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Old 02-28-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!


Hi everyone. New member here.

I'm in the process of remodeling things on a cosmetic level for the upstairs portion of my house (some new electrical, popcorn ceiling removal and wall retexturing) etc.

A good chunk of this I'm having individual contractors do. However, the installation of new doors and base moulding I'm planning to do myself. I purchased some books on carpentry and trim work. Hoping that with that information as well as knowledge on here, I can tackle this successfully.

I took off the moulding on one side of one of the doors I'm hoping to replace. The door itself is 30" wide, 80" high and 1 3/8" thick. My plan was to swap it out for a door of the same size that's pre hung. My basic understanding of this, having read through what I could in one of my books, is that I'd be taking out the existing door and frame, put in the new pre hung door, get it plumb, put shims in the gaps to help with plumbing vertically and horizontally, nail through those shims and go from there.

After removing the moulding, a few things came up that I don't know the answers to now that I'm seeing my existing door's framework. Pictures are posted at the bottom.

1.) The existing door looks like it's not even secured to the rough framework/studs around it. This seems weird. I don't see any shims at all and only a few nails here or there that are spanning the gap and going into some of the adjacent studs, but even that is relatively loose. The only real thing that seems to be holding it in place is the moulding on each side. Is this how doors were installed in the late 80's?

2.) Looking at the gaps, there's an inch gap on the right side of the door and 3/8 of an inch on the opposite side. Why wouldn't they center the door in the frame rather than have this difference on each side?

3.) I'm assuming this gap isn't enough to cover a larger door width and I should still stick with a 30" width door.

4.) The door shims I purchased are these wedge strips. How are these shims used when you need to use a width to cover that would not be wedges paired up. In other words, if you need to put the shims in you could do strips of 2, 4, 6, 8 etc no problem since it'd be flat as they're stacked. But if you need 3, 5, 7, 9 etc wedges, you're dealing with a non flat surface due to the wedge shape of these shims.

5.) When using the shims, as I understand it, I want to make the vertical pieces of the door jam be plumb (level) on both sides. So I use these shims to vary the gap as necessary to level it out? If so, with these wedges being 1/4 of an inch or so, isn't that going to be difficult to do since it's a pretty big jump if I have say 6 shims at the top and 4 shims further down?

6.) Not sure what these loop shaped nails are that were in the door frame the moulding was attached to?

Questions that came up when attempting to order tonight:

1.) Prebored or not? Guessing I'd want it Prebored - no reason not to right?

2.) Painted or just primed? I figured I'd want it primed otherwise I'll have issues trying to match the white paint they use? They had 3 options for white.

3.) Door width for my current doors is 1 3/8". They had an option for 1 3/4". That seems quite a bit thicker. Is that reserved for other types of interior doors or is that the norm today? If so, does getting a thicker door modify the door frame in any way that would make it not work with my existing opening?

4.) They wanted to know the jamb width. What measurement is this?

Thanks so much for any info!
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!-img_0049.jpg  

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Old 02-28-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!


What was wrong with the old doors?
It would be far faster and easyer to buy new prehung split jamb doors. I would order them with a wider casing because there's about a 0 percent chance of ever get the door exactly set the same as the old one and you have the funky textured walls that will be next to impossible to make repairs to have have it match. A wide case will cover up
That may be what you have now that's why there's no shims.
They will come prebored and are adjustable for differant wall thickness.
The jamb is the finish frame on the inside of the door.
Most inside framing is 2 X 4 with sheets of 1/2 sheetrock on each side. But if you have 2 X 6's or old plaster walls with lath the walls will be thincker and need a wider jamb.
There has to be a gap on the sides of the rough framing to leave room to make adjustments if it's out of square. Sounds like yours was left larger then it needed to be.


Last edited by joecaption; 02-28-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!


The old doors were hollow core and flat slabs. I am looking to replace them with prehung solid core doors with paneling.

I am planning on buying the doors prehung. I'm also planning on purchasing new, wider casing when the time comes.

