• Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Ultimate Deck Build 2015
    Ultimate Deck Build 2015
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration

Building Skills

Building Skills

Install a Prehung Exterior Door

comments (0) January 29th, 2014 in Blogs
patrick_mccombe Patrick McCombe, Associate editor

For use with multi-clip BUILDING SKILLS BLOG posts only

Video Length: 2:40
Produced by: Andy Engel, Patrick McCombe, and Rob Wotzak

Installing an exterior door so it works and looks great is an essential building skill. Carpenter Andy Engel is going to show us how to do it.

I first wrap the bottom and sides of the opening with flexible flashing, and then check the rough sill for level. This sill was near perfect, but if it wasn't, I'd shim it level.

After test-fitting the door, I apply three beads of window-and-door sealant to the bottom of the opening.

Next, I drive one 2-1/2-in. screw through the brick mold into the framing near the top hinge.

Then, I go inside to start shimming the door in the opening. Since the door bottom is sitting on a level sill, I only have to make the gap around the door consistent for the whole unit to be plumb. Here, at the top, the gap is wider at the latch side. Because the gap is wider on the latch side, I shim behind the bottom hinge. If the gap was wider on the hinge side, I'd shim behind the top hinge. Now that the gap is uniform around the door, I shim behind all the hinges for final fastening.

I remove one of the short screws in each hinge, and replace it with a 2-1/2-in. screw. These longer screws connect the jamb to the framing. Then I score the shims with a knife, and snap them off.

With the hinge side securely fastened, I close the door and adjust the latch-side gap, with shims above and below the latch. Then, I open the door and drive screws through the latch-side shims into the framing.

The final step is to drive 2-1/2-in. screws through the brick mold into the framing. I space them about every 12- to 14 in. all the way around the door.

And that's how you hang a door.


Attention all tipsters!

We're looking for any smart idea that would make a great There's a Better Way Video or that could be featured in the Tips & Techniques department in Fine Homebuildingmagazine.

We pay for any tips that get published

You can post tips in our submit a tip blog, or just email them to Fine Homebuilding care of Chuck Miller. Thanks!

Plus, browse 30 years of great ideas in our Reader Tips department.


posted in: Blogs, doors