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Old 03-14-11, 02:09 PM   #1
bigbenaugust 
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pre-hung door frame repair

Oh, brain trust of BF, answer me a home improvement question.

Long story short:
- Baby (10 mos at the time) locks sitter out of house.
- Sitter does not know about hide-a-key, cannot reach Mrs. A, and did not have my number.
- Sitter calls 911.
- Fire Department breaks door frame to get in.
- Baby played with shoes in laundry room the whole time and was OK, but scared of the firefighters.
- Fire Department is nice enough to nail door frame back together while they're there.
- Repair is obviously temporary. It's been three months.

It's a pre-hung door, so the frame and door were just plonked into the frame of the house as a unit. So am I stuck pulling the whole door/frame unit out and replacing everything, or can I just replace the one side of the frame that the FD broke?

I didn't see anything conclusive on Google, so I thought I would come to y'all.
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Old 03-14-11, 03:02 PM   #2
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Probably easier to replace the whole thing. Cheaper too, unless there are sidelights...
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Old 03-14-11, 03:09 PM   #3
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Probably easier to replace the whole thing. Cheaper too, unless there are sidelights...
No sidelights, it was the back door.

But a whole new door can't be cheaper than getting one piece of wood and cutting it to length.
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Old 03-14-11, 03:43 PM   #4
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Go to your local home improvement yard and get a door jamb. You can buy either a kit or just the frame side. Pull the existing broken bits out, replace with new frame bits, bore lockset holes, mortise lockset plates, prime & paint.

Give spare key to babysitter to wear on chain around her neck.

It's a simple repair. The key thing may be more difficult.
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Old 03-14-11, 03:44 PM   #5
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I guess if you have the tools and the talent, the frame would be much cheaper. This is the door handle side, right?
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Old 03-14-11, 03:56 PM   #6
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I guess if you have the tools and the talent, the frame would be much cheaper. This is the door handle side, right?
Yep.

I was aware I'd need a hole saw... did not think of the mortise, but with a chisel and my Dremel, I ought to be able to do it.

Sitter carries a house key now... and better understands the mobility of a 10-month-old boy.
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Old 03-14-11, 04:04 PM   #7
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You don't need a "hole saw." You need a boring bit (spade bit or Forstner). A chisel will do the mortise just fine. Use an exacto knife or razorblade to outline the lockplate mortise.

Take a piece of the broken frame with you. There a 2 or 3 different profiles and you should match the one you have as close as possible.

Take your time and the repair will look better.
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Old 03-14-11, 04:18 PM   #8
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^^^^
That.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:22 PM   #9
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The previous house where I lived, I had to replace the door, frame and all. I found a suitable door that someone was discarding (excellent shape), and I had some lumber and tools. Since I knew how (construction experience), I just built a new frame, hung the door, and we went on.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:26 PM   #10
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If you have a "construction waste" recycling store such as Restore in your town that might be a place to check out with a sample of the jamb in hand before going to the local building yard as they sometimes cheaper than the yard. This is really good especially if your house is an older model as the profiles of the new jambs can be different than the old ones.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:31 PM   #11
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It's a 2006 Fleetwood mobile home. Pretty sure that the doors are regular old pre-hung exterior doors.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:36 PM   #12
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Because it is a mobile the jamb may be undersized due to construction considerations so definately have a sample in hand when sourcing the replacement jamb. Just trying to lower the frustration level of doing the repair.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:47 PM   #13
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Because it is a mobile the jamb may be undersized due to construction considerations so definately have a sample in hand when sourcing the replacement jamb. Just trying to lower the frustration level of doing the repair.
Yeah, I know the walls are narrower... and the studs are smaller. Don't even ask me how many holes that first wall shelf took me when we moved in...
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Old 03-14-11, 06:58 PM   #14
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Old 03-14-11, 09:34 PM   #15
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Hanging a door is one of those things that seems easy, but takes a lot of tools and experience to get it right.

*You can get a single jamb leg
*A chisel works well, a router and door mortise jig works better. Even freehanding with the router gets the depth more accurate and can be finished off by hand.
*Use the existing door or jamb as a pattern for the hinge mortises. They try to standardize the measurements on pre-hungs, but often miss.
*Use an accurate level and plumb in both directions.
*Buy some cedar builder's shims. They'll help you get the jamb set where it won't move in use.
*Be sure to stuff insulation in the gaps around the jamb after it's hung.
*firemen are firemen because they're not carpenters and like breaking things.
*Carpenters need work too. Consider hiring one. The price for hanging a door is often set for a region and often reasonable compared with the number of tools you'll need.
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Old 03-14-11, 10:50 PM   #16
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Turn the mobile home 180 degrees and use the good front door as the back door.
Repair time:30 min.
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Old 03-15-11, 10:39 AM   #17
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Turn the mobile home 180 degrees and use the good front door as the back door.
Repair time:30 min.
Hahahaha... no. It's 29x56, has no wheels or axles, and the tongues have been removed. It isn't going anywhere. Also, the utility connections would all be on the wrong side.

I figure the tool outlay would be one spade bit and one chisel, and a piece of wood, and maybe some weatherstripping. Not the end of the world cost-wise. But yeah, a pro might do a better job... hmm.
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Old 03-15-11, 12:03 PM   #18
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I would still buy a pre-hung door at Home Dopey.Only buy a wood door so you can cut the height to fit and re-attach the threshold.Use 1x3 along the jambs to compensate for the thinner wall openings(if needed).

You must consider the extended labor to only fix the jacked-up and broken frame not to mention the gouge in the side of the door.
When we stop by we'll see it and make a smart-ass comment if things are not top notch.

Last edited by spry; 03-15-11 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 03-15-11, 12:04 PM   #19
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Who stole your axles and tires?
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Old 03-15-11, 05:52 PM   #20
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I'm hanging with the "buy a new or used pre-hung door" crowd on this one. my hubby KNOWS what he's doing & finds it WAAAAYYY easier & quicker.
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Old 03-15-11, 08:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
Hanging a door is one of those things that seems easy, but takes a lot of tools and experience to get it right.

*You can get a single jamb leg
*A chisel works well, a router and door mortise jig works better. Even freehanding with the router gets the depth more accurate and can be finished off by hand.
*Use the existing door or jamb as a pattern for the hinge mortises. They try to standardize the measurements on pre-hungs, but often miss.
*Use an accurate level and plumb in both directions.
*Buy some cedar builder's shims. They'll help you get the jamb set where it won't move in use.
*Be sure to stuff insulation in the gaps around the jamb after it's hung.
*firemen are firemen because they're not carpenters and like breaking things.
*Carpenters need work too. Consider hiring one. The price for hanging a door is often set for a region and often reasonable compared with the number of tools you'll need.
Major MAJOR pain in the ass. My best buddy is a carpenter and it even takes him forever.
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