Step 5: Anchor the jamb

Tom Silva anchoring the jamb of a prehung door
Photo: David Carmack
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Slip a pair of shims between main jamb on the latch side and the trimmer, near the top of the door opening. When they are just touching the back of the jamb without putting any pressure on it, nail them to the trimmer with 8d finish nails.

Nail additional pairs of shims a few inches above the base of this jamb, as well as just above and below the strike plate. Without these shims, the jamb could flex.

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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