Installing a door jamb

Install a Door Jamb

A door is an important element to a house and the trim that the door closes against needs more attention. If painting cannot solve the problem of your door to some extent then you need to build a new door jamb as it will prevent you from purchasing a whole new door unit. Here are the steps on how to build it.

You will need:

  1. 1×6 lumber
  2. Carpenter\’s square
  3. Straight edge
  4. Straight bit
  5. Hammer
  6. Wood glue
  7. Door stop
  8. Nail set
  9. Table saw
  10. Electric miter saw
  11. Router
  12. Door shims
  13. Carpenter\’s level
  14. 6d finish nails
  15. ¾ inch brads


  1. To set up the jamb, set the table saw fence on 4 9/16 inches and rip the lumber according to this width. Measure the width at the top of the door opening. Measure from one end of the lumber and make a mark at that measurement. Put the carpenter\’s square on the mark and draw a line across the width of the lumber. Use the electric miter saw to cut it.
  2. Then, measure the height of the opening for the door and subtract ¾ inch. Measure from one end of the lumber and make a mark as a sign on the height of the door opening. Again, place the carpenters\’s square on the mark and draw a line across the width of the lumber. Cut with the electric miter saw. Repeat the same step for the other side of the door opening.
  3. Next, measure from one of the long edges and make several marks at 1 3/8 inches. Place the straight edge on the marks and draw a line parallel to the long edge. Write an “X” on the right side of the line to show where the door stop material will be installed. Measure the distance from the top of the door and the top of the hinge. Mark one of the long pieces accordingly. Measure the length of the hinge too and mark the lumber at this mark as well. Place the carpenter\’s square on these marks, and draw a line across the width of the lumber.
  4. Then, measure the distance between the hinges on the door and mark the lumber. Measure and mark according to the step above. Place the part of the hinge from the old jamb on the marks and draw the outline of each. Place the router to the depth that needs to take out the thickness of the hinge. Cut out the area where the hinge will be installed. It is important for it to be flushed with enough surface for the jamb.
  5. To install the door jamb, place the top piece of the door jamb at the top of the opening. To check whether it is leveled, place the carpenter\’s level on it. If necessary, insert shims and secure the top piece with the finish nails. Then, set the lumber with the hinge cutouts against the appropriate side of the opening. Make sure it is plumb. Secure the jamb with finish nails and use shims where needed.
  6. Measure the width of the door, and place the measuring tape against the top of the jamb with the hinge cutouts. Make a mark. Drill a pilot hole near the top of the other piece of the jamb. Set this piece on the mark at the top of the jamb. If it is not against the 2×4 in the wall, insert shims to make a snug fit at the top of the jamb. Secure with a finish nail. Place the carpenter\’s level to check whether it is plumb.
  7. Next, secure the jamb to the opening. Measure and cut the door stop material by beginning with the top piece. Apply wood glue to the side of the line of the “X”s marks. Secure the door with the brads. Use a door casing to trim both walls around the jamb. You can paint or stain it before hanging the door.

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