How to fix a door jamb

Morgan
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How to fix a door jamb

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Project Overview

A solid door jamb is what helps your door open and close correctly. We’ll teach you how to remove a broken jamb and replace it. You’ll also learn how to properly level a jamb and set it firmly in place.
Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Remove the door strip and hardware off the door jamb
2 Remove the architrave that is covering the door jamb
3 Remove the door jamb
4 Prepare for the new door jamb
5 Prepare the packers for levelling out the door jamb
6 Nail the top and bottom packers for the door jamb into place
7 Install the new door jamb
8 Nail the middle packers for the door jamb into place
9 Check the jamb is sitting correctly before reinstalling the door strip and architrave
  • Step 1. Remove the door strip and hardware off the door jamb

    Unscrew any latch plates, chains, bolts and other door hardware. Then use a chisel and hammer to pry the door strip away from the door jamb, starting from the bottom. As the timber starts to come away, put the claw of your hammer on either side of each nail to support the timber as it lifts off. Once the strip is off, pry out any nails that are left.
  • Step 2. Remove the architrave that is covering the door jamb

    The architrave comes off in a similar way to the door strip. Start with your chisel down near the floor and pry the timber off. If you come across any stubborn nails, try prying the architrave half off, then push it back down. Now you can use your claw hammer to pry the nail out. If your nail is really stubborn, wedge the blade of your wrecking bar underneath the architrave and use leverage to push it off.
  • Step 3. Remove the door jamb

    Use your wrecking bar to pry the jamb off. Once again, start down the bottom and work up. When the jamb is most of the way off, remove it from the top plate by pulling it towards you then moving it from side to side until it comes off in your hands. Now use your nail nippers to pull out any nails that are still there.
  • Step 4. Prepare for the new door jamb

    Cut the timber for the new door jamb to size. In this case, we have to cut a notch in our top plate for the replacement jamb. Set the jamb in place and mark the lines for the notch. Then, using a multitool and a chisel, cut the notch out.
  • Step 5. Prepare the packers for levelling out the door jamb

    Place the new door jamb in the notch and mark out positions for your packers. Normally, the best place for packers is 100mm from the top and bottom of the frame and where the door hardware sits. Now make enough packers for the door jamb by snapping strips of masonite to length. 
  • Step 6. Nail the top and bottom packers for the door jamb into place

    A quick way to work out how many packers to use is to pack out from the wall to the notch in the top plate. Then nail them in place where you’ve just marked. Now place your spirit level between the top and bottom positions, and pack out the bottom until it’s level. Once you have enough packers in place, nail them into position.

  • Step 7. Install the new door jamb

    Slide the jamb into place and hold it against the packers. Then make sure the jamb is flush with both walls and temporarily nail it at the top and bottom. If you only drive the nails half in, you’ll find it’s easier to make adjustments later on
  • Step 8. Nail the middle packers for the door jamb into place

    Insert the same number of packers into the middle, and half nail them into place. Then use your spirit level to check the door jamb is vertical and make any adjustments. Once everything is right, hammer those first three nails in and add a second nail on the other side at each level.
  • Step 9. Check the jamb is sitting correctly before reinstalling the door strip and architrave

    Use your spirit level to check the jamb one more time. Then make sure the door closes properly, and that the gap between the jamb and door is even down to the floor. Finish the job by reinstalling the door strip and the architrave.
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