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Author Topic: Problems installing prehung doors...  (Read 15236 times)
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JDLee

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« on: February 25, 2008, 08:08 PM »

Hello all...

I'm trying to install some Masonite brand Safe and Sound (solid core, so they're heavier) prehung doors in my home.

Every time I get one of these doors installed, it won't close right.  I even bought a Jambmaster jig to try to get them in right.  I used it for the first time today, but the door still doesn't seem right.  (There is a learning curve with the Jambmaster--for me at least--so I can't blame it on this first attempt.  I may have not used it right).

When I close the door, it pushes back open slightly (I'm having this problem with every door).  There's a 1/8" gap between the door and the jamb at the top of the hinge side, but no gap at the bottom.  The gap between the door and the jamb on the strike side gets larger toward the bottom.

Because they're solid core, the doors are on the heavy side.  And I'm not impressed with the hinges (there's some slop in them) or the jambs.

Does anyone have any advice for me?  Is this the best you can expect installing a prehung door?  Or am I to blame?  Or the quality of the hinges or something?

I really, really need some help with this.

(I've also posted this in the Fine Homebuilding forums, but I noticed a post from DirtyDeeds in which he mentioned often being hired to rehang poorly hung doors.  So I'm posting here, too, because I think I'm likely to find people concerned with precision in these forums.)




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Dongar

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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 10:55 PM »

Hi JD
 When ever I install doors (even hollow core) I always take the inner screw or screws  out of the upper hinge,drill a clearance hole through the jamb and replace the screw with a 2-1/2 or 3" screw into the wall framing. This usually eliminates the sagging of the door.The outer screws can not be replaced because they are over the drywall and you would have to angle them and they do not sit in the counter sink properly.The head can then interfare with the proper closing of the door,unless you grind the head off.This is a greater problem if the hinge side of the door is not beveled.
I hope this helps.
 Don
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MCC 5491

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Location: Central Iowa
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 11:55 PM »

Start by putting a shim behind the lower hinge to adjust the reveal between the door and jamb. You are currently hinge bound. This will move the slab to the right and probably move the top strike side of the slab upwards slightly. Next check for "springback". Then re-adjust the reveal between the slab and the head and strike jambs. Now the door should close properly. Finally as Dongar said replace the screw closest to the stop in the top and bottom hinge with a long screw, just make sure your shimmed securely behind the hinges and don't draw them down over tightly or you'll end up right back where you started. The hole closest to the stop will insure your hit framing behind. Sometimes the way prehung's are machined now days the other two screws are over the drywall and you won't hit anything solid enough to hold the weight of the door. TIM
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JDLee

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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 02:32 AM »

Thanks for the responses.

TIM--I must not be visualizing this right.  If I put a shim bend the lower hinge, wouldn't I just be forcing the lower portion of the hinge-side jamb closer to the door?  I mean, there's already no gap there, so wouldn't I be making that worse?

When you say "then readjust the reveal between the slab and the head and strike jambs," what do you mean?  Are you talking about adding more shims? 

I don't mean to be dense, but I'm pretty lost on this.
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Eli

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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 03:23 AM »

Question JD. Was there a threshold strip across the door bottom at any time pre or during install? Looks to me like you might have more than one problem there. Check if the strike jamb is plumb. For that matter, check if everything is plumb.
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mastercabman

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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 06:45 AM »

this might be a stupid question,but some doors comes with spacer pads sticker.did you remove them?
is the jamb(hinges side)twisted?
did you equally shim both side of the jamb?
did the doors shut right before you installed it?
is the jamb plumb and level(hinges side)?
is the r/o opening big enough?
are you hanging doors before sheet rock?usually doors gets installed after sheet rock is install
check all that.
good luck!

« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 07:31 AM by mastercabman » Logged

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Steveo48

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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 01:38 PM »

Based on the second pic, I'm guessing something is twisted, probably the jamb.

Get your tape out, check your diagonals, check for parallel, I'm sure you made certain everything is plumb.

Are all of the hinges routed to the correct and same depth and are they straight.  You mention flimsy hinges, could this heavy door be pulling them out?

(added this later)  Are all of the screws sunk properly?

Could the door itself be out of square or twisted?  ( I know, it's a long shot).

Keep us informed!

