Pre-hing door issues

12 Replies

Hey Everyone

I am fairly new to carpentry and having an issue hanging pre hung doors. For some reason I can't get the hinge side gap and the strike side gap to be consistent with each other. Individually each side is consistent but the strike side gap is roughly an 1/8 inch bigger than the hinge side gap. Do you guys have any suggestions? I made sure the hinge side was plumb prior to fastening so I am not really sure what is going wrong.

If the door closes normally and it's not noticeable then your good.  You could always rip cut a board and increase the strike side "trim" to hide the gap if it's that bad.  Or increase the trim size of the whole door. 

I'm with Bryan.  If it can be hidden with trim- hide it.  :)

Your rough opening (the 2x4s) should be about a half inch to an inch larger than the outside of your pre-hung door unit.   I start with the hinge side.  If I've done a good job on framing, that side will be plumb in both directions and I can just nail up the hinge jamb.  Just a couple of nails at this point.  You want to also check the floor.   You might have to shim the hinge side off the floor, if the knob side is higher.  Or trim the jambs down a little.

Now, with the hinge side tacked in place, go to the knob side.  Here you'll have to shim it away from the framing.  Use shims in pairs so the outsides are parallel.  Get the shims in place so the jamb ends up with a uniform gap between the door and jamb.  You want to be sure you have shims above and below the strike plate so its solidly in place.  You may also have to shim up or trim the bottom of the jamb so there's a uniform gap at the top of the door.

If things go badly, use your sawzall to cut the nails out and start over.

@Jon Holdman is spot on.  I use basically the same approach.  YouTube probably has lots of videos on hanging doors.

thanks for your suggestions everyone. I guess there is no one right answer on whether the hinge gap (between the door and jamb) and the strike jamb should be consistent with each other. 

Originally posted by @Gregory Massi :

Hey Everyone

I am fairly new to carpentry and having an issue hanging pre hung doors. For some reason I can't get the hinge side gap and the strike side gap to be consistent with each other. Individually each side is consistent but the strike side gap is roughly an 1/8 inch bigger than the hinge side gap. Do you guys have any suggestions? I made sure the hinge side was plumb prior to fastening so I am not really sure what is going wrong.

Are you saying there's an extra 1/8" gap between the jamb on the strike side and the adjacent 2x4 framing?  If so, that shouldn't be a big deal.  I assume the door closes properly?  The gap will be covered up when you put the casing up.

i guess I wasn't clear, sorry about that. I was talking about the gap between the jamb and the door.

The gap should be nearly uniform all the way around, except the bottom.  It should certainly be uniform on each of the sides and top.  Shims are your friend.  Use them liberally.  If I'd done well on the framing, I don't need any on the hinge side.  But on the knob side, I'll typically use six pairs.  A pair at the top, another at the bottom.  A pair just above and just below the strike plate. Then another pair above and below the strike plate, midway between the first pairs of pairs.  You want this edge to be solidly attached and you don't want to nail "over air".  That is, anywhere you nail the jamb to the framing you need to be going through shims, not through a gap.  A properly hung door would have a nice uniform gap all around and can be placed in any position and stay there.  If the door opens or closes on its own, rip it out and start over.

Originally posted by @Jon Holdman :

The gap should be nearly uniform all the way around, except the bottom.  It should certainly be uniform on each of the sides and top.  Shims are your friend.  Use them liberally.  If I'd done well on the framing, I don't need any on the hinge side.  But on the knob side, I'll typically use six pairs.  A pair at the top, another at the bottom.  A pair just above and just below the strike plate. Then another pair above and below the strike plate, midway between the first pairs of pairs.  You want this edge to be solidly attached and you don't want to nail "over air".  That is, anywhere you nail the jamb to the framing you need to be going through shims, not through a gap.  A properly hung door would have a nice uniform gap all around and can be placed in any position and stay there.  If the door opens or closes on its own, rip it out and start over.

 Hi Jon - what door brands do you prefer?

I don't have any particular preference.

Two other options

1) Put a 1/16" spacer behind either the hinges on the door OR the hinges on the frame.

2) Put  1/32" spacer behind the hinges on the door AND the hinges on the frame

This will shift your door 1/16" toward the the strike and even out your 1/8" gap difference

Personally I don't think anyone is going to ever notice a 1/8" difference.

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