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Building Skills

Building Skills

How To Cut a Prehung Exterior Door to a Custom Height

comments (8) September 10th, 2013 in Blogs

Video Length: 3:39
Produced by: Andy Engel, Patrick McCombe, and Rob Wotzak

You don't have to order an expensive custom door if your rough opening is a non-standard size. Buy a stock door instead and make it fit.

In this video, carpenter and senior editor Andy Engel shows us how to disassemble a prehung exterior door; how to measure and cut the door slab to fit an existing opening; and how to shorten the jamb to match.

In this video, Andy Engel will demonstrate how to:

  • Disassemble the door and jamb
  • Make a shooting board--a tool for making accurate cuts with a circular saw
  • Measure and make the cut on the door slab
  • Cut the jamb to match
  • Reassemble the door and jamb


posted in: Blogs, doors

Comments (8)

DaveTommy DaveTommy writes: I love the video and how it gives you step by step instructions. I am trying to make a custom door for my home to make it look nicer to sell. This helped me out a ton on getting this done. Do you have any other tips on how to make a custom door look amazing?
Posted: 3:25 pm on February 23rd

user-3404922 user-3404922 writes: why don't you test flush before you caulk (the second time or caulk at all)? doesn't the 2nd white latex caulking begin to look filthy shortly after?
Posted: 12:54 pm on May 11th

jtankzz jtankzz writes: This is a very informative video, but it has a major flaw. A good portion of my income in home repair comes from installers not taking the time to remove the sweep and sealing the bottom of a new door.
Posted: 8:35 am on October 28th

AndyEngel AndyEngel writes: User 3398827, cutting a steel door is not much different. I've used a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade. Scrape out some foam at the bottom, squirt in a litte expanding foam, and use polyurethane glue to adhere a new wood cleat between the steel skins. Clean up the cut with a file, spray on some cold galvanizing compound, and paint.

The Actual Tony, it depends on where you are. In CT, I see a lot of wood doors.

Winstall, my advice would be not to screw it up! Honestly, you're better off buying the door cut down. But sometimes, the schedule doesn't permit that. Or, as in this case, it was ordered cut down, but the jobber took the unit height we'd supplied and used it for the door height. Rather than deal with that nightmare, we seized the opportunity for a video.
Posted: 10:13 am on October 1st

user-339827 user-339827 writes: Talk about being disappointed !!!

I was expecting that you would be showing us how to cut down a steel exterior door since they are the most popular exterior door in today's market.

Hopefully you will enlighten us on how to do this in a future feature.
Posted: 12:17 pm on September 16th

TheActualTony TheActualTony writes: Here's why this doesn't make sense. Today, most all exterior doors are steel. If you want a wooden one, they are VERY pricey and must be special-ordered. It doesn't cost that much more to have them made to custom specs, so why not just order the door to size in the first place?
Posted: 9:01 am on September 16th

mookahn mookahn writes: RE: Toilet- one thing to add - make a couple pencil marks indicating the centerline of the bowl and on the floor- that way no chance of dropping it over the bolts crooked, smearing your sealant, etc etc. I also install the water line on the tank before I set it. Much easier than working upside down.
Posted: 11:38 pm on September 15th

WINSTALL WINSTALL writes: I do not understand the logic to buying a door and cutting it down yourself!! A quality jobber could do the job for lot less and leave nothing to chance. If you screw it up... you bought the farm. Food for thought
Posted: 8:35 pm on September 12th

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