DIY Door Sill

Written by tanya lee
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DIY Door Sill
A new door sill can help keep your home airtight. (Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Whether you're doing a major renovation or just a minor remodel, installing or replacing a door sill (also called a threshold or a saddle) can present even an experienced do-it-yourselfer with a quandary. It's not as hard as your might think, and with the right tools, it's not even too difficult. A new door sill will not only improve the appearance of your home but also could be a real energy saver. As door sills wear down from constant traffic, the gap between the door and the sill grows. Closing that gap can help keep the cold -- or heat -- in your house.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Hammer
  • Prybar
  • Chisel
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Safety goggles
  • Silicone caulk
  • Screws
  • Electric drill/driver
  • Sponge
  • Wood putty or wood plugs
  • Stain or primer and paint

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  1. 1

    Make two cuts about 6 inches apart across (from top to bottom) the door sill using a reciprocating saw. Pull out the middle section using the claw end of a hammer or a pry bar, then continue to remove the rest of the threshold. Use the reciprocating saw to cut screws or nails that are holding it down. Use a chisel and hammer to break it into smaller pieces if you need to. Be careful not to damage the flooring around the threshold.

  2. 2

    Clean out the area under the threshold, taking particular care to make sure you have removed the ends of the threshold from under the door frame.

  3. 3

    Trace the shape of one side of the door frame onto the corresponding side of the new threshold. Cut the notches in the threshold to correspond to the shape of the door frame using a jigsaw. Wear safety goggles.

  4. 4

    Test fit the new threshold. Hold the threshold at an angle and slip the unnotched end under the doorjamb, then lay the notched edge down, following the contours of the door jamb. Once the new threshold is flat, slide it 1/8 inch toward the notched end so the cuts are hidden by the doorjamb. Make sure the door can close and open easily, but that there is not too wide a gap between the door and the threshold.

  5. 5

    Remove the threshold from the doorway. Apply a bed of silicone caulk to the floor under the threshold. Replace the threshold, sliding it into place.

  6. 6

    Attach the threshold to the floor with screws. Countersink the screws. Drill pilot holes and drive the screws using an electric drill/driver. Clean up the caulk that has oozed out from under the threshold with water and a sponge, following the manufacturer's instructions. Fill in the countersunk holes with wood putty or wood plugs glued in place. Sand and finish the threshold with a stain or primer and paint.

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