how to install a prehung door

Couple opening the door to their home
Tools Needed
1 Prehung door
2 Shims
3 Level
4 Hand saw
Materials Needed
1 Drill
2 Screws
3 Ladder
4 Safety Glasses
Total Cost
$20-$50
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
2-4 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

person kneeling in the middle of the doorway preparing to do the installation

Installing doors can seem like a far too difficult task for the average person. If you don’t have experience in construction or home improvement of some kind, you might think it is impossible for you to install or replace doors. This is why prehung doors are so popular. The fact that the pieces come together and just need to be placed into a rough opening makes installation far easier. However, it does take a lot of precision and some time. We no longer have to build everything from hand or drill every hole. Now, it is possible for the average person to replace doors without the help of a handy man.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Trim the Door Opening to Fit

person adjusting the rough opening for the doorway

Of course, you need to trim the rough opening of the doorway so that your new door sits plumb. If the doorway is too small, your new door will not fit. At this point, you will also need to check to ensure that the floor is level so that you can make adjustments to ensure that the new door is not crooked when installed. This is also so you will know if you need transition molding or any other supplies for your threshold.

2

Decide where You Need Shims

person placing some door shims to adjust the door opening

Now, you want to decide where shims will need to be installed. Check to see if your floor is level. If it is not, place shims beneath your level until the bubbles are centered. Then nail those shims into the floor. Or cut the door jambs to adjust for the floor’s angle. Follow this step by checking to see that the trimmer studs are plumb and parallel. If they are not plumb or parallel, use your level and shims to level out and correct these issues. This will ensure that your prehung door fits correctly in the rough opening.

3

Cut the Door To Length

person measuring the height of the door frame

Because extra length is often left on these doors as a way to adjust for different circumstances like floors that are level, you will need to cut the length of the door so that it will fit into your rough opening. At this point, you can also take off the plug and the temporary trim on the bottom of the door.

Before placing the door into the frame to test it out, you should attach a shim in the doorway with one nail on the hinge side of the door to ensure the right amount of space. Then, put the door in the opening and make sure that it is plumb and is able to swing. Make any adjustments necessary and add any shims needed for a snug fit.

4

Position and Nail Door in Place

person nailing a door frame

Once the prehung door is in the proper position and fits snugly in place, nail down the entire length of the jamb to secure it.

Make sure that the door has enough room to open and close. Then place a shim near the bottom hinge or wherever you need adjustment. Also, check to ensure that the top gap above the door is level. Check the gap and the middle shim to ensure that the door is plumb. Then nail the door in place, making sure you drive the nail through both the shim and jamb.

5

Fill Nail Holes

person filling nail holes with wood putty

Now it is time for the details. Fill the nail holes to make your finish smoother, and make any other cosmetic improvements that are necessary. Basically, this is a great time to clean up any mess you’ve left behind.

6

Attach Hardware

person attaching a handleset to the door

After you make sure the door opens and closes the way that it should, make any adjustments that are needed.

Now, you will use the hardware and screws provided with your door to attach the latch hardware and the doorknob. First, attach the strike plate to the jamb. Then you will install the latch, since the knobs will then be installed over the latch-bolt.  

Conclusion

If you need to replace your doors but are not the most experienced, consider using a prehung door. While there are still many challenges to installing prehung doors, they do remove many difficult steps from the process, allowing you to just place the door and all in the rough opening. With a prehung door and a few instructions to follow, it isn’t too difficult for the average person to install or replace doors.

How To Install A Prehung Door

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Questions And Answers

What does the color of your front door mean?
The color of your front door does matter. It is the first thing people see when driving by and coming up to your home. For example, light blue means you are hopeful. Dark blue means you may have strong family ties. Yellow means you are a morning person.
What color to paint a north facing front door?
The two best colors for a north facing front door are gray and white. You could also paint this door black, blue, gray or white. You should not paint a north facing front door purple, red, yellow, brown, green, pink or orange.
Is a steel or fiberglass door better?
Fiberglass doors and steel doors are both great doors. If struck hard enough a fiberglass door can crack, steel does not. Other than that, these doors are both really great options. Steel is the more affordable of the two but fiberglass may be slightly better in all other aspects.
How much does it cost to install a door frame?
A lot of the cost of your door frame will depend on what the current frame looks like. For example, rotting wood would be most costly as things need to be repaired and replaced. For a single door frame, you will need to plan for a minimum of $150.
How much does it cost to install a new door?
On average the cost of a new entry door is between $500 and $700. The price varies greatly depending on things such as the material of the door, the brand, the type of door, the company installing the door, and more. Installing the door yourself will reduce the cost.
How do you fix a door frame?
To fix a door frame, you must first take off the broken part. You will then nail in the new frame, place the door stop, put the strike plate in and install the molding. This project does not take very long for most people.
What is the best color for a front door?
There is some logic, along with some science, in color selection. A color wheel is the best place for you to start choosing your color. You can mix various colors quickly and easily to find the perfect color scheme for your entry door and the exterior of your home.
How much does it cost to replace a front door?
Most durable and long-lasting doors will cost between $500 and $700. However, the price will change due to several factors. These factors include material, whether you have someone install the door for you, brand, type of doors and a couple other things.
Can you paint a vinyl front door?
Yes. You could paint your vinyl front door. However, you need to complete the adhesion process first. Once you have prepared the door, you can use an additive or primer, to assure the job is done properly.
What does it mean to have a black door?
If you have black door, that signifies great things about you and your home. It can stand for authority, power, sophistication and strength. Anyone who goes by or comes over will know you are serious about protecting your home and your family members too.
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INTERESTING RESOURCES

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White Wooden Front Doors

While many other materials attempt to mimic the look of natural wood grain, few actually measure up on close inspection, even when painted. If you are interested in a white door but want to include the high-end look of wood’s natural texture, then a white wooden front door is likely your best option. These front entry doors create a clean, timeless look that almost everyone can appreciate. Plus, they can be purchased with or without panels, allowing you to have your white wooden front door match the architectural style of your home while giving a nod to your personal design aesthetic. If you are diligent about the maintenance requirements, a white wooden front door can last a lifetime, making the investment a worthwhile choice for those who appreciate authentic wood grain combined with a bright white door. read more

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Insulation For A Front Entry Door

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Foam insulation is generally the core of any new front door, regardless of material. Insulation inside the door keeps weather elements from causing discomfort in your home, reducing energy consumption and in turn the costs of your monthly bills. Some front doors feature insulation separators that prevents heat and air from entering or escaping the unit. Insulated doors ensure year-round comfort in the home. An Insulated front entry door is a must in cold weather climates and extremely beneficial for homes in other climates. With an array of unique insulated front doors, every homeowner can find the perfect style for their needs. read more

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Front Entry Doors With Glass

When sunlight shines into your living room, kitchen, or entryway on a nice warm day it can produce a beautiful sight. Your pet loves to just lay there in the sunlight and watch the outside action or take a snooze. The sunlight shining through can also be uplifting and energizing. This is especially true for those who may spend more time than average in their home, because it really allows the outside beauty to find its way in. Choosing a full glass door will allow you to enjoy this to its fullest extent. You’ll have a wider view of who is ringing your doorbell. It also allows you to connect with the outdoors without having to worry about things like insects or wind. However, there are considerations that should be taken before purchasing a door with glass such as privacy, the safety of the area around you and even the style of the glass door that you will choose. A beautiful new front door that has a full pane of glass could be an invitation to would-be intruders, but you’ll use a double pane glass panel made of tempered glass that is very difficult to break, but still looks great. read more

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