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Building Skills

Building Skills

Framing Rough Openings for Prehung Doors

comments (12) August 19th, 2011 in Blogs
redwing44 redwing44, Legendary author

Video Length: 6:40
Produced by: John Ross, Edited by: Mike Dobsevage

Framers Larry Haun and Scott Grice demonstrate how to set trimmers so that shims are unnecessary.

You can set a door without any shims simply by setting your trimmers properly. Take your level, and place it on the trimmer. If level, take 8d nails, and toe-nail it at the bottom of the trimmer. Place nails on both sides. Check that it is level. Using a stool, nail the trimmer at the top.

Knowing that the first trimmer is level, use a spacer for the next. The space is 33-1/2 in. long. It allows you to set a 32-in. door with a 3/4-in. jamb on each side. Cut the trimmers an extra 1/8 in. so that they fit in tight and stay in position. Pull the trimmer over to the spacer, and nail it in place.

Straighten the trimmers with a long level. Pull the trimmer out a little bit if it is uneven using the claw end of a hammer.

Clipping the door will allow it to stay in place before the drywall goes up without having to use shims. Drive an 8d nail into the king stud. Bend it over to the trim, and trap it with another nail bent into the trim.

Cut out the bottom plate using a Sawzall or a flush-cutting saw. The only thing lacking in the opening now is drywall backing. A piece of wood cut to the width of the door opening needs to be nailed at door height for drywall backing. This is how the cripple is eliminated. By placing the piece of wood at door height, the doors have been properly framed. Once the drywall is in, the prehung door can be slipped in.

Watch Larry Haun and Scott Grice's previous videos on wall framing:

3 Tips for Laying Out Studs on Wall Plates

6 Tips for Spreading Wall Plates on a Subfloor

The Top 10 Tips for Wall-Framing Layout on a New Subfloor


Further Resources

Installing Prehung Doors

Another Approach to Installing Prehung Doors

How It Works: Wall Framing


Frame a Door Rough Opening


posted in: Blogs, framing, Larry Haun

Comments (12)

user-2872396 user-2872396 writes: Lets see your video bobtb.
Posted: 11:51 pm on December 1st

BCfinisher BCfinisher writes: I am a firm believer in shimming doors within a rough opening which allows some options for out-of-plumb framing or a twisted/crooked stud. I appreciated the effort spent plumbing and straightening the opening, but there are no guarantees that the opening will be in that condition by the time the finisher arrives on sight. While this may work well for Larry, I would not recommend this method. Sorry.
Posted: 11:24 pm on May 21st

Creebomb Creebomb writes: The only comment I have at this juncture is that I like to purchase as dry lumber as possible. Sometimes this means spending more money for good indoor kept studs and covering my door openings with plastic. I know we can't weather but everylittle helps-other than that I loved the video.


Posted: 3:53 pm on August 27th

builtright builtright writes: I agree with larry that every trimmer needs to be level and plumb. I check every one right after I plumb and line the rough frame. I also toe-nail two eights into the floor on each side of the bottom plate after removing the floor plate from the opening. I want to make sure the floor plate is on the line along the floor. The problems I see with not shimming the jamb is that it leaves you no out when the door shop delivers the doors with hinge screws that are deeper than the jamb material. This is very common on exterior doors. I also noticed that many doors are hinge bound straight out of the door shop. If you give yourself room to shim the hinge and jamb you can usally cure the problem on-site. I also notice that rockers rarely hold the sheetrock back from a opening and tapers love to clean their knife's off in doorways. If I am shimming the opening I usally only have to file or trim the rock or mud at the shims. While I'm not quite as old as larry I have hung thousands of doors in my 35 years of carpentry and know your not always working behind the cleanest framers in the world. it takes me just about the same amount of time to fully shim a door as it took to float the trimmers in that video. One last thought I hope Larry never has to remove one of his trimmers to get a little extra room for a custom door that got orderd as an after thouht...he'll have to call the taper back to patch the rock over the door.
Posted: 4:30 pm on August 23rd

21rDesbordesValmore 21rDesbordesValmore writes: The step where you use the Sawzall to cut out the bottom plate and move it up to the top of the door to be used as a nailer: it will be loose by the thickness of two Sawzall blades. Is that in any way a problem?
Posted: 10:02 pm on August 22nd

Tucker W. Tucker W. writes: I love watching Larry swat 16d nails with rhyme and reason. There is a purpose to his every motion and an efficient pace towards completing the project.
Posted: 9:14 pm on August 22nd

Bad_Pete Bad_Pete writes: Larry mention on is doors opening that was for pre-hung doors they come with some kind of pre-installed trim around them for nailing if you leave to much room you will be nailing them in the void of your over-size hole even modern framer can learn allot from a guy like Larry just check is roof building skills video ...
Posted: 6:34 pm on August 22nd

bobtb bobtb writes: Why would you build an opening with no space for your door to be adjusted you have to cram it in there? That seems ignorant to me.
Posted: 4:58 pm on August 22nd

sawzall316 sawzall316 writes: I love when guys like bobtb snipe at Larry. It shows their ignorance of who Larry is and what he has contributed to modern framing techniques.
Posted: 10:10 am on August 22nd

DougDM DougDM writes: Been framing for about 40 years...I feel like I'm watching my dad when he taught me. Atta boy..
Posted: 5:05 am on August 22nd

MindyDesigns MindyDesigns writes: Really nice to watch the old school guys. They make everything look so easy
Posted: 4:37 am on August 22nd

bobtb bobtb writes: This old guy is a super Hacker extraordinaire!
Posted: 8:56 pm on August 21st

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