How to Install a Pre-Hung Interior Door

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on February 15, 2016

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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows a homeowner the proper way to install a pre-hung interior door for a closet. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Install a Pre-Hung Interior Door:
– Pre-hung interior door
– Shims

Tools for How to Install a Pre-Hung Interior Door:
– Level
– Nail gun or hammer
– Measuring tape
– Circular saw
– Drill/driver

Steps for How to Install a Pre-Hung Interior Door:
1. Use a level to find a level spot on the rough opening. Mark spots on both sides of opening with a pencil.
2. Measure down to the floor on the hinge side using measuring tape, and note the measurement.
3. Measure down to the floor on the striker side, and note the measurement.
4. Hook the measuring tape on the bottom of the door on the hinge side, then measure and mark the height noted earlier.
5. Measure from your mark to the top of the header, then measure that same distance on the striker side to ensure the header will be level.
6. Hook the measuring tape under the striker-side jamb and measure up. The difference between the measurement from the rough opening to the mark on the doorjamb is the amount that will need to be cut out of the jamb (depending on the door, one or both jambs may need to be cut).
7. Use a circular saw to cut the jamb(s) to the desired lengths.
8. Use a level to ensure the rough opening is plumb on the hinge side. If not, nail an appropriate number of shims into the rough opening to make it plumb.
9. Move the door in place and keep it flush with the outer wall.
10. Pre-drill a hole and drive in a screw at the top on the hinge side.
11. Check the jamb to see if it’s plumb using a level.
12. Finish screwing in the hinge-side jamb using a driver.
13. Line up the two reference lines on the striker-side jamb.
14. Use shims down the hinge-side jamb to level it off, and drive in screws with a driver.
15. Break off the shims.
16. Put on trim using a nail gun or hammer.
17. Install door-knob hardware.

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