Installing pre-hung doors is the easiest method of hanging new doors or replacing old ones. All you have to do is install the new door into an opening. Here’s how to install a pre-hung door in your home.

Things You’ll Need

  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Wallboard saw
  • Circular saw
  • Shims
  • Straightedge
  • Finishing nails
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Spackle

Before You Purchase a Pre-Hung Door

When ordering a pre-hung door, be sure you know whether you want a right or left-hand swing. The manufacturer may be able drill the holes in the door for the lockset and the hinges, which can save you time. If the door comes with a brace to keep the door and frame aligned, leave the brace on until the door unit is secured into place.

Steps for Installation

    1. Trim the door opening. Trim any excess drywall with a wallboard saw around the doorway. This will ensure that the new door will hang plumb.
    2. Make sure the floor under the door is level. The pre-hung door will come with longer sides on the frame that extend past the door. This will allow you to cut each side of the door frame according to how level the floor is. If the floor isn’t level, one side of the frame will be shorter than the other to fit with the floor. This won’t be a problem after the door is in place.
    3. Determine location for shims, if needed. It’s important that the door jambs are installed plumb. Use a level to see how plumb the rough opening is that is common to the hinge-side of the door.
    4. Cut the door. Cut the door frame to the appropriate length. You can use a circular saw for this or a handheld saw.
    5. Remove packing material. This includes all cardboard and banding materials. Then, remove the installation plug.

    6. Attach shim to doorway. Use wood shims with the level and hammer a tack in place against the jamb until the level is perfectly plumb. It is best to install shims at the same height as the door hinges.
    7. Position door. Position the pre-hung door into position, slide it up against the shims, and see how things look. The gap along the hinge side of the door and the top of the door should be one-eighth inch. If the gap along side the door-knob side of the door isn’t one-eighth inch, come back to it later. This is the least important side to worry about.
    8. Secure door jamb. Use ten finishing nails to attach the hinge jamb of the door to the rough jamb. Carefully nail through the jamb and into the shim, but don’t drive the nails completely into place yet. Leave at least one-half inch of the nails exposed in case adjustments need to be made to the length of the door jambs, or if you have to move the jambs slightly in and out so the door fits better.

    9. Check and adjust door opening. Use a straightedge to check the door opening, ensuring that it has room to open and close. With the door closed, place a shim by the bottom hinge to accommodate any adjustments.
    10. Check the gap above the door. Check the door again to make sure it is level.
    11. Nail the door in place. Check the center shim and the gap to make sure the door is plumb. Once all adjustments are made, all shims are in place and the door fits well, then you can drive the nails in all the way.
    12. Fill nail holes. Use a nail set to set the nails beneath the wood, creating a smooth finish. Fill the holes with spackle.
    13. Open and close door. Check the door to make sure it opens and shuts properly.
    14. Make adjustments if needed. Place a level on the vertical surface to check that the door is plumb. If you need to adjust the door, try using a sledgehammer with a very gentle tap.

To really add a professional touch to your installation once complete, you can drive a three-inch long screw into the top hole of the top hinge. Doors are heavy and over time the weight of the door can pull the jamb away from the finish nails. If you decide to do this, make sure to predrill the hole so you do not split the jamb.

If you’re thinking of installing a new door, Farha’s Carpet and Building Supply has a large selection pre-hung doors in stock. Call us today at 316-263-1649, or stop in and see us at at 808 W. Harry in Wichita.

(316) 263-1649