Door frames consist of three main parts. The side vertical members are known as jambs. The top horizontal member is known as the jamb header. The jamb header typically fits into notches in both of the two side jambs. Exterior door frames have a fourth component in the raised plate at the bottom of the door, known as a threshold. When installing door frames the two key concerns are leveling and firmly attaching to the studs. Use a prehung door to save time on mortising for hinges and locks.
Things You'll Need
- Prehung door unit
- Treated deck screws, 3-inch
- Door knob
Center your door unit in the opening in the wall. Start at the top to add shims between the jamb and the wall frame. Wedge shims snugly above the header to hold the door in place. Drive one 3-inch treated deck screw through the jamb header into the wall frame above.
Hold a level against the inside edge of the hinge side jamb. Move the bottom of this jamb in or out to adjust the bubble on the level until it is centered. Wedge shims behind the jamb at the bottom corner and drive on screw through the jamb and shims into the wall frame.
Level the handle side jamb in the same manner and add shims behind it at the bottom. Drive one screw through the jamb at the bottom into the wall frame. Add shims behind the top corners of each jamb and add a second screw through the jamb on both sides at the top.
Drive screws through each hole in the threshold, if it is an exterior door, drive the screws in until the threshold is pulled snugly against the floor.
Install the knob striker through the hole bored for this purpose in the edge of the door. Attach it to the door edge with the two screws provided with the hardware. Install the inside piece of the knob through the holes in the striker. Set the two long knob attachment screws into their holes and line up the outside piece of the knob with the screws. Twist the screws into position by hand and tighten with a screwdriver.
Set the knob striker plate in place on the jamb and attach with the two screws that came with the hardware. Close the door to test the knob. To adjust the striker up, loosen the screw at the top of the handle side jamb and remove the top screw of the hinge side jamb. Remove the shims and tighten the hinge side jamb screw until it lifts the striker as needed. Tighten the handle side jamb screw.
Lower the striker by removing the lower hinge side jamb screw and shims. Replace the screw and tighten until the striker is low enough. Set the shims in above the screw and snug the screw against the shims.
- "Trim Carpentry Techniques"; Craig Savage; Taunton Press; 1989
- Home Tips: How to Install Door Jambs
- Photo Credit door frame image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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