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 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.

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.

What is the best color to paint your front door?

Most importantly, you want the color of your door to blend with the rest of the exterior. White and red seem to be the most commonly used colors for a front door. After red and white, it is found that is brown, blue, and green come next in popularity.

How much does it cost to replace a door and door frame?

The cost of replacing a door and frame will vary greatly. It is going to depend on the type of material the door is made of and how customized it is. You sho.d expect to spend at minimum $500 for an exterior door and at least $300 for interior replacement.

What color should your front door be if it is facing north?

If your door is facing North, feng shui colors for your door are as follows: blue, white, black, and gray. You should avoid the color of deep pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, red, and brown on a front door that facing North.

What kind of paint do you use on a front door?

First, you need to know whether the door has oil-based or latex paint. You don't want to mix and match, it needs to be the same. Next, you need an exterior paint. Finally, most people prefer a glossy paint for their exterior door. It tends to highlight the architectural features.

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 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.

What is a good feng shui color for the front door?

Your entry door, in feng shui, is how your house is able to receive energy for nourishment. The energy quality determines the energy that your home has. Often, the color you choose is based on the direction in which your door faces. For example, North, South, West, East.

Can you paint a PVC door?

Yes, you most certainly can. You will want to be sure that you clean the door before painting and be sure that it is dry completely. You then will prime and paint. Be sure to use a good set of rollers when painting your door.

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