There are many ways to spruce up the interior of your home. You can paint, have hardwood floors installed, granite countertops, bathroom makeovers, and so on. However, many people overlook a simple upgrade that costs very little and does not take much time to accomplish. This upgrade is replacing your interior doors.
If your house is dated, chances are that the interior doors are original to the house. Though some homes came with attractive doors, most have simple flat doors with little detail. Their finish may be deteriorating, their color may no longer fit with your house, or they may simply no longer be to your liking. Don’t fret, interior door replacement is simple and cost effective if you know a few basics.
A common upgrade door is a simple six panel hollow core door. These doors are inexpensive, and can be painted to match any room. Most come primed and ready for paint, but you can also order them in several wood tone options for a little more money. One word of caution, a pre hung door is much easier to install regardless of the additional trim removal it will require. A pre hung door will cost slightly more than a non pre hung door because it comes with a complete door jamb, however the process of installation will be much easier. Expect a hollow, six panel, primed, pre hung door to cost around $50 per door.
I will not discuss how to install a door that is not pre hung in this article. The complexity is beyond the scope of many individual. Out of square house, slightly different door dimensions and so on will make the task of installing non pre hung doors extremely difficult. I have learned from experience.
This article will focus on installing pre hung interior doors. The obvious first step will include purchasing your doors. Take measurements because all doors can be different sizes. Purchase your doors and the additional supplies needed. Your will need screws to secure the jamb in place, a small pry bar to remove the molding around the door, a level, and shims.
Begin by removing the existing trim around the door. Take care not to damage the trim. Remove the trim on both sides of the door. Once the trim has been removed, you should be able to locate the nail or screws that secure the old door jamb to the framework. You will need to cut these nails or pry them out. There will be several nails holding the door jamb in place. Once you have removed all of the nails, the door should move freely. It will be a tight fit to remove it, but it should come out at this point. If removing the door from the hinges will make the process easier, go ahead and does so at this time.
Once the old jamb and door is removed, you are ready to install the new pre hung door. Center the jamb in the opening and adjust the height of the door to clear the carpet or existing floor. Place shim between the jamb and existing framework to keep the height of the door correct before putting nails into the jamb. Once you have inserted the shims, nail the top portion of the door jamb into place with a single nail. This nail will hold the door as you check it for plumb and level.
Place a level on the top of the door jamb. Level the door and insert additional shims to keep the door level. Then nail it through the jamb and into the framework. Repeat this process down the sides of the jamb. Instead of using a level, use a piece of weighted string that you attach to the top of the jamb. The string will hang straight down. Take a measurement from the string to the door jamb at the top of the door. Write down this measurement and maintain this spacing between the line and the jamb the whole way down the door. This assures that the jamb remain plumb. Space your nails and shims about every foot until you have leveled and secured both side of the door.
You have completed installing the door. Reinstall the molding using new nails, patch all the nails holes in the molding and the jamb, and paint the door and moldings. You now have new interior doors. Repeat the process for additional doors.
This project is simple for the do it yourselfers. You can complete a door a in couple of hours, and the whole house in a day or two. This renovation will make a dramatic impact and set you back very little in terms of both costs and time.