How to Relocate an Old Door
Tom Silva gives advice on how to reolocate an old door
We want to remove and relocate an existing door to make it look like it's always been in its new spot. Any suggestions? — Heather kremer, san francisco
One thing people often overlook when relocating a door, or installing a salvaged one, is how much the trim contributes to the door's overall appearance. Saving that trim—including the existing jamb—goes a long way toward making a door look like it's always been there. Here are some other things to keep in mind when prepping the new opening for your old door.
Match the height
Doors in a hallway or landing should all be the same height and width. Use those dimensions to determine how big the rough opening should be and, if necessary, how much to extend or shorten the door itself.
Leave room to fine-tune
Jambs need to sit plumb and square inside the rough opening. If they don't, the door is going to swing in or out on its own or not shut properly. Typically, I leave a half-inch gap between each jamb and the stud next to it, and then use shims to adjust and stabilize the jambs before fastening them to the framing. Or watch an episode of Ask This Old House that shows how I relocate and reuse a door.
Install jambs first, then threshold
Always run the side jambs right to the floor. If the doorway needs a threshold, scribe and cut its ends to fit tightly against the jambs' profile, then toenail it with six 7d nails, three on each side.
— This Old House general contractor Tom Silva