Interior and exterior door installation

Learning how to install a door is easy. You can get doors in just about any height you want, but the standard size is 6’8”. You have hardwood which is obviously made of wood, you have the paneled door which can be either wood or metal with square panels, and there’s the lighted door which can be either wood or metal, but has glass windows in it.

door installation

types of doors

Prefabricated doors come with the jambs, stops, and hinges already mounted so you only have to put them into the rough opening and center them using tapered shims.

door jambs

The illustration above shows a door rough opening and a pre-hung door ready to slide into the rough opening.

After the door is in place, you should have a gap all the way around between the jamb and the trimmer stud in the door opening. You will first need to place shims under the doorjamb on the bottom. You need to raise the door to compensate for the finish floor and the finish floor covering.

If you will be using 5/8 inch particleboard on the finish floor, you will have to raise it that much plus the thickness of the floor covering whether it is carpet, tile, or hardwood. Next, insert the shims all the way around the doorjamb making sure that the gap is even.

The drawing above shows the best way to use the wedged shims and the proper placement of the shims before screwing the door in place.

door shims

After you get the door completely centered, then you can secure it in place with screws. I use 2-inch brass wood screws. I use screws because you can adjust them if you need to. That helps you keep the door centered.

Also, because you are putting screws into the doorjamb from the inside means that the screw heads will be visible. The holes can be filled in with wood putty before painting. If you can’t sink the screws in far enough to make a hole for filling, you might want to drill a hole first using a counter-sink bit.

Once the door is secured with screws, you can open the door to see if it is level. The door should stay open at any angle. If the door isn’t level and flush with the wall, you will need to make some adjustments.

If you have done everything according to plan however, there shouldn’t be any problems. The door should open and close with ease.

Next, you can knock off the shims that are protruding with a hammer. They break easily and the shims that are stuck in the wall will be covered up by sheetrock and trim. Interior doors are done exactly the same way.

striker installation

The door hardware is quite simple to install, especially if the prefabricated door has the holes already drilled. The drawing above shows the parts of a doorknob and how they fit together. It also shows the striker plate assembly and how it attaches to the doorjamb.