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Problem-free Prefit Doors – Toolbox

A door is a door is a door. And although doors might differ in construction or design, you should be doing the exact same thing every time you install one.

For example, always prepare the opening before you attempt to set the jamb.

But the most important steps involve the first five fasteners.


The following video was originally published as part of a Feature Article on Problem-free Prefit Doors. In the video, I break down the first five fasteners. Install these in precisely the correct locations and in exactly the right order. Otherwise, you may not be able to adjust the door properly.


7 Responses to “Problem-free Prefit Doors – Toolbox”

  1. Norm Yeager

    What a great instructional video. I’ve set more prehungs than I can remember but seldom had an intentional or consistent procedure. It seems like I have spent a large part of my years in the trade working harder, not smarter. Your knowledge and communication are a great tool for anyone at any season in their career that maintains a teachable spirit.

  2. Emanuel

    Nice job. Great tips on the installation. Looking forward to using a few of them on my future projects.

  3. Joe

    Wow, I’ve hung some doors, and learned alot of what you were teaching but man do I appreciate learning the things I didn’t know, especially towards the end. Great instruction.

    Thanks a bunch

  4. Phil

    Great tip at the end (too). Thank You.
    I hang a lot of heavy doors and after setting a long screw through the top hinge, I will then shim behind the lower part of the top hinge. (like you mentioned, jamb stock has gotten thinner).

    And when installing cheap prehungs, I set the short jamb / high side of floor and then the long screw – then check to see if the door mfg has a parallel (reasonably even gap) across the top before setting strike jamb.

    • Gary Katz

      Exactly! I do the same thing with cheap prehungs–when the finished floor hasn’t been installed.

  5. Steve

    So no glass in the mock door… I get it – less weight. But for illustration I wish you had used a door without a giant HOLE in it in the video when you were placing it in the RO and “pinning” it with the first 2 shims at the top

    When most of the the doors I am working on are closed, I can’t reach through them to install shims on both sides and onto the door when smacking on the shims. But if the door is swung open before being secured in the RO it moves in the opening (potentially falling!) How does one carpenter work both sides of the opening without a hole in the door?

    • Gary Katz

      I use that demonstration set at shows all over the country–why would I want to transport that thing with glass in it?
      And what difference does it make? I’ve hung thousands of doors that same way–without a giant HOLE. If you correct the rough opening so there’s only 1/8″ of wiggle room, the jamb is already almost stuck in there from the get go. If you have trouble holding that still or can’t seem to do it alone, take the door off and set the jamb first! :)


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