First let me thank all of you for being so helpful to this newbie homeowner.
I hope someday I can become a full fledged Mr. Fixit and help others here
My hollow core interior doors need to be replaced.
Is it easier to hang "pre-hung" doors rather than "blanks"?
If so, how do I remove the old door frames?
Any help you can give me might keep me from getting into a jam.... (pun
On 11/29/2004 11:13 PM US(ET), Jostled Giblets took fingers to keys, and
typed the following:
Unhung - don't have to take off the jambs, but do have to cut new butt
hinge recesses (either with a router and hinge template, or sharp wood
chisel and a tender touch), may have to do some minor trimming if the
door doesn't fit.
Prehung - don't have to cut hunge recesses, but do have to remove
moulding around jambs, do have to cut the nails between the jamb and
framing (best done with a reciprocating saw), do have to plumb the new
door and jamb, do have to shim between jamb and framing, do have to put
moulding back up (if you haven't broken a piece, then it's off to HD ).
Why would you remove the old frames? are they badly beat up?
removing the frame and attaching a new frame is far more work than
just changing the door. You can buy door with or without the lock
hole pre cut, but you will likely want to cut your own hinge mortises.
Are they rounded hinges or square? Ronded are easy, square require
some chisel work. You will need a router and a router guide for
cutting the hinges and you will need a circular saw with a good blade
and a straight edge for cutting the top, bottom, and side. Most of
the work is just laying the old door on top of the new door and
marking the position of the hinges and the ends (top and bottom) of
the door. You also need to cut a 5 degree slant on the side of the
door opposite the hinges. Besides, if your house is very old, a new
door may have to be cut down a bit to fit, e.g., a 30 inch door may
have to be cut down to 29-3/4" or maybe the house has settled and the
door needs to be 30 inches at the top and 29-1/2 at the bottom.
You think that's a lot of work, try putting up a pre hung door. With
the cost differential between door "blanks" and pre hung doors you can
buy any tools you need to hang new door blanks.
Being as I am set up for this and do this daily, your mileage may
I charge the same for either method of changing out a door. More
labor and less materials for the blank, vice versa for the prehung.
Generally, I can change out door with a prehung unit in about 30
minutes. A blank takes about 2 hours.
With the prehung I pull the trim opposite the door side, cut any
nails and pull the door unit. Being careful to save the trim, this
takes about 3 minutes. I then bring in the prehung unit, set it
into place and check for fit and possible problems. If none, I pull
out the jamb and install trim on the door side, set the door into
place and nail it off plumb and square. Shim the hinges and strike
side and install trim on other side. Change the lockset from old
door to new. Finished.
With a blank, I first check the door for fit (square and plumb). IF
the old door fits well, I will pull the hinge pins, take the door
outside and use it to mark the hinge locations. I mortise the
hinges with a chisel for just one or two doors, but if I am doing
many doors, then I will set up a router with a hinge template that
is adjustable. After changing out the hinges (you will probably
need new screws for this, unless the door is not very old). I will
hang the new door in the jamb and check it for fit. Sometimes it
fits well, but most of the time you will need to adjust the jamb, or
plane the door. Mark the door if it needs to be planed down and
haul it back outside for the work. Take it back inside and rehang
it, check it again. If everything fits, mark the lockset location
on the door. Drill out the lockset hole and the latch hole,
mortise the latch plate, change out the lockset and you are done.
I, like Mr. Allison, do this everyday. If you have a choice it is much
easier to hang a prehung. Carefully remove one side of the casing. Sawzall
off any nails from the jamb to the studs. Loosen the other side casing from
the jamb only. Sawzall any nails between the casing and the jamb. Old jamb
will now fall out. Stand new unit in opening, shim and renail. The only
thing that takes longer, than a slab only, is the small amount of extra
painting/finishing you will have to do to the new jamb and casing nail
When we replaced our door in our last house, my wife took the doors to the
local door shop and they used them as templates for the new doors, cutting
them to length where necessary and mortising the hinges in the right place.
We then rehung the new doors in the old frames. No mess, no fuss, cost
about $40-$50 per door, including door.
Good investment, in my opinion
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.