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Installing a Prehung Interior Door

Project Overview

Installing a Prehung Interior Door

Unless you're a master carpenter, it's easiest to install a prehung door. Fitting a slab door into an existing jamb is an involved process in which it's easy to make mistakes. A prehung door comes with all the precision work done for you. The door's hinges fit snugly into mortises in the jamb; the holes and mortises for the handle and for the strike are cut just right; and the jamb itself is neatly assembled. Once the rough opening has been prepared, the prehung door simply slips in.

7 Steps

  1. REMOVE THE OLD DOOR AND JAMB
  2. PULL THE OLD JAMB OUT OF THE OPENING
  3. LEVEL THE HEAD JAMB
  4. PLUMB AND SHIM HINGE-SIDE JAMB AND NAIL HINGE-SIDE JAMB TO THE STUD
  5. COUNTERSINK NAIL HEADS ON LATCH JAMB
  1. ADJUST, NAIL, AND CUT THE SHIMS
  2. MOUNT THE HARDWARE AND APPLY TRIM
Show all steps »
REMOVE THE OLD DOOR AND JAMB

Step 1

REMOVE THE OLD DOOR AND JAMB

Remove the old door and jamb. Open the door, and support it temporarily by wedging a few shims underneath the bottom. Use a pry bar and hammer to pop out the hinge pins, then pull the door away. Pry away the moulding using a scrap of wood to keep from marring the wall. Use a reciprocating saw with an 8-inch utility blade to cut the nails holding the jamb in place.

PUT THE NEW DOOR INTO THE OPENING

Step 2

PULL THE OLD JAMB OUT OF THE OPENING

Starting at the bottom, pry both the side jambs toward the middle of the opening. Pry the top jamb down and pull all three pieces out at the same time. Pull out or pound flush any nails that remain in the opening.

LEVEL THE HEAD JAMB

Step 3

LEVEL THE HEAD JAMB

Unpack the door, and remove the fastener that keeps the door shut. Slide the door into the opening, taking care to keep the jambs tight against the door as you position it. Make sure the door swings in the direction you want and centre the door in the opening. Hold it in place by temporarily shimming between the framing and the top door jamb. After the shims are in place, level the top jamb as shown in step four.

PLUMB AND SHIM HINGE-SIDE JAMB AND NAIL HINGE-SIDE JAMB TO THE STUD
PLUMB AND SHIM HINGE-SIDE JAMB AND NAIL HINGE-SIDE JAMB TO THE STUD

Step 4

PLUMB AND SHIM HINGE-SIDE JAMB AND NAIL HINGE-SIDE JAMB TO THE STUD

Plumb and shim the hinge-side jamb. Slip shims from either side of the door between the bottom of the hinge jamb and the framing to bring the jamb into plumb. Hold a 4- or 6-foot level against the jamb and tap the shim gently until the level reads plumb. Nail the hinge-side jamb to the stud. Drive a nail through the bottom of the jamb, into the shim, and partway into the framing. (Leave part of the nail exposed in case you have to remove it.) Install intermediate shims. Check again to see that the hinge jamb is plumb. Shim behind the hinges from both directions, sliding the shims in and out as needed to fill the space between the jamb and framing without flexing the jamb. Drive a nail through the shims into the stud, but don't set it until the jamb is plumb and flush.

COUNTERSINK NAIL HEADS ON LATCH JAMB
COUNTERSINK NAIL HEADS ON LATCH JAMB

Step 5

COUNTERSINK NAIL HEADS ON LATCH JAMB

Plumb and shim the hinge-side jamb. Slip shims from either side of the door between the bottom of the hinge jamb and the framing to bring the jamb into plumb. Hold a 4- or 6-foot level against the jamb and tap the shim gently until the level reads plumb.

ADJUST, NAIL, AND CUT THE SHIMS

Step 6

ADJUST, NAIL, AND CUT THE SHIMS

Nail the hinge-side jamb to the stud. Drive a nail through the bottom of the jamb, into the shim, and partway into the framing. (Leave part of the nail exposed in case you have to remove it.)

MOUNT THE HARDWARE AND APPLY TRIM

Step 7

MOUNT THE HARDWARE AND APPLY TRIM

Mount the hardware and apply trim. Install the door handle and the strike plate. Cut and install the door trim.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

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