How to install a door jamb

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How to install a door jamb

View the video

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Project Overview

A solid door jamb is important if you want your door to open and close properly. We’ll teach you how to level and install a door jamb yourself. You will also learn how to trim the timber to size and where to position the door stop.
Continue to step-by-step instructions
removing bent nail
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How to remove a bent nail

If a nail bends as you hammer it in, don’t try to straighten it, just remove it. The easiest way to do this is to place a thin piece of timber beside the nail to support the hammer and protect the surface. Fit the claw of the hammer under the nail head and pull the handle towards you until the nail comes out. Keep the handle as close to vertical as possible so you don’t make the nail hole wider.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the timber door jamb to size and assemble
2 Use packers to level the left hand side of the timber door jamb
3 Nail the left hand side of the timber door jamb to the frame
4 Nail the top and right hand side of the timber door jamb to the frame
5 Install the door stop onto the timber door jamb.
  • Step 1. Cut the timber door jamb to size and assemble

    Measure the width of your doorframe and cut the top of the door jamb to size. Then measure and trim the two sides as well. Now use your nail gun to secure the top piece to the two sides. For best results, hold the nail gun square to the timber. If your timber has grooves on one side, make sure they face outwards.
  • Step 2. Use packers to level the left hand side of the timber door jamb

    Place the jamb inside the doorway to see if the left hand side is level. If it isn’t you need to level the door jamb with packers.  In this case, the base of the left hand is good, but the top needs packing. So we place one packer between the top of the jamb and the wall. 
  • Step 3. Nail the left hand side of the timber door jamb to the frame

    Once the left hand side is level, make the edges flush with the walls and nail it in to place. If you have used packers, make sure you nail through those. Remember to avoid nailing near where you plan to put your hinges. Now check if the middle of the jamb is level and support it with packers if necessary before nailing it into the frame. 
  • Step 4. Nail the top and right hand side of the timber door jamb to the frame

    Use your spirit level to check that the top of the jamb is level. If not, then pack it out and nail it into place. Then you can move on to the right hand side of the jamb, levelling it out with packers and nailing it into place as you did on the left. 
  • Step 5. Install the door stop onto the timber door jamb.

    Measure the thickness of your door. Then mark out the position of the door on the top plate when it is closed. Use this mark to position your door stop. Measure and cut the door stop for the top plate and nail it into place. Then mark the lines for the stops on the sides of your jamb, measure and cut them to length and finish by nailing them into place.

Tools and Materials


  • Circular saw
  • Combination square
  • Drill
  • Dust mask
  • Ear muffs
  • Finishing nail gun
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Masonite packers
  • Measuring tape
  • Nails
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Spirit level

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