Front door installation


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Old 10-18-12, 10:26 AM
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Front door installation

I'll be replacing my front door in the next few weeks and was wondering what gauge nail I should use to nail through the jamb. I have a 16 gauge cordless finish nailer, but 2 1/2" 16 gauge seems kind of puny. If I drive a couple screws through the hinge-side should I be ok? By the way, it will be a JELD-WEN 36" prehung steel door.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 11:14 AM
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I prefer to shim the door to the rough opening to square it up and then use screws. The hinge side gets at least 3 long screws (1 in each hinge) which is usually sufficient) Then on the latch side, you can usually move the bulb weatherstrip to the side with your hand and hide a screw back there where it will never be seen. I will usually install 4 screws on the latch side... top, bottom and then a pair above and below the handle/deadbolt. Again, these screws are placed near the shims so as to not bow the frame and change your reveals as the screw is tightened.

Before you set the door in place, ensure the rough opening is level, and shim as needed to level it before the door is installed. If you aren't using a pan flashing, window and door flashing tape can help protect the bottom of the rough opening from occasional wetting. A heavy bead of sealant needs to go on the rough opening then the door gets set into it.

Then plumb the hinge side, shim the door, and install hinge screws first, latch side screws last.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 05:09 PM
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I also like to glue a piece of plywood between the jamb and the stud at the lock strike locations. If plywood won't fit then whatever ply/shim combo. Glue all surfaces with yellow glue so the jamb, blocks, shims and stud are one solid mass. The jamb alone, even with a heavy stike plate and long screws can't be relied on to hold if some creep tries to kick in your door.
 
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Old 10-20-12, 08:31 PM
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Most doors that are worth a hoot will come with a steel reinforcing plate behind the jamb opposite the latch and strike plate mortises, which prevents jamb splitting at the screws. Not sure if ur Jeld-wen door has that or not though.
 
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Old 10-21-12, 05:10 PM
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Thanks everyone. When I install interior doors, I typically drive the nails through the shims so they do not shift over time. I'm assuming driving screws through shims would split them, which is why it was recommended to fasten the screws NEAR the shims. Is this correct?
 
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Old 10-21-12, 05:24 PM
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That's usually true, yes. Then again, it really doesn't matter if they split, just as long as they don't fall out! Besides pressure from the screws, once the door is foamed or insulated, the shims can't go anywhere so...
 
 

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