How to Install a Prehung Interior Door

Installing an interior prehung door is an easy upgrade that can dramatically improve the appearance of your home. this process comes after the framing work is complete and the drywall has been installed.

If the rough opening for the door has been framed accurately, installing the door takes about an hour. so, what size prehung door do I need? and how to install it?

I can say that Standard prehung doors have 4½-inch-wide jambs and are sized to fit walls with 2 × 4 construction and ½-inch wallboard. If you have 2 × 6 construction or thicker wall surface material, you can special order a door to match, or you can add jamb extensions to a standard-sized door.

To Install the door, first, I will Determine if a prehung door is right for my situation. Familiarize me with the necessary parts. I have to Determine if the floor is level where the door will be hung. and Make sure the rough opening is plumb. and I need to Shim the trimmers and Fit the door into the opening. Now I will mount the hardware, Adjust the reveal. Anchor the jamb. Replace the hinge screw. Attach the split jamb. Mount the latch hardware.

About Doors


Exterior doors function in numerous ways:

  1. They let people in and out. This is not as trivial as it may seem but relates to the design of a welcoming entryway—an architectural subject by itself.
  2. They let large objects in and out. The minimum width for an entry door (and some interior doors as well) should be 3 feet to facilitate moving furniture and appliances.
  3. They keep intruders out. All entrance doors should have quality dead-bolt locks as well as the common latch set. In urban areas, an additional lock, operated only from the inside, would be worthwhile.
  4. They keep out winter wind and cold. Except for custom doors intended for historic preservation, the great majority of exterior doors sold today are steel with foam-insulated cores. These represent a giant advance over the classic wood door, in thermal performance if not appearance.
  5. Compared with an R-value of 1.5 for the classic wood-paneled door, the foam core door has an R-value of 6 to 12, reducing conductive heat loss by 75 to 85 percent. The best metal doors also incorporate magnetic weatherstrips, virtually eliminating infiltration.
  6. They let in summer breezes, winter solar gain, and natural daylight. The original function of the storm door was the same as the storm window: to reduce winter heat loss by conduction and infiltration. These losses have largely been eliminated by the steel door. However, a combination “storm” door may still be desirable for summer ventilation.


When ordering a prehung door, you must specify its “handedness.” The illustration below shows how handedness is defined. If a door opens toward you and the doorknob is on your left, the door is left-handed. If a door opens toward you and the doorknob is on your right, the door is right-handed.


The illustration of the images shows how the five most common types of doors are constructed. Fiberglass and steel doors are commonly used as entrance doors because of high R-value and dimensional stability. Wood panel doors are used primarily on the interior of classic-styled homes. The hollow-core door is used exclusively on the interior of low-end homes, whereas the more substantial solid-core door is common in modern, high-end homes.

How Doors Are Constructed

Framing The Openings of The Doors

Creating an opening for a door in a wall involves building a framework about 1 inch wider and ½ inch taller than the door’s jamb frame. This oversized opening called a rough opening, will enable you to position the door easily and shim it plumb and level.

Before framing a door, it’s always a good idea to buy the door and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for rough opening size.

Doorframes consist of a pair of full-length king studs and two shorter jack studs that support the header above the door. A header provides an attachment point for wallboard and door casings.

On load-bearing walls, it also helps to transfer the building’s structural loads from above down into the wall framework and eventually the foundation.

Door framing requires flat, straight, and dry framing lumber, so choose your king, jack, and header pieces carefully. Sight down the edges and ends to look for warpage, and cut off the ends of pieces with splits.

Tools & Materials

  • Tape measure
  • Framing square
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Handsaw or reciprocating saw
  • Framing lumber
  • 10d or pneumatic framing nails
  • 3⁄8″ plywood (for structural headers)
  • Construction adhesive
  • Eye and ear protection

How to Frame a Rough Opening For an Interior Prehung Door

Doorframes for prehung doors (left) start with king studs that attach to the top and bottom plates. Inside the king studs, jack studs support the header at the top of the opening. Cripple studs continue the wall-stud layout above the opening. In non-load-bearing walls, the header may be a 2 × 4 laid flat or a built-up header (below). The dimensions of the framed opening are referred to as the rough opening.

