How To Install This Door Frame Please

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ukanonymous | 20:24 Sun 25th Oct 2020 | Home & Garden
19 Answers
We bought new door and it came with a frame. The old French frame was installed by like plastering in nails already hammered into the frame so there was a total mess. Anyway we could proba ly plaster or cement this up. But there on 1 side is about a 2 inch gap as the frame is smaller than the last. What can we do here please or do you have any other advice?
Thanks poo


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What are the walls surrounding the opening made of, brick, stone, concrete?
Question Author
Well if you look at the photo they are these weird thin French bricks with a layer of plaster on.

Also this is how they attached the last frames very strange. Looks like they put nails in then plastered it in..
No expert but I would probably get similar bricks and cut them to size, cement them in place, and then plaster over the surface. You can always cut out keys in the existing wall if you figure you need to avoid a weaker vertical line.
When the "prepared opening" was built in as the brickwork was done there would have been thin wooden pads(the same thickness as the cement between the brickwork and as wide as a brick) that would be visible before the wall was plastered. The frame was then offered to the prepared opening and the joiner would nail it in place using the wooden pads that were now built in and the cement hard. The frame would have to be square and true vertically and horizontally. There would usually be a ¼ inch gap showing all round the frame before there was a scratch coat of plaster rendered on and then any architrave to the door frame was pinned on before the finishing coat of thistle smooth finish plaster. The door itself was hung after this was all complete.
A very long time ago, I worked in a French village with the local joiner (i) Menuisier (i) and the method then to fix door frames & windows was, as you say to nail into the frame edge large, iron 'nails' leaving them projecting to the appropriate amount, the frame is then wedged into position, with the head vertical & the sides, plumb the gap is then filled with plaster encasing the nails.

You can do the same, using large wood screws, where the large gaps are you could fix blocks of smaller softwood to the frame.
I would probably be looking at a way of fixing the new frame similarly by hammering wooden pads in between the brick courses after removing a 4 inch portion of the mortar. The side of the frame with the gap I would probably fix a piece of wood to the frame first or better still a 1 inch piece to both sides. If you do not fancy the wooden pad method you could drill the frame and corresponding with those holes drill and plug the brick opening to fix through the holes in the frame using screws. Whichever way you do it the devil is keeping the frame true in all planes.
Question Author
Khandro yeah we have 1 side flat so we can drill and plug that side to the frame. We wer thinking drill and plug the top to keep it square then do the crazy French thing on the side shown where its all smashed to bits . I guess there is no right or wrong way to do it then.
Question Author if you look at this frame though qill it be a problem as its got a channel kind of thing in it. Another very strange French thing
The channel is to receive the wall, which in a new construction would be housed into it & would obviate the need for an architrave, which in the UK is there to cover the gap between the post & the wall.

The old French method of fixing sounds a bit crude but is very effective the main problem, as you have found out, is when you want to remove it you have to do a lot of damage, whereas if you can use screws it is much easier.

Don't worry too much about the method, improvise, the main thing is to be sure it is perfectly vertical in both dimensions by using a plumb line, - unless you have good, long, spirit level.

If you don't get that right you can have door you can't leave ajar without it wanting to open or close itself.
The usual method of fixing a frame would be to pack the gaps out with small rectangles of ply. A mixture of my thicknesses would be placed between the frame and the wall. Then you would screw straight through the frame and the packers, on into the wall.
In your case it looks as though you should be fixing a batten the whole length of the gap, securely onto the wall. Then fixing the frame to the batten . If there is any gaps pack them with ply and keep it straight and square before fully fixing.
The way I would fix it would be rather as Homer has described.
Divide the 2" gap in half. 1" each side.
Fix a vertical 2 x 1 batten vertically to each side of the opening. (Plug & screw through the batten into the wall both sides.)

Do you really need that french type lining?
I would use a normal lining set...;gclsrc=aw.ds

Assemble it, stand it in the opening and screw through the lining into the vertical battens.

Re-doing the damaged plaster is the easy bit. Use Carlite (lightweight) plaster flush with the edges of the lining.
Finish with loose architraves all round.

That thing with nails banged in each side was favourite over here too at one time.
That is, until cordless screwdrivers came along, and we all started using drilling and screwing to fox.
Haha ^^^^ "to fix"

One thing I forgot.
Before plastering... hang the door to the lining just after it's been fixed to the walls.
Use timber wedges to bring the lining stiles (upright bits) out to almost meet the door.
Make sure door works Ok, then plaster.
Question Author
Ok thanks everyone we will go to DIY store see what wood we can find :)
Builder; That's all very well if you have brick wall to fix your battens to, but from the first photograph the wall seems to be made of just plaster. Rawplugs & screws into plaster maybe OK for hanging pictures but for a door frame I think is a no-no.
When if France do as the French do! :0)
No no K...............

Look at the first picture posted at 8.39
B. Yep, it looks like solid plaster to me, & you can see the rebate which once fitted into the trench in the post.
Question Author
This has been the most painful diy ever. We just finished cementing the nails in. I will never forget this but thank you to everyone's advice xxxxx you gave us a lot of confidence
Question Author
French door frame
well done!

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