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.
Trim the Door Opening to Fit
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.
Decide where You Need Shims
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.
Cut the Door To Length
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.
Position and Nail Door in Place
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.
Fill Nail Holes
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.
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.
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.