Shimming a Door
Shimming a door has always had the reputation of being very difficult, especially for the Do-it-Yourself homeowner. Shimming a door correctly takes a lot of practice and patience even for a builder. However, there is a new method for installing doors. Shimming a door can now be done by the use of door installation brackets, giving DIYs the ability to hang a door just as well as a professional in a fraction of the time! Door installation brackets can be purchased for roughly the same cost as a pack of shims, all screws included. Available at most Home Depot locations, click for details!
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Shimming a Door with Step-by-Step Instructions
PURCHASING THE DOOR
Typically, shimming requires extra play between your pre-hung door jamb/frame and the rough door opening. This is because rough door openings are usually quickly built by the home builder and the opening is not exactly square, plumb or level. To purchase the correct door size, measure the rough opening. Take that measurement and minus 2″. That is the size of the pre-hung door that you need to purchase. This will give you the required room to shim the door for level.
Example: If you purchase a 32″ pre-hung (door on hinges and door frame) door to be installed, the rough door opening needs to be around 34″ wide.
DETERMINE LEVEL AND PLUMB
Using a 4′ or 6′ level, draw a perfectly level/plumb line down the drywall. Draw this level line approximately 1/2″ from the rough door opening. The line needs to be drawn on the same side that the hinges will be on. Make sure when drawing this level line that the level is indicating perfectly level. When shimming the door, this level line will be used as a perfect reference.
PLACING THE SHIMMING BRACKETS
There is a total of 6 shim brackets. Place 1 directly behind the center of each hinge. The shim brackets have a clearance hole for extra door support in a later step. Align this clearance hole directly up with the center screw of each of the 3 hinges. Attach the other 3 shims across from the hinges on the other side of the door.
SHIMMING A DOOR FOR LEVEL AND PLUMB
Center the door in the rough door opening. Start with the top hinge side shim bracket. Line up one of the bracket’s reference notches with the drawn level line. Screw in the top hinge side shim to the wall. Move onto the other 2 hinge side shims. Make sure the level line passes through the exact same reference notches when screwing into place. After all 3 hinge side shims are screwed into place, the door is now perfectly level and plumb based off of the drawn level line. Move onto the last 3 shim brackets and simply screw into place while keeping the gap between the door and the door frame/jamb the same.
DOOR CASING/TRIM & EXTRA REINFORCEMENT
If the door that is being shimmed is very heavy or very large, such as a solid-core door, reinforcement may be desired. To reinforce, remove the center screw from all 3 of the hinges. Recall that the shim bracket’s clearance hole was lined up behind these. After removing the three 1/2″ screws, replace them with a longer screw of roughly 2″. This long screw will pass through the hinge, the bracket’s clearance hole, and into the wall stud to lock the door up solid.
Door trim/casing can now be installed as usual. Simply nail the casing/trim into place as though the brackets are not even there. The patented shims allow for zero trim interference.
Adjustment Screw Hole
Allows for easy adjustment to perfectly shim the door!
Easy to see notches for perfectly aligning the brackets to the drawn ''Level/Plumb Line'' on the wall. Ensures a perfectly level installation!
Quick Alignment Tabs
Aligns installation bracket perfectly flush to the door jamb/frame, ensuring perfect bracket placement!
When lined up directly behind the center hinge screws, allows for the removal of small hinge frame screws to be replaced with long set screws to reinforce the installation if heavy or solid-core!
Best Thing Ever!
WOW these things are awesome!!! I was changing out all my doors in the house and the first floor was easy they came out and back in no problem. I then got to the second floor and it again was easy to remove but putting them back in was a nightmare. I found that old school was not working so I did a little research and found these little guys that made this job easier and it was super fast.