Hang doors in existing opening


We're replacing all the doors in an older home and as in many older houses the floors (and therefore the doorframes) have settled a bit - the doorframes are no longer plumb and some of the old doors no longer close without binding or fall open on their own. We've hired a carpenter to install the doors and when I asked him how he was going to do it, he said that he would "trim" the doors to fit the skewed openings. This dosen't sound right to me. Is there a way to re-plumb existing frames? What is the correct way of hanging doors in this situation? Also, the new doors are 1 3/4 MDF and are quite heavy. What type of hinges do we need? 3 Ball bearing 4" hinges per door??? Any advice is appreiciated.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In many cases you can buy the door and door jam preassembled for a few dollars more than the door alone. In most instances that expense is offset by the savings in labor to mount and fit a new door in an odd opening.
I would have the carpenter rehang the jams if possible. What he is proposing is a crappy way to cover a problem.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Leon" wrote in message

LOL ... therein lies the philosophical difference between a precise thinking cabinetmaker/craftsman of fine furniture, and a carpenter.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/30/06
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

;~) Yeah....
I um fixed the door at my dads house. Pulled the trim, cut the nails between the 2x's and door jam, plumbed everything up and the door open and closed beautifully. Then I proceeded to air nail the trim back on and nailed the door in the permanently closed position. Prior to that I had probably helped install 20+ prehung doors with no problems but because my father was watching.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Leon" wrote in message

LOL ... I can just hear you now: "We'll just put in a few nails until the glue dries."
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/30/06
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 02 Aug 2006 19:47:36 GMT, "Leon"

Can be a crappy way to do it, depending how badly the jambs are out of square- but that's a big maybe. For one thing, it's often possible to replumb the jambs- just about every door has 1/4-3/4" (depending on the original installer) of play on the inside under the casing with shims that were used to install it in the first place. Pull off the casing, carefully remove the nails, and readjust the shims, and you're good to go. It's a little work, but it's not disassembling the jambs, as was suggested by another post.
The other big consideration is that older jambs were made out of wood. Newer prehungs are made out of particle board. I've got maple jambs in my house that are well over 60 years old, and they're still going strong- I can't imagine that a thinly veneered particle board jamb will be still hanging in your place after that amount of time. They get a lot of action, being constantly opened and closed, and the old ones were able to take it. The newer ones are going to wear out- some quickly, others more slowly, depending on how nice the people in your home are when they open and close them. Can't even count how many fairly new pre-hung door jambs I've seen with stripped out or missing strike plates and chipped edges because of the shoddy materials.
I guess the thing I'm trying to get at here is that your carpenter may not be trying to stiff you- he might be looking out for you. A lot of guys take pride in their work, and he may just feel that the old jambs are worth a heck of a lot more than anything you're going to get today- and odds are if he's confident with mortising hinges and trimming the door to fit, that's the case. A hack would tell you that you *have* to get a prehung door, because that's all they've done before.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can absolutely replumb the doors but if you are buying new doors it usually is little more to buy prehung.

New ones are still wood also. I have not seen any thing but wood and steel. Not saying that some may not be made of particle board vut I have never seen one.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 05 Aug 2006 17:52:10 GMT, "Leon"

Suppose it depends on the style. I've found that on average a solid core birch flush door blank is about $50 less than a prehung prefinished hollowcore one with kind of plastic looking veneer. The hollowcore blanks are almost $70 less.

Really? As far as I've seen, they're all particle board in my neck of the woods. The exterior ones do have some wood in them, but even there, the brick moulding is usually archetectural foam. Might have something to do with Menard's death grip on the area, but the ones from UBC don't seem to be much different.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Prometheus" wrote in message

steel.
seen
Gotta be geographical ... I buy lots of doors and rarely see anything but paint grade, finger jointed, wood jambs (mostly white pine and fir, or some non-descript "white" wood) for the average pre-hung variety.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/30/06
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here, almost all of the prehungs we get are on some kind of veneer-over-particle board jamb. We use mostly oak or maple and they normally get stained. We can still get solid jambs (some commercial codes require them) but it's an upcharge.
Mike O.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You should just buy prehung doors and replace the casing and door. That way your doors are nice and square.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

there is no one right way. as a way to save money or to save historic trim, refitting the door in the existing hole is appropriate. it isn't practical to plumb up an existing jamb as you would have to dissassemble it.
yes, you can replace the jamb and all. that is certainly done. it will have to be retrimmed, and unless you spend a lot on doors, the jambs have sort of a modern look and are usually particleboard. it will definitely be more expensive.>

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My 2 cents (probably not worth much more than that)...
Tell him it's OK as long as he trims no more than 1/4" from square on the vertical and 1/8" on the horizontal edges.
More than that would be visiblly skewed and should require removing the existing door frame and re-squaring it.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Assuming that you want to save the existing casings and base and don't want to re-paint walls around every opening, he may actually be doing you a favor. To re-hang a door in an existing (out of square jamb) and mortise and drill to match is labor intensive and any finish carpenter would much prefer to hang new doors and new jambs. However in a lot of cases (including those mentioned above) a homeowner may choose not to use new jambs and trim. That choice should be yours and costs will be directly related to that choice. You can re-hang existing jambs by removing the trim, cutting the jambs loose and basically starting over with the old jamb and re-installing the old casings. Again, after re-installing you will have more nail holes to fill and will probably need to re-paint the walls adjacent to the re-installed casing because when it is installed square and plumb paint lines will show. The paint problem will be the same whether re-installing old jambs and casings or installing all new. The only way to avoid the paint problem is to leave the casing alone or replace the old casing with larger new casing to cover the paint lines. This solution also requires that you cut the base shorter where it will hit the new ( larger) casing. Also, if while removing old casings what happens when he breaks a piece? Is the old casing still available? Are you prepared to re-stain new casing to match assuming it is available?
Is re-hanging new doors in the old (out of square) openings the best way? No. Could it be more cost effective than the alternatives? Yes.
IMO, the best way (again assuming you want to save the old material and not use new) would be to uninstall the casing and jambs and pull all the nails to get them ready to be re-installed. Then mortise for the hinges and bore the doors and re-hang and re-trim them. You could do the un-install yourself if you wanted to save money and assume the risk of breakage. There's no reason to pay your carpenter to do demolition and pull nails. Oh...and don't forget, someone still gets to paint around every opening.
Mike O.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"kittiwakecoast" wrote in message

The "correct way" is how much you want to spend. To replace/re-square old jambs will likely increase your cost by three or four times, or more by the time you get finished painting and cleaning up the mess,
There is nothing unusual in what your carpenter is suggesting ... or else the electric plane would not have been such a big seller around these parts, what with all these old crawlspace foundations.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/30/06
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kittiwakecoast wrote:

I agree with the fellas above saying the correct way is what you can afford and what look you want.
Last year I replaced several doors (hollow core) in my house with wooden 5 panel doors that I salvaged from another home destined for destruction. I had to "modify" them a bit to fit my openings. After a little judicious application of a hand plane and one or two cuts to get the length corrected they looked great.
Time is another consideration, if you rip out and redo the frames the time spent on doing the job, prepping it for paint, then painting could add up in a hurry for every door.
Just my 2 pennies worth...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kittiwakecoast wrote:

Actually, this may be an excellent time to straighten the frame a bit- screw-jack here and there, gradually, to get things back into proper relative position. Then some framing to hold it there.
Damn sure better than later, if some old sagging stuff lets go.
J
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    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.