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Tips for Installing New Prehung Doors

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New doors look great, but they’re a pain to install. Either you install a slab door or you install what is called a prehung door.

Prehung vs. Slab Doors

If you have a choice, buy the prehung door whenever possible. The door is already calibrated to fit the door frame perfectly. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to hang a slab door, unless you are replacing the doors on a one-for-one basis.

Price and Weight Factors

Prehung units are heavier that slab doors. After all, a slab door is just the door itself—nothing else. In the case of interior doors, slab doors can be very light-weight. But for exterior doors, slabs can be very heavy. Now imagine a prehung exterior door—slab plus all the surrounding framing. That is very heavy. Get help with moving the prehung units.

Prehung doors are more expensive than slab doors. This should be obvious, but it needs to be said. Even with both factors listed above—weight and expense—you’ll still probably find prehung doors a better bet than slabs.

Precased Units, Shims

Precased units are hard to install correctly. They are hard to get shimmed. A few packs of wood shims are your best friend when installing prehung doors. Get several.

Prehung Units Will Flex

Important: prehung does not mean that this is a completely solid, inflexible unit. It will continue to flex until you have it securely in place. And it is easy to install your prehung door “out of square,” thus causing the door slab itself to swing incorrectly. So, take it easy with your prehung door installation.
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