Max you can trim a door

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by biffta, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. biffta

    biffta New Member

    Alright chaps, I've never hung a door before and am pretty much novice DIYer.

    I'd like to buy the following door from Wickes but it's too big for the door frame:

    The height of the frame is 1955mm which is about 26mm smaller than the door. I read somewhere that as a general rule you shouldn't trim a door more than about 12mm but not sure how accurate that is.

    Do you think I'd be ok to trim to this size?

  2. chippie84

    chippie84 New Member

    as your talking about general rules mate,you should use this one aswell..get a carpenter to do the job.

  3. biffta

    biffta New Member

    haha yes I have seriously considered it. But the going rate seems to be about £80 per door and money's a bit tight at the mo.
  4. big all

    big all Screwfix Select

    you should never have to remove more than 6mm as you should choose the correct door for the frame

    if you cant get a door to fit the correct actions are to make/have made a bespoked door or alter the doorframe to fit a standard door
    anything else is at best a compromise and at worst a complete bodge ;)

    some doors will say 5mm others will say up to 12mm from the sides if the instructions are missing you should aim for no more than 9mm or 12 at a push
    if the door is second hand you should measure the door to finds the origional door size and work from that

    big all
  5. hallbeck

    hallbeck New Member

    You will be fine trimming that off.

    Beware though - hanging a door is harder than it looks!
  6. big all

    big all Screwfix Select

    yeh sorry on the height top and bottom around 36mm 1/3 top 2/3 bottom
  7. goldenboy

    goldenboy Super Member

    I routinely take more than 6mm off a door, I seem to have a bit of a run of taking out plyflushes in old cottages and terraces and putting in new, with a hollowcore the framing is usually around the 22mm mark so with taking a bit off the top and a bit off the bottom you can take up to about 25mm in total off without a problem. Any more and just whip the botttom off take the frame out of the offcut and glue it back in, in terms of solid doors just take a look at the top of the door, better quality should have around 18-22mm lipping as long as you leave 5mm of the lipping on either side you will be fine, top and bottom of a solid dowelled door you are unlikely to find a dowel within say 38mm of the bottom so you have a fair bit to play with.

    Of course some will say that you should stick to the recommended limits that manufacturers say to maintain warranties but as always most warranties arent worth a bean anyway.

    Some casings particularly in cottages and house 100+ years old have traditional regional sized, someone with a bit of experience in Yorkshire will have come across very different sizes to the rest of the UK in particular. Those traditional variations are not catered for in todays one size fits all marketplace. If you walk into a cottage with 12 casings to suit a 745 x 1960 door because thats what the village joinery was set up to do 200 years ago you can either carefully use an off the shelf 762x 1982 for perhaps £75 labour per door or price for 12 bespoke doors @£200 minimum per door supply only or tear out 200 years of historic casings to fit new doors within the manufacturers tolerances. 95% of customers without limitless budgets willgo for the first option.
  8. big all

    big all Screwfix Select

    yes golden boy we all cut off more and know the pros and cons ;)

    the idea was to set a genuine acceptable level off whats expected/reasonable to set the bounderys so people know what aim for
    some people think 1" is ok not realising this can stop the lock fitting or remove so much that the edges are all but removed ect

    in other words if you dont know what your doing stick to the limmits i have suggested and ask for advice ;)

    big all
  9. dunc

    dunc New Member

    I would take some off the top and the bottom. I use a router to give a neat finish.

    Usually I overlay 3 inch hinges with 4.

    Then I charge £2734.78 and have a short holiday somewhere.
  10. biffta

    biffta New Member

    Ok, so it would seem my options are

    1. Take 13mm off the top and 13mm off the bottom of the door.
    2. Alter the frame: the bottom of the frame is solid concrete, so I would have to dig into the top of the frame, which sounds very fiddly.
    3. Buy a custom made door: probably the most expensive option.

    Out of these I think I like option 1 the best.

