how to measure for a prehung door

Person opening a front door
Tools Needed
1 Utility knife
2 Pry bar
3 Shim
4 Tape Measure
Materials Needed
1 Safety Glasses
2 Ladder
3 Safety Spotter
4 Pen and Paper
Total Cost
$5-$10
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
20-30 Minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

person using a tape measure to measure the width of a door opening

If you are looking to replace a door, there are a lot of features that might make prehung doors the best option for you. Prehung doors are ideal for beginners. This is because they come with many features that make them easier to install than a slab door, like the hole for the doorknob and the fact that the hinges come already attached.

Another benefit is that you can be sure it will be well insulated, so that stress is also minimized. However, with prehung doors, you must also make sure your measurements are as accurate as possible to ensure that the door fits, and it is level.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Cut Around the Interior Casing

person removing the casing around a door frame

Use your utility knife to cut around and loosen the casing. Slide the knife between the casing and the wall until it is no longer attached. Be careful and  be sure to take your time so you can try to minimize damage to the wall.

Once you have finished cutting around the casing,  use your pry bar to make room for a shim, which will protect your wall from any damage as you move forward with the project. Now, you will use the pry bar to slowly and carefully pull the casing from the wall. First pull the casing from the left side. Then move to the right side and finally the top.

2

Measure the Width of the Door

You want to measure the width of the door three times. This ensures that you have the most precise measurement, and it accounts for anything that is imperfect or not level. To get these measurements just measure from one side to the other, and to get your final measurement, you will need to measure once at the top, once in the middle, and once at the bottom. Be as precise as possible with these measurements, and remember to use the smallest width measurement because it will ensure the best, snug fit and an easy installation.

3

Measure the Length of the Frame

homeowner measuring the length and height of a door frame

Now, take the time to measure the frame’s length. Here, you will also take three measurements. First, you will measure from the top left corner of the frame, along the left side, to the bottom left corner on the floor. Then, you will use the same process to measure the middle and the right. Once you have all three measurements, you will use the smallest as your final measurement again. If there is much difference in these measurements, check the floor to see if it is uneven.

4

Measure the Jamb Depth

person using a tape measure to measure the inside of a door jamb

At this point, it is time to measure the jamb depth. This is basically the width of the wall, without any hardware, trim, or other materials. Generally, these measurements are either  4 9/16 inches or 6 9/16 inches. To properly measure the jamb depth, measure from the backside of the interior of the frame to the backside of the exterior of the frame. Make sure that you do not include anything that is not part of the door, like trim, in your final measurements.

5

Note Door Details

Homeowner writing down the details of the measurements on a notepad

Now, note any details you will need to know prior to ordering a new door. Some of these details can affect your measurements and, if you are replacing your door, which door is the best for you to purchase. For instance, make sure you are considering any sweeps and are not including them in your measurements. Also, make sure you are not including any trim or other materials in your final measurements. Before ordering you might also want to consider if your current door has an inward swing or an outward swing. Is the door left or right facing? Check to see which side the hinges or knob are on. Ask yourself these questions and take note of the answers.

Conclusion

There are numerous reasons to choose to install a prehung door over a slab door, mainly the ease when it comes to installation. If you are planning to install a prehung door, you want to be sure you have the most precise measurements. You do not want to show up at the hardware store with the wrong measurements, or without having measured the correct parts of the door space.

Or if you decide to order a door, you do not want to wait around only to discover you ordered the wrong side. The best measurements will ensure that you order the correct sized door, and it is installed as easily as intended. Just be sure to follow these steps so that you have the best measurements and don’t have to waste time trying to install the incorrect sized door.

How To Measure For 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 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.
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.
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 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.
Do you need to paint a fiberglass door?
Yes, you should paint a fiberglass door. The edges are generally already primed, so they can be painted. If you choose not to paint these doors, they may start rotting or delaminating. The edges are usually made from wood which is why they may rot if not painted.
How much does it cost to install a Prehung door?
To install a prehung door, the price may vary a bit, depending on the brand and other factors. If you want someone to take away your old materials and install the door for you, it may cost an average of $350. The door alone may cost an average of $200.
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.
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.
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