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JLC tutorial: How to hang an interior door

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  • #556641
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Here is another good tutorial that explains all of the complexities of hanging an interior door. In the spirit of pushing BTP towards learning and improving our skills, this one is a great starting point. While it is easy enough once you have done it a few times, hanging a door properly can be rough for beginners.

    Share your tips and experiences here!

    http://www.jlconline.com/how-to/interiors/hanging-pre-hung-interior-doors_o

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #556662

    In all my years I’ve never used a level on the floor to see high and low . Just to check header and trim studs . When I did new construction builds I would set the doors first with trim on one side . Then come back later to nail the shims off to jamb . Then close it up with trim . The most I’ve done in one day with another guy was 30 interior doors two exterior doors . Millwork was already pre-cut for the yard .

    Always willing to learn .

    #556663
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    That is a good How-to , one thing we have always done differently, is to shim the hinge side plumb, with flat shims, prior to putting the door in the opening. We keep a bucket of various thickness shims handy just for this. We will go through the house and shim every door at once. That way when the door is in the opening, we just nail it to the shims then shim the strike side. It saves a lot of time when installing the doors.

    #556676
    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    I always find the short leg first from leveling the floor.

    I have shimmed many different ways. I have tacked shims on the jamb side first, then installed. I have nailed the trim on one side then hung the door with no shims.

    Now I tack the door in the opening then slide shims from both sides above the tack to spread the jamb into alignment. No nails. Although I do find my self squirting some spray foam around them these days.

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #556677
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I don’t check the floor for level either Skillman…in fact, I typically gloss over most of the initial steps.

    Something I do that wasn’t explained is to check the rough opening for a twist. I’ll throw a square on the drywall and slide the square close to the framing to determine if the framing is square to the walls. This a helps determine if I need to make allowances in my shimming.

    Also, I’ve been known to tack scrap material to the drywall open on the exterior extending into the door opening. This allows the door to easily be set flush with the drywall face.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #556685
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    Great article. Thanks for posting. I also like your tip of checking for a twist. That would definitely be the case in my house haha!

    #556689

    Good article, I basically use the square to check the framing of the rough opening, I usually make sure that the hinge side is plumb, with the top header, some great points. I definitely saved this page / link.

    #556695
    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    I don’t check the floor for level either Skillman…in fact, I typically gloss over most of the initial steps.

    Something I do that wasn’t explained is to check the rough opening for a twist. I’ll throw a square on the drywall and slide the square close to the framing to determine if the framing is square to the walls. This a helps determine if I need to make allowances in my shimming.

    Also, I’ve been known to tack scrap material to the drywall open on the exterior extending into the door opening. This allows the door to easily be set flush with the drywall face.

    Using a 80″ level tells you what the frame is doing fast.

    That’s why I don’t pre shim. I can push the frame around to sit better in the opening tacked with just gun nails. Then shim

    Old work it almost always worth pulling the head and latch stop to relocate them where the door sits naturally.

    I have always wanted to try split jambs but never have.

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #556708
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    if im hanging doors before the finished floors are in i simply set hte hing side jamb 1/4 up off the floor so i have wiggle room for when i set the jamb side..

    if im hanging one with the finished floors already down i strike a level line across the r.o then measure down to the floor to see if theres a diffrence in height.. its actually much easier this way than trying to hold the level “level” when its sitting on the floor and then measureing any variance in teh floor.. reason being the jamb legs have to be cut exact so it sits correctly for the header to be level and keep the margin across the top even

    one method i refuse to do is pre casing one side of the jamb and simply using the casing to plumb it up.. guys who trim out buildings do it that way but theres nothing truly holding the jamb plumb.. one slight knock tothe jamb and its out of alignment if you have no shims

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #556752
    Seven-Delta-FortyOne
    Pro
    The Emerald Triangle, Northern California

    Couple things:

    A technique for checking the frame for a twist, especially important on exterior doors, is run two stringlines diagonally, top to bottom. If they just touch in the middle, it’s in plane.

    The article shows him hanging an unfinished door. I personally never do that. In my opinion, trying to paint, or heaven forbid it, stain and varnish a door ‘in situ’, is far more difficult than pre-finishing them in the shop, or even somewhere on the job site.

    Since the great majority of my work is remodel, rarely do I get to work with a perfectly level, straight, plumb, square, and untwisted opening. For that reason, my first fasteners on the hinge side are always screws. I frequently have to remove them, and engage in some creative endeavors, in order to get it perfect. On an exterior door, it’s easily hidden behind the weatherstripping. On paint-grade interior doors, a dab of painters caulk fills the hole nicely.

    Delta

    Goin' Down In Flames........

    #556756
    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    On most of our jobs the doors are super heavy. The last job I did they were 8 foot tall solid 1 3/4 MDF doors. They were way to heavy to hang the door with it on. On all the light doors I hang it all in one shot but what makes it easy for heavy doors is pop the hinges and hang the jamb. I only nail off the hinge side and get it good with a laser. I use a tripod with a laser rather than a stick level. It makes it go so much faster. After I have that side good I rehang the door then shim so my gaps are all good. I always shim to make my gaps look good on the top and latch side. As long as your door is square and the hinge side is plumb it should be perfect.