    I think I have a good idea of what I'm getting myself into and there's quite a good selection of material on the web on this subject. I found the following video very helpful:


    But yes I still haven't ruled out hiring a proper chippie, but at the very least I can go ahead and order the doors safe in the knowledge that it is possible to use them.


    [Edited by: admin]
  11. diyhopeful

    diyhopeful Active Member

    You should be able to take that much off no problem. Some of the solid looking budget doors may have a problem as they aren't really solid but as this is glazed the top and bottom stiles should be fine and the tenons or dowels holding the door together should be lower down than 13mm.

    If this is the first door you've ever hung then hanging it to the frame is only half the story....

    Wait until you fit the handles ....

    Seems like the tradesmen on the site have become bitter in lean times.
  12. diyhopeful

    diyhopeful Active Member

    One more tip.....If there is already a door there that fits ok but is horrible then use the old door as a template rather than up and down with the new one.

    Used to work for me until I got better at it.
  13. goldenboy

    goldenboy Super Member

    Not sure many people are being bitter, and to be honest mate the lean times havent affected me in the slightest. Using a door to template is more hassle than doing it properly, first thing I do after taking an old door off is carfiller the old hinge positions and keep position, a blank canvas gives better end results. Incidentally the top and bottom sections of a door you refer to diyhopeful are rails. Rails go left to right and stiles go up and down on a door.
  14. parana

    parana New Member

    try to keep the stiles and top rail the same. i.e. if you remove 6mm from both stiles then remove 6mm from the top and the rest from the bottom, don't just divide the height adjustment in 2 and take from top and bottom. as for manufacturers recommendations IMO they give you a small tolerance knowing full well you will have to remove more and void the warranty! take goldenboys advice check the lipping and use this as a guide as to how much you can remove. lippings can vary, normally around 10 to 15mm.
    15mm if your lucky.

  15. parana

    parana New Member


    new doors into old frames can be a nightmare......good luck.

  16. joinerjohn

    joinerjohn New Member

    Went to fit 3 internal doors this morning. I had given the lady the measurements of the doors she needed 9metric 2040x 826mm)

    Got there and guess what!! She had bought Imperial doors. :O

    I could have trimmed the doors lenghtways to fit (around 5 -6mm either side), but what to do about the lenght?? Around 58mm short.
  17. goldenboy

    goldenboy Super Member

    Joinerjohn: its a real pain in the donkey when someone does that, a few years back I made the decision to go supply and fit only, with a few exceptions where the customer involved has their head screwed on right and knows what they are doing, I found that the time it takes to pickup the gear is more than compensated by the markup I put on and the time saved by wasting time with the gear not bing there or rubbish quality or wrong sizes. The final straw was fitting a maple engineered floor that seemed to have been stored in a swimmingpool and the customer supplied underlay was(despite a promise of it being quickstep combilay) was infact the old carpet underlay which had been stored in the garden. A saturday job turned into the worst three working days of my life. Never again
  18. joinerjohn

    joinerjohn New Member

    Yep goldenboy, sadly I can't afford to buy the doors for her. I've had a look on the internet and given her a list of sites that will supply exactly what she wants.
    She phoned earlier saying the sites I gave her were far too expensive (cheapest was £58 per door). She's now considering having them made locally at a joiners shop.
    Last year she asked me if I could buy them and she would pay after I'd fitted them. (think she had already looked on the internet). I told her I do labour only (learned the hard way)
    Anyways She reckons she'll get back to me once the doors have been sorted out. BTW I had already measured up twice for her (she lost the first measurements I gave her then didn't phone for about 2 months).

    AHhh could do without this really.
  19. goldenboy

    goldenboy Super Member

    You should run a magnet account or something like that, I know what you mean about customers, my business woould run much more smoothly without them.
  20. biffta

    biffta New Member

    A few horror stories there! If it's any consolation, I am a (potential) customer who was trying to make sure I bought the right size first time!


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