So this door was essentially secured in place by just a few nails into the 2x4s and the casing clamped onto it on each side? Strange - wouldnt think that very secure. Thanks!
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:06 AM   #4
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!


1. They were in a big hurry.
2. They hung it to get away from the inside bedroom wall to get some drywall reveal next to the casing.
3. Standard is 2" increments, otherwise "special order" $$$
4. Install shims in opposite facing pairs so the center shimmed area is flat. Use plywood spacers when possible rather than big stack of shims.
5. see above
6. Staples used in production hanging when painted.

1-3/8" are fine unless you want better for fire or sound. Remember to leave 1" clearance under door for cold air return in bedrooms if using forced-air and the return appears to be in hall ceiling?

Jamb width is finished side of drywall to other f.s.= 4-9/16"
FYI- I'd get more smoke detectors on the ceilings- within 2' of bedroom doors on the room side, and on ceiling in hallway. Every second counts.

'R314.3 Location. Smoke alarms shall be installed in the following locations:

1. In each sleeping room. 2. Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. 3. On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

When more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit."From: http://publicecodes.citation.com/icod/irc/2009/icod_irc_2009_3_sec014_par002.htm

Gary
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:28 AM   #5
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!


Thanks! A few follow up questions based on your response.

2. Wouldn't they increase the gap on the the drywall reveal side (the corner)? Right now, if I had the new door centered more, there would be more drywall next to the casing by the corner, on the left side of the pictures. Unless I'm misunderstanding.

4/5. It's the lack of a non flat surface when I'm dealing with non multiples of two stacked wedges. For example, 3 wedges won't lie flat in the center whereas 4 would. But if I need spacing closer to the width of 3 wedges, not sure what to do? This is hypothetical since I'm not installing yet. Just preparing for this in advance.

I will be swapping out carpet with laminate. There are returns in this room, the loft (the area you see with the new smoke detector on the wall), and the opposite side guest bedroom. Would I still want an inch clearance given the room has a return?

I actually bought new smoke detectors for this room and the bedroom on the other side. The loft area already has a new smoke/CO2 detector I just had wired. Those 3 should cover this area as its just a small loft section. No walk down hallway behind the wall of the current smoke detector you see.

Last edited by cstrasz; 02-29-2012 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!


2. Yes the bigger should have been on that hinge side. Watch your paint lines on the casing reveal, match existing without repainting...

4. Odd number of shims are sometimes required to level-up the rough framing when a stud (jack) is twisted. Measure to door rough opening width compared to the actual door/jamb width and pre-install shims (plywood blocks, etc.) read Willie's door install: Pre-Hung doors - How to Hang

No clearance under door if c/a return in room.

Gary
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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First project - replacing interior doors and need help!


CS,
you don't have to have odd number stacks of shims, if you need three, use four and don't push them in as much. If your studs are close to plumb, you only need aprox. 1/2" clearance to fit the prehung door into. If you have much more than that, consider what GB said about the plywood. You cut cut a strip to nail to one of the studs to close down the gap to something more reasonable. Doors can be ordered with the molding already attached to one side. The other side is cut and fastened at the miter joints. Half-a$$ carpenters would just set the door in the opening, maybe put a level to it, and shoot finish nails through the casing. No shimming, then move to the other side and fasten the other molding set in the same fashion. Sounds like what they did on yours. Over time the doors will normally bind, gaps go out of wack, etc.
If you are going with heavier doors, they need to be shimmed properly. If you close down the large gaps you have now, shimming is much easier. Start on the hinge side and see if the stud is plumb. If it is right on the money, you can push your hinge side jamb up tight against the stud. I replace the middle screw in each hinge with a 2 1/2" screw so it anchors into the stud. On the opposide side, I shim in five places, top, bottom, middle, and half way in between each. Check your floor before you set anything and make sure it is level. If not, shim under the jamb that is on the low side to bring it level.
Install one of your smallest doors first, one that is not in a main area. Learn on that one before you move to the more noticeable ones. Good luck,
Mike Hawkins

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