There are plenty of different projects involving doors that you might want to try around your home.
We chose to install a prehung door, but in some cases, especially in older, existing homes, you may want to hang a door yourself. Make sure the doorjamb is in good shape and worth saving. Then head to your hardware store or home center and purchase a standard door blank. These generally measure six feet, eight inches tall and 30, 32 or 36 inches wide. You can special order other sizes to fit the opening you’re working with.
The process of hanging a door is a bit more involved. You’ll have to make sure the doorjamb is square and chisel out the mortises for all three hinges. You may even have to plane the edges of the door in order to get just the right fit. This is not a job for someone who isn’t particularly handy with tools.
In some cases, you may want to add a door and create an opening in a wall where one never existed before. In order to do this, first determine that the wall in question is non-load-bearing. You’ll also have to make sure no electrical wires or plumbing runs through your new opening. If either one does, reroute it before you begin the project.
Once you’ve done this, mark the opening on the wall and then cut away the wallboard with a keyhole or wallboard saw. Then, use a reciprocating saw to cut away any studs that run through the opening. You’ll want to frame in the opening next by nailing in a 2x4 at the top. This will become the header. You should also nail in two additional 2x4’s – one on each side of the opening. These will provide a nailing base to which you will attach the new door. Then, simply cut through and remove the existing soleplate at the bottom and you’re ready to install your new prehung door.
Some doors require maintenance. Perhaps the best example of this is the gliding door you’ll find connecting the interior of a home to the patio. These doors move back and forth on a track. Make sure you keep the track clean and lubricated. Vacuum loose dirt and use a toothbrush to scrub out compacted dirt. Then use a silicone lubricant to keep the door moving freely. Don’t use grease or oil. They simply attract and hold more dirt.
Problems with patio doors are often the result of problems with the track. Check them for bends. For minor bends, fit a small block of wood inside the track, then use a hammer to flatten the sides.
Before you get to work on your door-related project, get some advice from people who’ve done the job before. We found a wealth of material both at the local library and on the Internet. In fact, a web search directed us to several books that focus entirely on the installation of doors – prehung doors, interior and exterior doors, bi-fold closet doors, etc. Some books even discuss doorjambs and the installation of various types of hardware.