John J. Higgins
(Magherafelt) Ltd.
Unit 4, Station Road Industrial Estate, Magherafelt
Co. Derry, Northern Ireland BT45 5EY
Telephone: 028 7963 3717 / 7963 2369
Fax: 028 7963 1790
From Enquiry to Delivery John J Higgins customers benefit from unrivalled expertise built up over 70 years.



Getting Ready for a New Exterior Door

A pre-hung door comes already mounted to a new doorframe. The hinges are installed and the lockset and deadbolt holes are pre-bored for standard installations.
Before removing the old door, it is a good idea to have the new one on hand. Check it for damage and make sure it will fit. Here’s what you’ll need to do before you purchase a new door.

  1. Remove the interior trim around the existing door.
  2. Measure the height, width, and depth of the door opening. he new door should be ½” less than the height of the rough opening and ¾” less in width. 
  3. Determine which way the door opens. Stand with your back to the hinges and note whether you would open the door with your right or left hand.
  4. Select the type of door you will install: wood, fiberglass or steel. Fiberglass and steel doors are more weather-resistant than wood doors.
  5. Give this information to a Lowe's associate, who can help you select the appropriate door for your home.
  6. When you get the new door home, read the manufacturer’s instructions. They should provide you with information regarding the removal of the factory-installed shipping braces or clips.Some braces and clips keep the doorframe square during installation.They will also help to clarify terms and identify parts.

Removing the Existing Door and Frame

  1. Carefully remove the existing door's exterior trim for re-installation on the new doorframe. Some doorframes come with the exterior trim pre-attached so you can discard the old trim. Also remove insulation surrounding the doorframe.
  2. Use a hammer and nail set, or screwdriver, to remove the hinge pins and detach the existing door from the hinges. For most hinges, insert the nail set in the hole at the bottom of the hinge pin and strike it upward with the hammer. Keep driving the pin upward until it comes out.
  3. Once the door is off the frame, remove the hinges from the doorframe.
  4. Remove the screws, or nails, that attach the sill and jamb to the house frame. If necessary, cut the nails off between the jamb or sill and the house frame with a reciprocating saw. Wear safety glasses and be careful not to damage the house frame studs.
  5. If possible, remove the small pieces of wood, called shims, from between the door jamb and house frame.
  6. Remove the old doorframe from the house frame.You may need to use a pry bar under the sill.

Installing the New Pre-hung Door

  1. Dry-fit the new door in position to make sure it fits.
  2. Inspect the subsill (where the door will sit) to verify that it is square and level. Adjust the subsill as needed with shims following the door manufacturer's instructions. Also, check that the rough opening is square and plumb. If you’re not sure if your rough opening is square and plumb, call a professional for assistance. Thoroughly inspect the house frame for dry rot and pest damage and make needed repairs before proceeding.
  3. Make sure the new door will clear the finished floor. Measure the new door from the bottom of its sill to the bottom of the door. Then measure the height of the existing interior flooring to ensure that the opening door will not hit the flooring. If the new door won't clear, raise entire the doorframe with a piece of treated wood secured to the subfloor with caulk and screws.
  4. Weatherproof the subsill by applying a bead of caulk about 1" from the front and 1" from the rear of the rough opening, with a wave, or zig-zag, pattern in between. Apply caulk to the underside of the doorsill, too.
  5. Working from outside the house, set the bottom of the door against the opening, then raise the frame into place.
  6. Temporarily insert new shims near the top of the frame to hold the door.
  7. With shims, adjust the doorframe so that it is plumb and square in the opening. Insert shims between the doorframe and studs at the hinge locations. Shims keep the door level, plumb and square in the rough opening. Be sure to have at least 1/8” of clearance between the jamb and rough frame.
  8. Drive screws through the hinges and shims. Some manufacturers recommend inserting the screws below the shims. Check your
    manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. On the lock side of the door, place shims near the top and bottom of the jamb.
  10. Drive screws through the jamb and shims.
  11. Check that there is even spacing around the doorjamb. From inside, make sure there is even spacing at the door reveal. From outside, check that there is a 3/8" to 1/2" space between the door and the jamb stop at the top, middle, and bottom. Make any necessary adjustments to the doorframe.
  12. Insert additional shims around the frame following the door manufacturer's instructions. For added strength, place shims at the lockset and deadbolt positions.
  13. Remove any remaining shipping braces.
  14. Open and close the door, checking that it swings smoothly. Make any necessary adjustments. Some pre-hung doors have an adjustable sill. Check your manufacturer’s instructions for more information.
  15. Drive screws through any additional shims to secure the doorframe.
  16. Score the shims with a utility knife, then snap off the excess.
  17. Secure the sill following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  18. Apply minimal expanding spray foam insulation in the gaps around the frame
    and allow to dry.
  19. After the foam has dried, trim any excess with a putty knife.
  20. Reattach the door trim.
  21. If the door is not pre-finished, apply a coat of paint or stain as recommended by the door manufacturer. Remove the door from the hinges and work on sawhorses. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for painting or staining the bottom of the door. Don’t forget to paint or stain the trim, if needed.

General Maintenance

General cleaning should be carried out regularly (minimum twice a year) using a non-abrasive cloth with mild detergent and warm water (pH neutral solution) to remove any contaminants, whilst frequently changing the water. Under no circumstances should aggressive, alkaline or acidic cleaners be used. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all residues but do not use hosepipes. During cleaning, if any damage is noticed it must be repaired immediately.
Ensure the bottom weather bars of doorsets, and aluminium channels for hinges to run in if the product features these, are clean and free from grit or other debris. Particular attention should also be paid to the bottom bead where there is maximum exposure to the environment and gaps under these should be cleaned regularly. Spray hinges, locks and channels with a silicon spray after installation and thereafter twice a year.


All ironmongery on our windows and doors is factory fitted where practical. Adequate care should be taken to ensure that other trades avoid scratching or contaminating the surfaces and operating mechanisms as this can invalidate the warranties. Should the ironmongery become contaminated, use a soft cloth to remove any building debris but do not use abrasive cleaners. If in any doubt, temporary removal of the ironmongery by competent site personnel should be considered. Particular attention should be given to metallic fittings, which are vulnerable to scratching or tarnishing.

General Care

Teknos factory applied coatings systems will give many years of life between re-painting cycles, and simple steps such as wiping down the joinery finish to remove dirt and insects will help extend the decorative finish. This can be done at the same time as cleaning the glass.
Good household maintenance also helps to extend repainting intervals. At least once a year:
• Check hinges and handles and treat with a light oil if necessary.
• Clean weather seals and ventilators to remove dust or grime.
• In autumn, clear guttering and down pipes, and repair any leaks.
• Each spring, inspect the joinery and spot repair any minor areas of coating damage, shakes or open joints. Moisture should not be allowed to penetrate into the timber throughout its life.

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Timber Door
GRP Composite
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