Pre-hung door, as the name suggests, is a door that is already attached to its frame. A pre-hung door is generally used as an exterior door and it can also be used as an interior door. You can open and close the door that is on the frame.
Pre-hung door is generally preferred when you do not have a door frame or the existing frame is badly damaged. Also, if you are constructing a new home or going for home remodeling, you can easily use pre-hung door for convenience. It definitely reduces the time required for the entire installation if you choose a pre-hung door.
Installing a pre-hung door is a moderate difficulty project. You should undertake it singlehandedly only when you have some previous experience of carpentry.
- A pre-hung door
- Carpenter's square
- Fine tooth saw
- 4 foot level
- 6d finish nail
- Wood putty
- Firstly make sure you have a proper sized door for your opening. For this, you have to lift the door in position and check.
- Check the area where the door is, to determine if it is plumb.
- Make sure that the door can open smoothly without touching the floor. If there is a problem, lift the entire frame with wood pieces and secure them with caulk and screws.
- Now insert shims to make the door plumb in the rough opening. Have at least 1/8" clearance between jamb and frame in the wall.
- Adjust the door with carpenter's square and level. Add shims wherever necessary.
- Now drive 6d screws through the jamb, into the shims at hinge side. Some manufacturers suggest putting it below the shims, so check the instructions.
- Do not drive the nail entirely at this time, as you might have to re-adjust the door. Once that is done, secure the jamb on all sides and check if the door is swinging properly.
- Now, you can drive the entire nail into the position and secure the door.
- Trim the shims that are protruding by using the saw. You may even use a utility knife for the same.
- Finish off by applying wood putty to fill the holes. You can now paint or stain the door as per your wish.
This was a guide to install a pre-hung door. Another thing, since the door is heavy, you are advised to use 3 inch long screws at the upper hinge side of the door for extra support. You can also put this screw in place of one of the regular screws of the upper hinge. Make sure this screw goes all the way to the rough jamb.
Now if you want to compare the pre-hung and slab door for the best pick, both have their pros and cons. Slab doors, since they do not have the frame and hinges pre attached, are cheaper and lighter in weight. If you already have a good enough door frame or if it in an interior door, you may want to go for the slab door.
If you are shipping the door, definitely the pre-hung door would cost more due to its weight. But a pre-hung door would be less time-consuming to install. You only have to worry about making the door frame plumb in the rough jamb and not so much about the proper hinge fitting.
Pre-hung doors are a good way of providing a fresh new look to your house. To give a finished look, you can install the trims or casing on the outside the door frame. The trims are available in a variety of styles, widths and designs to choose from and provide the professional finishing touch to your door. Good luck!