To mark the layout for the doorframe, measure the width of the door unit along the bottom. Add 1″ to this dimension to determine the width of the rough opening (the distance between the jack studs). This gives you a ½” gap on each side for adjusting the doorframe during installation. Mark the top and bottom plates for the jack and king studs.

How to Frame a Prehung Interior Door Opening (Load-Bearing)

  • Door framing on load-bearing walls will require a structural header that transfers loads above the wall into the jack studs, sole plate, and down into the house foundation. Build it by sandwiching a piece of ½” plywood between two 2 × 4s. Use construction adhesive and nails to fasten the header together.
  • Mark layout lines for the king and jack studs on the wall’s top and sole plates. Cut the king studs slightly longer than the distance between the wall plates, and toenail them in place with 10d nails or 3″ pneumatic nails.
  • Cut the jack studs to length (they should rest on the soleplate). The height of a jack stud for a standard interior door is 83½”, or ½” taller than the door. Nail the jack studs to the king studs.

  • Install the built-up header by resting it on the jack studs and end nailing through the king studs. Use 10d nails or 3″ pneumatic nails.
  • Fasten a cripple stud above the header halfway between the king studs for use as a nailing surface.
  • Cut a sole plate opening for the door with a reciprocating saw or handsaw. Trim the soleplate flush with the jack studs. Install the saw blade teeth-up for better access.


Variation: In a non-load-bearing wall, the header can be a piece of 2× framing lumber that lays flat on top of the jack studs. Cut it to length, and install by end nailing through the king studs or down into the jack studs. Toenail a cripple stud between the top plate and header, halfway between the king studs. It transfers structural loads into the header.

Tools & Materials for the Installation

  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Handsaw
  • Prehung interior door
  • Wood shims
  • 8d casing nails
  • Eye and ear protection

Tip: Jamb Extensions

If your walls are built with 2 × 6 studs, you’ll need to extend the jambs by attaching wood strips to the edges of the jamb after the door is installed. Use glue and 4d casing nails when attaching jamb extensions.

Steps to Install a Prehung Interior Door

To start, don’t remove shipping braces from the door, they keep the frame square. If the floor is not level, cut one leg of the frame. Prehung doors are built to allow for thick carpeting, so you may need to cut both legs if the bottom of the door is too high of an uncarpeted floor.

  • Center the unit in the opening, and check that the top is level.

  • Slide the door unit into the framed opening so the edges of the jambs are flush with the wall surface and the hinge-side jamb is plumb.
  • Insert pairs of wood shims driven from opposite directions into the gap between the framing members and the hinge-side jamb, spaced every 12″. Check the hinge-side jamb to make sure it is still plumb and does not bow.
  • Anchor the hinge-side jamb with 8d casing nails driven through the jamb and shims and into the jack stud.

  • Insert pairs of shims in the gap between the framing members and the latch-side jamb and top jamb, spaced every 12″. With the door closed, adjust the shims so the gap between the door edge and jamb is 1⁄8″ wide. Drive 8d casing nails through the jambs and shims, into the framing members.
  • Cut the shims flush with the wall surface, using a handsaw. Hold the saw vertically to prevent damage to the door jamb or wall. Finish the door and install the lockset as directed by the manufacturer.

  • When the door is correctly positioned, predrill and nail through the frame (and hidden shims) into the wall framing.
  • Also, drive finishing nails through the face of exterior molding into the wall framing. Set the heads, and fill with putty.
  • You can order most prehung doors with locks already installed or with the holes predrilled so you can install your own.
  • A lockset plus deadbolt provides extra security. Use long screws in the keepers that reach through to the house framing.

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