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Theory of interior house door (and frame) fitting

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LancsRick

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I'm on the home straight with my lounge now but have a new skill to learn - fitting door frames and the door. I'm happy with the approach for all hinges thanks to feedback on here, and having done my research on the approach to the door and frame itself I think I know what I'm doing...but I should probably check! I already have the frames but I'm still trying to select doors. I am assuming the door dimensions as one of the industry standard sizes.

So, the blank canvas:
- existing door opening in breeze block, walls already skimmed and painted, carpet threshold existing, currently has old carpet in place.

The plan...

- I'm intending to set the frame height as 1981mm + 2mm gap at the top + 15mm gap at the bottom. My thinking is that the 15mm should account for carpet/threshold/underlay to a large extent, and as most doors have a minimum of 6mm trim top and bottom I should be ok to achieve up to a 27mm clearance from the floor as required.
- Hinge recesses to be cut in the frame before it goes on the wall just to make life easy for myself.
- Assemble the three sides of the frame off the wall, brace to keep it square and then fix to the walls, shimming as required. Frame width to be set at door width + 2x2mm gaps.

Sound about right? I realise this may be a simple question to the joiners on here, but as the frames are all oak I'd rather not cock things up!

Cheers.
 

Noel

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LancsRick":xqmihjii said:
I'm on the home straight with my lounge now but have a new skill to learn - fitting door frames and the door. I'm happy with the approach for all hinges thanks to feedback on here, and having done my research on the approach to the door and frame itself I think I know what I'm doing...but I should probably check! I already have the frames but I'm still trying to select doors. I am assuming the door dimensions as one of the industry standard sizes.

So, the blank canvas:
- existing door opening in breeze block, walls already skimmed and painted, carpet threshold existing, currently has old carpet in place.

The plan...

- I'm intending to set the frame height as 1981mm + 2mm gap at the top + 15mm gap at the bottom. My thinking is that the 15mm should account for carpet/threshold/underlay to a large extent, and as most doors have a minimum of 6mm trim top and bottom I should be ok to achieve up to a 27mm clearance from the floor as required.
- Hinge recesses to be cut in the frame before it goes on the wall just to make life easy for myself.
- Assemble the three sides of the frame off the wall, brace to keep it square and then fix to the walls, shimming as required. Frame width to be set at door width + 2x2mm gaps.

Sound about right? I realise this may be a simple question to the joiners on here, but as the frames are all oak I'd rather not cock things up!

Cheers.
If I'm reading your description correctly you want to leave a gap for a carpet under the frame?
Cut the old carpet out or sling it completely and have the frame on the hard surface of the floor.
Building the frame before fitting is generally the best way. Personally I'd hang the doors to suit without old carpet/underlay and trim as needed when new covering is laid.
PS- would suggest fixing with frame fixers rather than what many do - Obo nails. Cut plugs and glue over FF holes.
 

basssound

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Build the frame square on the floor and lift into place, make sure it's on the floor and not suspended as the frame can slump.
I always counter sink the fame and use frame fixtures as you can shim behind the frame whilst knocking home the fixtures to keep the frame perfectly straight.
 

LancsRick

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Thanks both.

@Noel not quite in afraid, the frame will go to the floor but I am working out dimensions to allow a gap at the bottom of a standard height door.

@Noel and @basssound that's exactly what I'm doing, and planning to use plugs from offcuts to cover the screw heads.
 

scooby

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The ideal situation is to fit the frame so the plasterer can skim flush to the frame. In your situation, be aware if the walls either side of the frame have any twist or not consistent thickness you will need to do some filling around the architrave.

Doors come in industry standard: 2'6", 2'3", etc in width and usually 6'6" in height. I used to make my frames slightly oversized to avoid planing the door. However, on one occasion I made/fitted the frames weeks before the doors turned up. When the doors arrived, I found 2 were undersized :evil: so that took quite a bit of remedial work. I always make the frame exact size now and plane.
Sight across the frame and glance up and down to compare the front edge of one frame leg and the back edge of the other frame to make sure its not twisted. Alternatively you could use the crossed string method that is used on workbench tops if you struggle visually sighting it.

I normally leave 15mm for carpet clearance, most of the time I have to go back to take a tiny amount off but i prefer that.

Recessing the hinges while is a good idea, I still finding recessing the bottom hinge in situ a pita. Especially with a dodgy knee. Re: hinge placement in case its useful for aesthetics, I was taught 7" down from the top and 9" up from the bottom. Personal choice, but 6" & 9" and 7" & 9" are pretty common and look good. Middle hinge (if needed) centred halfway between top and bottom hinges.

As for frame fixing, I still like the traditional way of twisted timber plugs into raked mortar joints and then lost head nails for softwood or screw and matching timber plug for hardwood. For me, it saves time with packers/shim but that would mess up your skimming. Also, I've screws, brown plugs (finished with a matching plug) and packers/shim with no problems.