    #556877
    Doobie
    Moderator

    I’ve not hung many doors in my life and nobody taught me anything. Thanks for all your inputs as I need to do one soon so I bookmarked this thread.

    #557074
    KeeganC
    Pro
    Bloomington, IN

    That’s a great article, definitely some good info there. I remember reading a FHB article many years ago that greatly improved my technique for hanging prehung doors. My process is to first check the floor for level. If I’m doing several doors, I’ll get out my little Bosch 360 laser and set it on the floor in front of the opening, a quick measurement from floor to laser at each side of the opening gives a quick reference for jamb length difference. As others said, I then level the hinge side with shims, before ever putting the door in the opening, at the hinge locations referenced from marks on my level (admittedly a 6′ level, haven’t felt the urgency to spend on a jamber set, I’m sure it’s a nice luxury). I like to initially set the hinge side with screws through the center hole in the hinges. The rest goes pretty quickly, just shimming to an even margin and nailing off. I never put any shims or fasteners in the head jamb, unless it’s warped and won’t comply otherwise, or of course if it’s a double door with a catch in the center.

    #557095
    KeeganC
    Pro
    Bloomington, IN

    I also wanted to add that I like in the article how he checks level against adjacent door openings for head jamb alignment. A nice touch and a detail that is often overlooked.

    #557128
    Seven-Delta-FortyOne
    Pro
    The Emerald Triangle, Northern California

    Deleted. It was a worthless drunken post.

    Delta

    Goin' Down In Flames........

    #557185
    KeeganC
    Pro
    Bloomington, IN

    @seven-delta-fortyone
    Lol!
    Am I for real? Yes
    Shameless plug? Sure
    I thought this was one of the friendly contractor sites. Relax man, I responded back in the introduce yourself thread that I’ve never met Jon. I’ll get active in one of the current project threads and you will eventually see that we are two very different people with no affiliation. I see that you’re from the emerald triangle, so I sympathize with your paranoia….
    Sorry, not trying to derail thread, just had to give response

    #557224
    Seven-Delta-FortyOne
    Pro
    The Emerald Triangle, Northern California

    @seven-delta-fortyone
    Lol!
    Am I for real? Yes
    Shameless plug? Sure
    I thought this was one of the friendly contractor sites. Relax man, I responded back in the introduce yourself thread that I’ve never met Jon. I’ll get active in one of the current project threads and you will eventually see that we are two very different people with no affiliation. I see that you’re from the emerald triangle, so I sympathize with your paranoia….
    Sorry, not trying to derail thread, just had to give response

    Sorry. My bad. Rough day, combined with too much rye whisky and the internet, and I end with a bad combination. I’ve deleted my garbage.

    I’ve actually never smoked the stuff myself. Or ingested it in any way. The prick is all me. 😆

    Delta

    Goin' Down In Flames........

    #557299
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    @seven-delta-fortyone
    Lol!
    Am I for real? Yes
    Shameless plug? Sure
    I thought this was one of the friendly contractor sites. Relax man, I responded back in the introduce yourself thread that I’ve never met Jon. I’ll get active in one of the current project threads and you will eventually see that we are two very different people with no affiliation. I see that you’re from the emerald triangle, so I sympathize with your paranoia….
    Sorry, not trying to derail thread, just had to give response

    Sorry. My bad. Rough day, combined with too much rye whisky and the internet, and I end with a bad combination. I’ve deleted my garbage.

    I’ve actually never smoked the stuff myself. Or ingested it in any way. The prick is all me. 😆

    Delta

    Good stuff, I think a few of us have gotten in trouble from whiskey indued post lol..or PWD,, I try my hardest to not post then.
    It is true Delta posted a good observation.

    #557420
    Doobie
    Moderator

    It is true Delta posted a good observation.

    I thought he might have been onto something myself as well. But it is not worth discussing further.

    #557718
    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Doors showed up today on the job so I thought that I would take some pics for this thread

    first thing I did was shoot a laser and put bench marks by all the doors so that the heads would all be level. I just put a tck mark on every side of the jamb like this

    next I determined the head height and how much of my bench mark it needs to be for all my doors

    These door are super heavy, solid 1 3/4″ doors so I took the door off the jamb. Next I measured on each side of the door from floor to the head hieght and cut the jamb to that and then minused 5/8″, 1/8″ for gap between the door and jam and 1/2″ for gap to the floor, and cut the door off from the bottom.

    Then I put the jamb in place and made sure both sides of the heads lined up with my marks and if it did I put some shims to hold it in place at the top corner.

    Next I took a lase and lined the plumb line up with the corn of the hinge side

    I then shimmed behind each hinge so the laser hit on the corner of the jamb and nailed it working my way down.

    Next is optional but I do it on all my doors and especially on very heavy doors. I take of each hinge and drill a hole with a countersink where the hinge will cover it going through the shim. And then I run a 3″ screw into the framing. Make sure that it doesnt pull it out of plum. Thats why its inportant to have the shimms tight when nailing it

    After all the hinges are back on the door can be rehung and if the jamb went in nice and plum the door should swing good

    Next close the door and from the side where the stop doesnt cover the door work your way down with shims making the gap consistent and nail of the jamb as you go.

    sorry didnt get a picture of the final product.

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