Weather Stripping for Doors

Can you feel the winter wind blowing through the cracks in your doors? I know that several of my friends can because every winter they tell me about it. I think they want me to wiggle my nose and make it all better. But you don’t need to be a genie or a modern gun slinger—nail gun that is—to fix this annoying problem.

I think my grandma can weather strip a door, and I think you can too. So take a deep breath, channel your inner Handy Manny, and let’s kick old man winter out of the house and back into the street.

Generally speaking, there are only 3 types of weather stripping. There is the kind that can be nailed or screwed to your door jamb, the kind that has a sticky glue backing, and the kind that will insert directly into your door jamb via a tongue and groove system. Don’t get too hung up on the words tongue and groove. This is actually the simplest kind to install because it means your door jamb is already made to receive the weather stripping.


…And that is step number one; determine if your door jamb is made to receive weather stripping. All you have to do is look at the door-stop on your door jamb. The door-stop is the section of your door jamb that actually stops your door when you close the door. It wraps all the way around the door jamb. It has nothing to do with the door-knob or any hardware. If you have a groove cut into the door-stop, then congratulations, your door is ready-made to receive the weather stripping; and you will have the easiest and most reliable of the possible scenarios.

So, if the answer to step number one is yes, you only need to get yourself standard weather stripping which can be inserted directly into your door jamb. The good news is you can find this pre-packaged at Lowes or Home Depot for a typical exterior door. If your door is larger than a typical door, you can simply measure how much weather stripping you will need and purchase it in individual strips. This type of weather stripping has a “tongue” on it that will slip directly into the groove on your door-stop. All you need to do is make sure the groove is clean of paint or other debris, cut the weather stripping the correct length, and slip it into the groove.

This is a direct link to purchase this type of weather stripping at Lowes.

If you don’t have a groove in your door-stop, you can use either the sticky backed or the screw-on/ nail-on weather stripping. The difference here is usually about aesthetics. The screw-on type is a better quality application, but it doesn’t look quite as good because you can see the metal strip. Some folks don’t mind this, and some do. Typically it screws onto the face of the door-stop with the squishy part of the weather stripping touching the door as it closes. This type is still very easy to install. All you need is a tape-measure, tin-snips, and a drill. You can do this! Just take your time and make sure your measurements are correct.


At last, you may choose to take the easiest possible method but the one that is the lowest quality for the long run. You can purchase sticky-baked foam stripping. You can install this stripping with only a pair of scissors. Notice on the diagram below that one strip is to be installed on the door-stop and the other on the door jamb.

Now, it’s up to you, but I know you can do it!

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Thank you,

James Wells
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