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May 2024

The Basics of Door Installation

door installationProfessionals at Your Home Exterior Solutions have the tools to replace doors quickly and are experienced in making all parts fit properly. They also ensure no damage occurs during installation. Remove any trim and measure the wall studs in three locations to measure the door opening. This helps ensure the pre-hung door and jamb fit the rough opening perfectly.

The frame is a wooden structure that seals the door and prevents draughts, rain, and insects from entering the house. It consists of a sill at the bottom, side jambs, a head jamb, and a threshold. It can also include a transom and sidelights for extra light in the room. It is usually used in WCs, baths, technical rooms, and greenhouses where doors must be closed tightly.

The door frame can be built with a single two-by-four interior, non-load-bearing walls, but the framing must be stronger and more durable in exterior, load-bearing walls. The easiest way is to use LVL (laminated veneer lumber) wood. It is more expensive than standard wood but strong enough for most purposes. The LVL wood is available in various thicknesses and lengths. The best thickness for your project depends on the weight of the doors and the amount of traffic in the area.

Before you start installing the frame, you must make sure that it is plumb. This is important because a frame that is not level will create gaps at the hinges, and the door will not close properly. To check for plumb, you can use a long board or a jack hammer to measure the distance from the floor to the top of the header. This will help you determine how many shims you need to install.

Once the shims are installed, it is time to install the header. This can be done with a hammer and nails. Screws are also acceptable, but you should avoid using them if you plan to paint the frame. This is because screws leave behind large holes that will be difficult to fill. Instead, you should use a brad nailer to drive the screws in and then caulk around them.


The jamb is the vertical portion of the frame that runs around the edge of a doorway in a wall. A jamb can be installed in several ways, and it is important that it is installed correctly to ensure the safety of the door and prevent moisture damage. In addition, the jamb can be used to conceal any unsightly gaps between the doorway and the wall.

The most common type of door frame is a kerf jamb, which hides the hinges completely within the frame and allows you to install just about any kind of door. It also eliminates the need for double hinges, which can weaken a traditional door frame.

If you’re installing a new kerf door jamb, start by removing any existing trim or casing from the frame and opening. Use a wide putty knife and a pry bar to gently pry the trim loose from the wall, taking care not to damage the existing trim or your wall.

Next, set the prehung door in the opening to determine if the sill threshold (also called the stool) is the correct height. If it isn’t, you or your door professional will need to add shims between the frame and the rough framing to make it level.

When you’re ready to begin constructing the actual frame, clamp some 2×4 scraps to either side of the jamb to keep it from tipping as you work. Scribe the outline of the hinge leaf on the edge of the door jamb with a utility knife, and then transfer the location to the hinge mortise by marking with a combination square. Then, cut the mortise in the door with a router or chisel by hand, ensuring it is deep enough for the thickness of your hinge leaf.


Casing, which surrounds the door frame, is the most visible trim around doors in a home. It comes in a wide variety of styles, from simple and plain to elaborate and decorative, and can be made out of wood or a synthetic material like MDF. It is also called trim or molding, but casing is the term most commonly used by builders and remodelers.

Installing casing isn’t difficult but requires attention to detail. First, you need to determine what size to cut the casing pieces. To do this, hold a piece of head casing against the wall and draw a line about 1/4 inch from the frame on both sides (this is the reveal). Next, measure from the bottom of the head casing up to the top of the wallboard and mark the length with a pencil. This is the measurement you will use to cut the side and head casing pieces.

If you’re using mitered casing, you’ll need to learn how to set up a miter saw, which is a tool with an adjustable blade that can create angled cuts. You’ll need to set up the saw at a 45-degree angle when cutting casing and then adjust it to the desired angles when you’re installing it on the wall.

You can find casing and other interior finishing materials at most big-box home improvement stores. But visiting a Metrie molding showroom is an easier way to explore your options and get help from knowledgeable decor experts who can help you meet your design goals for your home. These experts are available in many locations across North America. They can provide design ideas, answer questions, and even assist you in making a purchase.


The hinge is the part of the door that allows it to open and close. There are several different types of hinges, but they all function the same way. Most standard hinges are constructed of metal and have two wings that attach to the door and the frame. The wing that goes into the frame is called the mortise, and the wing that attaches to the door is called the tenon.

Installing a new hinge is fairly simple, but there are some important steps to take to ensure it will work correctly. First, make sure the new hinges are the same size and shape as the old ones. This will prevent the hinges from being too tight or too loose. Then, use a pencil to mark the location of the screw holes on both the door and jamb. You can also use a self-centering drill bit accessory or a screw guide to help ensure the screws are centered and will go into place properly.

Now it’s time to install the hinges. First, position the hinge leaves on the door and in the jamb if they are going to be installed first. Then, shim the door until there is an even 1/8th-in. gap between the top of the door and the head jamb.

Once the gap is level, install the hinges using the pre-drilled pilot holes. Using a screwdriver or drill machine, install the screws and then tighten them slowly to avoid stripping the threads.

After the screws are in place, test the hinges by opening and closing the door. If it opens and closes smoothly, the hinges are installed and ready to be used! If the hinges don’t work correctly, remove the shims from under the door and try again. If it still doesn’t open or close properly, then contact a door installation company to fix the problem.


The trim is what dresses up the frame and casing to add style and sophistication. Trim can be as simple or detailed as you want, and it may be made of wood or materials like MDF. It can also be layered and built up from smaller pieces to create different styles. The cost of door trim can vary dramatically depending on the style and materials you choose.

Casing is typically installed by a handyman or carpenter, while more elaborate and decorative moldings will require a professional that specializes in this type of work. Some pros price their services based on the number of linear feet of trim installed, while others charge an hourly rate.

Start by installing plinth blocks to support the casing above the door. Once the casing is in place, use a combination square to mark the reveal (the distance between the edge of the casing and the wall) on the door jamb. Then, cut the head casing piece to the appropriate length on the miter saw. To prevent mistakes, hold the head casing in place while you measure and make your cuts.

Once the side casing is in place, you can install a top piece called a lintel. This piece is typically wider than the two sides of the casing and helps to emphasize the doorway.

You can dress up the lintel even more by adding decorative corner blocks called rosettes. These are available in a wide range of styles and cost between $5 and $30 each. Once the lintel is in place, finish the job by sanding the nail holes and applying putty or filler. Once the putty or filler is dry, you can paint or stain your new trim.