So the problem is this: I'm replacing my interior doors and I fine the door
openings are way off level, both vertically and horizontally. When i put
the replacement jamb in the opening level, it protudes away from the wall in
some places and in others it sits back from the wall. So I thought, follow
the wall. Now, after hanging the doors I'm noticing that the door edge
doesn't line up with the jamb, vertically, at the strike plate side. For
example, at one door I have, the top of the door is about 1/2" deeper than
the jamb edge and at the bottom it is flush. I put the level on the door
and of course it is level. I haven't done anything pecurliar with the doors
(hinged where they wanted me to, etc). Is this typical? Is there a fix?
Should I just force the door into flush with the door stop?
I know the truth is out there but I like to stay in...
This is known as a "cross-legged" opening. Your jambs have to flush
with the surface of the walls or your trim will be a nightmare. The
only exception might be if the door is stuck in a corner where you can
have the jamb hanging over 1/2" from the surface of the wall and after
the trim is on this won't be noticable. Anyway, what I usually do in
this case is to pull the door stops off and reapply them so the door
hits the stop evenly. Not much you can do beyond that--trying to make
a silk purse out of a sows ear!
What i thought. Guess it's pretty common for them to have a name for it.
What happened to pride in one's workmanship? Can't level a 30" door
opening--should they be framing a house?????
Doesn't sound to me as if you have ever framed a wall. Framer has
no reason to ever plumb the sides of the jambs, especially in the
plane of the closed door. You are always thankful if they plumbed
the hinge side of the jamb before they cut out the bottom plate.
As you hang the door, you will probably notice that very slight
adjustments from plumb really show up once the door is swung, and
herein lies most of the key to the solution. A good swat or two
in the right place with a scrap block and hammer can bring the two
jamb legs into plane. You can develop a system of crossing a dry
line tied off on diagonal corners of the jamb. When the strings
touch at the center of the "X" the legs are in plane, may have
nothing to do with plumb. That's part of the reason for the label
"trim carpenter', it demands the ability to make an installation
both function and look right. 2x materials vary in thickness and
straightness, plaster and lath certainly varied in thickness, but
even drywall installed across framing lumber can result in
variations in the thickness of the finish wall. The problems
multiply when it's a steel jamb in a poured concrete wall. What
length level are you using to determine plumb of the jamb or
wall??? I've known plumbers who swore by a 9" torpedo on a 20'
stick of pipe - don't ask.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Thanks for your input guys. Dan, to answer a couple of your concerns, yes I
have framed a wall and I use a 6' level. No I'm not a master carpenter.
Also, I'm talking about the whole wall being out, not just the jacks.
There's a half inch difference from top to bottom. And, on one wall with a
24" door, the wall left of the door doesn't line up with the wall to the
right of the door! That's just not right.
Your solution, however, speaks to the problem as I see it: why do I have to
hit my walls with a hammer? Why does the guy coming after always have to
fix what the guy before him did? The guys who framed my house are causing
me a lot of grief 22 years later.
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