begin the installation of a prehung French door, unpack it from the box and
remove the surrounding packing material and any wood or cardboard skid
boards. Make sure however to leave any pre-hanging clips that hold the doors
closed within the door frame in place. Removing them will make the
installation of the door more difficult, if not impossible.
actually installing prehung French doors make sure the doorframe is fully
prepared to accept the new door unit.
door unit is to be installed on an outside wall make sure there is house wrap
folded around the door frame and that it is stapled on the inside of the door
frame. In addition, it is also wise to attach an ice and water shield around the
bottom of the door frame.
a couple of small board stops (approximately 2x4 in size) to the door frame
opening on the inside of the doorframe, or from the opposite side in which you
will actually insert the door into the doorframe. Apply two board stops near the
top of the door frame opening and two near the bottom. These small board stops
will help to ensure the door does not accidentally fall through the door
opening, and will also act as a sort of fence to align the prehung French doors
flush with the inside wall.
apply a thick bead of caulking along the floor, or sill, of the door
threshold before placing the prehung French door unit in place.
you have prepared the door opening for receipt of the door, center the
bottom of the door unit in the door frame opening and lift or slide the door
unit into place.
the bottom of the door unit has been positioned in place, tilt the top of
the door inwards so that it sits squarely in the door frame opening.
the prehung French door unit is roughly in place, check to make sure its
face is plumb with the inside and outside walls and that there is a small
gap between the sides and top of the door and the door opening. Then
temporarily secure one hinge jamb side to the door frame using a couple of
long screws (3 to 3.5 in length). Place one screw near the top of the door
and the other near the bottom (about 6 from the top and bottom of the door
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check the gap along the top of the door unit and make sure that it is even
throughout the entire width of the door unit. If it is not, shim the base of
the door so that the gap is even along the entire length of the door unit.
Also make sure that the spacing between the latch jamb is not too wide so
that the doors cannot be latched. If it is too wide, then shim directly
underneath the sill to narrow the spacing. If it is too narrow, then shim
underneath the hinge jambs accordingly.
confirming with a level that the gap across the length of the door is even and
that the latch spacing is sufficient to properly latch the doors make sure that
the unit is still plumb. Next shim the other hinge jamb as necessary, applying
shims approximately six inches from the bottom of the sill and six inches from
the top of the door unit. Also apply shims directly behind the hinged areas of
the door unit. Do not install shims above the door head jamb. Shims should only
be used at the base or sides of the door unit.
Use a level
or other straight edge to check to make sure you do not bow the door jamb as you
install the shims. Also recheck to make sure that the door is flush with the
square and check all four corners of the door unit to make sure they are square.
If they are not square apply shims as necessary to square up the corners. Again
do not apply shims above the door head jamb.
inside of the door unit make one final check that the door is still plumb and
that the gap is still even along the top and sides of the door and door jamb.
Then use long 3-3.5 screws to fasten the hinge jambs to the door frame opening
at the shim points. Then remove the door stops.
any pre-hanging clips from the doors and test the doors to make sure they swing
freely and operate properly.
confirming that the doors operate properly stuff the gaps between the door unit
and the rough door opening with fiberglass insulation or foam insulation.
install the working hardware to the doors and ensure that they operate
door trim to both sides of the prehung French door if it is an interior French
If it is a
patio French door then install door trim on the inside. On the outside of the
door unit caulk around the door unit before re-applying house siding or exterior
trim. Once the exterior door trim is installed, run another bead of caulk around
the door trim.
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