Steve

« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 01:41 PM by Steveo48 » Logged
justinh

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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 08:15 AM »

I see this frequently with pre-hung doors.  The problem is usually the hinges deflecting. The quality of the hardware supplied with many doors is shoddy at best.  I usually bend the hinge barrels to compensate for the play in them.  Gary Katz has a short article on his website illustrating the process and there was another in Fine Homebuilding a few months back. Gold Key and Lock (GKL) has a tool that is a bit more elegant than a crescent wrench made for this task if you don't mind spending $70. Also if you have not done so already replacing the screw(s) that are furthest from the barrels with longer ones that will penetrate the framing is another way to keep both the hinge and the jamb from deflecting.  Just snug them or you can screw up the fit of the door.
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joraft

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« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2008, 10:07 AM »

Hello all...

I'm trying to install some Masonite brand Safe and Sound (solid core, so they're heavier) prehung doors in my home.

Does anyone have any advice for me? 




Here's a link to an 18 minute video that may be helpful: Installing Prehung Doors


John
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 10:09 AM by joraft » Logged

John
Tom Bainbridge

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Limey Carpenter


« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2008, 10:18 AM »

forgive my slow answer and realy poor typing ive cut two tendons in my thumb and had plastic surgery to re attach them


if the door opens 1/8th on its own, it looks and sounds like your door is hinge bound

this can occour for various reasons and you can have one or more causes on a single door. the most common problems, not in any particular order, are

hinge pockets set too deep, so the leaf of the hinge isnt flush with the door and or the frame
the frame/lining isnt square across the opening ie the frame jambs arnt paralell in cross section
the hinge jamb is bowed, cupped or warped
the screw heads protrude beyound the face of the hinge leaf



solutions

each of these actions of themselves will not / may not solve the problem in one go

sort out the jamb lining first, make sure it is vertical, remember your doors are heavy and will pull a lining out of shape. i use screws to fix door linings into the opening, not nails, used with wedges and you can pull and push a lining into shape. where possible hide the screws behind the door stops.

the screws and wedges may will also get the jamb linings paralell as well

if the architrave (door casing) is in place, remove it to adjust the lining

dont try to be clever and try to plumb and square a lining with the door attached to the lining, it isnt easy as some people say it is
 




sort out any hinge screw problems next

smaller screw heads, redrilling the holes square to the lining, throw away bugle headed hinge screws and use counter sunk heads (yes the wrong screws are sometimes supplied)

if necessary pack out the hinge pockets so the hinge leaves are flush. the above two things not only solve part of the problem, it looks professional as well

if all these dont solve the problem then re shoot the door edge with a 3 degree back bevel, this essentially means the hinge never closes to 90 degrees. this doesnt affect the visible door margin, the back bevel is hidden by the door stop. you may also have to reset the hinge pockets into the door


look also at the hinges themselves, new or not, if they are light duty a heavy door can bend them out of shape, i tend to over specify hinges, so i dont get call backs
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Tom Bainbridge

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Limey Carpenter


« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2008, 10:36 AM »

the dimishing gap top to bottom on the hinge side. its almost certainly the weight of the door, you need more fixings at the top

a pound to a penny, that lining isnt vertical, its canted over at the top, and the gap at the top of the door on the righthand side is bigger than the left hand side

once youve sorted the hinge jamb (it will almost certainly sort out the head gap) you'll then have to reset the strike jamb as well
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jonny round boy

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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2008, 11:03 AM »

forgive my slow answer and realy poor typing ive cut two tendons in my thumb and had plastic surgery to re attach them


Oh dear DD, what did you do?  Shocked
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Tom Bainbridge

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Limey Carpenter


« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2008, 11:21 AM »

stanley knife, thank goodness it was a new sharp blade
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Eli

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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2008, 03:46 PM »

Oh man, I've been there done that. Your first thought is always "I cut myself I can't believe I just did that".

Right you are too, sharp much better than dull.
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brandon.nickel

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Currently Peoria, IL - Eventually back to CO


« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2008, 07:18 PM »

Sorry to hear that you've hurt yourself.  I think we've all been there.  Here's to a speedy recover.
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Dave Rudy

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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2008, 08:06 PM »

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Dave Rudy
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Overtime

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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2008, 08:08 PM »

 One more thing to check -  look at.

The door jamb, if it is "an applied stop" then it's possible that it's off a tad. Remove and reapply. Some times they are tacked on with little attention.

Hope you have HD ball bearing hinges on there.

Sometimes a playing card or two is just the right thickness to pop out the hinge from the jamb, as far as a shim goes.

Ddeeds - quick recovery.
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Tom Bainbridge

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Limey Carpenter


« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2008, 09:21 AM »

thanks for you're thaughts guys
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Bromley, Kent. UK

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