Enhance the aesthetics and increase energy efficiency in your entryway by installing a pre-hung door. Before ordering one, ensure the rough opening is level and plumb before ordering a door.
If it isn’t level, use a level to calculate how much to adjust. Next, cut a piece of 3.5 inch wide MDF according to this measurement and nail it into place.
Install the Jamb
Now is an opportune time to apply a bead of caulk along the edge where your door meets the wall. Shim the hinge side of the head jamb until its centering in your rough opening is achieved and then use a 6ft level to check that it’s plumb; if not, adjust jack stud shims until it is.
Repeat these steps on the latch side of the frame. When everything is in its proper place, attach the frame to studs with finishing nails. Shim as necessary until an even reveal has been reached.
Frequent inspection and shimming of the frame will help to ensure it remains level, plumb, and with uniform reveal throughout its length – this ensures your new pre-hung door opens and closes freely without sticking or becoming loose in its frame.
Shim the Jamb
Goal of installing door frames: to achieve near-perfect alignment when swinging and closing them. In order to do so, level and plumb jamb while keeping it flush with drywall surface.
Start by placing temporary blocks on both hinge and latch sides of the door opening; two on hinge side should also be added for stability on latch side (using door slab to maintain centering of jamb rigidity). Next, shim each block location using non-expanding foam or auto body filler and nail them securely into place at both ends to keep shims secure.
With a 6ft level, check to ensure the head jamb is plumb. If not, shim less on the latch side to even out reveal while increasing them on hinge side to increase height – repeat until reveal along top frame is consistent.
Install the Door
Pre-hung doors are complete units that include all necessary components – door slab, three-sided frame, hinges and mortices for doorknob mortises and mortices – preinstalled. Pre-hung doors offer an ideal way to quickly hang an interior or exterior door if you don’t have time to construct framing yourself.
As part of installing a pre-hung door, the first step should be ensuring its frame (also called jamb) is level and plumb using both tape measure and level for verification of diagonals; adjust as necessary until frame matches up perfectly with adjacent drywall walls.
Dry fit the door onto its frame. Make sure it shuts securely, so any necessary adjustments can be made prior to installing it and ensures a level and plumb fit with consistent gaps around its frame.
Install the Hinges
Installing interior prehung doors requires that the frame be slightly larger than the opening for easy shimming. A level and plumb bob can help ensure proper alignment between wall surface, trimmer studs, and side jambs; you should shimm them until they meet up perfectly with wall.
Once your side jambs are secure, install their screws. Next, add shims beneath each hinge on the head jamb until the gap between studs and hinges is even. This step is critical in making sure your door opens and closes properly.
Attach a plumb bob string to the hinge-side trimmer, measuring its distance from each hinge location and taking notes about how close to a gap exists between it and shim material at each hinge location. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all reveal gaps are uniformly spaced.
Install the Trim
Prehung doors take out much of the hassle involved with creating a frame from scratch and matching it up with an ideal door. Plus, these prehung options come complete with hinges and hardware preinstalled – making them a more cost-effective solution than other solutions.
However, if you are new to carpentry and experience problems installing prehung doors on your own, consider hiring an expert to do the work for you. It can be difficult – almost impossible – to get everything exactly how you want without assistance from professionals.
Once the rough opening has been prepared for drywalling, it’s time to install your pre-hung door. From hinge side, work your way towards latch side while leveling and shimming the frame to keep things square and plumb.