Theres a number of reasons that you might want to install a new interior or exterior door in your
home. Is the old one is damaged? Remodeling and adding a new partition with a door? Or is it just time to
spruce up the old homestead?
This project isnt as mysterious as it might seem. This article will guide you through the steps of
installing a prehung door.
Easy Door Installation
In the old days, installing a door was a bit more of a tedious process. Today however, a marvelous
concept has evolved: the prehung door. Prior to this, a carpenter was usually hired to do the job, which
incurred a labor cost.
Today, labor costs have risen but the good news is that a prehung door is easy to install for the
average homeowner, saving a wad of cash. All thats needed is a bit of common sense and a few tools.
Tool and Material List
Package of tapered shims or Quick Door Hanger clips (from the door section of your Home Depot store)
Buying the Right Door
Door sizes are standardized. If youre replacing an existing door, measure it. If this is a first
time door, the carpenter (or you, hopefully), will have the opening roughed out. Measure the rough
the studs and the height of the header. The prehung door jamb will be this size, less one inch or so.
Determine Whether the Door Swings Right or Left
The second thing to be concerned about is the swing of the door, or, which side you want the hinges
on, and whether you want the door to swing into the room or out of the room. This is easy.
Position yourself in the doorway on the side, where, if the door were already installed and closed,
opening it would make it pass through you (as if you were a ghost). Cross your arms over your chest.
Now, as the door swings through you, one of your arms can follow its arc.
Which arm? If its your right arm you need a right hand swing door. Otherwise, a
left hand swing door.
Installing Your Prehung Door Using Shims
Remove an existing door door if you have one. Take off the trim and pull the hinge pins to take the
door off. Next, remove the jamb using your hammer and pry bar.
Now stand the new door assembly in the opening. The extra space around the jamb is to give you
some wiggle room for getting the door assembly plumb in two directions back and forward and side to
side. Also, the top of the jamb has to be level.
Begin with the Butt (Hinge) Side
Start with the butt (hinge) side of the jamb. Check to see that the header is either level or will
achieve level when the door knob side is raised. If not, trim the butt side jamb. Holding the level
on the inside of the butt side jamb, get it plumb in both the directions mentioned above.
Use your tapered shims between the jamb and the stud (close to the butts), nail through the jamb
and shims, but dont sink the nails yet.
Shim under the jamb on the knob side until the header is level. Now, plumb the jamb, shim it, and nail
it - top, bottom, and middle. Double check everything for plumb and level again and set your nails with your
Quick Door Hanger Clips Instead of Shims
These clips are a relevantly new innovation that are so easy to use, so economical, and so simple, they will leave you scratching your head wondering why no one has thought of it before.
Installation is a 3-step procedure:
Screw the brackets to the door jamb.
Draw a plumb line on the door.
Use the line as a guide to screw the door plumb.
The clips can be used to hang both interior and exterior doors as well as windows.
Adding the Final Touches
All thats left to do now is nail on the
trim, cut and install baseboards,
putty the nail holes, and install the hardware if
its not done already. Job well done!