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Thread: Squaring an entry door in an un-square house.

  1. #1
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    New York

    Default Squaring an entry door in an un-square house.

    Hey All,

    I have dug myself a bit of a hole and hope that maybe a carpenter in the house has some advice!

    We decided to put a new front door on our 150 year old house. Now the existing door isn't original as I could tell once removing the trim that it was a big-box pre-hung wood door. The door had actually cracked and we were getting air blowing through the door itself! I figured you simply tear out the door, and replace it with another pre-hung. Piece of cake!

    Well, when removing the old door I noticed that the sill wasn't attached. It was as if they removed the pre-hung sill and made a custom one. I put the new door in place and all was well until I put my level on the door. Evidently the entire front area of my house isn't plumb (front to back) as I had shim the door almost 2 inches out at the top to make it level. This doesn't look to bad from the outside, but inside I am going to have to use a lot of BIG trim to cover the space. Not only that but it makes it look like the door isn't installed correctly (even though its the whole wall that is messed up).

    If I make the door fit the wall, it wont open correctly, dragging on the entryway floor, so thats out. In retrospect I believe someone took a standard pre-hung door and then modified it for this situation. Sadly, the pre-hung casing wasn't preserved in the removal process .

    Have any of you ever run into this situation? What did you do for it?
    Last edited by Backglass; 02-04-2008 at 06:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Central Florida


    Every time I've had that situation I've thrown away the pre-hung casing and built my own, so you're one step ahead already. The bottom line is -- you've got to construct a casing that will:

    1) provide a plumb face on which to mount the hinges
    2) allow the door to swing free without hitting the floor or ceiling
    3) fit to the door when closed
    4) fit to the house.

    This can all be done with the pre-hung casing, but I've found it easier to roll my own. I spend a lot of time on Step 1, and the rest fall into place pretty easily unless you've got a really nasty situation. A good carpenter can hang a pre-hung door in under an hour; I spend 3 or 4 hours on Step 1 .

    Full disclosure: I am not a plumber, nor am I a carpenter, but my pipes don't leak and my doors swing free (mostly).

  3. #3
    DIY Member D.Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    How far out of plumb we talking?


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