Hanging interior doors--where are the carpenters!

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?
Thoughts appreciated.
--
edee em
I know the truth is out there but I like to stay in...
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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!
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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?????
Thanks Marson
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What's irritating is the five minutes the framers saved costs the finish guy an hour or two.
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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.
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I LOVE this question. I makes a differecence, imo. -- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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Meaning - "it makes" a difference.... -- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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Well, if you can go into a remodel with a door opening 1/2" out, walls taped, painted, finish floor in, and fix that with your strings and block of wood, you are quite the carpenter!
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After 50 years of it, yes, I think I am.
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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.
Eddie

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