Pre-Hung Install

Old 11-26-07, 10:31 AM
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Pre-Hung Install

Well, I am on my third door install and it seems to be one thing or another is misalligned with all! Since this is the most important one yet, I thought I would seek actaull shim and nailing advice.

I have left the door in the jam for aligning purposes. As I have wrestled with keeping all relief areas equal, it is obvious that one corner/side is going to be a little tighter than the other three. I have not nailed anything yet, because the door still bumbs the lock-side a little bit. I could probably nail each corner with the gun now, and adjust the un-shimmed areas where the lock will go afterwards.

Before i start nailing, would you have any suggestions? In the other doors I have completed, there still seems to be some gap in one corner after hammering the initial nails in (I'm using the nailgun from here on out!)

I appreciate the help!

Old 11-26-07, 01:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Don't worry about keeping the jamb away from the framing an equal distance. Put the hinge side of the door frame against the framing member. Place a 2' level across the top of the jamb. If you can get it to level, then you won't have to do anything to the hinge side. Plumb it and nail it directly to the framing member. Now, all that is left is leveling the top and plumbing the striker side using shims. I think you have the right idea, based on your post, just don't work too hard at it. Ulcers, you know. Let us know if you need more help or if this answer was to simplistic, and you need more detail.
Old 11-26-07, 02:52 PM
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If the jamb will sit on a finished floor, it's best to check the doorway for level first, and cut one jamb shorter than the other if needed, so that when you install the door the head will sit level.

The best time saving trick that I know of is to take some 1/8" shims and place them around the corners of the door while it is closed. This should maintain the proper gap around the edge of the door while you shim the jamb in place at each corner and tack it at the corners. Once you've nailed it at all 4 corners and the door will stay in the RO, that's when I remove the hinge pins and slab and finish checking all sides for level and plumb and shim the jambs. I shim and nail the hinge side 1st, then the top, then the latch side last. And don't forget to install one long 3" screw per hinge. That will prevent the weight of the door from eventually bowing the hinge side jamb. Shims should be located behind each hinge and elsewhere as needed.

I prefer to use a 78" level when installing doors- it enables you to check all 3 hinges at once to ensure they are aligned and are plumb. The long level also makes it a snap to shim the jambs straight.

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