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How to Install a Door

Instructions For How to Install a Door
Don't always Work

Finding out how to install a door requires many considerations. No job is the same and taking the time to consider all the variables may save some major headaches and problems. In this site I have instructions on how to install a door in general but it does not take into consideration all the variables and different situations that a home may have. Let's take a look at some of these variables.

In older homes sometimes the walls are plaster and that poses some problems with the new prehung doors that you can buy. The walls are thicker and most common doors are made for the standard 2x4 walls.

Yes you can order the doors for your situation but at a much higher cost then the common new style doors but there are ways to deal with these problems to save some hard earned money.

My way to deal with this is to hang the door in the rough opening as usual by following the instructions I provide here at installing interior doors.



Now if the jamb doesn't reach out to the outside wall of the room which would be typical with plaster walls you would make yourself a jamb extension.

  • To do that get yourself a nice 1x4 and rip it on the table saw the width that is needed to reach the outside wall. If the doors are oak and you are really picky you could use an oak board but if the budget doesn't allow this because these oak 1x's are expensive then just some nice pine will due. You may need to go with a different color stain to match the two different woods but in the end it is not that noticeable.

    A special note here also is to have two reveals because it is extremely hard to match the two boards together where your jamb extension meets the actual door jamb.

  • So nail in your new jamb extension leaving about 3/16 to 1/8 inch of reveal as you would casing. Now when you install the casing leave this same reveal all the way around and when you are done you will have two reveals which also is not noticeable by the untrained eye and even adds a little uniqueness to the doors.

    Another variable may be the roughed opening is shorter then the average doors of today. This also is not a big deal. Its just a matter of cutting the jamb legs down on the prehung door and then if needed cutting the door off.

  • A special note here is if the distance to be cut off the door is considerable or more then a couple inches you may want to consider buying a solid core door to save some headaches. The reasoning behind this is because on a hollow core door the solid part or bottom of a hollow core door is only about 2 inches thick and if you cut past this it is some work to get the solid part back in after it is cut. It can be done though if necessary.

    These are just a couple variables to consider when learning how to install a door. These situations would happen in older homes typically but can happen in new construction also. More common problems are crooked floors or crooked framing and aren't that hard to deal with. Take the time to consider things carefully because no situation is the same and general instructions for how to install a door doesn't always work.

    Return From How to Install a Door page back to Installing Interior Doors page.



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