renewing a door frame

There are so many door frame types within the UK it's hard to know where to start in trying to explain how to renew them but read on for some insights and advice on door frame renewal.

  1. Remove the door by removing its hinges, set aside the hinges and locks if being refitted.
  2. Carefully examine the frame by cutting back the plaster around the frame if the plaster is overlapping the frame edge, sometimes this is not the case as in older properties.
  3. Remove any nails on the door frame to prevent not only damage to your tools but also to avoid stepping on any nails or screws when the frame is on the floor after removal.
  4. To remove the head and the sides of the frame (jambs). Make sure you saw through them at a 45 degree angle across the breadth of the frame so the ends don't bind when you lever the frame out.
  5. Remove the upper corners of the frame and break away any frame-head horns from the masonry, be very careful as the horns can cause damaged plasterwork, cut through the lintol as described at 4 above so you can draw each half section towards the centre of the door width.
  6. With a crowbar, lever each of the frame sections out.
  7. If you plan on using a pre-built frame, all you have to do is replace the old frame with the new one. However, before you fit it, protect the frame from rising damp by nailing a DPC strip to its underside. Coat the nails that you plan to use onto the DPC strip with bituminous emulsion to act as a water sealant, this is a bit of overkill but it is your choice whether you do so.
  8. Paint the whole frame with a primer if you intend painting it, then an undercoat, followed by a top coat.
  9. Pack behind the legs and lintol with wood to create a perfect fit and level the frame.
  10. Drill at least three holes in each jamb; one at the top, bottom, and in the middle allowing each drill to mark their position on the wall so that you have a clear idea of where item 12 is required.
  11. I prefer more like 6 screws or fixings and looking at the breadth of frame it is better to offset each pair of screws or fixings diagonally.
  12. Remove the frame and mark three holes on the exact same location as the frame but on the brickwork, see 10 above.
  13. Then, drill the holes in to the brickwork.
  14. Put the frame back and secure with screws or fixings.
  15. Fill any gaps with mortar and seal any gaps around the outer edge of the frame with mastic sealant.
  16. Older frames may vary slightly in as much as they may need extra timber door stops and frames.

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