Sometimes referred to as doorposts, door jambs are the legs of your doors. Their name even comes from the French word jambe which translates to “leg”. The jamb is the vertical area of the door frame and bears the weight of the door through its hinges. When a door’s legs, aka the jambs, get damaged they will need to be replaced. Wear and tear after years of use, water damage, cracks and other issues can befall your door jamb making it inoperable or simply an eyesore.
If you have a door jamb that needs to be replaced, it is something you can do on your own. Whether you are a seasoned carpenter or not, follow our easy DIY below and you’ll have a working door jamb in no time.
Door jambs can be purchased prefabricated at home improvement stores. You can also have one custom made. Before going off to the store to buy or have a jamb made, make sure to take measurements so you know the size you need. Depending on where you buy the jamb it may come fully constructed or in three separate pieces you will need to assemble. Assembly instructions will come with it so you don’t have to guess where each piece fits in with the next. Also, if you are having a custom jamb made, it could take time, so prepare to wait a few days for the finished product.
Before attempting any DIY home improvement projects, make sure that you have taken the necessary safety precautions. Articles like safety goggles and gloves don’t have to be worn but they don’t hurt, especially if this is your first time working on a door jamb replacement job. You can pick up these items at the hardware store while you’re getting your new door jamb.
- New door jamb (if it needs to be assembled, do it prior to getting started)
- Wood screws
- Carpenter square
- Wood shims (also called wedges)
- Power drill
- Pry bar
We’ve broken down this job into six easy steps.
The first thing you must do is remove the existing door. This is easily done by removing the hinge pins that hold it in place and lifting the door off the hinges. Once removed, set the door to the side.
Remove the door trim casing. This is the moulding and millwork around the door’s perimeter. With a flathead screwdriver or pry bar, you will be easily able to get between the casing and the drywall. Start at one end and work your way around while slowly loosening the casing until it’s all been freed. When you’re done, set it aside because you will need to reuse it after you’ve installed the door jamb.
Now it’s time to pull the old door jamb loose with a screwdriver or pry bar. Depending on the age of your home, the door jamb may be attached with nails. In newer homes, the door jambs can be attached with wood screws. Traditional nails are easily removed with screwdrivers while wood nails may take some extra prying or a power drill to set them free. Ensure that you are preserving the side of the door jamb that has the hinges attached to it.
Now you can install your new door jamb. Put it into place within the door’s opening. Screw the jamb into place starting with the hinge side. Then, slide the shims along the space that falls between the wall and the jam. Do not affix the entire jamb yet just incase you have to remove it and start again if it’s not level.
With your level, see if the door is level. Move your shims as necessary and use the carpenter square to ensure that the door jamb is plumb. That’s the carpentry term for “vertically aligned”.
Now that your jamb is plumb and levelled you, can screw it firmly in place. Attach the hinges to the side of the door jams that has the screws and fix the door to the jamb itself.
In some cases, you may need to replace the entire door and not just the jamb. You can DIY a door replacement project but it is not recommended if you’re not an expert. You could seriously injure yourself if you don’t have the necessary experience to replace the door as a whole. Contact a professional instead to avoid injury. Clera Windows + Doors can help. We can replace and install a brand new door in your home easily so you can sit back and relax while we do all the work. We wouldn’t want it any other way.