Editor’s Note: I feel like Kayla and Justin, from HomeComing MN, are talking right to me with this post. Says the DIYer who finished her entire basement, but has yet to install any doors! I am so excited for these tips.
Installing a door may seem like a daunting project, but don’t let it scare you! Many doors are sold “pre-hung” and are fairly simple to install. We’re here to share some tips straight from a Carpenter on how to install your pre-hung door.
How to Install a Pre-Hung Door
What makes this project DIY-able is that the majority of the work is already done for you with a pre-hung door. The door slab has been mounted on hinges and placed in the door jamb already. We’ll be sharing how we installed our pre-hung Jeld-Wen 5-Panel Door with tempered glass which we purchased from Home Depot as a special order item.
The first step in installing a door is measuring the rough opening to make sure your door fits properly. Justin did this by measuring the width and height of the door jamb and then checking it against the rough opening. This will also determine the amount of shim space that you’ll have on each side of the jamb.
Carpenters Tip #1:
When installing in a carpeted area to tile or hardwood, cut a notch in the door jamb to ensure the door fits properly.
The next step is to ensure that your door jamb can be hung plumb to the wall. In order to do this, we removed the hinge pins and detached the door from the jamb before nailing shims to the rough opening.
Using the amount of shim space you measured earlier, nail your shims directly centered behind the hinge on the rough opening before putting in the door frame. Make sure your shims are plumb. Note: Usually the rough opening allows for about 1/2 in. of shimming on each side of the frame.
Carpenters Tip #2:
Next, set the door jamb in place and remove the hinge plate from the jamb. Pre-drill and screw a new hole (not in a pre-existing hole from the hinge plate) underneath where the hinge plate was. Adding this extra screw secures the door jamb more firmly to the wall. Note: Pre-Drilling is a technique to prevent the material from splitting using a countersink bit on a regular drill.
Re-install the hinge plates and reattach the door by putting the pins back in the door jamb.
Start nailing the shims through the jamb to the rough opening on the strike side to make the margin equal down the entire jamb, adding shims as needed. Depending on how bowed the door jamb is, you may need to add more shims.
Install your desired casing around the door, and you’re done! We decided to mimic our Craftsman Style window trim/casing for a cohesive look throughout the master suite.
Here’s what our final door looks like!