Interior Doors trials and tribulations

So they sell the door slabs and in the jamb. The slabs have come down to $19 at HD. Wow that's cheap.
But, my jambs are all boogered up. Well, especially the part where the door catches.
Maybe I should do the whole jamb and door.
Except that I did that once before and it was less than perfect. And then I did it again and it is way less than perfect. I can't get the door to close or the latch to latch up.
Now the two pros I spoke to said not to do jambs, just do the slabs. So much easier. For who????
The old jam comes out in about 10 minutes, and the new one, if i knew what the sam hill I was doing, would only take another 10 minutes to shim plumb.
Don't really have a question here but the doors in jams seem much more invasive but like a better fix.
Do you pros want me to just buy the slabs, replace the bad piece of the jam with another piece of wood (because it's so beat) and make that a day.
I'm in a quandary. But, finish work I can handle. Hanging a door by myself so that it is plumb and square without losing my temper is --- i have found out --- almost impossible.
A little help and or advice? Forgive me if I don't make sense, it's been a hard year.
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$19 is cheap but not if you butcher the door trying to fit it into a twisted jam...
Here is how I install a prehung
Check floor for level across opening and throughout the swing area so you have floor clearance.
If needed trim bottom of jamb and/or door
Remove door via hinge pins
Remove all doorstop trim
Plumb hinge side while making sure it is centered on stud. Shim & nail jamb where doorstop trim will go on hinge side in several spots.
Put the door back on (don't let it swing all the way open because the jamb could come loose)
Adjust strike side so that strike hole is same height as hole in door for the latch. Eyeball the gap at the top to make sure it is close. Then shim & nail strike side making sure gap is even along the length of the door.
put in the doorknob and all the strike hardware and make sure it lines up. Open close the door a few times to make sure it engages the latch smoothly. If you screwed up it is not hard to fix because all of your nails are where the door stop trim will be so you can pull & renail if needed.
shim & nail top
start installing the doorstop at the top of the strike side by putting pressure against the closed door as if you were trying to open it. the doorstop should touch the door only at the very top & very bottom. You are trying to bend the doorstop like a bow so the center of the doorstop doesn't touch the door (1/16 away at the center).
the doorstop on the top should meet the strikeside doorstop and be away from the door on the hinge side slightly (1/16 or less)
the doorstop on the hinge side should not touch the door
when you're done the door will close like a new refrigerator
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Limp Arbor wrote:

doorstop- it is milled right into the jamb. Really cheap doors even have a split jamb, to make them quick to hang in apartments and such, with the casing on both sides already attached. The doorstop forms one side of the slot the loose half of the jamb fits into.
-- aem sends....
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I install doors for money, so I guess that makes me a pro. :)
I just this afternoon advised a client on putting a door in an opening. I told him that his options are:
1. Install a slab door, which will require that I install stop all around the existing jambs, mortise hinges into both the jamb and the door, drill and mortise the door for a knob, and drill and mortise the jamb for the strike plate.
2. Remove the existing jambs and install a pre-hung door.
I recommended #2, since it trades materials for labor, and labor is probably more expensive.
p.s. I've left out all the steps that are common to both, like removing and replacing the casing, and applying a finish.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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SteveBell wrote:

access to those expensive jigs to do the mortising and drilling, installing a prehung is the way to go, especially for DIYers who may do 3-4 doors per decade. Shimming is easy, assuming the wall and rough opening are anywhere near square and straight. Start with the hinge side and get it right, and then pin the other sides to where the crack looks the same all the way around the door in the frame, then insert shims and the actual nails, testing the door action as you go. Worked a couple summers doing apartment construction as a kid, and they started me on doors the first week. By the third one, they left me on my own. Must have installed 200 of the damn things- and these were cheapass doors, not quality ones by any means. A good 4-foot level makes a world of difference. Get the hinge side vertical in the rough opening and in the plane of the wall, and the top and other side can pretty much be done by eyeball, assuming the door slab is flat. It does sometimes help to install the striker and plate, even if they will have to come back out for finishing, so you can check how easy the door latches, and if it rattles. Easy to fine-tune that before you set the nails and put on the casing.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

You're right...it *is* easy. Nevertheless, a lot of people - like my idiot ex-father-in-law - don't understand that they need to keep what they are shimming perpendicular to the door while inserting the shims. They (he) push one shim in too far thus twisting the jamb or push both in too far thus bowing the jamb. Et cetera.
Naturally, the resulting ill fitting doors are fault of the manufacturer.
--

dadiOH
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I've always preferred screws instead of nails for door installations. MUCH easier to correct misalignment.
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I agree 100%
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Pud Muppy wrote:

I prefer screws as well, but if the jamb and casing have a clear finish, and no removable stop, it is awful hard to hide the screw heads. I have been known to do the inititial pinning of the door via a long screw in the frame side of each hinge. Once it is all squared up, add at least one more long screw per hinge, and then use the finish nails with pilot holes to pin down the rest of the door.
-- aem sends...
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Limp Arbor's directions are right on. It will take you less time and save you money. One word of caution tho. You CAN get a warped door fresh from the factory. It might be worth it to buy a little better door than the really cheap ones.
Hank
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I've always preferred screws instead of nails for door installations. MUCH easier to correct misalignment.
If we say "forty, sixty, seventy, eighty and ninety", why don't we say "twoty, threety and fivety"?
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