When it is time to buy a new door, you can find two basic types on the market, including models with and without a frame. To make the right choice, you need to figure out what is a pre-hung door and discover all its advantages. Many constructors and manufacturers recommend this model since it always comes as a complete package with a door frame.
Types of the PreHung Doors
Depending on the level of preparing to mount the door you want to buy, you can find three basic types on the market:
- Assembled – This model is entirely ready for installation with the jambs pre-applied to hinges and the doorstop. Plus, it has already contained a door lock. All you need to do is to install it in the provided door opening.
- Partially assembled – In this case, a few door components are loose and unconnected, so you need to set them. In general, you won’t have much work to do, but it will depend on the model you choose.
- Knocked down – This type of door comes in parts carefully packed to prevent damage during the transport. Since only primary preparation work is done, you need to put together all the separate pieces before mounting your new door on the wall. Be prepared that door jamb, hinges, and lock are packed separately.
Each type always comes with all the necessary parts. The only difference is in the level of work you have to do yourself. If you are skillful, you can finish mounting for a short time. One more thing! Be prepared that the price of the pre-hung door will vary significantly, depending on the type you choose.
Various Choices of the Pre-Hung Doors
The most common hinged doors are light doors for the bedroom and bathroom, but you can find both interior and exterior pre-hung doors to buy. However, you need to make a few choices before purchasing one.
- Material – Nowadays, you can find the pre-hung door made of wood, fiberglass, and metal. The next thing to do is to choose between a paint-grade and stain-grade model or the door with a solid core or the hollow one. Your choice will depend on the quality you look for and your budget.
- Size – Although this model of door exists in a range of standard sizes, you can also order a custom door. In both cases, you need to do precise measurements before ordering to find the door that fits properly. Don’t forget to measure the width of the jambs, as well.
- Accessories – When you buy an exterior pre-hung door, you will also get the doorsill and weather-stripping foam. However, this entails additional decisions about adequate materials. For instance, you can find a doorsill made of aluminum with different protective layers or a wooden model made of oak.
Additionally, you should think about the type of weather-stripping foam. Keep in mind that the fabric it is coated with has a lot of influence on the level of draft protection. Plus, you can find different kinds of foam these days.
The Prehung Door Parts
The pre-hung door consists of several parts. These pieces are connected, and you need to know where they belong to set the door correctly.
Manufacturers often refer to the pre-hung door as a door unit. Another term for the door frame is jambs. No matter what name you use, it represents both the door itself and hinges that connect it to a frame.
There is also a decorative molding around the door frame, better known as casing. That small part surrounds the frame, and you can select one of the various sizes once you customize your door. Be aware that its size will affect the style and price of your new door.
There is one more thing! The pre-hung door has the bore provided for the doorknob. If you want to put an ornamental or antique knob on the door, you need to pay attention to the bore dimensions. While almost all doorknobs have a standard size, this may not be the case with some unique knobs.
The Pre-Hung Doors Pros and Cons
The pre-hung door is more and more common in newly built houses. The reason for this popularity is the numerous advantages of this model, such as simple installation, almost unlimited customization, and weather resistance of the external doors.
The installation of this door is quick and straightforward, so you don’t need to be an expert to finish the job on your own. Since you have already had all the parts pre-attached, the only thing to do is to level the door correctly and mount it in the precisely measured door opening.
Once you order the pre-hung door, the manufacturer will deliver an entirely customized unit to you. Therefore, you can choose the style, type of handle, color, and almost every detail as you wish directly. That way, you will save time and energy you would waste looking for a perfect combination in the store.
Keep in mind that the exterior pre-hung doors are different than the interior models since they have a protective coating. Plus, you will get a weather-tight seal against the door opening when you install them. Additionally, there is the weather-stripping foam. It prevents the draft and preserves the optimal temperature inside your home.
Although it seems like an ideal solution, the pre-hung door has its drawbacks. The most common complaint is that this model is too heavy. Even doors with a hollow core weigh from 50 to 100 pounds (22.6 to 45 kg).
The problem besides the weight is their considerable size. That means it takes at least two people to set up the door. Also, you can’t transport it in a passenger car.
However, one of the biggest problems is the possibility of improperly set the door, due to its hulking size. In other words, fitting the pre-hung unit can quickly become an impossible mission if you don’t level it correctly with the wall opening. Plus, the improperly installed door won’t swing and close as it should.
The primary advantage of the slab door to the pre-hung door is the price since the pre-hung models are significantly more expensive. On the other hand, when you buy the slab door, you will get only the door without additional parts and a frame.
Keep in mind that you may have trouble replacing your old door with the pre-hung model if you have a unique and antique weak model installed in your home. Although there is a vast selection of doors on the market, an original one with historical or sentimental value is usually the slab door.
So, if you plan to change all the doors in your home, it will be faster and more convenient to install the pre-hung ones. On the other hand, if you need to change only one or two doors and your budget is tight, you should go for the weak doors.
If the old door frame is misshapen and severely damaged, installing the weak door can be a big problem. In such a case, removing that frame and installing the pre-hung door will take you much less time.
Lastly, although the slab door’s price is tempting, the pre-hung model is a better option for the exterior walls because you get it with weather protection. On the other hand, the slab door always requires a protective coating, which leads to additional cost.
Reasons to Pick out Prehung Doors
Even though choosing between the pre-hung and slab doors may seem complicated, investing in a pre-hung door is actually an excellent idea. There are several reasons for such a decision:
- The pre-hung door will solve the problem in a situation when you don’t have the door frame, or the exiting one is heavily damaged
- This model is more convenient when you need an exterior door with the draft protection
- You should choose the pre-hung door when you build a new house or remodel the one you have and want to finish the job as soon as possible.
Installation of the PreHung Door
Although you need to pay attention to the correct measurements, the process of mounting the pre-hung door is not complicated. There is no need to set the threshold and the door frame, nor combining the hinges to make the door fit perfectly.
First, use a level and make sure your door fits the wall opening. Then, make several marks along the floor and the door frame on the same spots.
The next thing is to slide the door in place and insert shims at the bottom of the door if necessary. Drill a pilot hole on the spot where the door touches the shim. Screw it and then screw the door on the hinge side. In the end, check if the door opens and closes smoothly. That’s it!
The pre-hung door has many benefits. When you order this model, you will get the entire set with the frame, hinges, and the decorative molding. Plus, you can quickly install it yourself and save the money necessary for hiring the professional.
Nowadays, you can customize the pre-hung door up to the last detail, including better protection from the draft and adverse weather conditions.