DOOR AND DOOR CASING INSTALLATION
That hideous front door mocks you each time you come home. It is cracked, peeled, and scrapes the floor any time you decide to force your way through it instead of using the garage door. Then, you get inside to see your open laundry room. The one you thought of putting a door on, but left open for all visitors to see. Need a new door? It can actually be much tougher than you think. Doors do not simply fit into any frame.
The Problem with Doors
Most doors are built to specific frames and specific houses. If you decide to paint all your doors and unhinge them, you better have a way of knowing which door came from which frame! Houses move. Floors may have slight shifts or carpet may be higher than a wood floor. Which side of the door is your knob on? There are many variables and it is vital that a door fit snugly into its frame.
Nothing But Net
A door that closes perfectly is much like a basketball hitting “nothing but net.” You want a door to not have major cracks. If a door is misaligned the top right corner may have an inch wide gap while the bottom left is scraping wood. The bottom right corner may dig into expensive flooring and all manner of bugs will be able to enter through the cracks. You want to align the door so that it is snug, but still does not scrape wood or floor over time.
Most people buy pre-hung doors. These are doorways that come in a pre-made frame. All you need is an appropriately sized frame of 2x4 and sheetrock. Measure for the entire unit of the frame you will buy. Placing the doorway into the entryway can vary in difficulty depending on the integrity of the house. If it is a new structure with leveled walls and floor, it may be very simple. If you are working on an older house, you may have to make cuts on the actual door so that its length fits properly.
Shims, Shims, Shims!
What is a shim? A shim is a soft piece of wood used as a wedge on the outside of the doorframe. Sliding the door can seem easy, but using shims will allow you to wedge the door into the proper angles and heights. Do not be afraid to use shims as needed. Over time a door can move, but shims will help to prevent this. More importantly, measure multiple times. As you work on the door, recheck gaps along all edges. Do not forget the top and bottom while you are attempting to even the sides.
The threshold can be made from many materials. This is the bottom of the doorframe that attaches to the frame of the house. It has to be sturdy. If it has an overhanging lip that is weak, then it will sag over time and your doorway may not be appealing. Dragging or bumping the threshold can knock the entire doorway out of alignment.
For all corners, sides, and thresholds, always use the proper amount of nails or screws to solidly connect. It is important that none of these pieces moves except for the actual doorway on the hinge.
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