DIwYatt: Installing a Pre-Hung Door Frame

By | May 20, 2015

Sorry we’ve been a little silent this week. We’ve been busy with a lot of non-house project stuff this week so not a whole lot is going on. I figured I’d go back and recap a project I did last week, though, in case it would be helpful to anyone.

We are continuing the project of replacing all of the doors with panel doors in the basement. They look nicer and feel a little more substantial. The hollow-core wood doors also were showing quite a few dings, dents, and scratches.

Melissa’s dad helped us by tearing out the old door and jam so we could put in a new pre-hung door. Because we were just replacing a door and not changing it we just went with the exact setup to match the old one, no need to change which way it opened or anything.

Pre-hung door jam installation Before

It happened to be a right hand door.  You can tell which you need by standing with your back to the side of the door jam with the hinges. Whatever hand is closer to the door knob is what “hand” swing the door is.

Pre-hung door jam installation 2

We bought a pre-hung door. that means the door jam and trim were put together and attached to the door. You have to disassemble the pre-hung door to install it.

Pre-hung door jam installation 4

I started with taking out the plastic keeper that held the door in line with the jam. (I am in dire need of a hair-cut here.)

Pre-hung door jam installation 5

After that, I took out the temporary staples that held together the jam. In the picture above you can see one above my head. Once those were taken out, I could separate the two pieces of the door jam and start installing them.

Pre-hung door jam installation 8

I started with the female side of the door jam. The female side of the door jam may sound weird, but it is the side that lets the other side slide into and when it is put together.

Pre-hung door jam installation 7

I made sure the opening was at least square prior to permanently installing it. So I measured the bottom of the door jam to make sure there was at least an equal space as the size of the top of the jam.

Pre-hung door jam installation 10

I check one side of the opening to make sure it was square and then nailed the jam to it. If the stud isn’t square, you can shim it so the jam is square. You may notice the jam below is a little uneven at the top. I used my Rockwell Sonicrafter tool to cut the staples out and re-level it across the top and staple it back up.

Pre-hung door jam installation 11

You can see here how the split jam covers a little over half of the stud. The rest of it will be covered by the male side of the door jam.

Pre-hung door jam installation 9

Here you can see the male side of the door jam getting ready to fit in the female side of the split jam.

Pre-hung door jam installation 12

The only thing left to do after installing the split jam is to fill the staple holes with a little putty, caulk the visible cracks and then paint the jam and trim.

Pre-hung door jam installation putty

This is a pretty easy little upgrade if you want to move from the hollow core doors to a panel door. You could also buy just the door and fit it into the existing jam like we did upstairs (you can read about that in The Door Project).

Any questions on installing a door? What are you working on lately?

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