Step 3: Fit door into opening

Fitting door into opening
Photo: David Carmack
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Lift the door into the rough opening and push the hinge jamb tight against the shims tacked to the trimmers.

Tack an 8d finish nail through the face of the hinge-side casing 3 inches below the miter, into the trimmer. Hold a level against the face of the casing and adjust the jamb in and out until plumb.

If the wall is plumb and the casing rests flush against it, tack 8d finish nails through it at the other two hinge locations.

If the wall is out of plumb and the casing does not rest against it, shim behind the casing at the hinge locations to make the door plumb.

Nail through the casing and shims and into the trimmer. Fill any gaps between the casing and the wall with tapered wood wedges.

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    Tools List

    • hammer
      Hammer or nail gun,
      to attach casing and jambs to rough opening
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level,
      for checking plumb or level
    • drill
      Drill/driver,
      for fastening hinges
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • chisel
      3/4-inch chisel,
      for fine-tuning mortises
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Phillips-head screwdriver,
      for mounting lockset
    • utility knife
      Utility knife (for trimming shims
    • plumb bob
      Retractable plumb bob,
      for plumbing jamb

    Shopping List

    1. PREHUNG DOOR WITH SPLIT JAMS

    2. SHIMS

    for adjusting and supporting jambs



    3. STRIKE PLATE

    to protect jamb from latch bolt



    4. LOCKSET

    to hold door closed



    5. 4D FINISH NAILS

    to tack shims in place



    6. 8D FINISH NAILS

    to nail through casing