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Old 03-26-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


How can i get an equal gap on hinge side? The jamb is plumb but the bottom gap is narrower then the top. I know the door hangs on the bottom hinge and causes the gap to narrow. Whats the trick? thanks

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:31 PM   #2
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


Unscrew the hinge and insert a shim. They make little hinge shaped shims as well.

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


I've used thin cardboard as a shim to move door. I also just tapped the jamb under the bottom hinge to increase the gap. Are these ok? is there any other tricks? thanks
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


that will work fine. the thing you have to pay attention to on prehungs is the hinges themselves.. they are cheaply made and teh bend on the leaf isnt always perfect.. which throws off the margin between the jamb and door. also the mortise is sometimes too deep or not deep enough which required shimming under the hinge or making the mortise deeper

over 9 years in the trade ive grown to hate prehung doors.. i spend more time tweaking the frames and hinges on them than i do with site built jambs i mortise the hinges myself with a router or chisel.. the plants the prehungs come out of have poor quality control
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:48 PM   #5
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


Couple questions. Is there a gap at the bottom, or none? Is it a heavy door? Bottom shims should be directly behind bottom hinge. A heavy door will twist the jamb. Try removing one screw from top hinge, (farthest away from casing), replace with a screw long enough to go into the jack, (trimmer), Drill a hole in the jamb only so threads don't lock the space between jamb and jack. As you tighten it, it will pull the jamb in taking the the weight of the door and maybe close the gap at the top.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


the gap at the bottom is narrower than at the top. the door still closes properly but i don't like the look of the uneven gaps. Also, if the top jamb is uneven is it okay to just shim under the jmab to bring jamg level? thanks
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


When I read your post my first thought was where did you place your shims? Duckweather's response about shim placement hit the mark. If you stand back and think of the physics of a door hanging by hinges and shims holding some parts of the jamb and not others you should begin to see why the jamb acts like a piece of spaghetti. If the shims aren't directly behind the hinges then the jamb will flex from the weight of the door. The top will flex inward and the gap above the hinge will get larger. At the bottom, the weight of the door will flex the jamb out and the gap will be less below the hinge. So, shim placement is the key. Next, if the hinges have been mortised in too deep, the gap at the hinge will be too small. For that you need to take the screws out of each flap and add cardboard to bring the flaps out to level with the jamb. I have a tote tray full of cereal box cardboard, vinyl flooring, 1/4" plywood, etc all cut to 1 1/2"x 3" pieces that I can fine tune jambs and hinges with, along with my stack of shims. I make sure every door has consistent gap on all sides before I walk away from it. Don't get frustrated, get smart.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:38 PM   #8
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


I placed shims behind hinges and place two nails just under hinges. It seems the hinges have a slight amount of play (I bought doors from home depot). Would it be advisable to shim the bottom hinge out slightly (taking jamb out of plumb) to increase bottom door gap? Thanks
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:49 PM   #9
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


the door should maintain being plumb.. check the gain for the hinge both on the door and the jamb. it could be set too deep which is making the gap smaller. if so shim behind that hinge with a peice of cardboard
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:06 PM   #10
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


Get the gap set at the hinges by putting in the cardboard shims behind the flaps if necessary. Keep the door plumb. If the gap at the bottom needs to open up, add shims between the jamb and studs at the bottom loosely and fire in a couple nails. That should suck the jamb out at the bottom. If it goes too far, drive the wedged shims together to force the jamb in a little.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #11
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


Just one other possibility. If the jack (trimmer) is not at a right angle to the wall you have to account for that with the shims. I usually use cedar shakes (long and thin) cut them into about 2 inch shims. I always use shims in pairs, one in each direction so they stay parallel, but if the jack is not square use 2 in or more if necessary in one direction, 1 in the other. If the jamb is not at a right angle to wall, (or entire door frame), and you don't compensate, it can have the same affect as a hinge mortised incorrectly. I usually buy doors from a millwork company. They are a little more expensive but much better quality than an agent orange door. Anyone else here remember when almost all door slabs were made by Morgan?
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


Quote:
Originally Posted by EFTHIM View Post
I placed shims behind hinges and place two nails just under hinges. It seems the hinges have a slight amount of play (I bought doors from home depot). Would it be advisable to shim the bottom hinge out slightly (taking jamb out of plumb) to increase bottom door gap? Thanks
Part of the problem is where you bought them. Prehung doors used to be a fairly decent quality but now have to compete with the big box stores. Determine if the gaps are different where the hinges are. If so, as others have said, loosen the hinge and place a piece of cardboard under the leaf that is more sunk into the door/jamb. Dont use corrugated cardboard.
If the gap is in any other part of the jamb, then it may be the placement of the shims. Be careful putting too much cardboard behind the leafs, the screws could end up not gripping properly
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
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Bottom door gap on prehung door


Another trick for screws too small for hole, (or hole too big), some wood glue and toothpicks. glue them tap them in, maybe 2 or 3 of them, they are hard wood and compress as the screw goes in.

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