It is not uncommon for a door frame to get damaged if exposed to moisture, slammed too hard, or through simple wear and tear. But if only part of your door frame is damaged, can you just replace part of the door frame, or do you have to replace the entire frame? This article will help you find the easiest way to make the necessary repairs.
It is possible to replace part of a door frame if the damage is isolated. You can saw off and replace the broken part of the frame or use wood filler to fix minor damage. However, you can easily damage other parts of the door frame, so you may be better off enlisting the services of a professional.
It can cost hundreds of dollars to fix an interior doorframe and even more for exterior doorframes. But repairing a door frame can cost as little as $75. So let’s take a look and see if you can save yourself some money and replace part of a door frame rather than the entire thing.
Your doorframe has been damaged, and now you’re worried that you’ll have to spend a lot of money fixing it. But maybe you can repair it and just fix part of the door frame. But how can you tell whether you can salvage most of the door frame?
Examine the current state of your door frame and look for the little details that could turn into a big problem. Are there small dents in the frame? Those can usually be repaired through wood fillers and buffering and can make your door frame look good as new.
You need to inspect the wood for mold or rotting. Rotting will start at the bottom of the doorframe because that is the most likely to be exposed to the elements. If the bottom is starting to rot, you may be able to replace the rotten part before it spreads to other parts. The sooner you address this, the better.
You should also check to see if there’s a draft coming from the door when it is closed. This means that there could be a crack letting the cold air in. A strong sealant could help fix this issue.
Also, consider how old the doorframe is and when you last repaired it. Sometimes the door frame has just accumulated so much wear and tear that it has created a crack. Over time that crack will grow, and you need to address it immediately.
You should enlist a professional’s services to assess whether the entire door frame needs to be completely replaced or whether you can replace part of the door frame.
But, the best rule of thumb is to check whether the mold/cracks/chips and other damage is isolated to a specific part of the door or if it’s spread to the entire doorframe or a very large part of it. If it’s the former, you can simply replace part of the door frame.
Let’s look at some of the ways to fix or replace a door frame.
Fixing or replacing a door frame requires precision, know-how, and a steady hand. So, if you don’t have experience in carpentry or DIY, we recommend that you approach a professional to do the work for you. If you are capable, however, here are some steps that you can take to do every kind of door frame repair:
A warped door frame is when the door doesn’t stop in the frame correctly. The door won’t be touching the doorstop at the top or the bottom of the fame.
You can fix this by carefully removing the doorstop and molding using a hammer and chisel or a putty knife to pry the doorstop away from the frame, slowly working your way up until it comes off cleanly. Be careful not to pull too hard, or it will snap. Lift the wood off the frame very slowly with a crowbar or the back of a hammer, focusing on taking one nail off at a time.
Then remove any shims from the door frame and the wall to correct their position until the door frame is squared and both sides of the frame are even. Once lifted, gently hammer the frame with a mallet with the door closed to straighten the frame into the correct place.
Be sure to measure and work incrementally, ensuring that all of the work you do is deliberate and so that the frame is straight and, when reinstalling the shims, they fit the door perfectly.
Once you’re satisfied that the door frame is straight and no longer warped, use a nail gun to hold the new door shims.
And the good news is that it’s possible to repair just one side of the door frame, but if necessary, you can repeat the process with the other sides. Pay attention and ensure that the shims are set flush and level against the wall and the door.
A split door frame can occur in various locations on the door. You need to inspect the damage and identify where the split is and how far it’s spread.
Then you need to remove the strip and molding with a hammer, prying the doorstop and molding away from the frame. Take care not to damage the frame as you do so.
Then measure six inches above and below the split in the frame and mark it off with a pencil. Use a hand or power saw to cut through the measurements in a straight line cleanly.
Next, cut a piece of timber the same size as the piece you’ve cut and removed from the door frame. Put it into the place where the split part of the frame used to be and glue the timber into place. Once glued, give it some time to dry.
Now, sand the area smooth, getting rid of any excess glue and blending the new parts of the wood into the old parts. Finally, apply a body or wood filler before sanding the dried filler in. Then finish it off with primer and two coats of paint.
Repairing minor rot can be done in a very similar fashion to fixing a split door frame. You may find some rot at the bottom of the door frame.
Measure out the rotten part of the frame and saw away with a hand saw chisel or dremel and cut out the piece of wood, ensuring that the rotted areas have been completely removed and can’t spread to other parts of the door frame. It may be beyond repair if the rot covers a very large area.
Once you’ve carved out the rotted area, insert a wire mesh in its place, in the gap in the frame. Then use a body filler to fill the wire mesh in the carved-out gap.
Allow it to dry overnight and sand it down to smoothen it out, finishing it with primer and two coats of paint.
You may also have a door frame that doesn’t present any of these major issues, and the damage to your doorframe is minor. The good news is that if you address minor damage quickly, it won’t cascade into something bigger.
Simply find the parts of the door that have issues like small cracks, bites from animals, scratches, nicks, and dents. Gently push into them to test how severe the damage is. Then cover the cracks, gouges, and dents with filler using a putty knife to apply it smoothly.
Allow it to dry overnight before sanding it down to a smooth surface, adding a coat of primer and two coats of paint.
So, if your door frame has been damaged, the good news is that you can replace part of a door frame or even simply use wood filler to repair minor issues. You can fix warped door frames, split door frames, rotted door frames, and minor cracks, knicks, and dents. But you need to ensure that you’ve properly inspected the issue and are using the correct method to repair the door frame’s damaged part appropriately.
Also, consider consulting with a professional to get the job done right. If you fail to do so and do a bad job, you may have to replace the entire doorframe anyways!