Find yourself a good 6' ish straight edge /spirit level that is straight to make life easier.
Most of the time I have the door available so I can use the door edges as straight edges and checking for twist.
 

scooby

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basssound":2hd8fdrw said:
Build the frame square on the floor and lift into place, make sure it's on the floor and not suspended as the frame can slump.
I always counter sink the fame and use frame fixtures as you can shim behind the frame whilst knocking home the fixtures to keep the frame perfectly straight.
Definitely agree, dont have one leg suspended to level the head. Cut the 'longer' leg to the required height. I've seen plenty of joiners leave a leg suspended on the fixings and even the latch side (which is only carrying its own weight) has slumped down causing the door to bind on the frame head.
 

LancsRick

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Great thanks. My intent for length was to measure up eah vertical separately, aligning to a horizontal laser level.

I'll use 15mm as my clearance from the floor for the assumed door position then, thanks. Feeling like I might be good to go now! Cheers for all the replies.
 

scooby

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Good luck, it isnt difficult. Just take your time.

At the beginning of my apprenticeship I was pretty terrible (some say I still am :D )but found door hanging not difficult and always got good feedback. The weight of the door is the main issue.
Hope to see a photo when finished if its ok?
 

xy mosian

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LancsRick":34f9a9el said:
- Hinge recesses to be cut in the frame before it goes on the wall just to make life easy for myself.
Personally I would recess the hinges into the doors. Recessing into the frames will reduce the thickness of timber available for screws.
xy
 

LancsRick

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Would I not recess them into both? I have 35mm of oak to go into so should have plenty of grip!
 

scooby

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You can 'double' recess the hinge into the door so both leaf thicknesses are chopped into the door. Personally, I dont like doing that as:
1. If the hinge leaves are chunky it doesnt look very good.
2. You'll be relying on the screws only (as opposed to the hinge being in a recess) holding all the weight that might result in the door slumping.

imo, double recessing is ok for small cupboard doors and/or thin leaf hinges.

xy mosian, does have a good point though. All the ready made softwood frames I've used are only around 3/4" thick on the rebate so you dont get a lot of screw purchase but I still think recessing into the frame is best. When the opening allows it, I usually try to build out the frame thickness where the hinges are going to avoid this. Most of the time, the openings are too tight though.
 

xy mosian

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LancsRick":2hs99ct0 said:
Would I not recess them into both? I have 35mm of oak to go into so should have plenty of grip!
In Oak? Fine, I mistakenly assumed softwood.
xy
 

RobinBHM

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if you get the doors swinging in the liners whilst fixing, thats generally the most accurate way to get a liner correct.

The number of times I see on site that a first fix carpenter bangs in the liners to keep ahead of the plasterers, then the second fix carpenter has a right game getting the door into a crooked liner.
 

mr rusty

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+1. If you are fitting liners and doors at the same time, position the liner and fix the hinge side first and cut the hinges and get the door swinging. Position t'other leg of the liner so the door closes snug, and fix the other leg. I tend to often cut folding wedges to pack if there is much of a gap, followed by screws/plugs. Sometimes a fixing foam like instastik can be helpful as well to firm everything up.
 

Bm101

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Quick question for the pros.
Why are rising hinges not fitted as standard?
I can't see any disadvantages other than unit price maybe or specific situations where you would not want a door easily removable?
 

johnfarris

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scooby":2snmmw83 said:
Doors come in industry standard: 2'6", 2'3", etc in width and usually 6'6" in height. I used to make my frames slightly oversized to avoid planing the door. However, on one occasion I made/fitted the frames weeks before the doors turned up. When the doors arrived, I found 2 were undersized :evil: so that took quite a bit of remedial work. I always make the frame exact size now and plane
I learnt that very same lesson. Now I wont machine lining until door sizes have been confirmed. Most of the doors i hang are pre finished so dont want to take anything off.
 

LancsRick

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First reality check of the process for me today - none of my walls seem truly vertical, and the one room I've had skimmed has a couple of bulges in the skimming so I'm not quite sure how to fit the architrave around the door on a non-flat surface.

More reading required!
 

LancsRick

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Right, I could do with some more advice please from you learned folk!

2 issues with doing the fitting that I have encountered, and one lesson learnt.

Issue 1 - about midway down the wall (recently skimmed) there is a bulge of a few mm out of flat. I can see this causing problems in terms of fitting architrave at the end, so what's the best approach? Fit the frame proud and caulk the edge of the architrave (ugly but easy)? Try and relieve the rear of the architrave to accommodate the bulge (tricky!)?

Issue 2 - The walls aren't truly vertical, a laser level shows me there is about a 10mm lean over 2metres. A bit of Googling tells me this is common, but there isn't much on how best to tolerate it. I assume I will prioritise keeping the door vertical, and therefore I need to taper/plane the edge of the frame to align with the wall?

Lesson - Always always always get the frame fitted before a room being plastered. That's what I'll be doing for every other room in the house from now on. Live and learn!

Thanks.
 

mr rusty

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Fit the frame proud and caulk the edge of the architrave (ugly but easy)? Try and relieve the rear of the architrave to accommodate the bulge (tricky!)?
Maybe a bit of both. If you are painting, you could use mdf arch which is easy enough to relieve at the back leaving a lip to sit tight on the lining. If you only want to relieve the middle, clamp it on the bench so its bowed and just plane out the back where you need to.
 
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