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How to Hang a Door

Even though a “pre-hung” door sounds simple to install, it requires some care and precision in order to be installed correctly. At P.J. Fitzpatrick, our door installation experts can do this for you quickly, but if you’re set on doing it yourself, here’s how to hang an interior door:

  1. Place a large level along the opening of your doorway.
  2. Determine the hinge side and latch side and if the hinge side is lower than the latch side, slip shims underneath the level until they’re even.
  3. Next, tack the shims to the floor with a finishing nail.
  4. After that, use your level or plumb bob to determine if the walls and trimmer studs are plumb.
  5. Check to make sure the trimmers are even by measuring the width at the top, middle, and bottom and making sure each measurement matches.
  6. Measure from the bottom of the jamb (on the hinge jamb) to the center and mark the hinge locations.
  7. Next, tack your plumb bob to the top of the trimmer on the hinge side.
  8. After that, measure the gap between the string and the trimmer at each hinge location. Wherever the gap is smallest, place shims and tack into place with a finishing nail.
  9. If needed, place shims at the location of the other hinges until all hinges read the same measurement.
  10. Nail the shims to the trimmer and cut off the excess with a saw.
  11. Next, lift your door into the opening and push the hinge jam tight against the nailed shims.
  12. Use a finishing nail to tack through the face of the hinge-side casing into the trimmer 3 inches below the miter.
  13. Use your level and adjust the jamb until plumb.
  14. After that, nail through the casing and into the trimmer. Then, use wood wedges to fill in any gaps between the wall and casing.
  15. Check the door’s horizontal gap and adjust the reveal if needed.
  16. Next, do the same thing for the vertical gap and adjust the reveal if needed.
  17. Open and close the door to make sure it operates correctly.
  18. Then, set the reveal by driving finishing nails through the latch-side casing into the trimmer every 16 inches or so.
  19. Next, slide a pair of shims between the main jamb and the trimmer near the top of the door opening.
  20. Once they’re touching the back of the jamb, nail them in place.
  21. After that, nail a pair of shims a few inches above the base of the jamb.
  22. Beginning at the bottom, push the edge of the split jamb into the groove in the main jamb.
  23. Next, nail the casing to the wall on both sides of each miter.
  24. Drive finishing nails into the trimmers, placing one nail at each hinge location.
  25. Mount the hardware for the door, then open and close it to make sure everything works properly.

Tools & Materials

  • Level
  • Shims
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Plumb bob
  • Saw
  • Wood wedges

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