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Old 04-14-2008, 06:44 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SE Wisconsin
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Cutting prehung doors narrower?

In my basement remodel I'm looking to allow some light to pass from one room to the other, so I'm looking for a windowed door. I have a rough opening of 48" give or take 1/4". I've seen some French Doors at Home Depot that are 24" as well as prehung French Doors that require a rough opening of 50.25". I'm really leaning towards going the French Door route because I think it will let the optimal amount of light through, and they'll also look really sharp.

My question is: Would it make sense or even be a good idea to buy a prehung set and cut ~1" from the middle of each door and then modify the top board (not sure what it's called) so that it will fit my RO of 48"? Or would it make sense to buy plain 24" doors, cut them to width and then hang them myself? Or should I just forget it and buy a 36" door?
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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Cutting prehung doors narrower?

Cutting a full inch off of only the inside stile of the doors will be very obvious to the eye, and will also pose a problem with installing a lockset. To go this way, you will need to trim 1/2" from both edges of each door, and remortise the hinges. Then you can cut the length of the head jamb (top board) as required. It is probably still easier for you as a HO to do this with the pre hung unit than to start from scratch, as you will reuse the existing jamb hinge mortises, and before cutting the hinge side of the door, you can take a 1/8" drill bit and extend the existing screw holes deeper into the door, so they will give you back the exact same hinge locations for remortising. Just be sure that the brand/construction of the doors you are buying will allow you to remove that much from the edges.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 04-14-2008 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:43 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 264

Cutting prehung doors narrower?

Good thinking. I didn't think of a couple of those points. I'm still up in the air about what I want to do. Having them take up THAT much of the opening means that they won't be able to be opened all the way without the handles interfering with the walls. It's probably best to just go with the single 36" door. We'll see what I come up with I guess. It's nothing pressing anyway. I've barely got half the walls framed at this point with plenty more work to do.
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