• The Advantages of Pre-Hung Door Sets

    By SWD Bespoke

    Pre hung door sets, what are they exactly? A pre hung door set is when along with the door leaf the frames and often the architraves are also supplied. More importantly the frames and the doors are all machined with the hinges and the locks and latches. If you are not familiar with doors being supplied in this way, then you definitely must live in the UK.

    In mainland Europe and most other countries in the world, this is normally what people are used to. Can you imagine if when you bought windows in the  UK you put in softwood frames and hung the windows on site by cutting hinges and then hand painting them after. You would of course expect them to come in as a complete unit with all the ironmongery and be pre finished as well.

    So why then wouldn’t you want your doors to come this way also. I will often use this analogy in our showroom when I am explaining this to clients. Usually they all agree this is a much better way of doing it. Certainly with a new build this is a no brainer.

    You could argue that especially with a refurb when your frames are already in that it is a waste of money to have the frames replaced. This may be the case but you don’t save as much as you think. Why is this?

    unfinished soft wood frame
    Typical Soft wood frame

    Usually most frames installed into houses built in the last 50 years, which have been done in the conventional way are not very good quality and are not straight, this can be due to movement in the property or simply they weren’t installed very well.

    Conventional door leaf installation

    The process of hanging a door into an uneven frame is time consuming as the edges of the door need to be planed down to fit into the opening and give a 3mm gap all the way round. This is vital especially with fire doors as larger gaps than 3mm can invalidate the fire ratings of the door.

    The door stops will also need to be repositioned or replaced and there is quite a lot of filling to be done around the old hinges and lock cut outs before decorating can be done.

    So for purchasing door leafs we would always advise if the client wanted a painted door that it is best to have a primed door which can be shaved down and adjusted to fit the opening and painted after this. To try to hang a pre finished lacquered door leaf traditionally would be difficult as most of the door edges would need to be painted after installation anyway.

    The same would apply to any of our other pre finished doors in a variety of real wood veneers like oak and walnut that also come in a multitude of stained finished. Certainly the unstained doors can be shaved down as the lippings on our doors are solid wood. Once shaved they can be easily brought back to the original colour with a clear varnish or by applying Osmo oil.

    Pre hung door sets

    The Pre hung door set as previously mentioned includes the door, frames, the architraves (optional), the locks, latches and lift off hinges as standard. All the ironmongery is machined into both the doors and frames. As all the machining is done at our factories with C&C machinery which uses a router bit, the corners of the ironmongery we use are radius. For certain projects square cut ironmongery can be used but as this involves hand work there is an extra cost.

    Standard radius hinges with radius edges

    How are the frames different on our door sets?

    Our door set frames are always a rebated frame and are made from MDF or plywood that can be primed or wrapped in matching veneer to the doors or pre finished in lacquer or high gloss. As the frames are rebated and don’t require a plant on stop, we as standard install acoustic gaskets that can come in black, grey brown and white depending on the colour of the frame. The frames will also have the appropriate intumescent material in them if the door sets are fire doors.

    Rebated high gloss frame

    The frames are pre cut to size. The corners are mitred and we often will allow a 25mm undercut so that the door frame can be below finish floor level. This may be appropriate for carpets. For wood or stone flooring we would normally prefer to fit the door sets after this is laid and cut the bottom of the frames to sit on top of the flooring avoiding any possible damage to the frames. The maximum width of the frames is 170-180mm depending on the finish. If the walls are wider we would use an extension piece or reveal in the same finish as the frame.

    Please click here for a link to some of our installation videos.

    Installation Videos

    Preparation process for a pre hung door set

    Rebated frame detail showing subframe and reveal

    Our recommended method of installing one of our pre finished door sets is always to install it into a pre frame or sub frame. We would recommend a good quality 18mm marine or birch ply. The subframe is important as it enables the fixing of our frame more easily than trying to fix to stud work or block work directly. We will use a combination of corrugated staples, screws and foam for our fixings.

    The structural opening we require when using our standard rebated frame with an 18mm subframe is slightly different from the convention UK method which often will not use a subframe. Simply the width of the structural opening needs to be 90mm wider than the door leaf and the structural height should be 60mm higher than the door height.

    For an example a 2200 x 838 door leaf will need a 2260 x 928 structural opening. For a conventional 32mm softwood fire rated frame the structural opening would be slightly less at 2250 x 910.

    For more information regarding our door set please call 01932 851081 or email sales@swdbespoke.com


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