made by few, mostly large manufacturers. As it stands when this is written, there is one small manufacturer in Ontario and three in Quebec. None of them sells to home owner, unless he would by a truck load. as described above, even if you get a door slab there is nothing you can do with it alone.

Next come the pre-hangers: a pre-hanger buys the door slabs from the manufacturer above, and assembles the frame - 'pre-hang' in trade speak. There are mass pre-hangers who sell to new construction builders and the big box stores. There are large pre-hangers who sell to the retrofit trade either direct or via wholesalers. There are custom pre-hangers who specialise in the odd configurations. None of them will give the home owner the time of day. Their product well made and done by the book.

Thereafter come the 'two guys and a drill' crowd. It does not take much to pre-hang a door. You may buy frame sections, already with hinge preparations, sill and other components, and put it all together in you garage. There is no quality control or quality alone. The product is a far cry from what it should be, but what does the home owner know? He / she bys "from the manufacture" and it is cheap.  

Caveat emptor. so, if the rep in you home swears that yiou buy "from the manufactuere" - check again. Even if he shows you a coloufull catalogue with his company name on it - it has nonthig to with him,. For a nominal fee the glass maker will print their scaled trade catalogue with any dealer's name. 

To sum it up - if you are offered a direct purchase from the manufacturer - either it is not correct, or if it is correct, the product is not.  

Are we making it up? No. Please find the differences::

Key - Entryguard is the pre-hanger, does not make the door panels and will not sell to the public. Gentek is a wholesaler, will not sell to the public. The two others are dealers, and do sell to the public, under buy direct guise.


Not all doors are made alike. While similar at first glance, there are more differences than similarities. The materials and components used, assembly and installation all play a major role in the way the door will perform for years to come.


  High end door Entry level door
CSA A440-M090 Certified 
CWDMA Certified  
Power Smart Certified  
Energy Star Certified  
Lock block 18" 12"
Skin material Cold rolled steel Cold rolled steel
Skin thickness 24 gauge  (0.70mm, 0.028") 26 gauge (0.55mm, 0.022")
Envelope fold J lock L lock
Coating Galvanized, primed and coated with polyester thermo-hardened white paint Galvanized and primed
Insulation High density polyurethane foam injected in place Polystyrene sheet
Note 22 Gauge (0.034", 0.85mm) doors are available for special applications in limited sizes and styles


  High end door Entry level door
Frame size 6 5/8" deep - full size, to match external wall thickness 4 5/8", practically unsuitable to an external wall - needs jamb extensions
Frame thickness Standard 1 1/4" - fits most applications.
1 1/2" thick available
1 1/4"
Skeleton material Finger joint #1 pine or better - does not twist or deform. No knots or imperfections Knotty pine - needs filing and knots show through the paint
Frame protection Optional moulded vinyl cladding on frame, to eliminate damages and maintenance  
Material option For fibreglass doors - solid cellular PVC (often referred to as fibreglass frame). Available in either wood-grain or smooth to match door  
Assembly Joints are milled to fit and are glued, screwed and caulked together Stapled joints
Hinges Ball bearing brass or chrome plated hinges Friction hinges, painted
Hinge screws Brass or chrome plated to match  
Hinge reinforcement Machine screw with 'T' nut for additional strength  
Sill Aluminum/vinyl or aluminum/oak, thermally broken. Adjustable where applicable  
Sill options Standard; adjustable; medium height; special needs; out-swing One style fits all
Sill horns Standard. Sill horns eliminate direct contact of the wood frame with the ground, so frame will not rot  
Sill extension Standard. Covers the concrete step to complete the new door's look  
Bug stops Standard - at both sides of door's bottom. Stops bugs, draft and dust from entering through the bottom corners - the vulnerable area of the door  
Sweep Triple line pile and fin Vinyl
Weather stripping Long lasting, wide, magnetic and compression strips combination Narrow compression strips only
Security back plate Standard  
Deadbolt bore Included  


  Our doors Other doors
Out-swing door Specialized hardware and sill, for better safety and weatherproofing  
Security striker plate 12" solid brass or stainless steel available  
Vinyl capping Available, white. Withstands scratches, pollution and road hockey  
Aluminum capping Available, some 55 colours  
Custom painting Available, standard and custom colours  




Measuring Expert measuring - the door is made to fit
Custom sized The door is made to the opening's size
Installation Professional: trained and certified installers show up as agreed, finish the job on time and as it should be the first time
Finishing All inside and outside trim is completed
Cleaning Using drop sheets, cleaning site and removing all debris



BG thickness units - referred to as 'gauge', while the correct reference is Birmingham Gauge, derived from the traditional way of measuring metal wires. The wires are run through several dies, where the wire gets thinner with each consecutive die. From that, the more dies, the larger the number, the thinner the material: 22BG = .028"; 24BG = .022"; 26BG = .018".

More about door styles

More about doorlites

More about door hardware


All products are custom made

Quick links

Painted doors
Z-bar doors
Steel add-on frame installation

Replacement in existing frame


Related resources

Door styles
Door hardware